Med City Beat is an independent news source covering government, business and culture in Rochester, Minnesota.

Est. 2014

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Sean Baker Editor

William Forsman Photographer

Bryan Lund Reporter

Sparks flying for Rochester startup

Sparks flying for Rochester startup

The founders of Rochester-based Spark DJ are heading to southern California for the opportunity to grow their fledgling startup alongside some of the world's biggest music companies.

Spark DJ, a music streaming service that uses artificial intelligence to simulate the DJ experience, was one of 10 companies selected Thursday to participate in the 2018 TechStars Music accelerator program.

Each startup accepted into the accelerator receives a $120,000 investment, plus entry into Techstars Music's Los Angeles incubator for 13 weeks of mentoring from a network of more than 300 executives spanning music, media, technology and venture capital. 

"We are excited for the opportunities to work with the partner companies as they are the leaders of the industry in terms of licensing and music mentorship," Spark DJ co-founder John Boss told the Med City Beat. "Our goal with TechStars is to launch Spark DJ for business and they are going to help us put together a scalable solution."

Along with football technology company GoRout, Spark DJ has been one of Rochester's most promising startup ventures in recent years outside the medical and biotech industries. Boss and his co-founder, James Jones Jr., were able to get early backing from both Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc. and the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation.

Speaking to us Thursday, Boss said he anticipates the TechStars Music program will bring recognition to Rochester's emerging startup scene.

"They will help us put Rochester on the map with major VCs and angel [investors]," said Boss. "Hopefully we can show there is a real path to success out of Rochester in terms of startups and tech companies."

We wrote about Spark DJ back in September. Make sure to check out our full-length profile of the company here.

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Cover: M Brandt Photography for Med City Beat

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