Teams are the heart of Real Startup. We’re a small team passionate about helping you grow yours.

In June of 2018, we welcomed 5 new university student-based teams working on innovations in live ticketing, AR/VR for concerts, wearables for creative expression and performance, mobile music creation apps, and platforms for cultural institutions. This year, students developed their networks with professionals from companies like Pandora, Google, Eventbrite, Dolby, Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center, Pyramind, and more.

For full details on the program, read our article on Real Startup 2018.



Curtain Call - New York University

Change the way you discover music. Curtain Call's unique access to last minute discounted concert tickets gives users the chance to ditch digital discovery and bring local bands and artists back to their roots—live music.

Quinn Robertson, Tanya Gupta, Laura Ahmetaj, Carissa Estilo



Genki Instruments - University of Iceland, Malmö University, and McGill University

Technology should feel natural. Their first product is Wave. Wave by Genki Instruments is a ring that lets you control sound, shape effects and send commands with the motion of your hand. Wave is a wearable MIDI controller that adds a creative layer on top of your musical instruments and enables you to do more with what you already have. Use Wave to express your musical intentions using motion in a visual and natural way.

Ólafur Bjarki Bogason, Jón Helgi Hólmgeirsson, Haraldur Hugosson, Daníel Grétarsson



Cherrystems - Tufts University, Purdue University 

Cherrystems is a tool that lets you turn simple musical ideas – tapped rhythms, hummed melodies, or recorded audio samples – into a complete song in under a minute. Our algorithm is packaged into an app which connects you with music enthusiasts to share inputs and collaborate with producers. Without extensive training, modern production tools are too complicated to use and previous solutions for this problem have come at the expense of creativity. Cherrystems is a musical community that empowers anyone to easily make, share, and listen to music with nothing more than their phone and a little imagination.

David Pearl, Ari Brown, Benson Cheng, Ge Gao, Jakub Walerstein



Playgrounds - New York University 

Playgrounds is the hub for gamified art experiences for kids and families. A direct channel between homes and art and cultural institutions, Playgrounds gives users the opportunity to engage directly with art, culture, and one another, turning play into patronage. Unlike apps like Pokemon Go, Playgrounds fosters real-life experiences that are intellectually stimulating and built in partnership with art and cultural institutions.

Tyler Bisson, Andre Kostiw-Gill, Willie Payne


Mercive - University of Southern California 

Mercive is a musical content studio focusing on creating additional revenue streams in live music by integrating AR technologies with existing concert infrastructure. By creating immersive experiences for pre-show, during-show, and post-show consumption, Mercive enables any musical business or artist to differentiate themselves from the crowd and provide unique ways for their fans to interact with their brand. By pioneering the integration of immersive technologies with the live setting, Mercive is ushering in a new age of immersive musical performance and consumption that will fundamentally change how music is experienced in the generations to come.

Cam Lindsay, Bryce Matsumori, Jacob Fishman



String Theory Labs (STL) delivers immersive 3D audio and multimedia content to live music events. STL enables artists to create immersive experiences and enables music venues to deliver them. So far, 3D sound for live music has been held back by the challenges in implementing immersive sound systems in practice. STL provides an end-to-end solution, integrating multiple technologies to mitigate these challenges. Our technology connects artists and venues, allowing them to create high quality immersive experiences with ease. STL’s technology adds value to what venues can offer their customers and gives artists new creative ways to differentiate themselves in a competitive and saturated industry.

Wisam Reid, Victoria Grace, Rishi Sharma, Eddie Groshev, Itamar Orr



We hope to address two issues in the music industry: the decline of profit from selling physical goods, and the surplus of legacy material that labels house. We hope to collect surplus material, repurpose it, and sell it to consumers as part of collections (possibly in partnership with other brands). The money from these sales will then be filtered back to artists and labels. We will address the “merch stigma” by re-creating merchandise into classy, sophisticated, and chic lifestyle collections. Artists will be able to promote their brand as a lifestyle. Not only will labels and artists receive profits from new markets of customers, but they will also be exposed to new markets of fans.

Madison McClung, Morgan Mahlock



We propose a feature set for audio playback systems that attenuates sound levels automatically to lower and safer levels, without any noticeable change from the users’ perspective. This can greatly reduce damage to hearing from constant exposure to high intensities, and prevent hearing loss for many people. We believe we can do this not just without disrupting the experience, but possibly enhancing user engagement. We believe our feature set can be applicable and marketed to a wide audience, and positively shape perception of a brand that utilizes it. Our work is backed by psychoacoustic experiments and signal processing practice.

Yuval Adler, Prateek Murgai



FoleyDesigner fuses human performance and state-of-the-art computer-generated sound to revolutionize interactive sound design and accelerate current audio post-production workflows, by interfacing with a variety of widely available input devices to allow the performance of sound effects. These effects are individually crafted as instruments, based on a combination of state-of-the-art computational sound models and real-time audio processing, and can easily be edited or re-performed at any stage of the production process without deteriorating the sound quality. An even larger opportunity can be found in the rapidly growing fields of virtual and augmented reality. As the captured human performance can be manipulated at runtime, interactions with virtual objects can come to life through sound as though there were a virtual Foley artist performing in the background.

Christian Heinrichs, Andrew McPherson



Between the Dimensions is a startup audio-visual production house. Our focus is on interactive and experiential art installations that seek to disseminate new scientific information and create relatable, inward experiences for the participant audience. The wider audio-visual market is trending upwards, yet there is not much content being created that is both educational, and intended for large-formats like IMAX theaters and planetariums. We seek to fill this niche by working with scientists in the field to translate new scientific insight into artistic expressions that are intriguing and immersive.

Matthew McIntyre, David Abrams, John Snelgrove, Tejaswi Gorti, Angela Gildem