The Music Man
A local entrepreneur’s site acts as a matchmaker for music tutors and would-be students
Following a $6 million investment from CrossLink Capital in August, the future looks bright for downtown startup TakeLessons. But despite the firm’s meteoric rise, it all started with a simple goal: let the people learn music. “Our motto is, ‘Come in, rock out,’ ” CEO Steven Cox says. The Web site, which allows residents of over 2,800 cities across the U.S. to match themselves with pre-screened local music instructors, facilitates just that. Cox’s secret might just be in the quality: instructors go through a laborious, seven-step application process, and the CEO (and onetime bass player) says about 80 percent hold advanced music degrees. Cox expects the company to double in size next year, while a partnership with Best Buy—including at-home lesson gift cards just in time for the holidays—is flourishing. The success is especially impressive in light of the recession, but it makes sense to Cox. “If the choice is between cutting out a steak dinner and cutting out your kids’ music lessons, most people choose the steak dinner."