The BPI, the trade association for the UK’s record companies and labels and the representative voice of British recorded music, is delighted to announce a partnership with business growth agency, London & Partners, to deliver a first-of-its-kind, innovation programme for the music industry.

Titled Grow Music, the programme will position London as a hub of music technology, innovation and growth, bringing together the music industry and best-in-class innovation leaders. Programme partners include Anthony David King, Abbey Road Red, Angel Investing School, UK Black Tech, and Measure of Music. Grow Music was the successful bid by BPI for the London & Partners’ Request for Quote to design a 12-week business support programme for music tech companies.

Grow Music will deliver a unique dual strand programme to help London based scale-ups grow their companies whilst training new angel investors to support that growth. Grow Music will receive £199,986 from the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund to deliver its three interlinked programmes.

The first complementary strand is a 12-week business support programme for 25 London-based SMEs who have a product, service or idea that could scale and add value to the music industry. Designed by Anthony David King and supported by Abbey Road Red in scouting, diligence and mentorship, the programme is designed to grow and test their business and ideas, providing unparalleled access to the beating heart of the UK recorded and live music industry.

Modules will include making fruitful connections, routes to investment, understanding the music industry alongside in-person mentoring, networking and pitch events. The programme will be hybrid, with an opening Kick Off Weekend and closing Award Ceremony at London’s iconic Abbey Road Studios. After the first cohort, information and resources from the programme will also be available on demand, allowing more companies outside of London and the UK to benefit.

Alongside this in its second stream, Grow Music will deliver a bespoke five-week Angel Investing School to develop and educate high-net-worth individuals from underrepresented backgrounds on the opportunities of investing at the intersection of music and technology. For the first time, the UK ecosystem will be directly supported through a specialist programme, introducing new angel investors ready to help shape the future of early-stage innovation in the music industry.

This free-to-attend online programme will teach participants about angel investing, and its role in the wider music and technology ecosystem. Modules will include how to find great entrepreneurs, conducting due diligence and investing economies. The school will be run by Angel Investing School creator, Andy Ayim MBE, who has trained over 600 new angel investors across over 30 countries including the US, Singapore, Nigeria and Moldova and supported by Abbey Road Red in mentorship.

BPI and partners will also launch a brand new, white-labelled Investor Hub, granting early-stage companies access to both the music industry and investors who are expressly interested in the sector.

Applications for the 25 SME places on the 12-week business support programme open week commencing 08 July 2024 and the final selection will be announced by 09 September 2024. The programme will officially launch at Abbey Road Studios on 14 and 15 September 2024.

The Angel Investing School will run simultaneously from September to November 2024. To register your interest in taking part please email BPI Innovation Manager Amalie Briden ([email protected]) The Angel Investing School graduates, and the 25 SMEs will all take part in a Closing Ceremony at Abbey Road Studios in January 2025. Entrants must be London-based, with a minimum of two employees and a turnover or investment of over £50k. All entrants must have actionable plans for growth and an active interest in the music industry.

For full application details, click here.

Grow Music was launched out of BPI’s new Insight & Innovation department. Acting as 'A&R for technology for the music industry’, BPI Insight & Innovation works with over 130 global start-ups and scale-ups who are interested in testing, piloting and bringing their ideas to the UK music industry.

BPI’s Chief Strategy Officer Sophie Jones said: “We are delighted to be working with our partners and London & Partners so we can support technology that drives innovation in the music industry. BPI’s vision is for the UK music industry to be a central hub for testing ideas, meeting industry partners and securing investment, and the launch of Grow Music brings us closer to that goal. Huge congratulations to our Insight & Innovation team on winning the London & Partners bid and launching this first-of-its-kind programme.”

BPI’s Director of Insight & Innovation Leon Neville said: "Innovation in the music industry is fundamental to driving it into the future, and so we are delighted to shine a global spotlight on the passion, integrity and intelligence of our UK music industry. Together with our world-class partners, we are excited to get Grow Music underway and drive real change in this space"

Janet Coyle CBE, Managing Director of Grow London at London & Partners said: “In London the creative industries, technology and finance intersect more closely than anywhere else in the world – making it one of the best places to start a music technology company. The launch of Grow Music is incredibly exciting and the programme will be instrumental in supporting growing companies to make the most out of what London has to offer.”

Abbey Road Studios Managing Director Sally Davies said: “This unique program for London will invigorate music tech founders and the investment scene, addressing the critical challenge of scaling successfully. We are thrilled to bring our eight years of pioneering experience at Abbey Road Red, offering mentorship in the iconic setting of Abbey Road Studios. This initiative aims to inspire and support both founders and investors throughout their journey, celebrating their achievements and learning along the way.”