MediaTech Ventures to Acquire Musicians Desk Reference to Modernize Music Education and Career Development, Impact Music Economies

​​​​MediaTech Ventures, an Austin, Texas-based firm working in media/technology venture capital, incubation and education, announced today their intention to acquire Musicians Desk Reference, an online music education and career development platform launched in 2013 by musician/music entrepreneur Brian Penick. This is his second music startup acquisition, with Soundstr being acquired by VNUE Inc. in April of 2018.

The terms of the deal were undisclosed, but it is confirmed Penick will remain CEO and a minority stakeholder in the company, and features will continue to be added throughout 2019. Current Musicians Desk Reference users will not be affected by the updates.

Musicians Desk Reference, originally launched as a project management system for musicians and their professional teams, has since expanded into the education sector, with a growing number of universities and music trade schools adopting the platform as a modernized education standard.

The acquisition will help fuel company growth, in addition to expanding Musicians Desk Reference to offer an online career marketplace under its Music Career Map brand, which was included in the acquisition along with several related service/product extensions of the Musicians Desk Reference tool suite.

“The majority of the music industry does not attend educational institutions, and those who do often encounter outdated or a lack of music business-focused curriculum. Our digital platform offers a modern, flexible and affordable solution to support anyone’s career path. MediaTech Ventures will help us continue to build upon this vision within the music industry and beyond,” said Penick.

MediaTech Ventures’ acquisition will also help impact music economic development on a measurable scale. They will be adopting Musicians Desk Reference as the standard in their education and incubator environments, in addition to scaling the platform to other creative sectors beyond music.

Musicians Desk Reference is negotiating with several government agencies, foundations and corporations to create private-label versions of the platform. This “walled garden” approach will be focused on city, state, country and corporate-specific levels. With these enterprise accounts, Musicians Desk Reference will offer an education standard for all schools within a region and a marketplace to highlight local careers and opportunities, creating jobs and revenue for a local economy.

The value of music and entertainment to local economies has become an increasingly popular topic in recent years, with governments worldwide working with services like Sound Diplomacy and Sound Music Cities domestically to provide music economic impact surveys. The Austin Music Census of 2015 is perhaps the most well-known report, provided by Don Pitts in his former role as the music and entertainment division manager of Austin. That report shows that 70 percent of music creators in Austin were living at or below the poverty level.

“If the number of musicians at the poverty line is that high in the Live Music Capital of the World, imagine how much worse it could be in cities where music is not as much of a priority,” adds Penick.

“It’s simple: cities and governments need to support their creative class. An economic impact survey is absolutely the first step, but the next question is what to do with the data and results – how do you actually make a positive impact? That’s exactly where Musicians Desk Reference can be the agent of change. Providing these tools and resources along with support to local music economies can keep talent in a region and hopefully attract outsiders and possibly even investment in infrastructure,” said John Zozzaro, president of MediaTech Ventures.

For more information, visit and MediaTech Ventures.

For media inquiries: Jennifer Gooding,

Source: MediaTech Ventures