Real Industry | SiriusXM | Pandora

Real Industry and SiriusXM support future 1,000 leaders of the music and creative technology industries in 2019.  


Since 2016, Pandora and nonprofit Real Industry engaged 2,000 university students in inspiring and educational multi-week Music & Social Impact programs. The programs inspire, educate, and empower future industry leaders by working on real-world case studies using exclusive Pandora tools (Pandora’s Artist Marketing Platform, Next Big Sound, and Pandora Stories). Students launch real-world campaigns, in partnership with top artists, to harness the power of music, engage fans, support musicians, and prepare for their future careers in industry.


In our third annual Pandora Challenges tour, this music education initiative will reach 6 major universities to:

  1. Empower the next-generation of artists, music consumers, and leaders to succeed by providing exclusive tools from SiriusXM and Pandora, such as the Pandora’s Artist Marketing Platform and new product offerings.

  2. Provide knowledge, mentorship, and career-building opportunities to under-served students, increasing access of world-class tools and resources to the communities that need it the most.

  3. Enable SiriusXM and Pandora employees to engage in meaningful volunteer opportunities. Our programs provide opportunities for dozens employees to mentor students in-person and remotely via Zoom video conferencing.

  4. Create significant Pandora and SiriusXM employer branding opportunities, new hire and recruiting pipelines, and expand the opportunities to hire diverse students.

  5. Introduce the brand and culture of SiriusXM and Pandora to new college students.

  6. Innovate with hundreds of fresh ideas on industry trends from 18-24 year olds

This program brings SiriusXM and Pandora invaluable connections, product insights, partnerships, and recruiting opportunities from the brightest future engineers, content creators, designers, and entrepreneurs. Real Industry is a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit.

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.

In 2017, Real Industry and Pandora empowered the next generation of media, music, and business leaders on a US campus tour. Over 1,200 students worked with major artists (Tegan and Sara, Common, Jack Antonoff, Manchester Orchestra, and BloodPop®) to support the artist’s Foundations (The Ally Coalition, Tegan and Sara Foundation, Common Ground Foundation, Make Yourself Foundation, 1 Million 4 Anna, Made of Music).

SUCCESS IN 2017 and 2018

In 2018, 600 participating students used Pandora’s Artist Marketing Platform (AMP) and data from Next Big Sound to harness the power of music, engage fans, support musicians, and launch Pandora Stories. At each university, a musical artist joined Real Industry and Pandora to bring awareness to a charitable organization of their choice through this challenge. Working over a one-month period, 70 teams of students created Pandora Stories, generated thousands of activations for their artists and social causes. (Pandora Blog, Oct 23 2018)

Students worked on campaigns from rapper, actor, and activist Common at Stanford University, Phora at the University of Miami, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert bandleader Jon Batiste at Carnegie Mellon University, singer-songwriter Andrew McMahon at the University of Hartford, breakout artist Bryce Vine at the University of Michigan, and the Grammy-winners The War On Drugs at New York University.

In 2017, we served 1,200 students in partnership with Common, Jack Antonoff, Tegan and Sara, Manchester Orchestra, and BloodPop®! (BillboardVariety,


Each university workshop provides an opportunity for up to 20 employees to volunteer. SiriusXM employees will work in-person to mentor students with university events hosted in Atlanta, Nashville, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

For events not located near a corporate office, dozens of employees can be actively engaged to provide remote assistance via one-on-one or team-based Zoom Video conference sessions.

Mentors provide a crucial role in our challenges, using their unique backgrounds, passions, and professional insights to provide:

  • one-on-one coaching on topics such as marketing, branding, content curation, content delivery, data and analytics, music industry fundamentals, and more!

  • team development workshops emphasizing teamwork, communications, and presentation skills

  • discovery of new career paths

Left: Jon Eccles (Product Management, Pandora) mentors University of Michigan students via Zoom Video conferencing.
Right: Heather Ellis (Artist Marketing, Pandora) works hands-on with University of Hartford students.


Real Industry handles 100% of event creation, workshop logistics, and all costs - it will be completely turnkey for SiriusXM. We work with Pandora’s Senior Manager of Editorial Content Heather Ellis on workshop design and execution.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Real Industry asks for a donation of $25,000 per university engaged during our university tours. We are honored work with Pandora for a 3rd year of this program ($150,000 in 2017 and $150,000 in 2018.)

For 2019, we request a donation of $150,000 to support 6 universities in 2019. The universities will be selected in close partnership with SiriusXM, to focus on supporting universities nearby local offices, and alternatively universities that are traditionally underserved by music industry and corporate partners.

This support enables us to provide a 100% turnkey experience for SiriusXM, the university, and produce a multi-week on-campus engagement. There are no additional costs.


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. In this article, Mike Herring, Google’s Business Finance Officer and former Pandora CFO / President explains why Real Industry is so valuable to companies and students.

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 throughout 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 • San Francisco State University • San Jose State University • 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