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Episode 32: Panos Panay, Founder of the Berklee Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship


Panos Panay is the founder and managing director of the Berklee Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (BerkleeICE). Prior to this, Panos created Sonicbids, the leading platform for bands to book gigs and market themselves online, building a subscriber network of 550,000 bands and 35,000 promoters from more than 100 countries. He led the company as CEO for 13 years, from its inception until after its successful acquisition in a deal backed by Guggenheim Partners.

Panos is also the co-founder of the Open Music Initiative, which has brought together more than 140 leading music, media, technology industry organizations, and academic institutions to create a blockchain-based open protocol for uniform identification of musical rights owners and creators. (We will get into what all of that means during the episode).

At Berklee, his work and approach to entrepreneurial and innovation pedagogy builds heavily on the concepts of music thinking, and in particular jazz, as a catalyst for creative breakthroughs in business, life, and art; and he has spearheaded multi-disciplinary collaborations between Berklee and MIT; the design firm IDEO; and Brown University. Panos writes frequently about startups and entrepreneurship for blogs and publications such as Forbes, WSJ Accelerators, and Fast Company; and guest lectures and speaks at many universities and events around the world.

Some of his many awards include: Fast Company’s “Fast 50” honor; Inc Magazine’s “Inc 500”; Mass Hi-Tech All Stars; Berklee College’s Distinguished Alumnus Award; Boston Business Journal’s “40 under 40” and BostInno’s 50 on Fire. Sonicbids and Panos were also profiled in a chapter in the Financial Times-published book Outsmart by best-selling author Jim Champy.Panos is a native of Cyprus, and holds a Music Business/Management degree from Berklee College of Music.

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