This summer, the Dingman Center will be conducting interviews with the ten student startups who are participating in the Terp Startup summer accelerator phase of our Fearless Founders program. Participating student entrepreneurs received a stipend up to $5,000 that would enable them to work exclusively on their startups over eight weeks in the summer.
Co-Founder and CEO: Peter Robinson ’19, Public Relations major, Classical Mythology minor
Co-Founder and COO: Zubin Gadhoke ’19, Computer Science major, Innovation & Entrepreneurship minor
Co-Founder and CFO: Mike Duquette ’18, Economics & Finance double major
DC: Tell us about your startup. What problem are you solving and for whom?
OP: There are two groups of people that Olympus Projects aims to help:
The first group is music artists. We help music artists monetize off of their brands and digital followings by bringing them influencer marketing opportunities. Artists are excited about this because it creates a new revenue stream for their business that gets them paid much quicker than traditional music revenue streams.
The second group is emerging brands. We help emerging brands strengthen their customer alignment, raise brand awareness and ultimately increase sales. Our influencer marketing campaigns allow brands to efficiently reach their target consumers through the social media platforms of growing music artists.
DC: How did you first come up with your idea?
OP: With the rise of digital, the music industry has been tipped upside down. Now, artists have the leverage and capabilities to expand their business by developing holistic brands around their music, letting the music be one of many revenue streams. This was our belief when we launched in June 2017, seeking to innovate the traditional role of an artist’s manager.
We spent our last year working closely with many artists, helping them with their digital growth, business development and release campaigns. Through that process, we have discovered a new market entry point—influencer marketing.
We have always been passionate about working closely with music artists. Still, influencer marketing is a pivot for us. However, our original beliefs still hold: artists can experience more success by building holistic brands around themselves and their music. We decided to take those beliefs and innovate in a different way. Now, we are servicing artists as not just “music creators”, but as brands, and creating opportunities for them to thrive in new and unprecedented ways.
DC: What are some major milestones you’ve achieved so far?
OP: The main goal of our first year in business was to do as much field work and customer discovery as possible. We fostered strong relationships with emerging and charting artists, record labels and music-related businesses.
We successfully accomplished this goal by playing an instrumental part in an album release through a major record label, planning our first tour, and, most importantly, having the ability to use our own experience to realize what we needed to change to ensure our own success.
DC: What drives you to keep going?
OP: Every one of our founders has a different reason for doing what we do. However, a love for music is mutually shared among us, and is what keeps us going. We have all been involved with music, in some way, for a majority of our lives and we truly believe that we are the ones destined to create a better music industry, for artists and for business. Through influencer marketing, we will begin to leave our impact.
DC: How do you feel about working in a cohort with fellow student entrepreneurs
OP: Working in a cohort with other student entrepreneurs is really exciting. It’s awesome to be a part of a group of people that are so naturally inclined to chase after their own success, and help pull their friends and colleagues up the ladder with them.
DC: What are you hoping to achieve during Terp Startup this summer?
OP: This summer we hope to achieve two major goals. The first goal is to launch our influencer marketing sales operation with the intent of generating consistent and sustainable revenue through our business. Our second goal is to fine-tune all of our internal operations and company workflow so that we can operate more efficiently as a business and facilitate the best customer service possible.