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UNT Music Entrepreneurship Competition

UNT Music Entrepreneurship Competition

April 22nd and 23rd, 2017

Dr. Fabiana Claure, Founding Director

Competition Advisory Committee:
Dr. Donna Emmanuel, College of Music
Dr. Daniel Peak, College of Business


The UNT Music Entrepreneurship Competition provides an opportunity to promote student engagement, entrepreneurial thinking, and innovative action. Over $18,000 in cash prizes will be distributed among the top competitors. The competition will also host an artist-in-residency featuring Dr. David Cutler, author of The Savvy Musician, and founder of The Savvy Arts Venture Challenge at the University of South Carolina. All full-time College of Music students are eligible to participate. Students will prepare music business plans utilizing a variety of resources including online business-plan writing tutorials, existing entrepreneurship courses, competition workshops, and faculty mentorship.


Results 2017 Inaugural Music Entrepreneurship Competition

Winners Graduate Track

Winners Undergraduate Track

Honorable Mentions:

Additionally, congratulations to our UNT College of Music students who made it to the finals of the 2017 University of North Texas College of Business Westheimer New Venture Competition. Congrats to master's student in clarinet performance, Kyle McKay (The Musician's Bookkeeper) for winning 2nd prize ($5,000). In addition, Jen Guzman, DMA student in clarinet performance (The Allegro Project) raised $5,000 from two of the judges who were really moved by her business plan. Also congratulations to DMA Saxophone student Sean Murphy (Music Studio Teacher) and to Music Education Major Junior student William Root (Triple Threat Theatricals) for making it to the finals. We are so incredibly proud of you!



Final Round

Judges Lunch

Honorable Mention Presentations

David Cutler Workshop

Grand Finale

Photos by Elle Logan


Click here to see a Facebook photo gallery from the College of Business competition



Competition Documentary

Facebook Live Stream of Grand Finale

Competition Promo Video

Competition Workshop II

Competition Workshop III



Article in the North Texas Daily

Article in the Denton Record Chronicle

Interview with Matthew Reyna and Fabiana Claure on KNTU 88.1 The One

Newspaper articles





The competition will have an undergraduate and graduate track with individual prizes in each category. The competition will consist of a preliminary round based on submitted music business plans, followed by a final round with live presentations, and Grand Finale event. The Grand Finale will feature the top 3 finalists in each track and a live audience who will select a special “Audience Choice Award”. The "Honorable Mention Award" will also be announced during the Grand Finale. Successful plans must be original works and will be evaluated based on demonstrated creativity, innovation, thoroughness, and project feasibility. Potential models for music business plans may consist of: (1) interdisciplinary partnerships; (2) developing new business ventures (for-profit or not-for-profit); (3) exploring unique concert formats and expanding audience reach; (4) educational projects; (5) the use of technology to enhance the study and appreciation of music; (6) new product prototype; (7) improvement on an existing service/product. Teams of 1-4 people may compete.



Undergraduate track:

  • 1st prize: $5,000
  • 2nd prize: $2,500
  • 3rd prize: $1,000

Graduate track:

  • 1st prize: $5,000
  • 2nd prize: $2,500
  • 3rd prize: $1,000

*There will be an additional $1,000 “Audience Choice Award”  and $500 "Honorable Mention Award" granted during the Grand Finale event.



  • January 20th: Competition Workshop I "Idea Development and Feasibility" from 2:30-3:30pm. Location: Room 258 – Click here to sign up for workshops
  • February 10th: Competition Workshop II "Writing Your Business Plan" from 2:30-3:30pm, with guest speaker David Cutler via Skype. Location: Room 258 – Click here to sign up for workshops
  • March 3rd: Competition Workshop III "Final Plan Review and Presentation Tips" from 2:30-3:30pm, with guest speaker Ron McCurdy. Location: Room 258 – Click here to sign up for workshops
  • March 15th: Music business plans are submitted via email to All plans will be sent to the judges for preliminary screening. No submissions will be accepted beyond this deadline.
  • April 14th: Three finalists in each track will be announced and invited to present their business plans before judges in the Final Round and Grand Finale events. Four honorable mention plans will be invited to present for the judges in the Final Round and one honorable mention team will be selected to present in the Grand Finale event.
  • April 22nd (morning/afternoon): Final round with live presentations for judges, followed by Q&A and judges' feedback. (private event). Location: Kenton Hall
  • April 23rd (morning/afternoon): Student and Faculty workshops provided by Artist-in-Residence, Dr. David Cutler (open to the public). Location: Kenton Hall
  • April 23rd at 6:30pm: Grand Finale with a live audience featuring top finalists in each track. Judges and audience members will be able to ask questions to finalists.  Award ceremony will follow including judges' feedback for competitors (open to the public). Location: Recital Hall
  • April 24th at 8:30am: Dr. Cutler guest appearance in entrepreneurship morning class (Seminar in Music Entrepreneurship “Marketing for Musicians”). This session will be open to all students.



Applicants will submit a Music Business Plan describing their project by March 15, 2017. The plan will have a minimum of 10 pages and maximum of 20, excluding a cover sheet and table of contents. All plans must be typed, double-spaced, maximum 12 pitch font, and 1" margin on all sides. Spreadsheets and appropriate appendices can follow the text portion of the plan and should not exceed 10 pages. The outline below, based on Peter Spellman's "Writing a Music Business Plan That Works", is the required template for students to explore the process and customize based on their own plan of action. The business plan sections in bold are required and the bullet sections are recommended aspects to be included in the  music business plan. Additional business plan writing resources are listed below the outline. 


  • Summary statement
    • Problem: what is the problem you are trying to solve?
    • Audience: who has this problem?
    • Solution: what is your solution (product/service)?
  • Description of your business or project
    • History and background
    • Management description, include team background and credibility
    • Business structure
  • Market Analysis 
    • Market description 1. General market information 2. Specific market information 3. Competition profile. 4. Differentiation: what makes you different?
    • Marketing plan 1. Positioning 2. Marketing mix 3. Pricing philosophy 4. Method of sales/distribution 5. Customer service policy
  • Operations Statement
    • Facilities and equipment
    • Plans for growth and expansion
    • Risks
  • Project Time-Line/Process
  • Financial Information. Please use the spreadsheets from this template.
    • Financial model: how to you make money?
    • Financing required
    • Current financial statements. 
    • Financial projections


Resources to prepare the music business plan



Dr. David Cutler (live final rounds)
Stan Levenson (preliminary written and live final rounds)
Deborah Brooks (preliminary written and live final rounds)
Kristen Yost (preliminary written round)
Neeki Bey (preliminary written round)