Philip Cohen MBA ’13 has always had a passion for music. As a teenager he began to take music seriously — he learned to play the guitar and wrote his own songs. His passion for creating something out of nothing has led him to develop his own music-based startup called AudioCommon.
AudioCommon provides a cloud-based platform that gives musicians and studio engineers the ability to communicate and collaborate throughout the recording process and beyond. Artists manage their musical data via the web-based platform. There they can tap into their multi-track data and collaborate. Musicians can also build their internal teams through the site, by finding other musicians, producers, and — in the future — record labels.
“Most people don’t know that one song can have as many as 50 different tracks. That’s a lot of data to reconcile when you’re creating an album. AudioCommon streamlines the workflow of this data, while giving musicians and industry professionals a new channel of communication outside the studio. Ultimately, independent musicians can save a lot of time and money by using AudioCommon. Our mission is to empower creation,” he says.
This past summer Cohen could be found on the fifth floor of E52 managing the Beehive Cooperative — a startup accelerator that hosted more than three dozen MIT student-run companies. He says that entrepreneurship is in his blood, as his father is an entrepreneur as well. Cohen was thrilled when Bill Aulet, managing director of the Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, approached him about running the Beehive. There he was able to continue his work on AudioCommon and give back to the MIT community.
“I was looking to build a culture where teams would feel comfortable coming together and solving the problems that many early stage startups face,” he notes. “MIT teaches students how to nurture and grow their ideas in a very collaborative way. I wanted to extend this cultural attribute into the Beehive.”
When he is not working on AudioCommon, Cohen writes his own songs and plays music with his band. Several guitars can be found in his Beehive office, ready for an impromptu song when his fellow Beehive members least expect it. Cohen noted that Nirvana and Elliot Smith are two of his favorite bands/songwriters, but you may not necessarily hear their influence in his music. Every couple of months his band plays around the Boston area. This fall he hopes to have a music hack-a-thon at MIT.
Cohen is always trying to challenge himself in new ways. He recently purchased an organ from MIT’s Furniture Exchange and has been learning to play it. The notion of challenge is also one of the primary reasons he decided to attend MIT Sloan.
“After my career as a military officer, I was looking for the next challenge in my life. I wanted an MBA program that would test me, and allow me to grow in new and unique ways. That’s exactly what I’ve found here at MIT Sloan,” he says.
“The school encourages you to nurture and grow your ideas through collaboration unlike any other place I’ve ever experienced. My classmates are brilliant yet humble, and their feedback has been outstanding. I am so thankful to be a part of this environment — my MIT experience has been amazing,” he says.
Cohen plans to continue to develop and grow AudioCommon throughout his second year at MIT Sloan and after he graduates next spring.