MusicTech: Latest Trends Shaping the Future of the Music Industry


July 20, 2020
2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Virtual Event


MusicTech: Latest Trends Shaping the Future of the Music Industry

July 20, 2020
2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

In this program, we will discuss the evolution of the music industry and how innovative technology and ideas are addressing the needs of musicians, entertainment companies, and audiences.


2:00 pm – Introductory Remarks
2:05 pm – Panel Discussion
2:50 pm – Audience Q&A (via chat)

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Gary Mekikian
CEO and Co-Founder, M&M Media Inc.

Gary Mekikian is an American entrepreneur and investor who is the co-founder and CEO of M&M Media Inc., a Los Angeles-based media technology company. Prior to M&M Media, Mekikian also co-founded International Integration, Inc. also known as i-Cube; answerfriend, Inc., which became Inquira; and GATeIC, Inc.

In addition to business ventures, Mekikian has been a member of Pasadena Angels and Tech Coast Angels, nonprofit organizations that offer consultation and seed capital to startup businesses from successful entrepreneurs, marketing professionals, and business experts. Mekikian is a co-organizer of, a Los Angeles-based organization whose mission is to raise awareness of modern-day genocides and the Holocaust and to eliminate genocide as a war tactic.

Mekikian has a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California and an MS from Stanford University, and he holds patents in media technologies and medical devices. Mekikian is a member of Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business MSx Alumni Advisory Board. He collaborates with Stanford University professors Dr. William Barnett and Dr. John Roberts to write and teach case studies on entrepreneurship, information technology, semiconductor industry, and the mobile internet.

Fran Rogers
CEO and Co-Founder, Sparrow Live

Fran Rogers is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Sparrow Live (, the premier platform for connecting classical artists with their audiences. Freeing both parties from the limitations of place-based performance, Sparrow Live allows artists to deliver high-quality experiences through livestream, in addition to supporting all aspects of live performance.

Fran is a classical tenor based in Boston, MA and New York, NY. As a classical artist, Fran has performed across the globe in a variety of roles and genres. He has performed for live audiences of up to 70,000 and internationally televised audiences of up to 14 million.

Prior to his full-time opera career, he spent a decade in administration for major arts and education organizations, raising millions of dollars for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Campaign for Catholic Schools, and the College of the Holy Cross.

Nick Cianfaglione
CEO and Founder, Artist Republik

Nick Cianfaglione is the CEO and Founder of Artist Republik, is a decentralized networking and management platform that allows independent musicians to manage, market, and book themselves as well as grow their industry connections and career. Being an early adopter of the entrepreneurship mentality, Nick launched several small entrepreneurial ventures throughout middle school and high school. After the loss of his father, he was introduced to the inner workings of the music industry while initiating a charity concert series to raise money for cancer. The series entitled ‘Club For Cancer’ was the catalyst to his prior firm Northeastern Entertainment Solutions, which hosted local, regional, and national artists in over fifty different venues across the country. As a student of Rhode Island’s Bryant University, Nick found success in college by launching NES360, a leading fan base growth, and marketing company. His experience with NES360 introduced him to working with over 500 clients worldwide; interviews with these artists brought the problematic workings of the music industry to light. As a solution, he launched Artist Republik in 2018 and has assured a series of big developments for the company in 2020 and beyond.


Craig Colson
Investment Associate, Connecticut Innovations

Craig Colson is an Investment Associate at Connecticut Innovations. Craig helps to identify and support investments in digital health, InsurTech, and enterprise SaaS. As an analyst, Craig works closely with founders and managers in conducting due diligence and writing investment memos for prospective seed and series A venture investments.

Prior to joining CI in 2019, Craig worked as a Corporate Strategy Analyst at Taco Comfort Solutions, where he was responsible for managing the company’s M&A funnel, conducting market and industry research, competitor intelligence, and supporting the development of annual and multiyear strategic plans.

Craig received a bachelor’s degree in International Business from Bryant University, with Summa Cum Laude honors and a dual concentration in Finance and Economics.


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