Hannah Chapplain, a singer from Alton, Ontario, stepped into the spotlight as a new class of entrepreneur ready to make her mark bringing digital media content to market. Chapplain was among 50 startup entrepreneurs who pitched in the Road to Banff® competition at the CDMN Canada 3.0 2012  digital media forum yesterday, aspiring to be one of three top finalist prizes to the Road to Banff forum later this year.
Chapplain has already sung with established bands like Blue Rodeo and performed Tuesday evening as the warm-up act for musician Kim Mitchell, so is well on her way to achieving her career goals. The striking performer, originally from Australia, was the first musician ever to compete in the Road to Banff contest hosted by CDMN Canada 3.0. Chapplain is working with the Communitech  Venture Services program in Waterloo Region to fully launch her startup business.
“This is about a new era of entrepreneurship with the artist as entrepreneur and the music as digital content,” said Marc Castel, Chapplain’s Executive-in-Residence mentor at Communitech. “With democratized distribution of digital media via social channels, artists now need to rise above the noise on the Internet and in the marketplace to successfully commercialize what they have to offer.”
Yesterday, in true entrepreneurial spirit, Chapplain made her pitch to the judging panel hoping to best her high-tech rivals. Of the 10 prize winners, three top companies will be awarded an all-expense paid trip to the October, 2012 Banff Venture Forum, known as Canada’s premier company financing event. The forum will showcase over 100 cutting-edge startups from across the nation, all vying to secure venture capital funding from more than 400 VCs.
While her musical content differs from that of the 400 tech startups that Communitech mentors, the business foundation needed to succeed is the same. Working closely with Communitech’s Venture Services team, Hannah will be schooled in all essential aspects from developing a strong value proposition and learning to pitch for endorsement, to how to create marketing programs, build a team, and take the final product to market.
Communitech, a node in the Canadian Digital Media Network, is hoping that Chapplain’s foray into entrepreneurship will forge a new class of entrepreneur for other musicians, painters, sculptors, and others to emulate, enabling greater commercial success for more ‘startup artists’. As Chapplain’s support system and achievements grow, she could be paving the way for many artists in digital media marketing.
As for Chapplain, she has been surprised that at the age of 19, her career has already had such traction.
“I thought it would be a longer process, but I’ve been blessed with a lot of positive people around me and really good connections,” Chapplain recently commented in a media interview.
Castel says the artist as entrepreneur approach is a win-win, enriching Communitech’s innovative culture while broadening the opportunity for jobs and growth in Ontario and the country as a whole.
The CDMN Canada 3.0 2012 forum wrapped yesterday evening, with the finals of the Road to Banff pitch-off taking place in the afternoon culminating in 10 finalists being awarded their prizes from sponsors that include BDC, Capital Road, Deloitte, Miller Thomson, McCarter Grespan, Brand Tannery, Powernoodle, and Vidyard.
We will hopefully have a winners’ list for you sometime today. =)