Students Michael Deacon & Tre’von Griffith from the global entertainment and music business master’s program reflect upon the eighth of the Music Business Seminars, where they attended the Creative Entrepreneurship Week with guest panelists Panos Panay, Ken Zolot, Thanos Giamas, and Stéphanie Moretti.

Creative Entrepreneurship Week

The first week of December brings lots of things, the Festive season for one; but at Berklee Valencia, this heralded the arrival of Creative Entrepreneurship Week, an impressive weeklong bootcamp to help hone our entrepreneurial skills. This entailed a series of seminars, panel discussions, workshops, and consultations filled with entrepreneurial tips, tricks, and industry insights with attendance from Panos Panay (Founder of Sonicbids and Berklee College of Music’s Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship), Professor Ken Zolot (Founder of Innovation Teams Initiative and Senior Lecturer on Innovation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology), and Thanos Giamas (Investor and Music Producer), with a special guest appearance by Stéphanie Moretti (Artistic Director of the Montreux Jazz Artists Foundation).

By all accounts a massive week for the Global Entertainment & Music Business program students, this week was invaluable as a culminating experience for the term to bring our studies to a head in time for our major Entrepreneurship presentation next week, Berklee Valencia’s own version of ‘Venture Day’, and our approach to our lives outside of the Berklee Valencia program.

“Nobody cares how
much you know, unless
they know how much
you care.”

Ken Zolot paraphrased
this motto when inspiring us to
look more closely at why we
do what we do and how we
can make it matter to our
consumers or clients in the
User Centered Design seminar.

Empathize. Define. Ideate. Prototype. Test. Repeat. Weaved into arguably the most popular session, these six words would prove to be the centre of an interactive seminar by Ken Zolot entitled User Centered Design. Ken explained how every human had a basic instinct, which has been buried by society. Using this process and the techniques involved would help re-discover those instincts to help people become more self-sufficient. By learning about each other more intricately through a design framework, this seminar would prove to be, after further discussion with the students involved, one of the most valuable, as life and being a businessman or woman is about being able to improvise and adapt to your surroundings, your ideas, your duty to society.

Michael: One of the key things that I took from this weeks’ series of seminars and workshops was the notion of honing in on why we do what we do, and to make sure that what we do and why we do it is prevalent at the core of our thinking. On the face of it, it seems to be a very simple idea and should be commonplace in business thinking, but ultimately something that we tend to forget to focus on.

Tre’von: Many people would wonder why it’s important to teach entrepreneurship at a school such as Berklee; a school that is already filled to the brim with creativity, a key trait of entrepreneurs. Most importantly, being entrepreneurial is not something taught – it’s practiced. Having not only courses in this subject, but weekly sessions like the Creative Entrepreneurship Week, has helped students this semester become more disciplined in their own practices, and enabled them to have an avenue to express ourselves in the world. It has also activated our brains to think and function in a new capacity, especially with the focus of why we do what we do.

After all, it’s not just about making a great business; it’s about the method behind the madness used to execute that great idea. This week has helped me realize that being in the entertainment industry takes a lot more than just skill set alone. We should challenge ourselves in our environment including culture, history and current news. As we are aware of our surroundings as creative beings it allows us to help our innovation tell stories to help change the word. This sentiment was best echoed this past week by Ken Zolbot, “People focus on the next plan so much that they don’t realize what’s in front of them”.

“Being innovative is a
way to tell childhood
stories that impacted
you, to help interact
with the world.”

Panos Panay during
the one-on-one interview
with Ken Zolot of how
important it is to draw on
past experiences to help
you develop.

Some Key Tips For Being An Entrepreneur:

• Be driven (*personal traits are more important than technical ones)
• Be aware — pay attention to your environment.
• Be a good listener
• Develop relationships/network
• Use any and all available resources
• Be willing to adapt

Also, for more information regarding the Design Process, head to and you can download the PDF employed in part
by Ken for User Centred Design entitled ‘Bootcamp Bootleg’.