Music Gateway is the brainchild of Jon Skinner, our founder and CEO. Music Gateway is a unique business platform, carefully developed to simplify the process of working in the 21st century. Music Gateway has been created by experienced musicians & industry professionals.
Who is your start up aimed at?
We decided to provide this opportunity to a wider public audience, the smaller investors, independent people who are interested in creative music and developments in IT online. The only way to offer this effectively and affordable for the investor was through a crowd funding platform. At heart we are musicians, so it was important to me personally that we ‘share the love’ to our founder members and the music loving community at large.
How does your start up stand out against its competitors?
We are unique, as our platform streamlines & channels the way people get connected online, collaborate, co-write and conduct business on a global scale. Currently, people limit themselves by working locally or use ineffective networks, which lack functionality and lack purpose.
Competition is limited, as most other platforms focus on artist to fan relationships, licensing and distribution up sell. We are focused on the creative process and matching like minded musicians through projects, not done by other sites.
Where did the idea for the start up come from?
Having spent 26 years in the industry, we have experienced first hand the issues facing musicians and people working in the industry. It is this experience that provided the backbone for me to create the platform. Created by musicians for musicians.
What is your business background, and what got you interested in startups?
I started my first business in 1991, an independent record shop which soon progressed to a record label, producing myself through to licensing and publishing throughout the 90’s. I founded a photography company in 1996, which I grew to a nationwide supplier of photography services in the nightclub sector. This company involved us creating our own bespoke software to manage online images and location based staff, as you can imagine, managing 350 part time photographers in over 120 towns across the UK wasn’t going to be easy. Music Gateway is my first true strictly online business and with a fantastic team of experts around me, we are very confident of being successful.
How long has the your startup been in the making, and who is the team behind the business?
We set out developing the site in May 2011 with my Head of IT Nick Barham who is our core lead developer. During 2012 we were joined by leading web UI & UE designer Phil Carr, who has recently been added as our Creative Director. We have three content writers / marketing assistants in Gray, Jon & Clare who are in a strong position to come into the business on a more full time basis going forward.
We launched in August this year following a successful pre-launch and users have grown by 62% to over 10,000, we have processed over 700 projects and received 3,000 pitches, so engagement is there, 100%.
What has been your biggest challenge so far as a startup owner?
Like any start up, it all comes down to resource, team and investment capital. Even with myself investing £200,000 in the business I still needed to raise more angle investment. It took me a year to find the right individual to come on board.
Finance aside, our biggest challenge has been managing and prioritising the strategy, you have to stay in target, but be flexible to allow for a change if certain things aren’t working. I highly recommend a book called ‘Rework’ by 37signals, which I personally found a brilliant read and extremely useful business tool.
In the coming year, what would you like to achieve with your business?
We have a new site design being finished at the moment and due for launch in January, we have also just partnered and integrated with BASCA and our core aim is to continue with these integrations and scale up user volume and continue improving the features and functionally within the site.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking about
starting a business, what would it be?
Do your homework, millions of people have ideas every single day, it’s the ones that deliver the concept into reality that are the ultimate winners, if you truly believe, then GO FOR IT!