Countdown to going public

A lot has changed for Indie Ambassador since we introduced you to them back in April. For starters, the team founded by Ben Maitland-Lewis and Chris Cave will be going public with their first product on September 4.

Back in April, Maitland-Lewis told us, “What we’ve been hearing from all these people is that the biggest thing is that artists don’t have a good way to package their stuff together in a way that’s free of all the social clutter… so we set out to address that.” Enter: Presskit.to. Getting the chance to check out the app in an earlier phase of development, I made note of just how user-friendly it was. It was free of the garbage, with clean, organized sections for media, contact, calendar, “wins” and more. The artist has everything they need in one place and equally important, navigating a particular artist’s ‘kit as a fan, blogger, reporter or whatever, is just as easy.

“We’re really excited,” said Maitland-Lewis. “Since launching in private beta in March, we’ve gotten a little over 500 people using Presskits, people from indie bands all across the nation, to internationally touring bands, even at film festivals, people have been using it.”

“Now this is like our first step – putting it out there for musicians.”

You very well may recognize some of the artists that already have ‘kits of their own too.

Karmin, the pop duo from Berklee that blew up after putting their infectious signature sound on some Top 40 jams on YouTube has one. So too does Big D and the Kids Table, local DIY ska/punk super heroes, Daughtry, of “American Idol” fame, folky singer/songwriter Brian Marquis (who does a mean cover of Ryan Adams’, “To Be Young”), and Emilie Chick, an electro hip hop techno-y gal who just might take those words, crumple them up and throw them back in my face for trying to define her. Vanna, the champions of post-hardcore in Boston, have a ‘kit as well.

“It’s awesome to see the comments that are coming in from people and how much they like it and how much they use it,” added Maitland-Lewis. “Even a professor at Berklee recently used Presskit for their summer marketing course. They definitely saw and were extremely excited for the potential for it.”

In going public, they won’t just be saying, “come and get it,” however. They’ll be wheeling out their first Presskit Exclusive too, a video and audio package of Vanna playing “Eyes Like Tides” live as well as covering “Perfect Drug” by Nine Inch Nails and “Breed” by Nirvana. That’s up for pre-sale now. Otherwise, you can get it – you guessed it – on September 4.

If you need a taste (warning – brash noises ahead):

They’re also participating in The Musician’s Guide 100 Hour Long Epic Deal, which will give “everyone who participates early access to our system and a whole bunch of other goodies,” according to their blog. That goes live on the first of September.

One thing hasn’t changed for the team, however: “We’re still completely self-funded and bootstrapped,” said Maitland-Lewis. “To be honest, proud of it too. We’ve got a great team and a great product.”

Though he added, “We are applying and working with the Northeastern University IDEA lab.”

Himself an alum of Berklee and Cave an alum of Northeastern, Maitland-Lewis said, “Since we haven’t worked with VCs, it’s great to have these relationships with Berklee College of Music and Northeastern who have embraced us and tried to help us.”

They’ve hit up Warped Tour to interview artists, checked out SXSW, are wheeling out their first exclusive with a huge local band, working with The Musician’s Guide and are about ready to put out their first product. What’s next?

“We’re going to continue to keep up with crazy features, some that I can’t really mention, but that we’re really excited about.”