How to Navigate the Virtual Space as a Creative Entrepreneur

How to Navigate the Virtual Space as a Creative Entrepreneur

June 11, 2020

MassChallenge Texas hosted a virtual fireside chat for creative entrepreneurs and creative focused startups that are navigating the virtual space during the turmoil of COVID-19, an impending recession, and the biggest civil rights movement in history. The conversation was led by panelists: 

  • Martin Martinez, Founder + President of A-Player Media & Managing Director of Founder Institute Texas
  • Dallas Burgess: Veteran, CPO of DreamState + CPO of MediaTech Ventures
  • Tamara Deike: Creative Director, Writer + Producer
  • Sydney Wright: Musician + 2019 Artist of #MCTX18 alum, BlackFret
  • Mary Walker: CEO & Co-Founder of DayDreamer App + MassChallenge Texas in Austin 2019 Finalist

During the conversation, our audience heard sage advice including:

  • Tips on how to pivot and use new tools for their business.
    “I had to figure out how to adapt with my audience. It’s different trying to read the room over zoom.” - Sydney Wright on pivoting during COVID-19.
  • How to generate revenue through digital platforms.
    Attention to detail is crucial... Production value is important when it comes to streaming events. Make sure to educate yourself on your technology.” -
    Dallas Burgess on best practices for live streaming.

  • Preparing for the future in a post COVID-19 world.
    “This time has given people an opportunity to reflect. People now have time to put energy into projects they may have put off in the past.” -
    Tamara Deike on path of the creative.

Missed the event? Check out the recorded session below. 

Watch Here




Moderator | Martin Martinez, Founder + President of A-Player Media & Managing Director of Founder Institute Texas

Martin Martinez is the Founder & President of A-Player Media, a creative live and virtual event production company headquartered in Austin, Texas. A graduate of the University of Texas Austin, Martin began his career as an early Austin employee at Facebook before moving to Google to launch products for small-to-medium-sized businesses. Martin is also the Managing Director for the Founder Institute Texas, a global idea-stage accelerator program in over 185 cities and 60 countries. FI currently has active chapters in Austin and Houston and has helped launch over 50 Texas-based companies since 2017. A serial entrepreneur, he's founded and exited 3 companies, produced high-impact event programs across the state in several industries, and serves as an advisor to multiple conferences & festivals. He intensely passionate about inspiring entrepreneurs, hosting memorable experiences, and working with musicians and performing artists.



Panelist | Dallas Burgess: Veteran, CPO of DreamState + CPO of MediaTech Ventures

A ten year veteran of the United States Army's elite airborne paratroopers and professional of five years in the private sector. Dallas Burgess is a visionary writer, filmmaker that applies his experience supervising and leading personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan to the production and management efforts of DreamState Entertainment. As Chief Production Officer he oversees the creative department & operational management on all production work. His first feature, "Hyde" came in at budget and was completed within eleven months of starting production. This approach has become the cornerstone for how Dallas approaches both fiscal and operational efficiency on film sets. He is slated to direct DreamState's upcoming feature film, "The Demeter" and is also a member and Chief Production Officer of MediaTech Ventures, a key strategic partner.

Check out his latest film, The Journey here.




Panelist | Tamara Deike: Creative Director, Writer + Producer

Tamara Deike has been a fixture in the entertainment space for more than a decade. Cutting her teeth at Om Records, overseeing 200+ releases including the launch of Kaskade and Bassnectar. A former Vice Magazine contributor, booking agent, artist manager, promoter, and DJ—event production is her forte, hosting events worldwide for clients like Spotify, Facebook, and for artists like Beck, Sheryl Crow, and Cage the Elephant Her career has taken her from managing Rose McGowan during the MeToo movement while solidifying her #1 New York Times Bestseller; to develop audio-branding for clients like Marc Jacobs, Adidas, and H&M. Today, she resides in Austin, where she writes for publications like Flaunt, is co-authoring a book about Eagles’ album artist Boyd Elder, and "Bring Music Home" - a book about music venues coping with the quarantine.




Panelist: Sydney Wright: Musician + 2019 Artist of #MCTX18 alum, BlackFret

Sydney Wright has been writing songs for over a decade. While her huge voice often gets her compared to pop darlings like Sara Bareilles, there’s a darker, more experimental edge to her work. Drawing heavily from polyrhythms, with loops of piano, guitar, beatbox, and doo-wops, Wright creates a sonically complex, live-looping, one-woman show all her own.

With bandmates, performances can range from duo to quartet performing an amalgamation of live-loops and full arrangements that allude her studio-produced releases.

When she's not on stage, Wright is behind the console mixing performances as a live sound engineer. Her mastery of the physics of sound is apparent in her self-production onstage and in the studio.




Panelist | Mary Walker: CEO & Co-Founder of DayDreamer App + MassChallenge Texas in Austin 2019 Finalist

Mary Walker, CEO & Co-founder of Day Dreamer, has spent the last decade writing and producing music. After moving to Los Angeles in 2015 she realized how difficult it was to rebuild her creative network and how inefficient it was to find creative freelancers for hire. With so many advances in tech, people were still working off and hiring from personal referrals.

Fast forward and Day Dreamer is now making creative freelancing easy by providing an online platform that connects people to creatives in their area who are who are available for hire and collaboration. With an entrepreneurial drive and creative spirit, Mary has the vision to guide Day Dreamer to its fullest potential.


Donate To Your Community

In these trying times, MassChallenge Texas urges the community to continue to show support towards our local and national communities. Below are several organizations that are working to assist those that are suffering during COVID-19 and  the oppression of people of color. 


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Health Alliance Austin Musicians

HAAM provides access to affordable healthcare for Austin’s low-income working musicians, with a focus on prevention and wellness. Many Austin musicians are self-employed and have no access to health insurance or basic healthcare. They often work multiple jobs and struggle to pay for food, clothing and shelter, with nothing left for healthcare. HAAM and our partners improve and save musicians’ lives and enhance Austin’s economy and quality of life. They have helped over 5,300 musicians access over $73 million dollars in healthcare value since they began in 2005. During the COVID-19 crisis, HAAM is particularly needed by musicians. To support Austin musicians, donate here.



National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

As the world faces unprecedented times and new realities during this global pandemic, and incidents of hate and domestic terrorism are perpetuated leading to routine brutalization of African-Americans, the health and safety of the Black community are at an unparalleled risk. Senseless hate crimes and incidence of COVID-19 cases and deaths spreading throughout the Black community display the continuance of systematic racism and privilege granted to white people in America. The Black communities are experiencing the worst outcomes on all fronts. From every location reporting data in the nation, African Americans are being harmed—both in infections and fatalities—in higher percentages. To support the NAACP, donate here.


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More Ways to Donate

At MassChallenge, we want to make it abundantly clear that we stand in solidarity with the Black community and its allies, and against police brutality and the ongoing marginalization and oppression of communities of color. Innovation has always been about disrupting the status quo – and the status quo of systemic racism in the United States needs to change. We have put together a list of additional organizations you can donate to here.

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