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
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
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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