Brady Hoggard, founder and CEO of Sonido Software, has two strong passions—startup entrepreneurship and music. Originally from Utah, Brady relocated to Oxford, Miss., following the acquisition of a previous software company.
Being with a startup technology company from early stages through a successful exit was an exciting way to spend the first years of his career, he said.
Hoggard started playing music when he was 14. Soon after he got into digital-music recording and production. Eventually, he started a recording studio where he would take on client projects, such as working with bands, singer/songwriters, vocalists, producing, custom songwriting, working on audiobooks and podcasts with major publishers, and more.
The idea behind Sonido came to him while he was working in his recording studio. Hoggard said that he likes to run an efficient business, so he enters new leads and tracks his sales pipeline meticulously. When a lead turns into a customer, he has to move them to other systems to manage the project and client interaction.
“One day I was working on a project in my studio, and I received and responded to a new lead requesting studio time; I communicated with the lead and entered all necessary details into these systems. The data entry was simply taking too much time. I wanted the process to be more automated and simplified,” Hoggard said.
“It dawned on me that this inefficiency is a challenge that studios of all sizes struggle with in the audio production industry,” he said. “I recognized that I’d solved this very same problem before with technology in a different industry… and that I could use the same concepts to bring all of these components together into a single system that would make my studio, as well as many other studios, more efficient and positioned for growth.”
After performing an industry analysis, Hoggard recognized that there was a hole in the music industry and a desire for solutions to existing studio-management pain points. He could build a solution that would help audio production studios manage all aspects of their recording business more efficiently—Sonido Software.
Sonido is an end-to-end studio management software designed to manage leads, sales pipelines and contacts; recording projects; studio-space reservations; quoting and invoicing; secure file review and audio file delivery to clients, along with other tools involved in managing a recording studio.
As a software-as-a-service, or SAAS, offering, it’s hosted online for easy, anytime access, and will include different pricing tiers to allow different sized studios the features they need to become more organized, more efficient, and to experience growth.
As he built the company, Hoggard began networking with other entrepreneurs in Oxford; he eventually found himself talking about Sonido with Jim Lowery, a member of the Innovate Mississippi Mentor Network and the Mississippi Seed Fund Board, managed by Innovate Mississippi. Jim encouraged him to get in touch with the organization.
“After meeting with Innovate Mississippi, I had an overwhelming sense that this program could help kickstart Sonido and move the company in the right direction,” Hoggard said. He has worked with Innovate in securing seed funding to help prove his concept through its beta testing phase. “Having Innovate Mississippi behind Sonido to help fund the beta rollout—that has been huge.”
He looks forward to staying in touch with the Innovate Mississippi team as Sonido progresses because of the mentorship and guidance they offer.
“They know how to help a company succeed,” he said. “That’s one of the strongest assets of Innovate Mississippi—having that expertise in the world of technology and startups at my fingertips when I am looking for assistance or answers.”
Hoggard has been excited to establish the company in Oxford, where he points to a strong entrepreneurial climate and a growing technology community. He hopes that one day Sonido will stand alongside other successful tech companies that currently make up a big part of Oxford’s innovation community.
“It’s always daunting to put your heart, mind, blood, sweat and tears into a new business venture, especially when it’s something you are so passionate about,” Hoggart said. “But I really feel that through Innovate Mississippi and the Mississippi entrepreneur resources we have available, we’ve got a great foundation to draw on and a much higher chance for success.”