Myles Emmons ’14 and Gabriel Kanengiser ’14 have been awarded a $15,000 Creativity & Leadership (C&L) Fellowship grant to support the growth of their venture, Stereocure, which they co-founded in 2012 with Adam Hirsch ’14 and their friend Jordan Alper, who is a student at New York University.
Stereocure is an independent record label and music/art collective that fosters a hands-off creative environment with hands-on support for a community of artists.
Stereocure has the distinction of winning the last Creativity & Leadership Fellowship. Starting in 2015, the program will be combined with a new and expanded offering of LaunchU, which will include programming and funding for ventures of all types, including both for-profit and not-for-profit. The launchpad for Oberlin entrepreneurs, LaunchU offers alumni, students, and faculty a platform for refining their ideas and developing skills and networks, and culminates in a public pitch competition.
Kanengiser, who designed a major called practice and economics in the music industry, says the group anticipates one to two releases per month from their artists during the yearlong fellowship period.
“The next step is to help our artists professionally record, mix, and master their music, and then promote and distribute their releases,” Kanengiser says. “The grant from Creativity and Leadership allows us to pursue a lot of opportunities that we did not have the funding to pursue in the past: merchandise for the label and individual artists; physical releases; and professional recording, mixing, and mastering.”
In their hometown of Los Angeles, high school friends Kanengiser, Hirsch, and Alper started working on their idea for a progressive music label. During their first year at Oberlin, Kanengiser and Hirsch met Emmons, a composition major and Technology in Music and Related Arts (TIMARA) minor, and he was soon brought on as a fourth partner. They launched Stereocure in August 2012 with the C&L fellowship as their goal.
“The Creativity and Leadership program and LaunchU have both been great sources of support for Stereocure,” Kanengiser says. “I represented Stereocure during the LaunchU pitch competition (before applying for the grant) and have been able to seek advice from some incredible people within both programs who have given us tremendous amounts of guidance and encouragement. It means a lot to be recognized by the program for the work we have already done and the work we plan to do in the next few years.”
Hirsch was not eligible to apply for the grant because he will attend graduate school in the fall, but he and Alper will remain partners in the project.
The Creativity & Leadership Fellowship grant is part of the Northeast Ohio Collegiate Entrepreneurship Program (NEOCEP), a Kauffman Campuses℠ Initiative funded by the Burton D. Morgan Foundation and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
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