Onto My Next Adventure: Launching Berklee’s Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (ICE)

on January 28, 2014 in Creative Entrepreneurship with no comments by

Can entrepreneurship be taught?

I’ve decided to spend the next few years of my life giving it my all to prove that it can, at the very least, be learned. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

See, we entrepreneurs are creative people. We thrive when we build things, when we chase visions, when we have the chance to create something that others may not yet see or don’t get. We love to zig instead of going for the obvious zag. To paraphrase Bobby Kennedy, we dream of things that never were, and ask why not?

When Berklee’s President Roger Brown (a good friend and a former Sonicbids board member) started talking to me a while back about the prospect of an entrepreneurial institute at the college, I gradually fell in love with the concept. The more I thought about it the more I saw it as a unique opportunity to create something truly impactful and meaningful — and more importantly, like all good ideas, it just felt like an one whose time has come. (I had the same feeling with Sonicbids thirteen years ago.)

So, I am happy to announce that I’ve joined Berklee’s team as Founding Managing Director of a new entrepreneurship institute within the college that we are calling BerkleeICE: Berklee Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship.

The purpose of the institute is two-fold: to foster entrepreneurialism across the entire Berklee community (is there anything more entrepreneurial than deciding to pursue music as a full time career in any form?) as well as to create the right conditions and environment to inspire innovation and launch new ideas within the music space (Berklee alumni include founders like Derek Sivers of CDBaby, Benjy Rogers of PledgeMusic. Micah Solomon of Oasis and of course a certain Sonicbids founder).

Berklee has a long history and track record of inspiring and teaching creativity and at its core, entrepreneurship is a creative discipline. Successful entrepreneurship is more than business plans and spreadsheets and cap tables and balance sheets. It’s about the desire to build, the ability to listen, the willingness to collaborate, the courage to improvise, it’s about finding your own “voice”, possessing the capacity to balance the big picture with small picture and the stubbornness to get up time and time again when failure happens over and over again.

Isn’t all this what musical and creative people do better than anyone else in the world?

My dream for the institute is to become the creative space version of the research labs one sees in top notch academic institutions like MIT, Stanford, Georgia Tech or Harvard. In a time when the entire economic models of the entertainment space are being blown up seemingly every six months, there is nothing more urgent than a concentrated hub where the world’s most creative minds (and Berklee admits the top 1000 of them each year) focus on imagining and creating the magical possibilities of the future.

You will be hearing much much more about ICE in the days and months ahead.

Here’s to creativity, to innovation, to inspiration.

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