Founder Spotlight: Dr. Mike Butera (Artiphon)

During the tour stop in Nashville, Tennessee Dr. Mike Butera presented his company, Artiphon, to win the pitch competition and $100,000 investment from Steve Case.  

Tell us about your background.  What has helped to shape who you are as an entrepreneur?

Before designing musical instruments, I was a philosophy and sociology professor, sound studies researcher, touring musician, and technology design consultant. Overall, I've realized that I love designing new techniques for thinking, creating, and sharing. Some of these are products, some are companies, and some live as ideas.
What does Artiphon do?
A guitar is designed to be strummed; piano keys are pressed; drum pads are tapped; violins are bowed. But what if a single instrument could be played with any of these techniques?
That’s exactly what we’ve created – one instrument that lets you be the whole band. Our patented technology enables a new type of musical experience focused on exploration and creativity rather than skill sets and signal chains. It’s an entirely new approach to what a musical instrument can do.


Artiphon Rise of the Rest


Why did you choose to launch (or land) your startup in Nashville?
Nashville is Music City. Angel investors here care about music creation. A great community of entrepreneurs allowed for years of prototyping and adjustment to business (from academia).
What is a fun fact about the company? 
Artiphon is the most successful musical instrument crowdfund in the world ($1.3M raised with 3k+ backers).  Over five thousand people are now making music with our instruments and we were one of TIME's best inventions in 2015. 
What are a couple of the books that you have read in the last 12 months that have inspired your thought process or outlook as an entrepreneur and leader.
Boring Formless Nonsense: Experimental Music and The Aesthetics of Failure


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