Reflections on Entrepreneurship - Speaking at ILMC 35
Our Co-Founder, Will Holdoway, recently spoke on the 'Young Entrepreneur' panel at Futures Forum, in a session focused on discussing the challenges and opportunities facing young entrepreneurs in the live music industry. Futures Forum is the final day of the International Live Music Conference (ILMC), organised by IQ Magazine. It is the premier event for the global live music industry, bringing together professionals from around the world to discuss current trends and future development. It was a scintillating discussion amongst a stimulating day of networking and thought-leadership, centred around the next generation of live.
The panel featured three accomplished entrepreneurs who shared their experiences in building successful companies in the live music industry. Mira Silvers, Founder & Head of Music at FORT Agency, has an Aerospace Engineering Degree. Louise Broni-Mensah, Founder & CEO at Shoobs, has a degree in Mathematical Economics. Will, a co-founder of METHOD, has an Electronic Engineering degree. It's not uncommon to associate creativity with the live music industry, but the panellists' educational backgrounds suggest that other skills, like risk analysis and rational decision-making, are also important for success in entrepreneurship.
During the panel, the four discussed the challenges and rewards of building their own companies. One of the most interesting takeaways from the panel was that all of the founders felt a duty to create the company they always wanted to work for. This shared sense of purpose has driven them to create businesses that reflect their values and prioritise the well-being of their employees and the communities they serve.
Another takeaway was the importance of sustainability in the live music industry, with METHOD championing sustainability in every aspect of our operation. We have been carbon-neutral since 2020 and are committed to helping our clients reduce their environmental impact as well. The third takeaway was the value of connections and networking within the industry, with Will expressing gratitude for the opportunity to connect with other like-minded industry peers at ILMC.
The group also discussed the need for transparency in the live music industry. The industry has traditionally been quite insular, with limited access and opportunities available to those outside of established networks. The panellists spoke about the importance of breaking down these barriers and creating a more open and accessible industry. By increasing transparency, there can be greater visibility of opportunities, which should lead to a more diverse pool of candidates and employees in the future. This is a positive step forward for the industry, something that all panellists were keen to emphasise.
Speaking at ILMC was a fantastic opportunity for Will to share his experiences and connect with other like minded entrepreneurs in the live music industry. He is grateful to have been a part of the panel and looks forward to continuing to build meaningful connections within the industry at future events.
Caroline Reason chaired the discussion. With nearly 30 years in the live music industry, Caroline runs her own boutique agency, MATA. As an independent Music & Talent Agency, MATA represents artists and talent across all entertainment sectors for their private and corporate bookings and commercial campaigns. MATA is also the exclusive commercial agent for the actor, writer, producer, and musician Riz Ahmed, who recently won an Oscar for a collaboration with WePresent/WeTransfer that was initiated by MATA. MATA is regularly used by individuals and brands to book talent for their campaigns and events, for example the artist-led Ted Baker Street Party sessions with Little Simz, Bastille, Jungle, Joy Crookes, and Alicia Harley.
Mira Silvers is Founder & Head of Music at FORT Agency. FORT is an independent talent agency based in Chicago and Montreal that prioritises diversity and is led by women and people of colour.
Paul Bonham is Professional Development Director at the Music Managers Forum (MMF). Bonham has overseen MMF's Accelerator Programme for Music Managers, a grants and education program supported by YouTube Music, and is focused on expanding and redefining the MMF's training and development services to empower music management businesses at all stages of growth.
Louise Broni-Mensah is Founder & CEO at Shoobs. Shoobs is a leading events booking and discovery platform in the UK, and Broni-Mensah has been recognized as one of Britain's most influential Black people under 40 by Powerful Media. She has participated in prestigious accelerator programs, including Y Combinator and the Ernst & Young Winning Women Programme.