BIGSOUND + Warner Music Award Inaugural BIGTECH Prize To Paperchain

BIGTECH stepped up to yet another level in 2019, partnering with Warner Music Group to provide a $5,000 cash prize, awarded today to Paperchain. Shining a light on new technology businesses BIGTECH provides mentoring, expertise and exposure for tomorrow’s entrepreneurs playing in the music space.

With nine finalists across a diverse range of products, Paperchain’s amazing streaming analytics and payment platform took the judge’s imagination as they pitched at the annual BIGSOUND conference, the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest music industry event produced by QMusic. 

Inhabiting the space where music and technology meet, nine finalists attended a boot camp prior to the event where they were mentored by national and international experts including mechatronics engineer Nathanael Miller, tech entrepreneur Philip Vafiadis, Investment Fund manager Tamara Mills, international startup community leader Philippe Ceulen and Warner Music Group’s Simon Cahill.

“The BIGTECH program creates an exciting platform for music entrepreneurs to showcase their ideas. We were truly blown away by the creativity and ingenuity of all the entries”  said Simon Cahill VP, Commercial Partnerships and Audience Development. “Warner Music proudly supports innovation and is always looking to invest in the next generation of entrepreneurs to excite musicians and consumers alike.” 

Queensland Chief Entrepreneur, Leanne Kemp also lent her extensive expertise in emerging technology and entrepreneurship to the showcase companies ahead of their pitches, participating in a Q&A and providing feedback to the nine finalists. 

 welcomed diverse products including a real-time music analytics app, live music booking marketplace, online tour management tool, music education platform, Spotify-integrated tablature website, event hire aggregator, technologist management, VR video creator, and even a new musical instrument.

Angela Samut
 CEO of QMusic says, “BIGTECH is a growing and important part of the BIGSOUND experience showcasing the best in new music technology.  Music is all about innovation and we envision that BIGSOUND will continue to create greater connections, ideas and solutions.

“Technology has democratised our industry to make it more accessible to everyone and not just a few with a label, or publishing deal, but we need to continue to work together to explore how artists and our industry can maximise their revenue streams and where we can create a sustainable and thriving music economy. I congratulate THE WINNER for taking out this year’s prize”

All nine finalists will continue to showcase their technologies at Cloudland during the BIGSOUND event in Fortitude Valley which continues until Friday. 

BIGSOUND is the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest gathering of music professionals and fans, showcasing 150 artists to an international marketplace of A&R, agents, bookers and more. The starting point for artists including Flume, Rüfüs Du Sol, Courtney Barnett, Ocean Alley, Baker Boy, Tash Sultana, The Temper Trap, Gang of Youths, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, The Middle East and many more, BIGSOUND is a choose-your-own-adventure of tomorrow’s hottest talent with one wristband giving access to four nights of the most exciting live music experience in Australia.


Paperchain prices the daily analytics data of the world’s leading digital music platforms, allowing music companies to access daily streaming revenue reporting and advance revenue on-demand. Break down daily revenues by song, artist and territory, giving you real-time insight into catalog ROI & marketing impact. View the revenue you’ve generated this statement period, and Paperchain can immediately pay out the advanceable revenue. With Paperchain, your revenue is not only yours to look at, it’s yours to deploy.

Muso is the live music and DJ booking marketplace connecting hosts to artists. We’re here to create more live music in more places by helping artists access more gig opportunities. We make getting booked as easy as it should be, meaning musicians can get to the one thing that matters the most… the music. Muso also protects musicians against cancellations, whilst making sure they get paid what’s promised on time, every time. Muso is making the live music industry more accessible for musicians nationwide to create more live music in more places.

TourTracks is an end-to-end solution for Band Managers to budget, manage and report on tours. The Tour Budgeting tool automates the budget process by combining artist specific presets with historical data to empower the user to make informed financial decisions. The Worksheets consolidate all tour travel and logistics information to streamline communication between management, band and crew. The Financial Reporting tool provides interactive tour reports for business managers to present to their artists/client with BI style dashboards and analysis.

A music education platform that streamlines student enrolments, payments, scheduling, and
cancelations. As well as a swag of other features. SAMii solves these complex challenges using a simple interactive web-based / mobile interface which connects the learner to the teacher and manages the business of teaching for the teacher. simply so the educator can educate. Game Changed!

Tablature we sites provide a notoriously poor user experience and lack the ability to request tablature in a way that incentivises users to fulfil these requests. Dry Tabs links to the user’s Spotify account, displaying the tab for the current song the user is listening to. If the tab doesn’t exist, users can crowdfund for it to be created, with pledges then fulfilled by tab creators. Once posted, these tabs are available for the whole community to iteratively improve. Dry Tabs provides guitarists with a better experience when learning the songs they love, and provides the opportunity to request any transcription.

Organising events takes time and can be stressful. We created a more affordable and effective solution to organise your event. By having the largest choice of nearby party suppliers, services and venues in one place. We turned organising your event from days into minutes! People, event organisers, enterprises and more prefer using us than going site to site.

Spirit Level
The Lab is Spirit Level’s latest venture to explore how emerging technologies can create unique and interactive music experiences. In a saturated music market, our goal is to help artists find deeper and more meaningful ways to tell their stories, build deeper relationships with fans, and serve as an example to the wider creative community. In 2020, we’ll bring together Spirit Level artists and creative technologists to develop new ideas using AR, VR, Voice, Machine Learning and more. The Lab will manage all projects and conduct user testing with fans to demonstrate the potential of these new platforms.

GiG VR is building a digital platform to become the home of 360° VR live music videos. We film gigs in 360° VR for artists, brands and festivals. GiG VR is recognised as a top 25 channel on Samsung VR’s worldwide platform alongside some of the biggest media heavyweights of the world Vice, CNN, New York Times, Warner Bros. We are integrating new technologies such as live streaming in 360°, AR experiences for music fans at real world events and blockchain payment systems for artists.

Introducing the Midicaster. A brand new electronic instrument, built to set the electronic musician free on stage. No more hiding behind laptops. The Midicaster gives you full control of your digital audio workstation from wherever you are on stage. With 12 responsive drum triggers, 24 midi notes, modulation and pitch bend wheels, a tap tempo button, 2 effects sends, 9 midi mappable pots, plus an LCD screen. You can change patches, soft synths and songs on the fly, allowing one person to play unprecedented musical combinations completely live whilst being mobile on stage.


Nathanael Miller – Nathanael Miller is a mechatronics engineer, disciplined in systems engineering and cognitive sciences. For 14 years he has developed robots with wheels, wings and orbits to support scientific studies, which include nano-materials, atmospheric science, aviation safety, planetary entry and in-space assembly. His work in small satellites at NASA has been recognised by the US President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, featured by WIRED Magazine, and sought after by top US schools and international communities. Presently, he is the Chief Technology Officer at Titomic Limited, where he applies his interests to develop digital manufacturing solutions and the largest metal 3D-printers.

Davyd Norris – Davyd has been playing with computers for over 40 years – about as long as he has been playing music. Initially a research physicist and a gigging musician, he found that neither paid the bills, so he moved into IT. As a senior architect with Rational Software (later acquired by IBM) he spent the next 20 years helping hundreds of organisations improve their ability to develop and deliver their IT systems. Three years ago he started his own consultancy, Olive Grove IT. He plays bass in four bands and also has a small recording studio (and no, it still doesn’t pay the bills).

Van Picken – Vanessa Picken is the Founder and Director of the highly respected digital agency Comes With Fries and is the newly appointed Head Of Digital for [PIAS] as Head Of Digital for America, Asia-Pacific, Australia & New Zealand. Based in LA and with just under two decades worth of digital and marketing experience in an array of sectors, Vanessa well equipped to champion and support the independent music sector globally.

Peta Ellis – River City Labs – Peta Ellis is a change maker and community leader in the entrepreneurial landscape and brings over 20 years experience in business, entrepreneurship, marketing and communications, and media relations. Peta is a passionate advocate for women in entrepreneurship and actively promotes positive lifestyle balance for founders, which led to co-founding Peak Persona and 3AM Founders in 2017.

Philip Vafiadis – I built my first guitar at 15, and at 17 started my first company, VAF, of which Rolling Stone declared our flagship speaker product “the ultimate in high fidelity performance with the best bass in the world”. Went on to found or co-found ZEN Energy, Innovyz Institute, Titomic, Coginilitics, Australian Transformation and Turnaround Association and a bunch of other things touching on technology and society. I mainly do my own stuff and sometimes invest in other tech companies. I get asked to mentor a lot as well as advise founders, leaders and boards from startups to some of the world’s largest companies.

Tamara Mills – MBA, MHEcon, BSc, GAICD is an Investment Fund Manager with 15 years’ experience in the commercialization of innovative technologies across the US, Australasia, Brazil and Europe. Tamara has built and led companies at the intersection of the creative industries and has extensive alternative asset portfolio management experience with a proven track record in driving asset growth. Tamara plays an active leadership role in early stage venture capital and through her roles with MIT and Creative Enterprise Australia supports founders across diverse sectors, including fashion, music, consumer technology and life-sciences, to validate, build and scale their businesses globally.

Philippe Ceulen – Philippe is a startup ecosystem community leader who has worked closely with communities across Belgium, Southeast Asia and Australia. He is passionate about building ecosystems and exploring emerging technologies with early-stage founders. He co-founded The 1961 Coworking and Art Space, supported Airbnb in its growth and acquisition in Cambodia and has been active within the Techstars Startup Programs team for several years. In his current role as Head of Programs at QUT Creative Enterprise Australia in Brisbane, Australia, Philippe runs the Collider Accelerator program as well as many other creative tech entrepreneurship initiatives.

David Grice – David’s technology and creative industry career spans more than 3 decades. David has broad experience in building successful global business from the ground up, with a strong focus on emerging technologies and their application to current business practice and supply chains. He is the Co-Founder of Cognilitics, an IoT company that has created a world first multi sensor system, providing real-time environmental data for cities across the world. David has a significant global network across multiple industry sectors. He is also currently the consulting BIGTECH programmer to BIGSOUND and assists several startups in commercialising their new technologies.

BIGSOUND is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland and Tourism and Events Queensland. BIGSOUND has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body. Queensland, home to Australia’s best live events in Australia’s best destinations.

BIGSOUND is produced by QMusic.

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