Barclays Black Founder Accelerator:


Ade Lawal- Solarin (CEO & Co-Founder), and Ori Lawal-Solarin (COO & Co-Founder) from Piinky tell us why they joined the Barclays Black Founder Accelerator.

Tell us about Piinky.

Piinky is a music distributor and marketing platform for independent artists. Our software enables independent artists to distribute and market their music effectively. We are building the one-stop-shop for independent artists focusing on distribution, marketing and virtual music events.

Our easy to use platform enables independent artists to benefit from the high-quality distribution and marketing tools that record labels provide without giving up ownership rights to their music.

We offer a differentiated solution from the homogeneous nature of the current music distribution and marketing platforms. With Piinky artists can distribute their music directly from their phone to over 100 streaming platforms including Spotify, Apple, Tidal and Tik Tok. We also provide detailed analytics, reporting, playlist pitching and access to exclusive brand partnership opportunities. Piinky ensures that your song gets released at the right time with the right details. Additionally, artist benefits from real-time admin collaboration through our team feature. As well as easy to use UX/UI and amazing customer service in case anything goes wrong with their release.

Why did you join the Barclays Black Founder Accelerator?

We joined the Barclays Black Founder Programme because being at the pre-seed stage we believe we are at the perfect stage to full advantage of all of the expert masterclasses, mentorship and coaching . We are also long standing members of the Foundervine community and believe in both the Foundervine and Eagle Labs intentions to both drive diversity and help early stage startups thrive.

What would be your desired outcome from this programme?

Our desired outcome from the programme would be to leverage the expert led masterclasses to ampfily our domain expertise in key functional areas such as marketing growth and hiring good people. We also intend to deepen our network by connecting with the founders and masterclass facilitators.

Which entrepreneur inspires you the most and why?

Jay Z is one of the entrepreneurs that inspires us as a team the most. Aside from the fact that he has reached an astounding level of success as a musician with over 20 Grammys. He has a sprawling portfolio of companies ranging from tech startups such as Tidal to his momentous record label RocNation. 

What has been your biggest win in your entrepreneurial journey?

Our biggest win so far has been building the team that we have. Our core team draws insights from Uber, RocNation, Amazon and Universal Music Group.

Our advisors include the likes of Wladimir Baranoff-Rossine the former CMO of Shopgate(150 people, $15M in revenue). we are also incredibly proud to have launched our product and to have been able to secure an astounding set of artists to believe in the piinky brand. 

And your biggest challenge?

Our biggest challenge has been prioritizing what solutions to build to solve the various problems solve by independent artists. The market has exploded due to low barriers to entry facilitated by the explosion of social media and streaming. This presents a huge amount of problems and opportunities to create value for DIY artists. 

Where did you go for business advice and how did it help you?

We tend to go to our network of advisors and peer mentors for business advice. This has been incredibly helpful to overcome many of the challenges faced as an early-stage startup such as choosing the right team and investors.

What drives you to make your business a success?

We are driven by our genuine passion for music and the problems faced by independent artists today. Prior to launching Piinky we have all been artists, artist managers. Many of our close friends are musicians and we have a deep founding desire to build the infrastructure for their success. Additionally, we are excited by the business opportunity currently presented by the explosion of the independent artist segment of the music industry, 

What advice would you give other founders thinking about starting their own business?

We would advise them to take the plunge if their intentions are pure and they genuinely believe they are truly solving an underserved market. Its critical to do the due diligence to truly understand the problem and test the market first

Why did you want to start your business?

We started Piinky because we truly believe the market needs what we are building. 

What do you do to relax when not working?

We spend time with our families, love ones, meditate and exercise.

How has covid made you pivot your business?

We actually launched Piinky during covid. As such we have had to navigate this tulmous climate from the onset. Covid has been positive in many ways as tons are artists have opted to follow their passions. Additionally, we have seen trends towards opportunities such as virtual music events. 

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