Entrepreneurship Opportunities

2017 Running Start Competition finalists and judges.

What is your vision for your career as a professional musician?  

Do you have an idea for an innovative project that would give you a running start toward realizing that vision?  Could you use $2,500 to turn that idea into a reality?

The annual Running Start Competition is designed to help students bring creative ideas to life and take charge of their careers. Design a project or a business in music that features creative content, uses a unique model or approach, reaches a new audience, or does something better/cheaper/faster/greener in the world of music. Past ideas have included creating a CD of native Chinese music for piano, founding a percussion summer program, starting a locally sourced and sustainable instrument-building business, and a concert series which merges food with music. Applicants are encouraged to collaborate with other MSU colleagues or community partners, sharing their artistry in real-world applications.

Applications are due December 12, 2019. 

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Competition Rules:

  1. Applicants must be undergraduate or graduate students currently enrolled in a degree program at the College of Music.
  2. Performers, educators, composers, and scholars are all encouraged to apply as individuals or in groups of up to six.
  3. There is no particular type of project in mind. However, projects should demonstrate innovation in content, audience, approach, and method. Past applicants have proposed solo and chamber recording projects, non-profit organizations, performance projects, commissions of new works, music-related businesses, and research; these are just a few possibilities. Projects that carve new professional paths in the music world and/or reach new audiences and communities are especially encouraged.
  4. Applicants must choose a category for their project: Commission/Production, New Venture, or Outreach/Engagement
  5. Prior year winners and applicants may reapply, however the max funding any student can receive during their time at MSU is $3500.
  6. Each project must have 2 completed RSC reference forms from faculty or professionals who can speak about the project.
  7. Finalists must be available on February 9, 2020 to pitch their projects to a live audience and judging panel.

The competition is made possible with the support of Michigan State University Federal Credit Union and Cynthia Kay and Company.