Sweet music as Queen’s spin-out thrives

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A music-technology research project at Queen’s University Belfast has turned into a viable startup thanks to the power of ‘crowdfunding’.

Belfast company Mindflood exceeded their target of £100,000 within days using the crowdfunding platform Crowdcube, which allows people to invest in small businesses in return for equity.

Mindflood is the company behind the electronic device ‘Patchblocks’, above, which have been described as “a mix between a Raspberry Pi, a music synthesiser and LEGO,” by founder, Sebastian Heinz, who is in the final stages of his PhD at Queen’s Sonic Arts Research Centre.

“Mindflood was the first company from Northern Ireland to raise money through Crowdcube,” he said.

“I didn’t expect that we could reach our fundraising target in just two days.

“Having been a researcher in an academic environment for years, I have found that I also love the entrepreneurial side of it, taking something out of a very small, sometimes rarefied world into the big, commercial world.”

David Moore, from QUBIS, established by Queen’s to help develop spin-out companies, said: “Sebastian has really impressed us with his entrepreneurial drive to date.

“An initial Kickstarter campaign validated his Patchblocks concept and QUBIS was keen to support a crowd-sourced round of seed investment to allow the company to build a sales and marketing structure for its next stage of growth.”