Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, and Changemakers who are advancing the UN SDGs.
Hey, friends! It's Spiffy, back again on Planet Earth with an eye on changemaking leaders making the world a more equitable place! I have another great interview for you this week. Today, I’m excited to cruise around with Chudi Iregbulem, the founder and CEO of Beatmatch. Are you ready to be inspired?
Spiffy: Thanks for joining me, Chudi! Tell me, what challenge are you addressing through your organization?
Chudi: Glad to be with you, Spiffy! Beatmatch is helping connect the world through music. The ongoing loneliness epidemic shows that 54% of Gen-Z currently report being lonely. Furthermore, 45% of people say that "bad music taste" could be a relationship dealbreaker. Beatmatch helps music lovers find relationships and friendships by matching people with similar music tastes.
Spiffy: Very cool! What motivates you to tackle this challenge?
Chudi: As a music lover myself, I've been able to see first hand the power that music has in bringing people of various cultures and backgrounds together. I grew up playing alto saxophone for six years, attended countless concerts and music festivals, and even became a nightclub DJ. The idea first came to me after having to miss a concert from an up-and-coming artist because none of my friends could make it; this artist ended up becoming the world-famous rapper Cardi B.
Spiffy: Oh, wow! That is remarkable. How would you describe the impact of your work?
Chudi: We're helping thousands of music lovers across Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle meet new people for romantic relationships and strong friendships. We're not only enabling people to form strong bonds, but we're also helping artists in the music industry put food on the table by driving increased ticket sales from our user base. We have already attracted investment from major record labels like Warner Music Group, Rhymesayers Entertainment, and Concord Music because of the impact we're making.
Spiffy: Tell me about a recent milestone or initiative by you or your organization. What impact does that make?
Chudi: We recently were announced as winners of the Google for Startups Black Founder Fund and received a $100K non-dilutive grant, $100K in Google Cloud credits, and support from the incredible Google team! This milestone further cements the importance of Beatmatch's mission to connect the world through music. Beatmatch was also accepted into the Techstars Music 2022 cohort and got mentorship from music's biggest companies including Universal Music Group, Sony Music, and Quality Control Music.
Spiffy: Is there anything else you would love to tell our audience?
Chudi: Prior to Beatmatch, I worked as a Software Engineer and Product Manager at Amazon (AWS) and ESPN, which taught me the skills and tools to be a founder. I highly encourage anyone interested in entrepreneurship to first get a few years of professional work experience before going all in on your startup idea; it will make you a better founder and increase your chance at success!
Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Chudi—it’s been an honor!
Chudi Iregbulem is the founder and CEO of Beatmatch, the social app for music lovers. Originally from London and of Nigerian descent, Chudi grew up in Los Angeles and holds a B.S. in computer science from Trinity College. He previously worked as a software engineer and product manager at Amazon and ESPN. (Nominated by Sumia Shaikh of Visible Hands. First published on the Ladderworks website on April 11, 2023.)
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Ladderworks LLC.
© 2023 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by George Romar. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.