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  • Writer's pictureDmitri Vietze

First Music Tech Competition in the Metaverse at Music Tectonics’ Preconference

Updated: Oct 15, 2021

Featuring MIDiA’s Mark Mulligan, Music Ally’s Stuart Dredge, BandLab’s Meng Ru Kuok

The annual Music Tectonics Conference kicks off with The Shock Before the Quake, an online preconference featuring the semi-final of “Swimming with Narwhals” — the music tech startup competition presented by BandLab. The competition includes ten semi-finalist music tech startups pitching a jury in a virtual nightclub within Degy World, a metaverse venue. Participants and attendees will log in with their own personalized avatars. All attendees will control their characters similar to navigating a multi-person role-playing game, with spatial audio on, allowing for a schmooze experience like no other 2021 music industry conference.

The stakes are high for startups in the competition: Caldecott Ventures plans to offer a $50,000 investment in one of the winning companies of the final competition.

Semi-finalists in this year’s music tech startup competition include:

Four competitors will be selected to participate in the final pitch competition on October 25. The semi-final jury consists of BandLab CEO Meng Ru Kuok, who also runs Caldecott Ventures, and David Dufresne, a VC who has held executive roles at Bandzoogle and Bandcamp. In addition to a jury-selected winner, conference attendees will be asked to vote for an Audience Choice winner.

The Shock Before The Quake: Preconference in the metaverse October 18. Free with your Music Tectonics Conference Ticket

Following the semi-final pitch competition, The Shock Before The Quake preconference will feature a keynote by MIDiA Research’s Mark Mulligan, titled “Tipping Points: Trends That Will Shape the Next Music Business,” an exclusive presentation that has only been made behind closed doors before now.

The preconference will also feature a fireside chat between Music Ally editor Stuart Dredge and Tristra Newyear Yeager, strategist at Rock Paper Scissors, the music tech PR firm behind Music Tectonics.

Monday October 18 Schedule:

  • 9:00 AM PT - Semi-final pitches in BandLab Presents Swimming with Narwhals: A Music Tech Startup Competition.

  • 10:30 AM PT - A keynote with music tech seismologist Mark Mulligan of MIDiA Research.

  • 11:00 AM PT - A conversation with Stuart Dredge of Music Ally and Tristra Newyear Yeager of RPS.

The Shock Before the Quake is free to Music Tectonics ticketholders! Register at to get access to the preconference on October 18, the online conference October 25-27, and in-person events in Santa Monica, CA, on November 2. Choose your conference adventure: mix and match the components that make sense for you.

Dmitri Vietze is director of the Music Tectonics Conference, an annual conference that explores the new terrain at the epicenter of music and technology. After two years successfully navigating LA wildfires and pandemic pivots, the MT team is holding the 2021 conference on October 25-27 on two innovative online platforms and Nov. 2 in-person in Los Angeles. Dmitri is also host of the weekly Music Tectonics Podcast and founder/CEO of the music tech PR firm Rock Paper Scissors, Inc., which has combined cutting edge technology and deep storytelling to help clients crystallize their missions in compelling ways and amplify them in innovative ways since 1999.


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