Team Name: Green Room
Concept: Green Room simplifies payments and tax compliance for the live music industry.
Challenge: For the 47,000 music venues and 550,000 touring musicians in the US there is no streamlined way to handle payments and tax compliance. The industry norm to manage that contractor relationship is a tangled web of W9s and 1099s. A touring musician playing 150 shows a year means they could end up filing taxes with up to 150 tax forms.
Solution: Green Room stands in the middle of venues and musicians. Venues pay Green Room. Green Room pays musicians. Venues do not collect W9s and do not issue 1099s. Since Green Room is the payer for all shows, artists receive a single 1099 for all shows played within the Green Room network instead of 1 per venue.
Market: Live Music Venues are critically rethinking their operations as we emerge from COVID and more likely than ever to adopt technology. More and more small businesses are using POS software and considering other tools to make their lives easier. To start, Green Room is targetting independent venues with music at least 2x a week. They already issue 1099s and generally handle this manually, in house.
Competition: Green Room is competing against workarounds – not streamlined solutions. Check, cash, and paper forms are obviously behind the times. But even digital payments and payroll providers don’t solve the problem of streamlining taxes. Prism helps agencies and talent buyers better track holds and contracts but does not tackle issues faced with payments or serve independent artists. Only Green Room combines digital payments with tax simplification. No other company tackles the holistic needs of the live music industry.
Value Creation: Green Room makes money by charging a 5% fee to venues. As we add more features we plan to have multiple tiers of pricing for both venues and artists – offering a transactional model for the smaller venues and monthly fees for upmarket customers. Payments and tax compliance are just the beginning. And this pain extends far beyond independent venues; it’s simply absorbed by business managers and talent buyers as you move upstream. The biggest part of Green Room’s vision is to elevate live music out of the gig economy into a sustainable career. By providing PEO services like Trinet or Collective, Green Room reduces the headache of a career as an artist. We also plan to offer additional tools to venues like business insights and concierge bookings.
Team: Sophie Randolph – Founder & CEO
I graduated Harvard in 2016, moved to San Francisco, and was an early employee at XOLA, where I launched their customer success department and learned what it takes to scale a SaaS company. In 2019 I moved to Houston and founded Crescendo Management, providing services for independent artists and venues. I quickly became frustrated with how inefficient the industry is. I saw an opportunity to combine my passion for empowering artists, my tech background, and the skills I’m learning as a Rice MBA to solve those inefficiencies.
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