Tell us a little about yourself!
Max Fergus is the CEO and Co-founder of Live Undiscovered Music (LÜM). LÜM was founded from a UW think tank that focused on rapidly expanding industries with antiquated business models. Fergus, along with a team of UW students and alumni, realized that with the advancements in streaming technology, current applications could be used to successfully bring music to the next generation of artists and fans.
Fergus recently graduated from UW-Madison, receiving a degree in Finance, Investment and Banking with a focus in healthcare. Prior to starting LÜM, Fergus was one of the few students admitted to the UW-Madison school of business as an incoming freshman. Through college, Max worked in Shanghai, China as a financial analyst for a healthcare and life science venture capital firm and for Leerink Partners in San Francisco as an analyst in their investment banking division. With an undeniable passion for entrepreneurship, Fergus decided to forgo his offer starting at the healthcare investment banking division for Rothschild & Co in New York after graduation to pursue his dreams in business with LÜM.
Tell us about your company and how you got started
LÜM was started by a group of UW Madison students and alumni looking to revolutionize digital music consumption for the next generation of fans and artists.
LÜM is a music streaming and discovery application built on a stand-alone social network that enables emerging artists to circulate their music and grow their fan base. The LÜM platform focuses exclusively on emerging artists and increases fan-to-fan and fan-to-artist engagement through the gamification of social music discovery.
Artists upload their content and connect with fans on LÜM’s platform. Fans discover artists and circulate music by discovering, sharing, and engaging with their friends and peer communities. Founded in 2018, LÜM is headquartered in Madison, WI, with offices in Austin, TX. For more information, visit https://lum.fm/.
With less than 1% of all musicians earning any material income from their music, LÜM decreases the disparity between mainstream and undiscovered music by leveraging music streaming with the amplification effects of social media. Artists upload their content and connect with fans on LÜM’s platform. Fans can easily share music with friends and become influencers on the platform by discovering and sharing up-and-coming artists with their peer communities.
“This generation of artists and fans are more than just the sum of their streams,” said Max Fergus, CEO and co-founder of LÜM. “We want artists to use their fans and communities as a catalyst for their growth, and LÜM is really the first platform to provide that connection.”
Over the past year, LÜM has become one of the fastest growing Madison tech-startups, recently winning the 2018 Pressure Chamber pitch competition, one of the largest in the Midwest. LÜM has also secured guidance from an impressive board of advisors and legal counsel, including: lead business advisor Randall Mays (former president and CFO of Clear Channel Communications and current board member of Live Nation) and Gary Greenstein of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (recently named among Billboard’s “Top Music Industry Lawyers”).
What advice do you have for other aspiring entrepreneurs?
“Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.” – Steve Jobs