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RQSTIVAL and NEMT selected for Wallifornia Music Tech Accelerator

By Tina Brodal Posted: 05. Jun, 2020

Two Norwegian tech startups win access to accelerator program after #NextStageChallenge.

RQSTIVAL and NEMT (Networked Electronic Music Tools) has been selected as two of the 27 startups that won the #NextStageChallenge hackathon, and have gained access to an accelerator program run by LeanSquare, and the renowned music / tech conference Wallifornia.

#NextStageChallenge was launched earlier this year as an initiative which aims to find quick and lasting solutions to key challenges through a hackathon, accelerator program and conference.

Read more: Music Tech leaders tackle COVID-19 with Europe-wide innovation challenge

–Hackathon was intense and hectic
Italian Stefano Fasciani, Associate Professor at the Department of Musicology at UiO, is a mentor in the hackaton and one of the creators behind NEMT (Networked Electronic Music Tools). Fasciani admits that the hackathon has been intense, but that he is happy with their delivery.

–The hackathon… well, it had been a very intense and hectic, but we are happy with what we managed to deliver. Since we worked on a novel technological solution, our main focus had been on the development, implementation, and testing of our idea, in order to have a fully-working proof-of-concept prototype by the end of the competition, he says.

Fasciani says they are still developing side features of the system, that will definitely improve its value. Soon they will move with more systematic user testing, and it is very likely that they will try to involve volunteers from the local community in this phase.

–Since we are not from the industry but from the academia, we will follow a slightly different route than other organizations involved in the acceleration programs.

Stefano Fasciani, Associate Professor at the Department of Musicology at UiO.

Will launch RQSTIVAL at final pitch
RQSTIVAL, a platform for interactive virtual festivals, was also selected for the accelerator program. Christoffer Bølla Riseng, CEO & Founder of RQST, says that the goal is to launch the entire RQSTIVAL platform at the final pitch 9th of July, and is prepared for the next weeks being intense.

–We are excited to be one of the 27 startups that was selected to be a part of the Wallifornia Music Tech Accelerator! The next weeks will be intense with 2-3hours online sessions 4 days a week with different music industry experts and mentors, Bølla Riseng says.

–There are many interesting music tech companies, and Wallifornia is a great place to connect and talk with startups in the same ecosystem. We are launching the first version of the RQSTIVAL app next week, and our goal is to launch the entire RQSTIVAL platform (app & web) at the finale pitch 9th of July.

Christoffer Bølla Riseng, CEO & Founder of RQST.

European initiative
The #NextStageChallenge initiative is a collaborative effort between Music Innovation Hub (Italy), Music Norway (Norway), Music Tech Germany (Germany), Music Ally (UK), Sacem (France), Sound Diplomacy (UK), STHLM Music City (Sweden), Technoport (Luxembourg), Teosto (Finland), TheLynk (France) and Wallifornia Music Tech (Belgium).

Jonas Vebner from Music Norway says new technology always has been one of the most important drivers for new business models and revenue streams in the music industry, from ala carte downloads to today’s streaming market.

– For Music Norway it has always been important to be close to this field, which has given birth to initiatives such as our own music / tech accelerator MashUP Norway, various meet-up series and various collaborations with important arenas such as Slush, Sonar + D and Oslo Innovation Week to mention a few. Otherwise, Music Norway has the pleasure of coordinating an informal national network of music / tech entrepreneurs where we are seeing a lot of exciting activity these days, says Vebner.

Vebner points out how the current situation allows both new and old industry professionals, both inside and outside the music industry, to test how best to run digital live events.

– But if the new platforms are to be post-covid, it will be important to rethink the very experience of participating in digital events so that payment willingness does not become in tough competition with all the other digital services that exist, Vebner adds.

For further information visit: www.nextstagechallenge.org

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