Last month, Barcelona hosted the 25th edition of one of Europe’s leading festivals, Sónar. Alongside spellbinding sets from LCD Soundsystem, Bonobo, Diplo and Gorillaz, the forward-thinking festival also hosts a three-day symposium dedicated to technology, creativity and business, Sónar +D. The symposium brings together world leaders in creative innovation, and offers startups the opportunity to present to investors, participate in mentoring activities, showcase in the Startup Garden and compete in the annual Startup Competition.
Missed this year’s installment? We’ve got you covered. To follow on from our deep dive into Barcelona’s music tech scene, we’re bringing you our highlights of some dynamic startups we encountered at Sonar+D. These are the ones to watch!
Best Startups From Sonar+D 2018
This Barcelona-based projected VR company stormed to success at the Startup Competition, and their product turned more than a few heads with its promise to transform the regular VR experience into a shared, immersive, 360 one. BroomX seem very much in the media spotlight at the moment, to the credit of their CMO Ignasi Capellà. Controlled from a smartphone and already proving hugely popular in the hospitality sector, BroomX Tech are facilitating immersive 4D experiences, and are definitely making waves. We look forward to seeing where they take their awesome product next!
Massive Act only launched in January of this year, and they’re already taking the world of live music management by storm. The concept is a centralized application and marketplace which connects those in the spotlight and those behind the scenes. So you’re a New-York-based tour manager looking for an exceptional sound team in Buenos Aires? Massive Act can connect you to one. So you’re a festival looking for exciting performers from all around the world? Massive Act can help you streamline the process. So you’re a band looking for sponsorship and connections in a new market? You know where to look. After years at the top of her industry as tour manager for Depeche Mode, Coldplay and David Guetta, Carolina Castilla spotted a pain point and her platform is already solving it. Keep an eye on this one!
Think Netflix for schools: Film Club offers a comprehensive directory of film extracts for pedagogical use. Jumping on the movement that sees cinema as a useful educational resource, they help teachers and education facilities to make the most of what the movies have to offer by putting together a digital catalog of clips from films, pre-edited, pre-vetted and ready to open minds in the classroom. Not only that but they call themselves an educational innovation project, and are taking important steps to rethinking how we use audiovisual resources in education. They delivered a strong presentation in the Sonar +D Startup Competition, and we love the idea behind this Catalunya-based startup. Coming to a school near you soon…
Skoove offers a beautifully-designed and user-centric platform for learning to play the piano. A Berlin-based team looking to rethink music lessons, the application not only teaches you the basics, but offers the chance to learn theory and more advanced skills, with real-time direct performance feedback as you go. The online music lesson market is by no means a new one, but this startup is storming to success thanks to its personalized, intuitive and turnkey platform. The team behind it are music enthusiasts and many are trained pianists too, which is evident in an app that’s clearly built by musicians, for musicians. We loved trying out their platform in the Startup Garden and look forward to watching them add new instruments it in the near future.
The award for out-of-this-world innovation at Sonar +D definitely goes to Vaonis with their high-quality, transportable, smart telescope which they were showcasing in the Startup Garden this year. On a mission to make astronomy open to everyone, and help people explore space from the comfort of their own home, their product connects to an app to allow you to navigate the night sky with ease. With a fascinating product and an exciting international team, the sky’s the limit for this forward-thinking startup.
So there you have it! Just a few of the companies we came across at Sonar +D, bringing together creativity and technology to disrupt their respective fields and open possibilities for users around the world. We look forward to seeing how they grow and innovate in the years to come!