Country Music Gets Its Own Startup Accelerator

The Country Music Association, the primary trade group for country music—which you may know from its popular awards show—is joining forces with an entrepreneurial group to bring music-focused startups to Nashville.

Don’t let the cowboy hats fool you—Nashville isn’t afraid of tech by any means.

Working with the Nashville Entrepreneur Center (EC), the Country Music Association (CMA) announced this week a plan to launch a startup accelerator focused on the music industry.

The 14-week program will accept six to eight startup businesses working on issues related to the music industry, particularly Nashville’s country-heavy scene. In exchange for equity in the businesses, the startups will receive $20,000 in investment funds.

CMA’s partnership with EC isn’t the first one of its kind for the entrepreneurial lab—it had previously scored another local coup, joining with BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and other healthcare firms to launch Healthbox, a program that currently includes 54 startups that have entered or are alumni of the accelerator program.

This is an investment in the future of our business community and city.

As for CMA, the group sees it as a chance to help build a stronger foothold in both the industry and city that represents their home base.

“CMA was created to advance country music and provide a forum for new ideas that support our business interests across every segment of the industry,” CMA CEO Sarah Trahern said in a statement. “This is an investment in the future of our business community and city.”

The concept is one that’s gaining attention in the association space, with the American Heart Association and the National Association of Realtors building launchpads in the past two years.

Startups looking to compete for a place in CMA and EC’s Music, Tech & Digital Media accelerator can sign up here. Individuals and companies sharing the top ideas will get spots in Nashville.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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