iMUSE 2015

Illinois Music Entrepreneurship Competition 2014-15

The School of Music invites proposals from any music student enrolled as a major in the School of Music (SoM) for the 2015 Illinois Music Entrepreneurship (IMusE) competition. The School seeks to support entrepreneurial, creative endeavors and challenges students to develop projects or business models that will deliver their musical activities (performance and/or scholarly) in new and innovative ways.


Collaboration is a key component to launching a successful project. As such, applications must include a minimum of two student participants and a faculty sponsor. Partnerships between students from different SoM divisions and/or other academic disciplines within the University are strongly encouraged; similarly, partnerships with an outside (of SoM) organization or presenting agency are also strongly encouraged.

This competition encourages students to identify new environments for creating and/or consuming music that engages with the public in meaningful ways. Aligning with the Chancellor’s Visioning Future Excellence at Illinois, the IMusE Competition will give funding priority to applications that explain how the project connects with at least one of the Excellence themes within the proposal’s objectives. Selected recipients will receive grants of up to $3,000 as seed money to realize the goals and objectives of their proposal.

Preparatory Workshops

  • An Informational Meeting about the 2015 iMusE Competition will be held during the first week of December. An announcement will be sent once the day, time, and location are known. The iMusE Committee will provide a brief overview of the competition and its expectations.
  • To assist students in developing their proposals, applicants must attend or watch the video of the workshop co-sponsored by the College of Business and the School of Music. The workshop will be held on January 20, 2015 from 5:00 – 6:30 pm (Room TBD).

Request for Proposals
All proposals must include the required components outlined in the RFP. The deadline to submit the complete application is March 1.

Review Process

Only complete applications submitted by March 1, 2015 through the online webtools form will be considered. Students who submit a complete application must also present their proposal in a 10-minute public presentation for the iMusE committee. All group members must participate in the public presentation. Each group will receive 10 minutes to pitch their idea followed by a 5-minute Q & A session with the iMUsE committee. The public presentation should summarize the project idea and address why the presenters believe the project is innovative, viable, and what the outcome goals will be, if the project is funded.  The 10-minute time allotment is firm; presenters should practice their pitch to ensure they can complete the presentation within the given time. 

Selection Criteria

  • Quality and viability of the proposed project
  • Expected impact in the field of music and the performing arts
  • Potential impact the project may have on the target/primary audience
  • Alignment with the Chancellor’s Visioning Future Excellence Theme(s)
  • Potential for project to continue after initial funding


Information Session with iMusE Committee; December 4 5:30 PM, Room 1201 MB

Mandatory Workshop January 20 5:00 – 6:00 PM; Room 1201 MB
• School of Music and College of Business co-sponsored workshop
All applicants must attend or watch the video of Mandatory Workshop.

Competition Timeline
• March 1 – Deadline to submit proposals. Online Application
• March 5 – Notification of public presentation schedule
March 19 – Public presentations, MB Auditorium (3:00 – 5:00 pm)
• April 15 – Notification of projects selected to receive seed grant funding

Preliminary Feedback Resources
SocialFuse (KCPA)
iMusE Committee Members
College of Business
Past iMusE Recipients and funded projects