University of Vermont

Business Student Competes in Online Reality Contest

Ask most musicians and they will tell you that the internet has helped them find new listeners who may never have heard their music otherwise. Ryan Orlove believes he knows how to make it easier for those audiences to connect with artists.

Orlove is a senior business administration student concentrating in entrepreneurship. He says it's his passion for music that helped him create a website that combines social networking and music subscriptions with a live performance calendar. It's called Amplified.fm.

"We're really trying to be the one source where a band can get promoted, get revenue, and get exposure," says Ryan Orlove, of Amplified.fm. "We sign artists to a free non-exclusive contract that allows us to distribute their music and unleash their content on this subscription service in which they get compensated according to how many times their album has been downloaded in a given month."

Earlier this year, Orlove applied to be a contestant in an online contest for entrepreneurs. He was chosen from several hundred applicants to be part of "Second Chance," The six-part Web series features four entrepreneurs, all of whom attempted to start their own businesses but fell short of success, as they learn to compete against one another in business-specific challenges for $150,000 and a chance to successfully start their business.

"They brought me to Manhattan, they paid for my expenses, for my travel, they paid for every expense that I incurred there," he says.

The show consists of several challenges that test the four contestants on strategy, marketing and public relations, technology, building the right team, and creating a compelling "elevator pitch." The contestants receive advice from top business mentors and learn about new concepts that may help them in their next venture.

"I have experienced so much in regards to my business, not only do I know how to succeed, but I know every single step that I need to take in order to get there," he says.

Orlove credits the help he received from both his professors and his peers at the School of Business Administration for helping turn an idea into an actual business.

"Being in college, there are a huge amount of resources available to us as students that I don't think students understand are there," he says. "You have nothing to lose in emailing a professor or asking a student for help or anything like that. In addition to that, nine times out of ten, they'll probably help you."

Orlove is now asking his peers and professors to help him win the Second Chance competition by voting for him in early December. The winner walks away with $150,000 for his or her business, the runner-up will receive $25,000. But even if he doesn't win, Orlove is confident in his future.

"I know I'm going to be successful," he says.

You can watch Second Chance online at businessonmain.com. Voting begins in early December.