How DAWn Audio’s Diego Pinzon Supports Music Collaboration
Becoming an entrepreneur wasn’t something that DAWn Audio CEO and co-founder Diego Pinzon initially expected. But when his internship was canceled because of COVID-19, he took an independent study course to meet his college graduation requirements. That’s where his startup, DAWn Audio, was born.
Pinzon has created software to help musicians more easily make and share music. He’s also the latest winner of the BREW High Stakes Pitch competition and its $100,000 investment prize, which he’ll be using to bring his software to the next level.
Building a startup has given Pinzon a greater appreciation for creating a positive company culture and taking time for himself amid chaos.
“Having that complete freedom and ability to set [structures and systems] has been both overwhelming at times — because I kind of wish somebody just said like ‘Oh, do this’ — but also very engaging and inspiring,” Pinzon says. “I think I’m definitely someone that thrives in that chaos, even though I didn’t think I would initially.”
A Mission to Support Artists Everywhere
Music has been a part of Pinzon’s life for as long as he can remember. As a student in the music production program, however, he found it difficult to collaborate with friends and other artists. Because of incompatibilities in the digital audio workstations (DAWs) used by musicians, they’re forced to email audio files back and forth.
Pinzon and his co-founders were inspired by their interest in computational engineering, the music industry and artistic collaboration. That’s why they designed DAWn Audio to bridge compatibility across DAW tools, building a “DAW-network” that provides artists the creative freedom to co-create live, wherever they’re located.
“At its core, what we’re building through the technology and with the technology is really a space, a platform, a network for musicians and music heads that just love making music to be able … to make music for the sake of making music,” Pinzon says.
DAWn Audio’s goal is to create community among all artists, from established artists to up-and-comers looking to get a foot in the door.
Getting Support From Musicians and Investors
Along his journey as a startup co-founder, Pinzon has found immense support through the Nexus Louisiana and BREW platform.
“The individual investors like Red Stick Angels and Innovation Catalysts. They’ve all been great,” he says. “With the platform at BREW, we got a handful of good conversations” during and after the event.
Pinzon has also found support from the local music community. “I think what’s great about the Greater New Orleans region is that it’s large enough where there’s enough rare variety and diversity in terms of people’s capacities, skills, connections, networks, but it’s also small enough where you’re not lost, like one out of a million in New York,” Pinzon says.
BREW is helping Pinzon and DAWn Audio to expand their brand into the Baton Rouge entrepreneur scene. The experience has taught Pinzon about the power of investors who advocate for startups.
“They’re out there talking to other investors and other people for us because they want our company to succeed,” he says.
What’s Next for DAWn Audio
DAWn Audio plans to use the High Stakes Pitch investment prize of $100,000 to get the startup to the revenue phase, build a subscriber base and hire more employees.
“We have a very small team right now. It’s just the three of us on the founding team,” Pinzon says. “And really just one of us, our CTO, my co-founder, is the one doing a lot of the development. So, getting some additional developer support and extending our bandwidth.”
Pinzon also wants to use the investment prize to help with DAWn Audio’s go-to-market strategy, which focuses on artist partnerships and building community.
“We’re building out a network of ambassadors, which are basically just people that are already active in these communities,” he says, “that we can engage, employ and leverage to build our brand, grow our exposure within these communities and kind of work from the bottom up.”