Innovator Spotlight: Utshab Chakraborty with NextUp Music App

19 Jul 2018 - Tejas Dalvi

In the second part of our Innovator Spotlight series, we talked to Utshab Chakraborty with NextUp Music App.

NextUp Music App
NextUp Co-Founders Utshab Chakraborty and Nicholas Donahue

Fast Facts:

Who they are:

The company was founded by Utshab Chakraborty and Nicholas Donahue during March of 2017. Utshab currently attends UNC Chapel Hill while Nicholas lives in San Francisco.

What they do:

NextUp is a mobile app that democratizes the musical experience. Even if you’re at a party and can’t choose the music, NextUp lets you be in control.

How to download their app:
NextUp is available on the App Store and Google Play Store.


Daylight: How did you come up with the idea for your app?
Utshab: A while back, my friends and I were at a party, and we really didn’t like the music that was playing. We wished that there was a way for us to have a say. That’s when we realized that there was an opportunity in the market.
Daylight: How many users do you have?
Utshab: Right now we have around 5,000 downloads.
Daylight: What’s been the most rewarding part of starting this business?
Utshab: For me, the most rewarding part of working on NextUp is seeing people use something that I helped create. We believe that our company is solving a problem and making people’s lives easier.
Daylight: Have you faced any challenges along the way?
Utshab: Starting a business is always going to have some challenges, especially since at the beginning we were still learning along the way. We’ve had some people leave the team and some people join. Nothing ever happens the way you plan it, so you need to be able to adapt.
Daylight: How has being in the Triangle helped you?
Utshab: Being in the Triangle has helped a lot. Our team includes people from both UNC and NC State, so the connections at both of those schools have been really valuable. There’s also just a huge upswing in entrepreneurship in the area.
Daylight: Finally, do you have any advice for people thinking about starting a business?
Utshab: Everyone says that they have in idea for a project, but most people don’t actually get started on it. They’ll have a list of ideas in their head that they can’t decide between, so they’ll stop. Your business can’t be successful until you start it, so you need to pick an idea and just do it.

Thanks again to Utshab for talking to us about his company. If you want to check out NextUp, you can download their app from the Google Play Store or App Store.

If you’re interested in being featured in our Innovator Spotlight series, read more here.

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