We feel like there is always an awesome local business or company popping up in our city. And more times than not, there’s a young go-getter behind the scenes working their tail off to make it all happen. In partnership with 1 Million Cups Indianapolis, we’re working to highlight these outstanding entrepreneurs and share their story.
What is your name, how old are you, and what Indy neighborhood do you call home?
Richard (Ricky) Anderson III, 23, I recently moved from Fletcher Place to the West Irvington area.
Now tell us all about your business!
Soundspace is an all-ages 24/7 space for musicians coming to the Circle City Industrial Complex with three primary purposes embodied in the membership options of Connect, Rehearse, and Record. We offer affordable monthly membership options kind of like a health club, but for musicians to come and collaborate and work on their music. Musicianship is like a muscle, and we are building a gym for people to really work on that muscle. Furthermore, the Soundspace family will include an all-ages 400-person black-box theatre venue space and a non-profit institution for sponsorships of local musicians.
What void does Soundspace fill and what made you want to start your own business?
I was graduating from college and had a lot more time to focus on music. However, I couldn’t find an option that was remotely affordable for me to really improve, record myself, or connect with local opportunities. I started talking with other musicians locally and found a pretty similar situation. Since I had worked on other startup companies prior and had some background in Finance, I was able to come up with a model that worked. Almost immediately, I was connected to a number of local artists and business-focused musicians who could put together the big picture that is Soundspace. “I” became “we” and we kept on growing out of a mutual need for resources and space to grow local music.
Have you always wanted to be an entrepreneur? Are there any endeavors that got you to this point in time?
If you want to start at the beginning, my first startup was my high school band. We recorded our album with a local substitute teacher and sold our 5-song CD’s in the cafeteria. Then, at IUPUI, I started a number of organizations for Innovation and Entrepreneurship which took me to Stanford University to learn Design Thinking and Lean Startup mindsets. This lead to Argona Partners, Inc., my first real company right after college. We focus on consulting and helping launch startups that have multiple bottom lines, meaning we help startups that have a positive environmental and/or community benefit at their core. I started in renewable energy consulting and utilized my science degrees to help translate science into business language. We realized quickly that there were three major components that most companies we encountered needed help in: Marketing, Operations, and Strategy. Soundspace is our first internally generated startup from the years of consulting work prior.
What has been your favorite part about starting your business in Indianapolis? How would it be different in another city?
Indianapolis feels alive and growing as opposed to other cities I’ve lived in which feel like they’re on the decline. Everyone is building something great, but there aren’t a whole lot of connective forces between projects. I love creating connectivity between Indianapolis people because the cross-pollination of ideas helps everyone grow. Often people will ask why we’re building something like this centered around music in Indianapolis when we don’t have well-known artists launching on a regular basis. I think it comes down to a chicken-and-egg conundrum. If we had more infrastructure and connectivity, I think we would see some of our great local artists really blow up. Indy can be a great musical city, but we have to remember to focus on the artists and supporting them.
How can people learn more about Soundspace?
Feel free to check us out at www.sndspc.com and pre-register for membership if you’d like. Anyone who likes music, plays music, records music, or just wants to support music locally can find a way to do so through Soundspace. We want to hear everyone’s voices and hear all the problems that come up as we search for solutions. If you’re looking for space to be loud or quiet, we’ve got you covered.
In the spirit of 1 Million Cups, what can our community do to help you? What are your biggest needs?
There is a serious lack of Seed capital available for businesses all around Indiana. Without true grass-roots support, it is unlikely any business will succeed. Please add your voice to the Soundspace movement by pre-registering for a membership on our website if you’d like to see something like this in Indy. Otherwise, we are open for investment opportunities, so feel free to contact the team and we would be happy to discuss.
As a program of the Kauffman Foundation, 1 Million Cups Indianapolis works with entrepreneurs, empowering them with the tools and resources to break down barriers that stand in the way of starting and growing their businesses. Mr. Kauffman believed it was a fundamental right for anyone who had a big idea to be able to bring it to life—and we’re here to fulfill that mission. Learn more and attend an upcoming meetup!