Basic Info

Name:
David Dufresne
Contributor Status:
Native AdVice
Initial Contribution Date:
10/14/2014
Primary Location:
Montreal, Quebec

Career Info

Primary Industry:
Music, Technology
Personal Career Headline:
CEO of Bandzoogle
Business Description (One-Liner):

An online platform which provides tools for musicians to build a professional website, promote their music, and sell direct-to-fan for a flat monthly fee.

More Business Details:
Online Platform / Web-based Business
Experience Timeline:
16-20 years of work experience

My Native AdVert

Career Snapshot:

Mr. David Dufresne serves as Chief Executive Officer at Bandzoogle Inc. Mr. Dufresne serves as Vice President of Dwyer-Curlett & Co. Inc. Mr. Dufresne is Investment Professional at JLA Ventures and joined it in June 2008. He has six years of experience in venture capital and technology investing.

He was an Investment Manager of Information Technology at Desjardins Business Capital régional et coopératif since December 2005. Mr. Dufresne joined Desjardins in December 2001 as an Analyst and then moved to an Investment Manager position and completed numerous transactions at all stages of the venture investment cycle. He was involved in numerous information technology investments made by Desjardins in recent years. Mr. Dufresne focused on technology related to media and new Internet-based business models. He has a vast knowledge of web technologies, multimedia, game development and related business strategies. Mr. Dufresne has built a strong local network inside the tech entrepreneur, venture capitalist and angel investor communities and he has sat, usually as an Observer, on more than 12 Boards of Directors of technology companies. Prior to Desjardins, he worked in a junior management position with the Sydney Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games in 2000.

Mr. Dufresne worked for four years as an Assistant and Consultant for a Research Lab on Business Performance at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR). He is the author of a thesis on the impact of venture capital firms on the organizational development of Québec SMEs. Mr. Dufresne holds an M.Sc. in Business Management and a B.B.A. in Corporate Finance from the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières and received several scholarships and research grants for excellence. (Read More Here)

My Native AdVice

How did you get into the industry?:

I started my career as a venture capital analyst and associate, at the same time I was doing some DJing and being that annoying music geek friend that keeps bugging you about new bands. So my early years were spent investing in software, Web, and mobile startups, and keeping an eye on how the Internet was affecting the music industry, musicians and fans.

Emerging industry trends?:

The music industry is moving from a focus on volume to a focus on quality. For the average musician, it isn’t about how many hundreds of thousands of fans you’ll get, but about how you’ll be able to engage and eventually monetize the ones you have.  So, tools that allow to be in touch directly with your fans, and treat them as patrons of your Art, partners in your career, become even more important. Your website, your mailing list, your direct-to-fan store all play a strategic role. And that’s what we provide.

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?:

Bandzoogle provides online tools for musicians to build a professional website, promote their music, and sell directly to fans. The all-in-one platform lets an artist’s website become the hub of all their online activity, with a built-in store, fan management tools, email and text message blasts, detailed reporting and integration with social networks.

My partner Chris Vinson (our founder and CTO) was playing bass in a rock band. The label they were on hired him to build manage websites for all of their acts and he built a tool that would let the artists and managers update their own websites. Many of his friends indie bands asked him of they could use his tool so in 2003 he had the idea and launched Bandzoogle. 10 years later over 22,000 bands and musicians us the platform.

Our vision going forward is to keep growing the platform and add themes and features. We plan to make our tools multilingual and expand internationally. We’re also planning to launch a similar platform to Bandzoogle, but for other types of entertainers personalities.

What's next for the Business in the near future?:

We’ll keep building cool and useful tools for artists. More tools, and hopefully more artists.

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business? Greatest Accomplishment?:

We have different types of partnerships with associations and organizations that reach large groups of musicians; ASCAP, The Folk Alliance, A2IM, The Grammys organization, to name a few. We also work with conferences, music schools and colleges, and a few technology providers that have products complementary to our tools.

Greatest success:

Being able to double the size of our company and customer base, while we were rebuilding our whole platform and infrastructure, with no outside funding. In recent years we’ve been able to establish Bandzoogle as the leading website platform for musicians, and expand our reach thanks to our team, users and partners.

Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?):

The aforementioned rewrite and relaunch took much longer than we has initially planned.  We badly underestimated the scope of the project and teh resources we would need. We learned to better organize our team, and to manage our users expectations. Now that we have completed the migration it’s been pretty amazing, and much easier to delight our users with a regular stream of new features, themes and integrations.

Career advice to those in your industry?:

Focus on the customer. Build something they need badly enough to be willing to pay for. Make sure you can afford to support them and treat them the most important people in the World. Because they are.

What Else To Know

Tell Us More:

Most interesting headline you’ve read this week?

CEOs and inventors most likely took art or music lessons as a kid

(I wish I did.)

Original Native Society Post

Native AdVice:

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