The Startup Playbook

Connecting you to the best entrepreneurs, investors and resources from around the world

Ep163 – Jaddan Comerford (CEO – Unified Music Group) on investing in creativity

My guest for Ep163 of The Startup Playbook Podcast was Jaddan Comerford, the Founder & CEO of Unified Music Group and Partner at Side Stage Ventures.

Jaddan started Boomtown Records as a 17 year old to help launch the record for his own band. Fast forward 20 years later and he is now the Founder and CEO of Unified Music, a leading independent music company that provides a range of services including artist management, recorded music, publishing, live events and merchandise to a diverse roster of local and international artists including Vance Joy, Violent Soho and Northlane.

Most recently, Jaddan launched Side Stage Ventures, a syndicate fund to invest in early companies that play at the intersection of creativity and technology.

In this episode we dive in deep into some of Jaddan’s lessons from his 20+ year journey in building Unified Music Group into a bootstrapped, multi-million dollar international business including;

  • scaling through delegation
  • finding your niche
  • how to strategically and effectively expand the business
  • investing at the cross section of creativity and technology
  • & much more!

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  • 3:59: Jaddan’s background
  • 6:20: Entrepreneurial lessons from Jaddan’s parents
  • 8:55: The story behind Jaddan’s first signed artist
  • 12:22: What Unified Records looks for when deciding which artists to back
  • 14:30: How to scale through delegation
  • 18:57: Whether Jaddan would have taken a different path with Unified if funding options were available to him when he got started
  • 20:20: How Jaddan’s experience shaped his investment philosophy
  • 23:29: Similarities between successful artists and founders
  • 25:37: Lessons from operating in the music industry
  • 27:33: How to overcome challenging days/periods in your journey
  • 31:15: What is Side Stage VC
  • 36:24: What gets Jaddan excited in potential investment opportunities
  • 39:56: How early stage companies can demonstrate their ability to execute to investors if they don’t have users or revenue
  • 41:31: Side Stage’s investment process
  • 44:06: How and when to effectively expand your business
  • 47:17: How Unified takes combines a strategic and opportunistic approach to expanding its business
  • 49:01: How Unified approaches building its internal team culture and operations to retain its talent

Our partners

A big thank you to Matt Allen and Ben Grabiner for their help with this interview. Also a big thank you to our partners for this episode.


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We’re Scendar, an accounting and advisory practice better described as Finance as a Service (FaaS). We’re focused on founders, funders and startups. Clients that are ever-changing and adapting. We like fast movers. And as you might have guessed, we’re not your basic accountancy. We can take care of tax and the books whilst building a syndicate fund and a multimillion dollar exit strategy.  At Scendar, we’re empowered by our client’s potential. Find out more at

Dovetail Studios 

Dovetail Studios operates a venture studio and VC to transform ambitious ideas into unstoppable businesses. On top of being a renowned product development partner for startups like Afterpay, they also operate a VC fund to invest in early-stage companies that go through their venture studio program. So if you’re a non-technical, early-stage founder looking for a talented team to help supercharge your success, check out

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