Why you should attend SF MusicTech Summit, Music Hack Day, and Music Startup Academy

by Kara Murphy on January 13, 2012

This February, make something happen with all the right resources.

“We should start our own group; I’m not sure what the title would be but it has to encompass the fact that we are some of the few, the brave, that have attended every single SF MusicTech Summit in existence.” That’s basically what my friends, Scott Schiller, Jordan Harband, and I were joking about as we basked in the sun flooding Japantown’s mall courtyard during lunch break at the last event in September.

SF MusicTech Summit is always worth attending, not only for the worthwhile networking opportunities with top professionals in the music tech industry but also for the knowledge you can glean from the myriad of panels that cover everything from building apps to navigating legal landmines – the latter being the most crucial if you’re even entertaining the notion of being in the business of music.

Note: If you are going to attend, register here and use the code ‘ promoplatters ‘ for a 10% discount.

Besides the camaraderie shared with my friends that afternoon, another highlight I held onto in the breadth of information absorbed during the course of the day came from none other than Steve Jang: “Today is the best time ever to create a mobile app.” He then elaborated on his point with the recommendation of leveraging APIs (Application Platform Interfaces) provided by Rdio, Spotify, Apple, and Echonest. Jang should know – he only created SoundTracking, an app. that surpassed a million users when only 30-second clips via iTunes were available. They’ve now launched in Android with Spotify and Rdio integration.

My point is, if you have a fun project in mind, a dream, or an idea you want to execute, you need to clear your calendar for 4 whole days, in mid-February, because there’s not only one but TWO other events happening right around SF MusicTech Summit that should serve as a catalyst to help you achieve some feasible goals – Music Hack Day, which is happening from February 11th – 12th, and Music Startup Academy on February 14th.

If there’s something you want to build, Music Hack Day is the perfect venue to conceptualize, plan, and create a product to showcase to your peers. Here is a good round up of what to expect if you plan on participating the full weekend (hint: lots of pizza and very little sleep). As of this writing, there are still a few spaces available in the spacious Tokbox offices if you plan on fully participating as a hacker. If that seems a bit intense, the demo only session should not be missed. On Sunday, finalists show off what they’ve been working on for a 24-hour period and the results are nothing short of inspiring. Both of these sessions are free to attend and open to the public.

Demoing at Music Hack Day, 2011

Following SF MusicTech, the day after, is a newly conceived program called Music Startup Academy. Brought to us by the folks at DigitalMusic.org, the online arm of NARM’s digital initiatives, the objective of this boot-camp-style program is to educate aspiring entrepreneurs in all aspects of the music business including content acquisition, label relations, and dev ops. The line-up of speakers is still in the works but with a venue like Rdio’s headquarters, it’s safe to assume that the quality of the event is definitely worth the price. Pre-registration is $79 but if you use the code ‘ msa-toddtate ‘, you’ll get a 20% discount.

Mark your calendars from February 11th to the 14th because even if you can only make it out to one of these events, it’s an experience you certainly don’t want to miss out on. Also, I can’t help but note that Women 2.0’s Pitch competition is also happening alongside Music Startup Academy on Valentine’s Day. Clearly, and especially to all the geeks, it’s just another Hallmark holiday. 🙂


The 10th SF Music Tech Summit will be held on February 13th at the Kabuki Hotel in Japantown

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