Marisa Nuñez, Marisa Hair, Long Island City, NY

Carl Donatelli and Sam Wilkinson

Triple Threat Productions

West Hartford, Connecticut

“What we try to build our brand around is helping these kids branch out and make a name for themselves and get a chance to perform.” – Carl Donatelli

Carl Donatelli and Sam Wilkinson were able to turn their passion for helping new artists in the music industry into a successful, creative business thanks to support from Ascendus’ partner The Hartford, which supports entrepreneurs who are having a positive impact in their community.

Carl and his business partner Sam founded Triple Threat Productions in West Hartford, Connecticut in 2015 to help local DJs and electronic artists break into the music industry. With years of experience as DJs, they know how hard it is for new artists to get a break. They met resistance from local venues in scheduling performances to showcase their own talent, so they decided to do event promotion and management themselves and help others.

They founded their company and spent a few months making connections and pushing to get into new venues. In January of 2016 they put on their very first event, entirely on their own. This included booking talent, promotion and marketing, sales, and equipment; the total package needed for a good show. It was a great success.

While Carl and Sam work with established artists, they are particularly interested in helping new artists catch their first break. In fact, Carl says that knowing that we’re making a difference for these kids is what he likes most about what he does. I like that we’re able to provide a platform for these people to get out there and show people what they can do, that’s what we’re all about.

Even with so much local talent, business can still be tough. Planning a concert for several hundred people is logistically challenging and expensive. You put pretty much 100% of the money for the event up front, but there is no guarantee you’ll get that money back. It all comes down to ticket sales and there’s no way of knowing, Carl said.

In an industry pulsing with so much uncertainty, traditional bank financing is not an option for businesses like Triple Threat. That’s why they turned to Ascendus. Carl received a $10,000 loan to finance the costs of putting on shows, and it helped Triple Threat Productions establish itself as a reputable player in the electronic scene, and thus allowed new local artists to do the same.

Now, they’re able to put on one show every month, whereas it used to take two months or more to organize and plan everything.

Just like Ascendus gave them a chance, they’re doing the same for others. For artists and entrepreneurs alike, Carl has some worthwhile advice: If something doesn’t go your way or as expected, don’t let that stop you. Don’t let someone telling you no discourage you from getting to where you want to be.

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