Theory & Business

Finding Funding For Your Passion

For both startups and musicians with music brands, connections are essential.


With Hunter Derrick

One thing Provo Music Magazine has noticed from talking to musicians in the scene is that Utah culture puts pressure on us to be frugal, to avoid debt, and to be risk averse. While all of this is great personal finance advice, any business startup typically requires a lot of capital to get moving – and getting started in the music business is no exception. We asked Mixlo co-founder Hunter Derrick: What advice do you have about finding funding for your passion? What are your thoughts on investors, debt, and bootstrapping? What advice do you have about taking risks?

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I think the short answer is to be as smart as you can with your resources. Risk simply implies losing something in the hopes of gaining it back with more than before, or losing something in the hopes that what you gain is more valuable to you. So, when you find something in life that is worth the risk to you, decide what you think you might be willing to lose and fully dedicate yourself to it. Leverage all of your resources and get creative – especially for things you don’t have money for. More often than not, by creating synergy you gain more resources.

Further, plan as well as you can, especially with “if / thens” for more unknown pieces in your plan. But realize that with risk you often just have to take the best step you can into the dark. The more I’ve done that, the more frequently I have been pleasantly surprised. I think you start to chase that feeling of “paving a new way” and finding successes along the way. 

Hunter Derrick of Mixlo.

Funding is a beast in and of itself, but in my opinion should be looked at as another form of growth, as well as creating synergy with new resources. Working with investors, for example, can create opportunities for both of you beyond just the money invested. For both startups and musicians with music brands, connections are essential. Work with people, find win-wins and help them, too.

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If you’re asking others to invest in your passion, I think you should be all-in yourself. You should be the biggest investor in yourself. Realize everything in life is a risk, no matter how big or small, and do your best to go outside of your comfort zone while still listening to your intuition. 

Bootstrapping requires tenacity, good planning, and a clever use of resources. I advise you to use everything available with synergy towards your goal. Amplify the effects and gain momentum, especially when money is in short supply!

The more you dedicate to something, the more you have to lose – and gain as well. But either way, life probably won’t go exactly as you plan, so why not make the most out of the things you care about? If you’re like me, you’ll probably continue to be surprised. 

About the Author: Hunter Derrick is the co-founder of Mixlo, a location-based music streaming app that allows you to discover and stream artists, songs, and playlists from your local community.


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