Two Grady students and their start-up business were selected to represent the University of Georgia at the Southeastern Conference Entrepreneurial Pitch Competition.
Jackie Long, a journalism major, and Lallie Maddox, an advertising major, teamed up to create Ripple Jam Booking, a music booking agency planning to automate and disrupt the fragmented market of connecting small music venues and bands.
During the pitch competition Monday, Nov. 13, at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Long and Maddox explained their plans for an app that will connect music venues with bands, provide an electronic signing service for contracts and allow for securely transferring money between the parties.
Long and Maddox met as roommates in the Grady LA program and developed their business concept in a class for their music business certificate taught by David Barbe who has expressed confidence in his students’ idea.
“Ripple Jam fills a gap, serves a need and brings together business partners who might otherwise be unaware of what one another have to offer,” Barbe said.
Following graduation in December, Long and Maddox intend to relocate to the music city of Nashville where they will expand their business and begin the app development process. They intend to leverage numerous relationships in the music industry developed through years of part-time work and internships in the music business. Long interned at the 40 Watt Club and Sony Music and worked at a business management firm specializing in music clients. Maddox has interned with Planetary Group, the Georgia Theatre, Turnipblood Entertainment and GT Music Group.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to represent The University of Georgia in the SEC Pitch Competition,” Maddox said. “There is so much passion behind Ripple Jam and it has been an incredible experience to share it with others.”
Long, who won a pitch competition in Grady’s entrepreneurial journalism class taught by Keith Herndon, said such entrepreneurship training inspired her to help develop the business.
“The foundation of Ripple Jam Booking is built on leadership and business principles that I learned in Grady’s entrepreneurial journalism course,” Long said. “The training I received helped us identify our audience, competition and market quickly.”
Herndon coached the Ripple Jam Booking team along with Don Chambers and Robert Pinckney of the Terry College’s entrepreneurship program.
“These students are what entrepreneurship education is all about at our University,” said Herndon, who is director of the Cox Institute. “They are from two different majors at Grady who came together and developed an idea in a music business certificate course. They truly represent our interdisciplinary approach at its best.”