Magazine article Variety

Lab Incubates Tech Startups

Magazine article Variety

Lab Incubates Tech Startups

Article excerpt

AS PART AND PARCEL of Midem's three-year efforts to reinvent itself for the digital age, few of its ventures have been as successful as its MidemLab summit, which allows startup tech companies to pitch their wares and concepts for an industry audience. Now-ubiquitous companies such as Echo Nest, Songkick, SoundCloud (which won the inaugural event) and even Spotify have all passed through the lab. This year will see 30 new entrants, whose apps and services range from troubleshooting functionality to the fanciful and downright strange.

Midem director Bruno Crolot says applications for the 30 finalist spots have increased by between 20% and 30% every year since the competition bowed in 2008, and this year's entrant pool was up 32% from 2013.

"We also every year brought the really relevant people in this environment to the conference," he says. "If you bring them, then their peers are interested in coming. We also try to get VCs here, because a VC to a startup is obviously usually the first goal. At least at their early stages."

This year's judges cover a wide range of the business, from BlueNove CEO Martin Duval to Pepsi marketing bigwig Carla Hassan, TechCrunch's Mike Butcher and Public Enemy founder Chuck D. Entries come from 12 different countries, including often under-represented territories such as Turkey, Israel, Austria and Estonia, and are divided into three categories: music discovery and creation, marketing and social engagement, plus sales and monetization. …

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