Introducing The Abbey Road Red Mentors

19th December 2018

Abbey Road Red’s Value Adds...

Abbey Road Red is not a typical incubator or accelerator. We are a value-adding platform with a unique set of assets to help founders develop and excel. Our combination of history, expertise, reach and a completely bespoke approach for each start-up is what makes our incubation process special and inimitable.


We derive our name from Abbey Road's Record Engineering Development Department (REDD), which in the '50s created what many call the blueprint for the modern recording console.

We sit inside the walls where Alan Dower Blumlein conducted his experiments for the patenting of stereo, and where The Beatles and many other artists ripped up and rewrote the recording rulebook as well as left their mark on culture and history. You walk through the building and feel history in the walls, corridors and equipment. You watch talented musicians walk around - you never know who you'll see, feel the influx of energy in the café while orchestras break and look with you at pictures of icons on the wall having their lunch just across from where you're sitting, say hi to the engineers who preside over the etching of wonderful music into analogue and digital forms of the highest and most enduring and meaningful quality. I could go on.

It's a joy to share that inspiration with founders and invite them in. They get to wear our badge as we do theirs, and they can take inspiration from, work in and host meetings, and generally enjoy the site, its buzz and history.

Bespoke Approach

This is not a boilerplate programme. Over a six-month incubation period we try and give each start-up and founder(s) exactly what they need to get to the next stage in their journey.

What that means is that we put them all through standard onboarding meetings with our team but after that everything we do for them is tailored precisely to their development needs, which are different for each one. Every choice we make with them – for example introducing them into the key music industry contacts, how to develop their product and revenue strategy or how we work with them on business development and financing – is driven by their needs and the plan we create with them.

Six months is also an ideal timeframe. Long enough to keep the incubation relaxed while focused, giving founders time and space to digest learnings and iterate before the next push within the incubation, while not feeling boilerplate or like being put through a washing machine, and not too long to lose focus either.


The nature of our management team and reach across the business is also unique. Red is run by a dedicated two-person team with deep and wide skillsets in music and tech. This team can draw from the expertise of everyone onsite at Abbey Road, from management to engineers and technicians; from our board members at Universal Music UK, from COO to leaders in strategy, licensing, technology, publishing, commercial affairs and more; and across Universal Music in the UK and globally.

It doesn’t stop there – we reach all the way across the music and wider technology and media businesses. We open doors to access finance and other specialist services. We are connected to London, regional and governmental agencies internationally as well as every media-related VC in Europe and many of the major houses globally.

Our Official Mentor Network

We try and meet as many interesting people as possible, every day of the week, from every part of the world. All with a view to helping our start-ups and founders grow. Over the years we have assembled a loose band of close friends of Red who have been willing to provide time to each set of founders as they come through the programme. Today we are pleased to be formalising that network.

The following 22 Abbey Road Red mentors have promised their time to help us and our founders. We decide with each start-up who they would be best served to talk to based on their bespoke incubation programme goals and make it happen. Our network of mentors provides leading expertise in all areas touching the music industry – take a look at the line-up below to see where and how. Need advice on music industry trends, machine learning, IP strategy, business development, product to market fit & strategy, licensing, product development, founding/exiting and more? We’ve got you covered.

It's not that each mentor is limited to their current focus or achievements either. We've found each to be highly experienced and networked across the music and wider media landscape, passionate first and foremost about music but also popular culture, creativity, humanity, people and life as well.
Julien Civange
Paul Smernicki
We are delighted to officially announce and welcome this initial set of mentors to Abbey Road Red. We thank those who have already given us and our start-ups so much time in our first three years and look forward to actively working with all our mentors in 2019 and beyond. We will be growing this network over time, always seeking to give our start-ups the most value we can.