Published: Oct. 11, 2011
Join Jonathan Bellman, Professor of Music History and Literature at UNC, on the art of writing about music and getting published. CONVO CREDIT AVAILABLE THIS WEEK.

5:00-6:30 in C-113. As always, Free Pizza & Drinks!


What’s the New Venture Challenge, you ask? It’s the campus-wide business plan competition! But it’s also more than that: it’s great workshops, mentors with members from Boulder’s entrepreneurial community, and a chance to flesh out your dreams & ideas into a viable, career-sustaining venture. There’s also some serious prize money available (!), including a $3,000 Music Prize and up to $10,000 in other prizes to be had!

Got an idea? Not sure what to do with it? Think it’s too crazy? Think it’s not crazy enough? Come talk to me about it: the New Venture Challenge might be just the way to dig down into the idea further and see if it’s got potential!

KICK-OFF NIGHT: Tuesday, Oct. 25, 5:30 in the Wolf Law Building Courtroom. Boulder entrepreneur Paul Beberian will be our special guest speaker. All are welcome; no commitment necessary; just come check it out!

Articles of the Week

•    CU students create their own jobs in the down economy  A nice article about student entrepreneurs in our own Daily Camera.

•    Online tools help bands do business  An excellent article in the New York Times on how some folks are beginning to invent new ways for technology to benefit artists hurt by the decline of record sales and the dissolution of the old business models. Check this out – and if you don’t have a rock band, ask yourself how these principles might be applied to YOUR situation?

•    Are all arts projects worth funding? Here’s a very provocative article about market forces determining what should get funded. Be sure to read the comments for an excellent debate that gets at the issues we’re all grappling with (or should be), whether we’re aspiring individual performers or orchestra managers. What do you think?

Want to read the UPBEAT in a different format, or share it with others outside the College of Music?
FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK! Each week’s issue will be posted there for viewing and sharing convenience!

Entrepreneurial Thought of the Week: What’s a “venture challenge”??!?

As noted above, the CU New Venture Challenge is about to kick off for this year. Perhaps you’re wondering what that’s all about, what all that prize money is about (!), and perhaps even what this “venture” thing is and why we should be challenged by it.

Don’t worry: you’re not alone. So let me try to demystify things a bit for you.

For the last 20 years or so, business schools have held competitions in which their students developed their business ideas and presented them a team of judges. Some of these competitions – like the one at Rice University in Texas – have become huge affairs, with hundreds of thousands of dollars in venture capital on the line and investors from all over the country attending and looking for the next Big Thing.

And what’s a business plan? Simply this: a road map for launching a new business. It has specific components, of course, but it’s really nothing more than an implementation plan, bolstered with as much research and information as is needed to support its goals and objectives. In recent years folks started to use the term “venture” rather than “business,” because more and more entities were non-profits, social ventures, or educational in nature, and the word “business” seemed too narrow.

And that’s it, really. A venture plan competition is to the entrepreneur as the concerto competition is to the musician.

The New Venture Challenge is CU’s version of this. But it’s not confined to the business school; it takes place all across campus, with folks from engineering, biotech, computer science, renewable energy, social entrepreneurship, and yes, music and the arts, competing in special tracks (e.g., the music prize) and a general competition (the big kahuna).

Perhaps you’ve got an idea you’ve been kicking around? A music-related website or a piece of music technology. Maybe you’ve dreamed about opening a new kind of music school or a unique performance venue. Maybe you just want to take a business approach to developing that chamber group you and your friends have been talking about getting off the ground. You name it, there’s nothing that can’t be turned into a venture if you have the right tools. And unlike a lot of venture competitions out there, the NVC has workshops and entrepreneur-mentors to help you learn how to make a venture plan and pitch your idea to potential investors.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for profiles on some of our past participants, and come to Kick-off Night October 25th!

And without further adieu…

The Video of the Week!

Quite possibly the greatest embarrassment ever to take to the stage… (Terrible video quality, but it’s the sound that must be…experienced.)


The Entrepreneurship Center for Music • Jeffrey Nytch, DMA, Director


Office Hours:

Tues & Thurs: 9-11 a.m.  Wed: 2-4 p.m. – or by appointment

Entrepreneurship Wednesdays: 5-6:30 p.m., C-113

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INTERNSHIPS AVAILABLE FOR THE SPRING SEMESTER  As you start thinking about your spring schedule, consider doing in internship at a local music business or non-profit. We have a wide range of internship opportunities that can be great learning experiences and valuable additions to your resume. Internships can be done for academic or not, and the choice is pretty much up to you. Stop by the ECM Office for more information!

The Yvar Mikhashoff Trust for New Music is pleased to announce the guidelines for the fifth annual international competition for pianist/composer collaborations, the Mikhashoff Pianist/Composer Commissioning Project. The goal of the competition is to encourage the composition and performance of new works for solo piano reflecting and continuing the legacy of the distinguished American pianist, Yvar Mikhashoff (1941-1993).  The winning composer and pianist, who apply together as a team, will receive $3,000 each. The competition is limited to applicants, both pianists and composers, born on or after January 1, 1977. POSTMARK DEADLINE: November 15, 2011 

Questions by email only to Amy Williams, Competition Coordinator (

Polyphonic On Campus – Fall 2011 Webinar Series Earlier this year, Polyphonic On Campus began hosting a monthly webinar series featuring engaging 1-hour presentations and discussions on a range of musical topics.  Attendees from around the country can gather in a virtual space, view a live presentation from your own computer, and listen/talk to the speakers via your phone or computer speakers. These webinars are free to attend.  Below is a listing of the fall webinars. 

The next Webinar: “Finding a Job in Higher Education Advantages of the Multi-Faceted Musician”
Tuesday October 18th, 2011 – 8:00pm eastern

David Bebe & Sean McClowry, College of Saint Rose, will discuss ways of developing and exploring diverse sets of musical and non-musical skills to make yourself more eligible for these  type of teaching positions. Sign up here!

CREATE DENVER BUSINESS WORKSHOP SERIES This Saturday morning workshop series is tailored specifically to members of Denver’s artist community, with valuable resources to de-mystify the business challenges and issues facing creative entrepreneurs. Workshops are $10 each.

acoustic dubstep band forming Leeds Business School student Colin Bugge is forming an acoustic dubstep band and is interested in performers and/or business-oriented music students to be a part of his venture. Any instrument is welcome. Colin may be interested in entering his venture into the New Venture Challenge – with a shot at the $3,000 music prize. If you’re interested, contact Colin Bugge at

INTERNSHIP at PARLANDO SCHOOL OF THE ARTS Parlando is looking for an intern who can work in the Development/Fundraising area of one of Boulder’s leading community music schools. Hours flexible, but 10 hrs/week is a minimum. Available for academic credit. For more information, contact Travis LaBerge, Executive Director:

COLORADO MUSIC FESTIVAL is looking for a Developing & Marketing intern for the Spring semester. For more information, contact Brandi Numedahl, Marketing Director: