- Shanthal Perera
- Feb 23, 2017
Ayush Vaidya, HBA ’17 Candidate, is the winner of the 2017 Pierre L. Morrissette HBA Award in Entrepreneurship Scholarship. Having pursued a number of ventures in the music production industry, Vaidya is hoping to launch an online marketplace for beats that connects recording artists and music producers.
Growing up, business ventures were merely a hobby for Ayush Vaidya, who had his eyes set on getting into medical school.
In grade 10, Vaidya started an online casino on the popular multiplayer game Runescape. Players would bet on a roll of the dice that gave them a 40% chance of winning, in which case the casino would double their bet.
The gamble worked out pretty well for Vaidya and he made about $10,000 off of the game, just spending an hour every day after school.
After joining the Junior Achievement Program, Vaidya realized that his ability to make money off of his hobbies could be so much more. He made a further $10,000 reselling snapback hats and other goods purchased from Alibaba, prior to the online retailer's popularity in North America.
Making more out of a hobby
With his split interest in business and medical science, the Ivey dual degree option attracted him to Western University. As he worked through his courses, Vaidya felt that there were more opportunities in the realm of business.
Along with business, Vaidya developed a passion for music. “I bought a mic, tried rapping and discovered I was horrible at it.”
Despite the early setback, Vaidya discovered he could make good beats and found a whole new world of music producers who were making a living selling their beats. With the money from his previous ventures, Vaidya paid a developer and graphic designer to set up a website to market his beats and launched Everest Media Group with fellow HBA ’17 Candidate David Aideyan.
During their second summer, Vaidya and Aideyan had the opportunity to work on Everest’s next evolution at the Propel Summer Incubator. They pursued a platform that could help musicians create their own fan clubs but found the process too difficult to execute. They also automated many of the repetitive tasks and marketing on the website prior to being admitted to the Ivey HBA Program.
“We heard that HBA can take over your life, so it worked out pretty well since we had automated most of the work for Everest,” said Vaidya.
The Big Picture
Vaidya’s biggest lesson from HBA has been to think about long-term goals and strategy to meet the evolving needs of a particular industry. This lesson was reinforced during his summer internship at Wealthsimple, a fintech company created by Michael Katchen, HBA ’09.
Seeing the layout of the company’s executive strategy documents, Vaidya noticed a stark similarity to what he was learning at Ivey. “I literally went home, copied their format and how they laid out everything, and did the same thing to plan the next steps for Everest,” said Vaidya.
By looking at the big picture, he realized that the Everest model was not going to be viable with the increasing competitiveness of the music production industry. However, the analysis opened the door to a new venture, Beatcamp.
Beatcamp is a marketplace website for beats which connects recording artists with music producers. With a catalog of thousands of beats, Beatcamp allows artists to browse, license and download beats that they want to use in their songs.
“Instead of competing with everyone, we’re making a marketplace so that they can sell through us,” said Vaidya.
During his internship, Vaidya also met his team members Pei Li, who had experience developing software for high-growth startups and User Experience Designer Richard Yang. Together the three of them took part in the inaugural Spin Master Ivey HBA Business Plan Competition on January 20-21, 2017 and won the 2nd place prize of $4000.
As the team moves forward, they are hoping to hire more developers to have Beatcamp running by the end of the Summer. While his previous ventures often included outsourced designers and developers, Vaidya is happy to bring everything in-house and work as a team.
“If technology is what you are doing, you should understand how it works,” said Vaidya, who has taken up coding during the past year.
He will soon begin work at a major Toronto-based consulting firm, from where he hopes to learn more from a corporate experience. With Beatcamp running full-time simultaneously, he doesn’t expect too much sleep.
“It really comes down to priorities. For me, that meant not spending as much time with my friends, or going out in HBA1. A lot of my time after Ivey cases was spent working on my business. You have a set amount of time in your day and you have to prioritize what is important to you. If you really want to pursue your business, you have to put the time.” said Vaidya.