5. Calling the Tune

As any startup veteran knows, gutting it out can be half the battle. “I can’t tell you how many people tell us that they initially held back from joining Sonicbids because they weren’t convinced we would make it,” says Panos Panay, whose online marketplace to pair up musical performers and booking agents is now five years old. But Panay, a former booking agent for Isaac Hayes, did more than just survive. He targeted and won the rights to handle the online submissions to some of the music industry’s most prestigious confabs, including the College Music Journal conference and the International Songwriting Competition. The events spread the word and added credibility. Thanks to Panay’s persistence, Sonicbids more than tripled its membership base, while increasing revenue 350% and profits 700% in 2004.


Panos Panay, 32

Founder and CEO

Sonicbids Corp.

Boston, Massachusetts