New Thinking and Innovative Ideas in Music

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2014 Winning Ventures



Blaire K.S. Koerner & Marla Smith

View All Winning Ventures

Important Dates

Thursday - 5:30pm
November 14, 2013
NVC Workshop (Location - ESM 514)
Bring your idea and appetite
January 22, 2013
Intent to Compete Due
*note - Date extended
February 3, 2014
Proposal Due
March 7, 2014
Announcement of Finalists
April 4, 2014
Final Round

All materials must be submitted by 4 pm on the due date to the Institute for Music Leadership Office (first floor of the Miller Center).



New Venture Challenge

Fact Sheet


NVC Slides

Business Model Generation

The Business Model Canvas


Description of Contest

The Eastman New Venture Challenge is a contest to encourage new thinking and innovative ideas in music. It gives students the opportunity to develop a project proposal that could result in the launch of a new entrepreneurial initiative.

Entries may be from individuals or teams of up to three students. Entrants must create and present a project proposal that demonstrates creativity and potential for success. The proposals will be evaluated in a preliminary round by a panel of judges who are experts in the field. Two to four student entries will be invited to participate in the final round where each initiative will be evaluated on both the written proposal and an oral presentation. Successful entrants will have demonstrated creativity, innovation, uniqueness, and added value to the music field. Project Proposals will be returned to all entrants with comments and suggestions from the judges.


First prize: $2,000*; Second prize: $500*
*Seed money for development of your venture along with advisory support from Eastman's Center for Music Innovation and Engagement to help bring your idea to fruition. Prize money may be taxable. Entrants should consult their tax advisor. Prize money will be rewarded as reimbursement for project expenses. Original receipts and an invoice are required.

More Information

Examples of Potential Ventures

  • New Product Prototype
  • Single Event/Series of Events
  • Improvement on an Existing Service/Product
  • Launching a Music-related Company or Non-Profit


  • The contest is open to all students who are enrolled full-time in an Eastman degree program and are in good academic standing.
  • Entries can be by individuals or teams of up to three members.
  • Project Proposals must be original work.

What to Submit

A project proposal (suggested 3-5 pages) that includes:

  • Summary of Proposed Project
  • Description of Company/Organization/Venture
  • Product or Service
  • Market Analysis
  • Strategy and Implementation
  • Management Team
  • Financial Plan


  • Judges will be selected from experts in the field.
  • The Eastman New Venture Challenge reserves the right not to select a winner.
  • Several second prizes may be awarded.
  • Entrants are encouraged to seek advice from Eastman faculty and staff.

What is Entrepreneurship in Music?

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation grant to the University of Rochester began a dialogue among the Schools within the University that resulted in a much broader definition of entrepreneurship than is usually found in business. "The transformation of an idea into an enterprise that generates value," is a description that encompasses all areas of study and is the definition in use at the Eastman School.

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