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YEI Works with Yale School of Music to Encourage New Ventures

Astrid BaumgardnerYale Entrepreneurship Institute

The Yale Entrepreneurial Institute (YEI) has begun working with the Yale School of Music to help drive new creative ventures. YEI has connected with Astrid Baumgardner, Coordinator of Career Strategies and Lecturer at the music school who teaches a class called “Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Collaboration” and was looking for mentors to help guide teams who are developing new business and nonprofit ideas.  “YEI is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with these incredibly creative students to provide business expertise and mentorship and encourage them to grow their ventures through programs and resources at YEI,” says Brita Belli, Communications Officer at YEI and the Office of Cooperative Research.

At a recent class, music student teams shared their ideas before a panel of invited mentors which included an app for matching people to classical music they would enjoy based on their existing (non-classical) music taste; a nonprofit to provide music to hospice patients; a new chamber opera that would capture the creation process and provide intimate behind-the-scenes videos and blogs; and a team that hopes to create transcendent musical experiences that utilize more welcoming venues.

Mentors will provide guidance to teams as needed and offer feedback at updates as the class progresses. Jasinski says: “I was impressed by the combination of artistic passion and business innovation on display in Prof. Baumgardner’s classroom.  This is exactly the kind of student-driven innovation that YEI wants to foster and support throughout campus and I hope that we will be seeing more of these talented people as they move beyond this classwork.”

After meeting with students in the class, YEI held a Music Entrepreneurship Workshop on October 21 that featured entrepreneurs who are actively building their music ventures: Sean Killary, CEO of So.I.Heard House of Music which offers guided and tracked music lessons in a fun, high-tech environment and Melissa Mulligan, owner of Melissa Mulligan Vocal Studio. “The ideas you are most passionate about are the ones you are going to see through,” Mulligan told the students. She started as a medical device salesperson before she turned her attention to a career path she loved. “When you’re talking about your business idea,” she told the budding music entrepreneurs, “You should be smiling.”