ECE student startup joins national business pitch competition
Jose Moreno, a senior in Purdue’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and intern for the Purdue Foundry, founded One Man Band with Radomir Novkovich. The startup supplies aspiring musicians with high-quality music backtracks via a mobile application.
“A musician can pick from a library of popular songs, mute any instrument and practice his or her favorite tracks,” Moreno said. “We hope to become a major media platform for aspiring musicians where they can practice and where artists can submit their compositions and garner revenue.”
Using a tournament style model, Student Startup Madness, reviews digital media student startups from universities across the nation. The student entrepreneurs must pass the first three rounds and then for the fourth round the final “Entrepreneurial Eight” gaining a presentation opportunity at the South by Southwest Interactive Conference on March 12.
“Going to South by Southwest would be the biggest value of this competition,” Moreno said. “I would get to network with other student entrepreneurs and with professionals in the field. The conference would also give us more publicity and feedback for our business model.”
The competition includes four rounds: application of approximately 200 participants; the first round of 64 participants; the second round of 32 semifinalists and the “Entrepreneurial Eight” finalists. One Man Band passed through application, the first round and second round. Former entrepreneurs and venture capitalists judged the startups’ presentations.
“Our app is unique and accessible to anyone of any age level,” Moreno said. “Even I can resonate with One Man Band because it’s something I wish I had when I was learning to play music.”
Recently, One Man Band earned first prize at Purdue’s Schurz Communications Innovation Challenge, a business pitch competition for student entrepreneurs working in mobile or online media. The startup invested the $5,000 prize money in targeted online advertisements and search-engine optimization. Read more here.
Moreno said he would adapt his business pitch to the Student Startup Madness by incorporating constructive feedback and new updates to his company.
“My goal for this competition is to practice pitching, to learn from other presenters and to connect with people who could help One Man Band move forward,” Moreno said. “I have never competed at a national level competition, so I’m excited to represent One Man Band and Purdue.”
A few users tested the beta version on One Man Band’s iOS platform and showed renewed interest in learning a specific instrument. Also a musician, Moreno developed this idea specifically to help learning artists access useful or popular music pieces.
“Many people become frustrated while learning an instrument and leave it behind, but our beta testers said One Man Band is helping them to get back into the rhythm of practicing,” he said. “A valuable part of our company is connecting musicians with the practice they need.”
Moreno and Novkovich are building an Android application that mirrors the existing iOS platform. After Student Startup Madness, One Man Band will focus on other entrepreneurial goals, such launching on a wider scale. The startup is seeking a partner or investor to assist their capital accrual and networking in the music industry.