Panos Panay is the Founding Managing Director of Berklee ICE (Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship) as well as a passionate entrepreneur and active startup mentor in the creative media space. As the founder of Sonicbids, he created the leading platform for bands to book gigs and market themselves online, building a subscriber network of 550,000 bands and 35,000 promoters from over 100 countries. Panay led the company as CEO for 13 years, from its inception until after its successful acquisition by Backstage LLC, in a deal backed by Guggenheim Partners.
He is widely credited for spotting and capitalizing early on three distinct emerging trends in the music business over the last decade: the shift to a primarily online means of marketing; the emergence of an “artistic middle class”; and the shift from a record-label funded industry to a consumer /brand-funded music business. Panay writes weekly about startups and entrepreneurship for blogs and publications such as Huffington Post, Forbes, WSJ Accelerators and Fast Company; and guest lectures at universities including MIT Engineering, Boston University, Brown University, and Bentley College. In the past, he has presented at industry events like SXSW, MIDEM and CMJ. Furthermore, he has been awarded the Fast Company’s “Fast 50″ honor; Inc. Magazine’s “Inc. 500”; Mass Hi-Tech All Stars; Berklee College’s Distinguished Alumnus Award; and Boston Business Journal’s “40 under 40”. Panay, a native of Cyprus, holds a Music Business & Management degree from Berklee College of Music.