Cleveland Rocks Music Incubator Program
What is the Cleveland Rocks Music Incubator Program?
CR:PPF Music Incubator is part of the Neighborhood Connections Entrepreneur Incubator Initiative and offers a low-interest loan with manageable monthly payments and a simple, accessible application process. It is designed to work for people who may have had no prior experience with any form of business financing, or who may simply need some resources to help get a project going.
We are offering low-interest loans up to $2,000 for Northeast Ohio musicians and music professionals.
2022 Incubator Success Stories
Cory Grinder of Cory Grinder and the Playboy Scouts, a Cleveland-based honky-tonk band. The band formed in 2016 and play original hillbilly tunes inspired by Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard. The band used funds to support their touring efforts and were able to schedule six additional dates with the incubator’s support. This allowed Cory to sell more tickets, sell more merchandise, pay his musicians a better wage, and play in two new markets. The band was also featured on Applause! on Ideastream Public Media.
Joseph Wolfe, aka J. Wolfe, a 27-year-old singer/ songwriter from Cleveland. J. Wolfe has a voice reminiscent of Marc Bolan mixed with atmospherics like Mac Demarco and a refined vintage garage energy. J. Wolfe used funds to finish an album. He started recording before the pandemic put the process on hold. Since joining the incubator, J. Wolfe has been able to not only finish recording his album, but also release two new singles (Headshrinker Grey and Something Good), and re-release an earlier, out-of-print album on cassette (Because It’s Over). He was also the featured artist at the Cleveland Music Industry Conversations event at the Rock Hall.
Tuck Mindrum is a recording and mixing engineer. Tuck is recording bands and solo artists in Cleveland, Akron, and recently New Orleans. He came to the incubator program with a desire to expand his recording setup by adding several new microphone preamps. To save money and make his loan go farther, he bought kits of parts to build the microphone preamps himself. While working with the incubator program, he started a new YouTube channel, the One Take Series, featuring a singer/ songwriter or band recorded in a visual art space (studio/gallery/ workshop) with one microphone and one camera in one take.
Lovest Watson (bass) and Davidione Pearl (vocals) are the songwriters and founding members of the alternative-rock band DLHR. DLHR is a jazzy mix of Middle East Afro-funk, Latin, reggae, French cafe, Americana, rock, soul and gospel. The band members used their loan funds to record a new single, produce a music video, and to make t-shirts and other band merch. Through the incubator, the band was able to produce one of their multi-band events, called “Revivals,” in the Beachland Ballroom with a livestream, and they got a booking at the Rock Hall for the summer concert series. Davidione Pearl was also booked as a solo performer with his side-project, Davidione Pearl Saxx ‘n Traxx, at the Cleveland Music Industry Conversations event at the Bop Stop.
Javier Davis, aka 1800-SOS, is an artist, producer, dj, musician, and recording engineer. Writing and producing pop, hip hop, house, and other electronica, Javier weaves between projects and genres, always adding fresh styles and an exciting vibe. Javier came to the incubator group looking to upgrade his professional profile and seeking to connect with new venues and promoters. He used his loan funds to work on logo design, branding, web design, and new dj equipment. Javier was booked to perform at the DLHR “Revival” event at the Beachland and has been hired to do sound mixing at Beachland concerts through connections he made in the incubator program.
Brit Fox of Brit Fox Studios proposed creating a physical map for sale that highlights specific locations of music creation, venues, etc. throughout Cleveland, Ohio. We would use the funds to gather research, create and market the map to locals, visitors and music lovers. This effort is designed to bring further awareness to the music scene of Cleveland, Ohio and encourage community engagement. By creating a vivid, up-to-date souvenir of local music spots we hope to fill the gap in keeping the city of Cleveland top of mind when describing “the best music cities”. Additionally, bridge the gap between rock genres such as pop, blues, r&b and more music publicly with a diverse, interactive and music-centric map for locals and tourists of Cleveland. We plan to sell the music map online and by partnering with local venues.
How does the program work?
- Meet with a Cleveland Rocks team member to learn about the CR:PPF Music Incubator program.
- Work with a mentor to prepare your business plan and loan application.
- Attend support meetings twice per month.
- Continue working one-on-one with your mentor throughout the life of the loan.
- Complete 12 monthly payments
What are the benefits of the program?
- 12-month business loans at 1% interest
- Mentor support
- Networking opportunities
- Business planning
- Marketing help
- Legal, tax, and financial advice
What types of projects qualify for a loan?
Eligible projects include but are not limited to:
- Equipment purchases
- Merchandise purchases
- Studio time for upcoming releases
Who is eligible to apply?
If you are 18 years or older and are an active member of Northeast Ohio’s music community, you are eligible to apply for a microloan.
You will work with a mentor who will be your point of contact for questions regarding the CR:PPF Music Incubator Program. Your mentor will also provide support on basic business issues. Additional support is offered when groups of mentors and loan recipients meet at the hour-long, twice-monthly group meetings. Loan recipients are encouraged to network with each other throughout the year.
No. Grants are not part of this program.
Your name and address, basic information, and an outline of the business idea will be required.
Credit status is not a consideration for the CR:PPF Music Incubator Program. Rather, it is the business idea and your commitment to participate in the program that will determine if a loan is approved.
CR:PPF Music Incubator is part of the Neighborhood Connections Entrepreneur Incubator Initiative
Apply to the CR:PPF Music Incubator Program
Fill out the information below and a Cleveland Rocks team member will reach out to you to set up an interview.