Entrepreneurship Opportunities

2017 Running Start Competition finalists and judges.

What is your vision for your career as a professional musician?  

Do you have an idea for an innovative project that would give you a running start toward realizing that vision?  Could you use $2,500 to turn that idea into a reality?

The annual Running Start Competition is designed to help students bring creative ideas to life and take charge of their careers. Design a project or a business in music that features creative content, uses a unique model or approach, reaches a new audience, or does something better/cheaper/faster/greener in the world of music. Past ideas have included creating a CD of native Chinese music for piano, founding a percussion summer program, starting a locally sourced and sustainable instrument-building business, and a concert series which merges food with music. Applicants are encouraged to collaborate with other MSU colleagues or community partners, sharing their artistry in real-world applications.

1st prize - $2500
2nd prize - $1500
3rd prize - $1000

To Apply: Applications are closed for the 2017 Competition. Please check back soon for details on the 2018 Competition cycle.

Competition Rules:

  1. Applicants must be undergraduate or graduate students currently enrolled in a degree program at the College of Music.
  2. Performers, educators, composers, and scholars are all encouraged to apply as individuals or in groups of up to six.
  3. There is no particular type of project in mind. However, projects should demonstrate innovation in content, audience, approach, and method. Past applicants have proposed solo and chamber recording projects, non-profit organizations, performance projects, commissions of new works, music-related businesses, and research; these are just a few possibilities. Projects that carve new professional paths in the music world and/or reach new audiences and communities are especially encouraged.
  4. Each project must have 2 references: faculty or professionals who can speak about the project.

The competition is made possible with the support of Michigan State University Federal Credit Union and Cynthia Kay and Company.