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Cashblack is a platform that rewards members with cashback when they shop online with Black-owned businesses. Founded in 2020, the need for financial and socio-economic empowerment within the Black community was never more apparent - both globally and in the United Kingdom.

Cashblack aims to benefit both the Black community and society as a whole by decreasing the racial wealth gap through the promotion of Black-owned businesses and the provision of funds back to consumers of these businesses through cashback.

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Deya is a platform for Black creative talent & creative companies. They're building a new approach for Black creatives to find jobs and community, whilst helping creative businesses hire, engage and resource Black employees and freelancers.

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Flossy AI was founded in London by Gameli Ladzekpo a former Artist.

Flossy AI is like Instagram, but with AI generated images instead of photos. In our community users can come together and co-create images. You can see creations from friends and buy prompts so you can make similar images yourself.

Flossy also helps brands too - Artists, Creators, Sports Teams can boost engagement by co-creating beautiful media, merch or marketing materials with their fans.

The mission of the company is to put design super powers in the hands of every person on earth and make the world more beautiful.

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In an era of deep-fakes and misinformation fuelled by social media and AI, trust in media has eroded, complicating decision-making and escalating social anxiety.
Our patented ViiVid® media format tackles this by combining multiple videos to detect deep fakes while offering a user experience similar to Google Street View, only with video. Our mission to create a more authentic, connected and inclusive world starts with the Happaning app.
So whether you have mobility challenges, hate big crowds or simply want a vibe check, Happaning is a crowdsource event preview app, that lets you request trusted real-time multi-view videos of any location, before you get there, through the eyes of the community. Think Reddit, for live events.

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Korda empowers music creators and innovators by providing tools that support all stages of the music lifecycle, from creation to monetisation.

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Loud Parade is the award winning music creative and sonic branding company with over 8 billion campaign views. Loud Parade makes bespoke music compositions for brands and creative agencies across all platforms and has worked with Fenty, Nike JBL, JD Sports, WPP and Havas, amongst others.

Working at the intersection of Psychology and Music, Loud Parade creates sonic identities which match a brand’s aspirational personality bringing objectivity to the usually subjective world of music in advertising by leveraging an AI tool which can test the emotional resonance of sounds.

Loud Parade uses music as a form of storytelling, creating unique sonic identities for brands to increase individuality and uniqueness of their campaigns. Through viral sounds they increase brand love, recognition and awareness as well as support with the problem of music licensing through authentic and scientifically backed music solutions.

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Welcome to Musircle an AI-driven social media platform that is redefining the music landscape. We’re not just a place to listen to music - we're an interactive community that uses advanced technology to bring together music enthusiasts, artists, and rising stars from around the world.

At the heart of Musircle is the concept of Music DNA. Using powerful AI algorithms, we map your individual Music DNA, analyzing your musical tastes across genres, artists, eras, and even nuanced musical elements. We use this to connect you with others who share your passion, creating a global community based on shared or complementary musical preferences.

Innovation is our melody, and our key feature, Echo Playlists, is a perfect example. These collaborative playlists allow users to control a live playlist together. Add songs, vote to remove tracks, chat in real time, and enjoy a collective listening experience that’s as dynamic as a live concert.

But Echo Playlists offer more than just a communal listening experience. They also present a golden opportunity for rising artists to increase their exposure. Since every device individually streams a song added to an Echo Playlist, emerging musicians can significantly boost their listener counts. Furthermore, our Music DNA feature intelligently connects these artists to new, relevant fan bases, facilitating organic growth in their listener community.

Join Musircle today to explore, connect, and revolutionize your musical journey. Whether you're a music lover looking for like-minded listeners, or a rising star seeking to amplify your reach, Musircle is the place to be.

Musircle: Where music connects us, AI unites us, and Echo Playlists amplify our shared experience.

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Nyangibo Gallery is a online and in-person digital fine art gallery, with a focus on XR art.

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Stories & The City is a cultural tourism immersive startup. We create city tours using your smartphone and augmented reality (AR) to get interesting information and stories straight to your phone.

We bring virtual content into the real world.
We use AR and storytelling to encourage human connection.
We want people to go out and engage with the real world whilst using the benefits of the augmented world.

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AI-powered web3 marketplace for collecting and trading rare beats.


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Sony Music’s story began in 1887 with the formation of Columbia Records – the oldest surviving label in the recording industry.

Today, Sony Music comprises a variety of record labels devoted to every genre of music, from rock and pop to classical, hip hop and R&B. They seek out the industry’s best artists and executives to create world-class music and audio entertainment.

In the UK, Columbia, RCA, Ministry of Sound, Since ’93, Relentless, Black Butter, Insanity, 5K Records, Robots + Humans, WEAREBLK, Music For Nations and The Orchard are part of the Sony Music family and represent a hugely diverse roster of artists.

They are joined by Commercial Group, home to our catalogue, merchandise and family division Magic Star and 4th Floor Creative, which comprises Brand Partnerships, Sync, Visual Creative, Podcasting, Digital and Audience Development.

Sony Music Entertainment UK is part of Sony Music Group, a global recorded music and publishing company, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America. The company represents a vast global catalogue, including some of the most important recordings in history.

The Chairman and CEO of Sony Music UK & Ireland is Jason Iley.

Read more about Sony Music’s commitment to social justice through the UK Social Justice Fund here

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Musiio is an Artificial Intelligence company for the Music Industry. They have built an AI that can “listen” to music and supercharge the capabilities of companies to tag and search music catalogues at scale. Musiio provide efficient ways to automate workflows, be it through an API or purpose-built tools; ready-to-go, or fully customisable solutions.

Programme Consultants

George Mensah

VC Investor
Sure Valley Ventures
Black Founders Programme

George joined Sure Valley Ventures in April 2022 as a Principal. He has nearly a decade of experience in the capital markets focusing predominantly on high growth companies. Prior to Sure Valley Ventures, he was an Investment Manager at ACF Investors (an early-stage VC which co-invests alongside domain expert-led syndicates of angel investors) , where he played an active role in investing and portfolio management with early stage companies.

George started his investment career at Shore Capital as an Equity Research Analyst, with a sector focus in Online Retail and eCommerce as well as helping companies IPO. He has also held roles at family office Growth Partner LLP and U.S. based investment firm Aegis Capital Corp.

Hazel Savage

VP, Music Intelligence
Black Founders Programme

With 15 years experience in the industry, Hazel is a music-tech lifer, guitarist and former CEO/Co-Founder at Musiio. She started her music-tech journey as an early employee at Shazam and spent time understanding the pain points of the industry at Pandora, Universal and HMV before launching Musiio in 2018 and then selling the business to SoundCloud in 2022.

Hazel travels globally speaking at conferences and talking to catalogue owners about the value of artificial intelligence integration and digital transformation in the music industry. As a female founder in the heavily male-dominated industries of music and tech, Hazel seeks to offer insights with interesting and humorous anecdotes, as well as easy-to-follow explanations and use cases of artificial intelligence technology.

Dave Haynes

FOV Ventures
Black Founders Programme

Based in UK, Dave Haynes is partner at FOV Ventures, backing founders building the Metaverse. Dave previously led HTC’s $100m Vive X fund in EMEA and was part of the investment team at Seedcamp (Fund III). Metaverse-related portfolio and angel investments include Wave, LIV, ReadyPlayerMe, Crucible and many others. Prior to investing, Dave founded two of his own startups and was part of the founding team of SoundCloud.

I am an experienced business leader with extensive experience of building trusting relationships and turning these into valuable partnerships and successful outcomes. My passion lies in connecting people, ideas and technology to solve problems and build unforgettable experiences with new technology.

Erika Brodnock

Black Founders Programme

Erika Brodnock is an award-winning entrepreneur, philanthropist, and angel investor. She is also an MBA, a Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London and a PhD in the Inclusion Initiative at the LSE. She authored Diversity Beyond Gender, and co-authored the TRANSPARENT Framework and Better Venture - Improving Diversity, Innovation, and Profitability in Venture Capital and Startups.

Erika is Sky News’ resident parenting expert; co-founder at Extend Ventures, The Black Funding Network, and Kinhub, providing data-driven coaching and personalised employee support. She is one of 16 Black women in the UK that has raised more than £1m in startup funding. Erika is also a Non-Executive Director of The Good Play Guide; and serves on the advisory board of the APPG for Entrepreneurship.

Community Partner

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TECH LONDON ADVOCATES is an unrivalled collection of tech leaders, experts and investors uniting to form the most influential group in tech. With no government backing, this is the voice of the private sector in London.

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Purposeful Group is an award-winning centre for learning focused on entrepreneurship, technology and digital skills.
The company supports entrepreneurs around the world through its range of bestselling books, professional mentoring, and specialist workshops and programmes.

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MSDUK brings together innovative and high-growth ethnic minority businesses with global corporations committed to creating inclusive and diverse supply chains.

We proudly stand as the UK’s leading supplier diversity advocacy organisation working for inclusion of ethnic minority businesses in corporate supply chains. For us, the reward is inclusion and equality of opportunity for everyone and to strive for change by establishing a roadmap for broader representation of ethnic minority businesses within corporate supply chains.

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Impact Brixton is a social enterprise dedicated to creating real social impact. Launched in 2014, we provide affordable virtual office, hot-desking, event space, networking events and training programmes to budding entrepreneurs. Everything we do is designed to help creators and small businesses make meaningful connections to help their enterprises grow and thrive. Since our founding, we have served as a launching pad for over 5,500 creators and 2,000 startups, driving an incalculable boost in local employment, wellbeing, innovation, and economic growth.

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BiG is a grassroots EDI organisation dedicated to promoting and celebrating diverse talent within the video games and wider-entertainment industry.

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The BlackXRNetwork(BXRN) was established to create a platform for black students and professionals in XR and the Creative Industries to connect, collaborate and upskill through a host of networking events, mentoring programs, speaker series, and workshops.

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Shoobs is building the most engaged community by providing access to Black culture through experiences.

Providing access to concerts, festivals, clubbing, comedy nights, dating events and more while creating engaging editorial content, and supporting event organisers & brands, Shoobs is the premier lifestyle brand for urban culture.

Shoobs answers not just “Where should I go out?” but also “Who should I be listening to?”, “What should I be paying attention to?” and of course, “What's next?

With experiences ranging from comedy & club nights to intimate shows to large scale festivals over 9,000 clients have trusted Shoobs as a partner for their events and brand activations in the Europe, Africa and the Middle East."

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Your diverse and inclusive startup community
We accelerate diverse founders and talent through community driven programmes and advocate for an inclusive startup ecosystem through campaigns and workshops

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Colorintech is an award-winning nonprofit working towards a more transparent and inclusive tech economy. Known for their programs, Colorintech works with governments, universities, VCs, entrepreueneurs and technology companies to help close the wealth and opportunity-gap for underrepresented individuals. We are also the company that runs Black Tech Fest.

Programme Mentors

Jessie Scoullar

Owner & Chief Strategist
Wicksteed Works
Black Founders Programme

"Jessie Scoullar is the owner of and chief strategist at Wicksteed Works, a London-based agency empowering artists and brands to maximise their potential through connection, communication and coordination of kick-ass direct-to-fan marketing and retail campaigns. With a focus on email marketing, CRM and ecommerce strategy, Wicksteed Works clients past and present include PJ Harvey, Laura Marling, UNKLE, Mumford & Sons, Paul Kalkbrenner, Elvis Costello, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Bic Runga, Neil Finn, Brooke Fraser, Max Cooper and Paul McCartney, as well as a range of hand-selected creative businesses.

Alongside providing marketing advice to more than 250 Help Musicians grant awardees, Jessie has published several industry guides on membership and fan clubs, as well as the first comprehensive comparison of direct-to-fan music marketing and retail services. She cut her teeth on the world of direct-to-fan in the fast-paced environment of Topspin Media's Creative Services team. Before leaving her native New Zealand in 2007, she worked with CRS Management and practised as a commercial solicitor."

Manny Toro

Global VP, Music Marketing
SoundCloud Inc.
Black Founders Programme

As VP of Global Music Marketing at SoundCloud, Manny Toro leads the music marketing, intelligence, and curation with a focus on driving innovative strategy and campaigns to help artists grow on and off the platform. With over 15 years of global marketing experience at companies such as Nike, Red Bull, and Seeker Music Group, Manny has a successful history of customizing approaches to monetize and elevate the careers of artists.

Leo Lindermans

Black Founders Programme

Leo Lindermans is a digital advertising & marketing expert specialising on the Music & Audio vertical. Leo is currently supporting major record labels and streaming services with their TikTok strategy as Partnerships Lead at TikTok.

Nihaal Poonja

Senior Director, Global Business Development & Digital Strategy
Sony Music Entertainment
Black Founders Programme

Ex-engineer with close to a decade working in the music industry in India, the US and the UK across artist & content management, digital strategy & licensing, and global business development.

Richard Cummins

Product Marketing Manager
Black Founders Programme

Richard is a London born father of two who cares deeply about uplifting underrepresented community groups.

He leverages experience in Ad Tech spanning from over a decade working within numerous global corporations, by advising and investing in Tech startups. A community builder, who founded the Inspirational tech Founders series of events and documentary which provides a platform to showcase the businesses and talents of Black Founders.

Richard is a filmmaker having founded his own film company, Amplery Films - 2023 release Inspirational Founders

He serves as a Trustee on charity boards for Behind Every Kick and DINN, and is an advisor to UKBlacktech and Translate Culture.

Alex Cole

Black Founders Programme

"I am an entertainment lawyer at Russells Solicitors where I am a partner and head of the digital department.
My three main areas of focus are: (a) the convergence of technology and entertainment; (b) corporate and company law matters and (c) non-contentious entertainment matters."

Lee Henshaw

Black Founders Programme

I'm a serial British internet entrepreneur about to launch my new company Into-it, a personalised music news service.

Vanessa Bakewell

Global Client Partner
Black Founders Programme

"Vanessa has over two decades of experience in the entertainment industry. She graduated with a First-Class Degree in Performing Arts (Management of Music, Entertainment, Theatre and Events) from the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) in 2001 before beginning her career at M&C Saatchi in London.

Vanessa then moved to EMAP (now Bauer Media), where she worked with leading music and lifestyle publications, including Q, Mojo, Arena, Kerrang!, Smash Hits, The Face, and Empire Magazine. During her time at EMAP, Vanessa led commercial partnerships with major and indie record labels, film studios, and music retailers.

In 2007, Vanessa joined Google and built out their specialist Entertainment Team, leading global partnerships with film studios, gaming, and record labels. She continued to YouTube in 2008 when Google acquired the platform, leading music, gaming, and movie global partnerships. In 2011, Vanessa joined Facebook Inc. (now Meta) prior to its listing on the Stock Exchange to lead Retail and FMCG sector partnerships, and in 2012, set up the Entertainment Vertical team. Vanessa continues to drive fundamental evolution and change as a global Client Partner in how film and music industries globally market their releases and events across Meta platforms.

Vanessa also leads innovative, award-winning global music and movie partnerships and campaigns in emerging technologies via Augmented Reality, AI, and Virtual Reality.
Vanessa's contributions to the entertainment industry have been widely recognized, including being enrolled in the Music Week Roll of Honour as a 2020 Women in Music award winner. She also sits on the Board of Trustees for The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic since 2018 and on the Liverpool Sound City Board as of 2021. Vanessa founded 'The Wed Network' (Women in Entertainment and Digital), a supportive network of 1.6K women in arts and entertainment sectors. She has been named one of the Alternative Power 100 Music List with She Said So and one of the top 200 women redefining the Creative Industry in the UK for International Women's Day 2018 by The Dots. In 2022, Vanessa was also a 40 over Forty winner. She is set to become a Cannes Lions Jury Member in 2023.

Vanessa's passion for music, film, education, and community shines through in her work. She is a regular guest lecturer, with recent lectures at the University of Central Lancashire, Leeds Conservatoire, Wrexham Glyndŵr University, BIMM, and LIPA. Vanessa also mentors via the PRS Power Up Schemes and KeyChange mentoring in music, continuing to give back to the industry that has given her so much."

Natalie Kelly

Client Solutions Manager, Music
Black Founders Programme

Natalie is a digital marketing specialist helping the world’s biggest Entertainment companies innovate and explore the possibilities of AI, AR and VR on Meta platforms, delivering world firsts for entertainment brands in the Metaverse. She has a BSc Business Administration from the University of Bath, and has since lead the Meta partnership with The 93% Club to help bridge the employability gap for state-educated students.

Cliff Fluet

Eleven/Lewis Silkin
Black Founders Programme

Cliff joined Lewis Silkin LLP as a Partner in April 2006 and specialises in Digital Media, Brand Entertainment, Technology and Innovation as a part of its Creators, Makers & Innovators Division. He is the Joint Head and founder of Media & Entertainment practice at Lewis Silkin LLP and sits on the firm's Board responsible for innovation.

He is named in both Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 as a leader and expert in his field and the Media & Entertainment group is ranked in as 'Tier 1'.

After training at CMS, he became in-house counsel at Warner Music, was seconded to the BPI and then Legal Director and Company Secretary for Capital Radio plc (now Global Radio).

As a partner at Lewis Silkin LLP he now acts for some of the world’s largest names in music, mobile, brands, advertising, production and social.

Cliff is also the founder and Managing Director at Eleven, offering strategic and commercial advisory services - as part of its ecosystem of trusted partners - to companies in the realm of music, digital media, eSports and film with a focus on Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Immersive Entertainment.

He specialises in working with clients in the media whose businesses are being transformed by convergence or whom are embracing content-based entertainment for the first time such as FMCG and lifestyle brand owners, advertising agencies, digital agencies and financial institutions.

He is Chair of the Trustee Board of The Ivors Academy Trust, the charity for songwriters and creators and the Deputy Chair of Help Musicians (pka The Musicians Benevolent Fund).

Steve Moy

Product Director, Revenue
Bumble, Inc.
Black Founders Programme

I’m an experienced product leader for games and social apps, with a focus on revenue, app design and development, A/B testing, and stakeholder management. In an earlier life, I was a software engineer. I have a total of 20+ years of professional experience working in San Francisco, Boston, and London.

Thomas Sachson

VP, Monetization & Strategic Partnerships
Sony Immersive Music Studios
Black Founders Programme

Focused on executing at the intersection of emerging technologies, new business opportunities, and legacy regulatory constraints.

I am a consumer technology executive (8 issued patents in the US and China) and licensed attorney (Juris Doctor / D.C. Bar Member) with digital content licensing, multi-media (B.A. Fine Arts), social media, and banking (B.A. Economics & FINRA Series 7 License & UK FSA Register) experience.

Andrew Spence

General Counsel
Sony Music Publishing
Black Founders Programme

Started out as a musician then became a private practice music lawyer representing artists and moved to Sony about 10 years ago. Am now General Counsel responsible for overseeing business and legal affairs strategies and initiatives on behalf of SMP UK and its roster, as well as providing guidance and counsel on its legal and operational matters.

Tandy Cheng

Director, Strategy & Investments
Sony Music
Black Founders Programme

Tandy is a Director on the Strategy & Investments team at Sony Music responsible for venture investing and M&A at the intersection of music, media, and technology. He leads Sony Music’s involvement in the startup ecosystem including with accelerators such as Techstars. Previously, he was an investor at Samsung Next focused on investing in early-stage media tech startups and acquiring transformational companies on behalf of Samsung Electronics. Tandy began his career in investment banking where he provided M&A and financial advisory to companies across a range of industries.

Chris Frankenberg

VP, Head of Emerging Technology
Sony Music Entertainment
Black Founders Programme

As the VP, Head of Emerging Technology, Chris helps Sony Music artists capitalize on opportunities enabled by new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, web3, and immersive experiences. He leads strategic initiatives, provides thought leadership, and helps the organization prepare for change. He also leads Sony’s involvement in Techstars Music, a startup accelerator.

Chris has a history of innovation at Sony Music. He helped initiate the podcasting business through partnerships and product development, guided strategy and product for data and analytics, and led operations and metadata initiatives. He also managed digital sales at RED and launched early digital products including ringtones, mobile apps, and artist fan clubs.

He holds an MA in Music Business from New York University and a BBA in International Business from the University of Georgia.

Felix Canetty-Clarke

Vice President, UK A&R Strategy and Internaional Research
Sony Music Publishing
Black Founders Programme

I am a 31 year old London based graduate. I have grade 8 percussion and grade 7 piano, A*AA at A-level (economics, politics & music respectively), a 2:1 BA in Music from the University of Bristol, CORe: Credential of Readiness from HBX | Harvard Business School, a years’ experience in financial services and investment (at M&G Investments), and over eight years experience in the music industry at Media Insight Consulting, Commercial Affairs at Universal Music Group and most recently as Vice President, UK A&R Strategy and International Research at Sony Music Publishing.

I am interested in commercial music development from both an artist and industry perspective. I love start-up culture and am an active small investor and enjoy watching Brighton FC.

Sonia Grant-Yendell

Vice President People Experiences UK and International
Sony Music Publishing
Black Founders Programme

"Sonia, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personal Development (CIPD), joined Sony Music Publishing as VP People Experience, UK and International Sony Music Publishing two years ago.

Sonia draws on over 15 years experience in strategic HR leadership roles prior to Sony. Her work has helped to achieve lasting change in organisational development, employee relations and engagement, as well as organisational transformation – including M&A, launching new operating models, cultural change and HR systems. She has extensive experience working for multinational companies, such as Generali Worldwide and Credit Suisse, and has led global HR projects with a primary focus on leadership development and performance excellence programmes. 

Sonia is focused on SMP’s strategic priority to transform its approach to people and culture, working with SMP Leadership teams to create initiatives that build a culture of diverse and high-performing teams across territories, aiming to close the gap between good intentions and desired outcomes."

Aaron Bogucki

Global Head of Audience Development
AWAL Recordings
Black Founders Programme

Aaron leads AWAL's Audience Development Teams based in London and Los Angeles. The Audience Development team specialises in identifying, targeting and engaging artist audiences around the world, alongside developing and executing digital-focused strategies and fan-focused marketing initiatives. Aaron has been working in digital music marketing for over 17 years at both major and independent labels. Prior to joining AWAL, Bogucki held roles as VP, Digital at Republic Records in NYC and Head of Digital at Polydor in London.

Liz Jeffery

VP, People Experience
Sony Music UK
Black Founders Programme

Liz is VP of People Experience (PX) and has held that position since October 2017. In her current role Liz leads on overall PX strategy, including employee engagement, leadership development, wellbeing, reward, analytics and diversity and inclusion.
Liz has been fundamental in creating a culture that puts employees at the heart of the business and has brought in key initiatives including childcare costs support, additional leave for parents of premature babies, equalised parental leave, the UK’s first master’s in music therapy bursary with Nordoff Robins as well as the award winning Positive Influence programme that matches young people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds with mentors in the creative industries.

Julie Sandrin

Director of Digital Marketing (CG)
Sony Music UK
Black Founders Programme

Experienced entertainment industry professional, specialised in digital and consumer-centric strategies. I love identifying and solving problems, working collaboratively across functions and exercising my leadership, creative and analytical skills. Born in France, now based in London.

Andre Carroll

Director, Brand Partnerships
Sony Music Entertainment UK
Black Founders Programme

Andre Carroll leads the brand partnerships team for the Sony Music UK business as part of the wider 4th Floor Creative group.

The team focuses on connecting artists and brands to build campaigns that deliver cultural moments and build artist profile, amplifying audience development through a host of strategic partnerships such as video product placement, co-branded content/events, above the line campaigns, music strategy, digital partnerships and much more.

Caitlin Fine

Head Of Digital
Sony Music (Columbia Records)
Black Founders Programme

Over the last 10 years I've worked in all areas of digital marketing. Beginning a career in social media, I then moved into a major label where I'm currently Head Of Digital for Columbia Records. From Calvin Harris to Koffee to Liam Gallagher and Disclosure - I've been lucky enough to be involved in innovative, award winning campaigns.

Antony Bebawi

President Global Digital
Sony Music Publishing
Black Founders Programme

"Antony Bebawi is President, Global Digital at Sony Music Publishing and is based in London. He started his career in music publishing at EMI Music Publishing in September 2005 which he joined to head up the UK legal and business affairs team having previously been a partner at leading London media and entertainment law firm, Harbottle and Lewis LLP. During his time at EMI, he was responsible for implementing a restructuring of EMI Music Publishing's digital rights to help launch the first successful publisher-led, Pan-European digital licensing initiative outside of the traditional collection society network. The model became and remains the industry solution for licensing digital music services in Europe. Antony was European General Counsel when EMI Music Publishing was acquired in 2007 by Sony Music Publishing which he joined as EVP, Digital and Society Relations, International and UK to continue his focus on the rapidly developing digital market. He was promoted to his current role in 2020 and he now leads Sony Music Publishing’s dedicated digital licensing team based in the US and the UK as well as working closely with Sony Music Publishing’s national and regional business units to help develop local and regional digital licensing solutions.
Antony is a member of the Members’ Council and Board of the UK performing rights organisation, PRS for Music."

Stuart Levene

SVP, Business & Legal Affairs
Sony Music Entertainment
Black Founders Programme

I am a lawyer working within Sony Music Entertainment's Global Digital Business division, focusing on negotiating and papering deals with worldwide, regional and local digital service providers.

Christine Osazuwa

Chief Strategy Officer
Black Founders Programme

Christine Osazuwa booked her first show at 15 and spent most of her adolescence deeply entrenched in the music industry from running street teams to making a music documentary. She went on to receive an undergraduate degree in Music Business, followed by an MBA in Marketing and a master’s in data science. She combined all her passions into roles consulting and working with various music startups, venues, festivals, radio stations and labels bridging the gap between music, tech & business.Originally from Baltimore, Christine spent 2 years in Stockholm as Head of Data & Insights for Universal Music Sweden before calling London home while working as the Global Marketing Director for Data & Insights at Warner Music Group where she helped to develop WMG's global priorities. Upon leaving WMG, Christine joined as Strategy Director at Pollen, curating one-of-a-kind fan & artist-centric live music & travel experiences. She was also the UK Director of, which serves the global community of women, gender minorities, and allies in the music industry. Currently, Christine is the Chief Strategy Officer of Shoobs where she is instrumental in helping develop the company's marketing & brand partnerships strategy while supporting organizers in executing experiential activations.She’s also the founder of Measure of Music–part conference, part hackathon–to introduce others to the world of music & data while highlighting majority minority attendees and speakers.

Isha Smith

Director Total Rewards & People Analytics
Black Founders Programme

Isha is Director of Total Rewards at SoundCloud, overseeing Compensation, Benefits, L&D and People Analytics globally. She has 9+ years of experience gained within higher education, Private Healthcare and professional services, across Rewards, Benefits and Performance Management. Isha is the Executive Sponsor SoundCloud's Clouds of Colour diversity resource group. She has a keen interest in DEI, driven by previous experience at BLD Foundation which focused on the advancement of youth from ethnic minorities and socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds within the legal sector.Isha is a graduate of Durham University where she gained postgraduate qualification in human resource management, and Pune University where she completed her undergraduate qualification in accounting and economics.

Charlie Ogbechie

Senior Artist Relations Manager
Black Founders Programme

Charlie Ogbechie is a Senior Artist Relations Manager at SoundCloud. With a decade of experience in live, distribution and artist development working for companies such as Live Nation and Warner Music Group. Charlie is responsible for building and maintaining SoundCloud’s relationships with artists, managers, producers and agents in UK & Europe as well as educating the creator community on how to best utilize SoundCloud, to build and grow their careers.

Hope Hale

A&R Manager
Black Founders Programme

Creative and hard working individual with a huge passion for making the music industry a more artist friendly place. Joining SoundCloud as A&R manager after working as a freelance artist manager for many years, helping artists to launch a successful career.

Makesha Macfarlane

Director of Label Analytics
Sony Music Entertainment
Black Founders Programme

Makesha leads Sony Music UK Label Analytics as part of the Digital & Audience Development team. Makesha specialises in leveraging global streaming, social and new tech data to develop digital strategy and audience engagement initiatives. Makesha has been working in digital music analytics for over a decade. Prior to joining Sony Music, Makesha held roles in Commercial Affairs at Universal Music Group and Investment Banking Division at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Edd Blower

Director of Marketing
RCA UK, Sony Music UK
Black Founders Programme

I am an experienced marketing professional with over 10 years of experience in the music industry. Currently serving as the Co-Head of Marketing at RCA Records UK, where I work closely with my partner to lead a talented team of marketing professionals to develop and execute successful campaigns for a diverse range of artists.

My previous experience at Columbia UK & Polydor where I specialised in digital marketing and led successful, multi-channel campaigns for many successful artists has given me a strong understanding of digital platforms, technologies and how to use them to reach and engage audiences.

Skilled in strategic planning, project management, analytical thinking and creative problem-solving, my analytical skills and data-driven approach inform strategic decisions and drive growth.

Akua Boateng

Talent Acquisition Manager
Sony Music Entertainment
Black Founders Programme

7+ years of recruitment and hiring experience. My role involved partnering with The Orchard, leading and driving their recruitment across the UK, Continental Europe and most recently West Africa. I love music and in my spare time, I write and produce.

Naomi Sharman

Senior Policy Officer
Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)
Black Founders Programme

The Innovation Hub helps innovators across all sectors build privacy by design into their new products (pre market launch) by providing expert data protection advice and mentoring organisations. I specialise in working with innovators using new technologies and processing personal data in new and novel ways.

Morvan Boury

SVP Global Business Development & Digital Strategy
Sony Music Entertainment
Black Founders Programme

Seasoned media & entertainment professional with track record in working with creative talent and delivering significant incremental revenue through successful partnerships at the intersection of content monetization, marketing and technology, in international and fast-changing environments.

FutureScope is delivered by Digital Catapult, the UK authority on advanced digital technology.