By Megan Corsano – August 4, 2020

Secret Chord Labs

Virginia Beach’s Secret Chord Laboratories was recently named the “2020 Startup of the Year” by Wallifornia MusicTech.

The company was one of 20 startups selected from an applicant pool of 150 to participate in the six-week virtual accelerator program for music tech startups that ran from May 28 to July 9.

Wallifornia MusicTech is a Belgium-based company that hosts its accelerator as a series of workshops focused on sales, negotiations, investor relations, growth “hacking,” digital strategy, communications and storytelling. At the end of the program, the companies participated in a pitch presentation to a panel of investors.

“Many of the meetings and mentors were incredible,” Secret Chord COO David Rosen, Ph.D., told Inno. “Being named ‘2020 Startup of the Year’ definitely gives us some cred too. We have relayed this information to all of our networks, and it has helped us advance in our industry beta tests and fundraising efforts.”

The startup’s software platform, dopr, was constructed to predict the likelihood of enjoyment of popular music using an AI system informed by years of neuroscience research. The platform was judged by industry leaders like Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment on the overall viability of their product, team and strategy.

Rosen said one of the best things about participating in Wallifornia was the opportunity for mentorship, particularly the one-on-one sessions with their advisor Frederic Garroy.

“Honestly, he is the best. His contributions to the vision of Secret Chord Laboratories were monumental,” he said. “We also got a chance to exchange with music industry experts like Tuhin Roy.”

Roy is the Senior Vice President of New Digital Business and Innovation at Universal Music Group.”

As of July 2020, the Secret Chord Laboratories has raised nearly $500,000 in investment funds and is currently raising $1.5 million in a SAFE (Simple Agreement for Future Equity).

Following their successes at Wallifornia, the SCL team was also selected to participate in the 757 Accelerate program, a three-month accelerator based in Hampton Roads that includes office space and hands-on industry assistance, in addition to a $20,000 investment.