Startup Directory


During the September Columbia Sports Tech event we learned how Big League social media platforms are creating radically enriched engagement between fan and brand. This month we’re checking out Hookist, co-founded by Meredith Collins ʼ11SPS, and veteran music producer and studio owner, Terry Derkach. Together they’re making fan-to-artist engagement really sing.

Hookist is a collaborative songwriting platform that gives fans, music lovers, and aspiring artists the thrill of writing original songs with their favorite artists. The engagement is authentic because the new song – and the user’s pride in its creation – is real.

Hookist works because everyone has a creative side, has some truth they need to share, and well, because everyone wants to be a rock star. For well-known artists, Hookist is a powerful tool that builds fan engagement, new revenue streams and ticket sales.

Licensing also sets Hookist apart. “We don’t license anything,” says Collins. “The product is original content, so Hookist and the artists own the IP outright.”

How does it work? Well, let’s look at one of their latest hits. This video provides a great example of how a song is put together.

Earlier this year, Hookist teamed up with legendary songwriter and ASCAP President Paul Williams, who has been collecting Grammy’s since the 70’s including Daft Punk’s 2013 Album of the Year, to crowd-source a cause-related anthem called “Voice of Change”.

Voice of Change” opened a massive concert and rally on the National Mall in October that was headlined by Steven Tyler, Sheryl Crow, and Joe Walsh. Williams led 10,000 people in a sing-along of the piece. Check out the video.

In addition to Williams, Hookist has written songs with other amazing artists including, three-time Grammy nominee, Brad Roberts of Crash Test Dummies, guitar legend Gary Lucas, and Kasim Sulton (Utopia, Blue Oyster Cult) and others.

Log on to Hookist Music and rock out!



Meredith Collins, CEO & co-founder of Hookist, has a long history in business, entertainment and the arts, and is a rabid music fan. She helped break boundaries as one of the earliest women in a highly technical camera position in the feature film industry and worked on such award-winning films as Meet Joe Black, Devil’s Advocate and The Mirror Has Two Faces. In addition to her behind-the-camera work, Meredith has performed in theatre, film and television and, together with Derkach, helped The Learning Annex grow their business 800% over 3 years. She earned a Master of Science from Columbia University in Negotiation & Conflict Resolution from the School of Professional Studies and a BA in International Affairs from The George Washington University.