Jesse Kirshbaum is an innovative entrepreneur. With an early love for music and throwing parties, “Jesse Kay” has grown to build one of the fastest-growing music artist booking agencies. New Universal Entertainment Agency (or NUE Agency) represents some really hot acts like Wale, Asher Roth and Pusha-T. I caught up with Jesse over Memorial Day weekend to chat about his career and what he thinks the future of entrepreneurship looks like.
Entrepreneurs hit pop culture when Justin Timberlake portrayed the enigmatic Napster start-up icon, Sean Parker. Did “The Social Network” announce entrepreneurs as “cool,” or have they always been cool?
Jesse Kirshbaum — who grew up in New York and quickly found an affinity to taste-making — is definitely one of these cool entrepreneurs. “I always loved throwing hot parties,” he recalls. He even landed a part dancing in a Puff Daddy music video while in high school.
“It's just a great industry to work in,” Krishbaum said when he spoke of falling in love with the music business. As he labored in the trenches of boutique agencies, Kirshbaum held on to his vision. “You have to have something to say when starting your own agency, and for me, it started with: 'I can do this better.'”
The reality is: It's not about being cool, it's about having a strong work ethic. A friend offered Jesse a couch in his conference room to run his start-up talent agency from. “He didn't think I would show up, but I did, every day,” Kirshbaum said. He would arrive to his friend's office in Harlem early and stay late.
Earn the reputation of “the one who gets it done.” Be reliable and innovative. That's where the future entrepreneur will be defined — in being reliably innovative. “Constantly try to find new avenues. Do the P's and Q's the right way. Dot the I's, but always look to go above and beyond to do things in a fresh way.”
Once NUE Agency gained some success and traction, Jesse nurtured a growing passion; the relationship between music and technology. He soon co-founded SoundCtrl, a music and technology convergence publishing platform and community that is quickly becoming the largest of its kind.
“I'm really excited about our newest endeavor,” Kirshbaum said. “It is an evolution of the booking agency.” The new company, aveNUE Music Partnerships (aMP), will add more value and go beyond the touring market. Much like a record label, “aMP will leverage relationships and partner with [artists] to support their album releases.”
With early success, Kirshbaum and his team continue to innovate. The Dean's List release, "Generation X," premiered on April 2, and shot to No. 3 on the iTunes Hip-Hop charts. aMP's next release is a single called "Summer Rain" by Tiger Love and is being released on June 20.
Stay tuned to Jesse Kirshbaum on Twitter, and watch out for exciting and innovative work coming from the NUE Agency.
The future of entrepreneurship, small business and start-up companies begs for investigation. Will the “next big thing” define industry? Or will the age-old principles of hard work and perseverance stand above everything? Stayed tuned to The Agency Post for more.
Originally published Jul 2, 2012 1:00:58 AM, updated December 02 2014