Launching the Friends & Family event series

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Friends and family play a vital role in a founder’s life. Not just for the emotional support they provide, but also the financial support. There is a general expectation that a startup should be funded through friends and family in the early stages, but that is simply not realistic for all founders, especially those from diverse backgrounds. For instance, the net worth of a typical white family is nearly ten times greater than that of a Black family, according to 2016 data from the Pew Research Center.

Grasshopper Bank and AWSM share a commitment to leveling the playing field and providing more founders with the support, information and connections they need to excel in their startup journey. …


Our continued commitment to increase access and opportunity; join us at Black Women Talk Tech.

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Industry events built around diversity and inclusion are an invaluable opportunity for founders of all backgrounds to learn, connect, and develop their business.

Unfortunately, many of these events often come with a hefty price tag.

At Grasshopper Bank we want to ensure that access to these events is not limited by a founder’s ability to pay to attend, especially when most early-stage founders have exceptionally scarce resources to begin with (if at all).

We are proud to introduce Grasshopper Grants, which covers 100% of the price of admission for a certain number of founders to attend critical events nationwide throughout the year.


Our continued commitment to increase access and opportunity; join us at Black Women Talk Tech.

Image for post
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Industry events built around diversity and inclusion are an invaluable opportunity for founders of all backgrounds to learn, connect, and develop their business.

Unfortunately, many of these events often come with a hefty price tag.

At Grasshopper Bank we want to ensure that access to these events is not limited by a founder’s ability to pay to attend, especially when most early-stage founders have exceptionally scarce resources to begin with (if at all).

We are proud to introduce Grasshopper Grants, which covers 100% of the price of admission for a certain number of founders to attend critical events nationwide throughout the year.


With the rate of streaming growth decreasing in the U.S and U.K streaming services new and old have set their sights on tapping into new markets. Although entrance into new markets have been met with lawsuits and lower subscription prices the opportunity is way larger than it may appear, as the majority of the upside has yet to be captured.While the reach of distribution continues to grow, the music industry has prioritized expanding the amount of total listeners without fully tapping into the fandom opportunities that exist in markets that traditionally have not been very accessible. …


As emerging artists begin to leverage influencer revenue to finance their careers should they prioritize partnerships with brands or owning the product completely?

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“I am not a businessman. I am the business, man.” — Jay-Z

Artists Have Always Been Influencers

A decade ago being an influencer as a sole career was foreign. Most “influencers” were initially introduced to a consumer through another avenue such as acting or playing a sport. As a result, many advertising agencies “picked” influencers by analyzing who was already super popular. This laissez-faire approach to advertising meant that at the height of an individuals career they were inauthentically promoting multiple products or experiences solely because they were inundated with time-sensitive opportunities to earn money. Additionally, during this time the number of businesses that had the capacity and budget for influencer marketing was largely restricted to companies that had large sources of capital. The inability to easily track conversions encouraged companies to perceive influencer marketing as a strategy to build brand awareness rather than meaningfully drive sales. Regardless of this initial perception, more and more companies began to embrace influencer marketing once they began to see its ability to convert sales. The frequency and shelf life of music makes artists ideal influencers because they have one of the longest audience touchpoints. Once businesses realized this deals suddenly became so large that they were generating more revenue for artists than their music. To capture a piece of the pie labels quickly emerged with the “360 deal”. …


Why SoundCloud needs to license its dataset to labels and streaming services as the competition for artist discovery heats up.

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Photo by Mark Solarski on Unsplash

Earlier this week SoundCloud launched its latest feature for its Pro and Pro Unlimited subscribers, SoundCloud Premier. The feature allows artists to distribute their music on Soundcloud and other major streaming services (including Apple Music, Amazon Music, Tencent, and Spotify) with a revenue share that the company states “meets or beats any other streaming service”. Artists can access the service free of charge and get paid monthly. This move solidifies SoundCloud’s commitment to its artists but provides zero clarity on how the company plans to achieve profitability. SoundCloud has the most valuable dataset around emerging artists however, they continue to ignore the path to profitability by attempting to generate their core revenue from commoditized products, music streaming, and artist distribution.


Spotify’s acquisitions of Gimlet and Anchor signal ambitious plans to disintermediate the music industry.

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Spotify’s announcement of Anchor and Gimlet seemed inevitable given the companies quest to dominate all things audio. In his blog post on the acquisition, Audio-First, Daniel Ek stated:

“Gimlet and Anchor will position us to become the leading platform for podcast creators around the world and the leading producer of podcasts”

Spotify has been doubling down on the podcast space long before this acquisition by signing exclusive deals with podcasts (i.e The Joe Budden Podcast, Amy Schumer’s 3 Girls, 1 Keith) and by being vocal about the increased time podcast listeners spend on the app. Looking deeper, the Gimlet and Anchor acquisition reveals Spotify’s long term strategy to own the audio supply chain (production, distribution, and optimization). Once they nail this for podcasting, Spotify can replicate this strategy for music, their core business.

Denisha Kuhlor

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