Union Hall Brings Entrepreneurs Together
Soundstr recently announced a successful round of fundraising led by CincyTech. Which earns them a well-deserved congratulations. The company is on a mission to bring transparency to the music industry by tracking what songs venues play and making sure artists are compensated appropriately for their work. Soundstr also helps those same venues make more money with an audio ad network.
But what Soundstr is today, actually started as two separate entities, MusicPlay Analytics and Soundstr. MusicPlay Analytics focusing on tracking songs and Soundstr focusing on building connections between artists and brands. The story of their coming together involves two old colleagues and one building in OTR.
The company’s two founders, Brian Penick and Eron Bucciarelli-Tieger were both professional musicians in the area before creating their own startups. They also both happened to be drummers and, on occasion, would play together. But eventually the two gave up the music life and started working on other projects.
As time went on, they both decided they wanted to create their own companies. So Eron started MusicPlay and was accepted to The Brandery’s 2014 class. Brian started Soundstr and joined Cintrifuse around the same time.
It’s a small town and a close knit community so they knew the other was working on a music related startup. But it wasn’t until they spent time in Union Hall that the two really started to connect.
“Union Hall was literately what brought us together and allowed us to continue beyond the initial basic formalities,” Brian explained. “Working here in these booths and in different conference rooms and scheduling calls and meetings with customers, we realized there was so much more potential for our companies if we worked together.”
Over the course of a couple of months the pair realized that their companies would not be in competition with each other and that they would be chasing similar data sets. That’s when the conversation began to turn towards an acquisition. The talks got more serious and, through the course of time, Music Play Analytics officially acquired Soundstr and Eron and Brian officially became Co-Founders (The executive staff chose to use Soundstr as the new company’s public-facing name).
Brian also has some advice for startups hoping to utilize Cincinnati’s innovation hub. First, simply come down and see the space. Also, while you’re here, talk to people, bounce ideas off them and start building relationships within the ecosystem. Overall, Union Hall has a lot to offer but to take advantage of it you need to come down and start the conversation.
“I can’t say enough positive things about Union Hall and the ecosystem as a whole,” Brian said. “It’s so rare that you can actually start at an organization like Cintrifuse then go to an accelerator and then be connected with an investment firm all in the same building. I hope people in the ecosystem take advantage of that.”