Home CompaniesB2C Survival Kit Winners | 2 GA Tech Guys With An Ear For Music & A Mind For Business

Survival Kit Winners | 2 GA Tech Guys With An Ear For Music & A Mind For Business

by Tricia Whitlock

At the end of 2014 Hypepotamus ran a $21K Startup Survival Kit giveaway for local startups. We received 66 awesome entries ranging from maker space developments to stock analytic software. Choosing a winner was no easy feat, but we are excited to announce today that Eqip is the winner of the 2015 Startup Survival Kit.

Meet the founders: 
Shehmeer Jiwani– Beatboxer, Yo App Hacker & Startup Cofounder
Adam Szaruga– Soon-To-Be Grad Builds Instruments & Algorithms

Get to know the company:
Just as it is with any artist, musicians need high quality tools to record and produce their music. As it stands today, there are hundreds of music production software tools (known as plugins) available for producers to use, but finding the exact plugins one needs is unreasonably difficult – they are scattered all over the internet and there’s no easy avenue for discovery. Most plugins can only be discovered through blog posts and vague Google searches.

EQIP remedies the situation by giving producers a digital marketplace that works within their own music production software. Producers can throw EQIP into their session and instantly try out hundreds of plugins on their own music, without having to pay for the plugin until they’re ready to make the purchase. In essence, EQIP is changing the game of how plugins are distributed and is giving musicians the tools they need to create their next hit.


Year/Date founded:
September 9th, 2014

Funding or bootstrapped: 
We’re bootstrapped thus far as we build our software, but we’re seeking funding to A) hire on an additional engineer to expedite product development, B) pay for infrastructure costs, and C) feed ourselves. An ideal investor would have established relationships in the music production industry.

What problem are you solving?
We’re solving the problem of plugin discovery for music producers, and at the same time we’re solving the problem of product visibility for the developers of plugins.

Producers simply don’t have easy access to the tools they need to make their music. Right now if a producer wants to buy a new plugin, they either go to the store to buy a CD, or they can try to throw keywords at a search engine and hope for the best – obviously neither of these options is ideal. EQIP solves this problem by bringing the plugins to the producers, significantly lowering the barrier to entry for professional music production.

On the other side of the aisle, there are hundreds of amateur and professional plugin developers that struggle to sell their plugins online due to lack of visibility. EQIP will allow them to sell their plugins in a centralized marketplace and put their plugins in front of a much wider audience.

The market/industry impact:
EQIP has the potential to be quite disruptive. Plugins have been distributed the same antiquated way for the past 18 years, and we think EQIP could fundamentally change that for the better by significantly expanding the market and lowering the barrier to entry for both producers and plugin developers.

Revenue model:
A standard percentage from each plugin purchase is deducted by us, with an additional percentage if the plugin is purchased through the “Featured” selection.

How’d you get the idea for it?
Both of us are music producers, and for years we’ve struggled to find the right plugins to use in our music – it’s really been quite frustrating. We asked around and quickly discovered that almost every single music producer has had this problem, amateurs and professionals alike. Naturally we searched around for an existing solution, but there was none, so we’re going to solve the problem ourselves. We just launched our website (http://eqip.audio), and we’ve been receiving an amazing amount of beta access requests – it’s beginning to look like a lot of producers dig our idea.

Who are your competitors and how do you stand out?
Our main competitor is Plugin Boutique, which is a website that acts as an online plugin store. Their model still contains the friction involved with signing up, downloading installers, and paying for plugins without knowing what they sound like. Other competitors include brick and mortar music stores that sell plugins in CD format.

How does ATL weave into your story?
EQIP was founded in Atlanta as part of Georgia Tech’s Startup Semester program. We founders met through the program, and with mentorship from many Tech professors and successful ATL entrepreneurs, we had the necessary training and resources to realize our idea. We definitely plan on staying in Atlanta to build our business and give back to the Atlanta startup community, but we also hope to play a significant role in the lives of thousands of the country’s brightest musical creatives who call Atlanta home. So much of today’s music relies heavily on music production software, and we know it’s for the good of these creatives (and for the good of the music we enjoy) if EQIP becomes a reality.

Eqip won the awesome prize pack below. We’ll be in touch with them as they cash in their prizes and grow in 2015. 

[Photo Credit: Hypepotamus w/ special thanks to Marshall Seese Jr. for letting us take pictures in his studio]

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