MMF & YouTube Music open applications for 5th Accelerator Programme

13 September 2022


The Music Managers Forum (MMF) and YouTube Music have announced that applications for their Accelerator Programme’s fifth year are now open.

Launched back in 2019, the programme is the world’s only independent funding and professional development programme designed exclusively for artist, songwriter, DJ and producer managers. The initiative offers a combination of financial and educational support, including 12-month grants of up to £15,000, alongside expert-led professional development training.

Applications for Accelerator 2023 will close on 24th October. Full submission details can be found here.

By 2023, the programme will have supported more than 100 managers from across the UK, with the MMF reporting that 40% of its participants are “from nations and regions outside of London, 43% from Black or ethnic backgrounds and 44% women or gender minorities.”

Speaking about the launch of Accelator’s fifth year, Paul Bonham, professional development director at MMF, said: “How incredible to open applications for a fifth year of Accelerator, and to support another wave of hugely talented entrepreneurs. The programme is now delivering a real legacy, and, by making the initial application process as painless and as accessible as possible, I hope we can continue to attract a diverse stream of candidates from across the UK. The impacts of Accelerator are already impressively far-reaching. By next year, we will have supported more than 100 managers, enabling them to build the music businesses of tomorrow and help hundreds more artists, songwriters and producers to thrive. They have also greatly informed and enhanced the MMF.  I’m proud of every one of them, and enormously grateful of the continued support from YouTube Music, Arts Council England, Creative Scotland and the SMIA.”

Lizzzie Dickson, head of label relations, YouTube Music, added: “We couldn’t be more proud to be embarking on our fifth year in partnership with the MMF on the Accelerator Programme. The continued success of this programme is a testament to the achievements of all the managers we have supported, whose innovations and skills are shaping the modern music business. We are so excited to see what the future holds for this next cohort.”

All Accelerator participants – past and present – remain fully active in music management.

Among previous Accelerator grantees are individuals who represent talent including Joy Crookes, Wes Nelson, PinkPantheress, Joy Anonymous, Moses Boyd, Enny, Nafe Smallz, Squid, Joesef, Steam Down, Shygirl, Dry Cleaning, Employed To Serve, Yolanda Brown, Shabaka Hutchings, Goat Girl, Sherelle, Bree Runway, Porridge Radio and Caskets.

Most recently, Callum Reece, creative director and co-head of artist development at One House, represented Eliza Rose for her No.1 single B.O.T.A (Baddest Of Them All).

Two former Accelerators, Clare Wright (Blackstar Management) and Nike Durosaro (Big Drum Entertainment) currently sit on the MMF board, while others have forged commercial collaborations (Ian Tunstall & Rian Zoll-Khan) or started new joint ventures (Jasmine Srih, Unknown Territory with UROK Management).

MMF stated that the vast majority of grantees “have brokered new partnerships for their clients with record labels, distributors, music publishers, live businesses, brands and tech companies.”

Alongside YouTube Music, Accelerator is supported by Arts Council England, Creative Scotland and the Scottish Music Industry Association.

Kate Piatkowska, co-founder, Klang Machine Music and Accelerator 2022 participant, reflected: “Every single session has opened my eyes to a new layer of knowledge and responsibilities that I need to master. I love how much information has been presented by the guest speakers. It has helped me look at my company rather than just the businesses of my clients, and what areas I need help with or delegate.”

Gina Akers, Blendid and Accelerator 2022 participant, added: “The Accelerator sessions have been incredible. It’s extremely reassuring to no longer feel ‘alone’ as a manager, and making that connection with other managers is so helpful.”

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