If you’ve ever seen Krewella in concert, you can thank Jake Udell for helping put it together.
Udell, an IU alum, spoke to students throughout campus on Apr. 7 about entrepreneurship, the music business and life lessons learned during his 20s. His stops included a Music Industry I class, a study hall panel at the IMU Solarium and the judging for RECESS Pitch, a collegiate competition for student-run startup companies.
Udell graduated from the Kelley School of Business in 2011
with a degree in entrepreneurship and was a member of Zeta Beta Tau. After graduation, he worked as the chief marketing officer
for the national chain of Campus Candy. Now, he manages artists - including
Krewella - through his own company, TH3RD BRAIN.
Udell began his career as an entrepreneur at age 13, when he would chase athletes outside hotels for autographs and sell the signed memorabilia on eBay. He continued that into his teen years.
Once in college, he decided to have a career with a voice rather than stick with sports. He entered the music industry as a recording artist while at IU. Although he was not successful with recording, Udell said his experiences helped get him to where he is today.
“Through the process of learning about marketing myself and failing, I became pretty good about doing it for others,” he said.
During that time, members of the then-unknown Krewella wrote and produced for Udell.
He said seeing the group succeed, after having a negative
amount of money in their bank account a few years earlier, was rewarding.
“They just kept getting better and better and better,” Udell said. “It’s been a thrill to have watched it from the very beginning.”
In fall 2013, Krewella’s “Get Wet” live tour sold out 55 shows across the country. Their first album of the same name debuted at number eight on the Billboard 200 chart in September.
Udell recently started reaching out to other artists. His
clients now include electronic dance music artists Pegboard Nerds and ZHU.
“It’s exciting because we think we’re onto something as far as the way we think,” he said. “As we got to work with more creative individuals, we realize the sky is the limit. We spent so long building Krewella’s story, now we get to build our own.”
Udell's presentations for the students were in a
“I want to know what questions they have about being a 20-something,” he said. “The normal corporate ladder isn’t for everyone. It wasn’t for me. There are other options.”
Udell said students can be successful entrepreneurs if they follow their passions and provide value to others.
“Work hard, create a vision and remember that execution is everything,” he said. “Ideas are a dime a dozen.”
Photo courtesy of Facebook/Jake Udell.