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Music technology conference Music Tectonics is partnering with Singapore-based BandLab to host a startup pitch competition during the 2021 Music Tectonics event, which runs from 25-27 October online and in-person in California on 2 November.

Applications for ‘BandLab Presents Swimming with Narwhals: A Music Tech Startup Competition’ are now open to music tech startups valued under $2 million with additional emphasis on music creation and fan-facing companies.

BandLab CEO Meng Ru Kuok, who will invest US$50,000 in one of the competition winners, said, ‘One of our biggest company values at BandLab is innovation. On a personal basis, I’m excited by the possibilities out there beyond what we already do within our wider group. I’m passionate about supporting the future BandLabs of the world.’

Since winning the first ‘Swimming with Narwhals’ competition in 2020 with her startup Fave, Jacquelle Amankonah Horton has completed a first $2.2m funding round with investments from music industry heavyweights including HYBE, Sony Music, Warner Music Group, and Concord Music.

Further information


  • Applicant companies must be startups with a valuation under US$2 million to participate.
  • Applicant companies can be across any part of the music tech ecosystem with a new additional emphasis on music creation and fan-facing companies.
  • Applicants must purchase a conference ticket to be eligible for the startup competition.

Competition structure

  • Applications close on 16 August 2021 at 5:00 pm Pacific Time.
  • Semi-finalists will be announced on 1 October 1 2021. 
  • Ten semi-finalists will pitch at an online pre-conference event on 18 October 2021.
  • Four finalists will pitch at the online conference on 25 October 2021.
  • Jury Choice and Audience Choice winners will be announced on 26 October 2021.