Real Industry | Ableton

Real Industry and Ableton support the future leaders of the music and creative technology industries in 2019.  


Ableton’s support of Real Industry will allows us to educate, inspire, and empower hundreds of university students. This program brings Ableton invaluable connections, product insights, partnerships, and recruiting opportunities from the brightest future engineers, content creators, designers, and entrepreneurs. Students join us from over 40 top universities.

Key Opportunities:

  • Support of Real Startup, our university student entrepreneurship program. Ableton’s support enables us to mentor and support the future entrepreneurs and industry leaders of the music and creative technology industries.

  • Support Real Industry’s Design Challenges. Ableton will be a key backing sponsor of Real Industry’s work to bring design challenges to hundreds of university students. Programs are funded by individual donations from music industry employees and other top MI companies including LANDR, iZotope, SUBPAC, Universal Audio, Pro Sound Effects, and more. This program includes a lightweight ask for the sponsor companies, but makes a major difference for university students!

Real Industry is a non-profit that educates, inspires, and empowers university students to thrive in the arts and technology industry. We create hands-on programs where students work with industry mentors to tackle real-world problems. Students are exposed to new career paths, develop new skills, and rapidly expand their professional networks.

Opportunity: Real Startup sponsored by Ableton

Real Startup provides 25 future music and creative technology leaders with a career-making entrepreneurship experience in the San Francisco Bay Area. (See also Real Startup Overview and a Review of our 2018 Program.)

Real Startup Logo Hi-Res.png

The Real Startup Entrepreneurship Program is a Real Industry program that enables university startup teams to develop entrepreneurial skills by taking their innovations to the real world. We connect teams with Real Industry's network of over 400 industry mentors from leading music & tech companies. Over two weeks, teams are given VIP access and coaching from over 30 leading companies. Networking sessions and events connect students with the target markets and companies they aspire to become.

2019 Program Dates: May 27 - June 7, 2019, June 3 - June 14, 2019 or June 10 - June 21, 2019 depending on student availability.
Date to be confirmed in May 2019.

Mentorship support requested:

  • Ableton leadership team: 1-2 people mentoring a 4 hour session in San Francisco. Program includes a 2 hour group session on a specific topic (e.g. strategic partnerships within music industry, product strategy for music products, etc) and at least 2 hours of office hours with teams.

  • Ableton representative: attend our 4 hour wrapup event on either June 7 or June 28 (date tbd).

  • Optional Zoom video conference mentorship sessions upon request.

Financial support requested (choose one option below):

  1. EXCLUSIVE FOR ABLETON: Exclusive naming rights for 2019: “Real Startup, supported by Ableton” $40,000.
    With Ableton’s inspiring brand, we would like to offer Ableton naming rights for 2019.
    As our exclusive naming rights sponsor, Ableton can demonstrate its industry-leading position in supporting the future entrepreneurs of music, media, and entertainment technology. At their host universities, students will proudly acknowledge Ableton’s support in bringing them to San Francisco and empowering a lifelong and career-changing experience. We will proudly acknowledge Ableton’s support in all communications, company visits, and outreach.

  2. Sponsor Week 1 of our program: $20,000.

    By sponsoring the first week of our program, Ableton enables us to provide education and funding for all of our teams, and secure 50% of our program budget. We will proudly acknowledge Ableton’s generosity as a major donor during all 2019 Real Industry events.

  3. Sponsor 2 university teams for $10,000. This allows Ableton to join partners such as Universal Audio, iZotope, LANDR, and SUBPAC as a yearly Real Industry supporter. With Ableton’s help and mentorship, we can enable, inspire, and empower these future leaders of our industry. Additional sponsorship levels upon request.

Opportunity: Support of Real Industry Design Challenges

Thanks to the generosity of leading music and entertainment companies, we will expand our flagship design challenges to hundreds of university students in 2019. These non-branded design challenges are supported by a coalition of music and audio technology companies and individual donors.

With Ableton’s support, hundreds of students at participating universities will spend between 2-4 weeks working on a a music technology industry problem statement. University students receive mentorship from Real Industry’s network of industry experts, design and implement prototypes, and present their solution to a panel of experts.

During multi-week programs, students discover new career paths, expand their professional networks, and develop real-world portfolio projects. They develop a deep personal, brand, and employer affiliation for Ableton. We’ll work closely with the Ableton team to ensure that insights, designs, and applications flow back into Ableton.

Mentorship support requested:

  • Ableton designers, product managers, engineers, or marketing leaders: 1-2 people available for 2 hours of Zoom video chat office hours and 1 hour for a online wrap-up event.

Financial support requested:

  • A donation of $5,000 allows Ableton to join us as a presenting sponsor of our design challenges programs. Ableton joins firms such as Pro Sound Effects,, SUBPAC, and dozens of individuals and major gift donors who bring our Real Industry challenges to the university programs that need us the most.

EXAMPLE DESIGN CHALLENGE: Stanford students designed and built an interactive audio and science educational kit using headphones, earbuds, and custom software.

EXAMPLE DESIGN CHALLENGE: Over 80 UC Berkeley Master’s of Engineering students designed, modeled, and built an interactive audio and science educational kit with Autodesk and Bose technologies.

WINNING TEAM SUBMISSION: Carnegie Mellon Challenge, 2018

Problem Statement: How might we use audio-augmented reality to improve someone’s daily life?
Solution: The team demonstrates an augmented reality medical assistant that leverages Audio Fencing to accurately localize medical professionals and relay patients' information. With Bose Wearable technology, this team’s solution enables timely access to key patient information, empowering healthcare providers to better and more securely serve their patients.


Problem Statement: How do we design or build an experience that delivers the right sound, at the right moment, into people's lives?
Solution: Sitting around trying to decide what song to play to please everyone is so last year's problem. With OurSound, let your Sonos speaker be the DJ for the night. OurSound provides any group of users with the right sound at the right moment.


  • Reach and access students at amazing universities to get product insights, employer branding and recruiting, and support the next generation of our industry.

  • Engage university students to work on real music / creative tech industry challenges, inspired by Ableton employees or customers.

  • Create engaging, compelling demonstrations of Ableton technology that can be demonstrated trade shows.

  • Visibility with 18-24-year-old college students who are interested in design, technology, arts, and more.

  • Support a 501(c)3 education nonprofit and the next generation of industry leaders.


Since 2014, educational nonprofit Real Industry has executed over 40 university design challenges. Long-time partners Pandora, Sonos, and Bose have worked with Real Industry since 2016 to host a minimum of 2 university challenges per year. In 2019, Facebook joins Real Industry as our newest corporate partner.

Companies like Sonos, Bose, Autodesk, Facebook, and Pandora engage us to educate and inspire university students. Since the companies receive extraordinary employer branding and recruiting benefits (Bose, Sonos, and Pandora always hire students from our programs!), budgets are typically provided by their HR/university recruiting or engineering budgets. (Profile: Mike Herring, Google’s Business Finance Officer and former Pandora CFO / President on Real Industry.)

Companies receive much more than just employer branding and recruiting opportunities. University students generate inspiring ideas, too! We helped Autodesk, Sennheiser, Bose, and Sonos receive over 1,000 headphone/speaker/design ideas in 2017.  In 2018, we helped Bose launch their Wearable SDK and Sonos empower hundreds of early Sonos API users.  We are helping Facebook launch their spatial audio and VR tools in 2019. 


Schedule a call with Jay LeBoeuf (Founder & Executive Director, Real Industry) to confirm your level of participation! 

here are some of the universities that support our programs...

Stanford University • University of Michigan • University of Washington • Carnegie Mellon University  • University of California, Berkeley • New York University • Tufts University • Massachusetts Institute of Technology • University of Southern California •  
University of Hartford • Worcester Polytechnic Institute • California Institute of the Arts •  University of California, Santa Barbara  • Middle Tennessee State University • Berklee College of Music • Georgia Tech • University of Massachusetts, Lowell • University of Miami • Full Sail University  • SAE Institute • Expression College • McGill University •  University of Technology, Sydney • Queensland University of Technology • Macquarie University • JMC Academy (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane) • Universidad Claeh, Montevideo