Panos Panay

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Panos Panay
Panos Panay.jpg
Born (1972-06-25) 25 June 1972 (age 50)
NationalityCypriot, American
Alma materBerklee College of Music
OccupationSenior Vice President of Global Strategy & Innovation at Berklee College of Music
Known forFounder & CEO of Sonicbids, Co-Founder Open Music Initiative, Founding Berklee Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship

Panos Andreas Panay (born June 25, 1972) is a Cyprus-born entrepreneur, executive and author. Panay is currently the Senior Vice President of Global Strategy & Innovation at Berklee College of Music. He is the founding Managing Director of Berklee Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship,[1] and the founder of online platform Sonicbids.[2]


Panay has a Music Business & Management degree from Berklee College of Music, where he studied with Lauren Passarelli.[citation needed]


Panay began his career as talent agent at Ted Kurland Associates[3] responsible for the international tours of artists including Chick Corea and Pat Metheny.[citation needed]

In 2000, Panay started the company Sonicbids as of way of enabling independent artists to connect with music promoters online, using Electronic Press Kits (EPK) as a means of booking bands.[citation needed] Panay founded the company in his apartment in Newton, MA. The company later acquired ArtistData.[4] Panay led the company as CEO for 13 years, until after its acquisition by Backstage LLC, in a deal backed by Guggenheim Partners.[5][6][7]

In 2013, after the sale of Sonicbids, Panay joined Berklee college to found the Berklee Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (BerkleeICE). Among the institute's many activities are joint classes with MIT and the design firm IDEO, a summer high school program in collaboration with Brown University,[8] sponsored internships, research projects including Rethink Music's Fair Music Report,[9] online courses and other engagements meant to get students ready for careers.[10]

In June 2016, Panay co-founded the non-profit Open Music Initiative,[11][12][13] in collaboration with the MIT Media Lab, and individuals including inventor Dan Harple and IDEO partner Michael Hendrix.

Panay is currently the Senior Vice President, Global Strategy & Innovation at Berklee College of Music. In this role, Panay leads Berklee’s global strategy to create an interconnected ecosystem of campuses, centers, and partnerships across the world that foster and inspire new artistic expressions, idioms, and ideas through leading pedagogy; development of cross-cultural fluency and creative capacity; and seamless integration of technology and online learning. He oversees Berklee’s campus in Valencia, Spain; BerkleeNYC; Global Initiatives; the Berklee Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship; the Berklee India Exchange; the Berklee Music and Health Institute; Berklee’s institutional strategy; and Berklee’s global partnerships.[14]

In August 2019, Panay was named an MIT Connection Science Fellow.[15]

In February 2020, Panay opened Berklee Abu Dhabi developed in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism. The partnership encompasses $5 million in fellowships, through which students from the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region will be given opportunities to attend Berklee College of Music; Boston Conservatory at Berklee; Berklee's campus in Valencia, Spain; Berklee Online; and summer programs, and to have an impact on the life of Berklee internationally.[16][17][18]

Writing and speaking[edit]

Panay has written about startups and entrepreneurship for blogs and publications including Huffington Post,[19] Forbes, Entrepreneir,[20] WSJ Accelerators[21] and Fast Company.[22] He has spoken at a TEDx event.[23] He also spoke in the podcast Shaping Business Minds Through Art.[24]

In 2021, Panay and R. Michael Hendrix, global design director at IDEO, co-wrote and published Two Beats Ahead (PublicAffairs, US and Penguin Business, UK), a book that covers what the musical mind has to teach about innovation, featuring interviews with top creatives including Pharrell Williams, Justin Timberlake, Gloria Estefan, Imogen Heap, Radiohead, T Bone Burnett, Hank Shocklee (co-founder of Public Enemy), and Jimmy Iovine.[25][26]

Awards and honors[edit]

Panay was awarded the Fast Company's "Fast 50" honor,[27] Boston Business Journal's "40 under 40"[28] and BosInno "50 on Fire" Award[29] for excellence in education.

Personal life[edit]

Panay lives with his wife and twin daughters[30] in Watertown, Massachusetts.

His first cousin, Panos (Costa) Panay, is an executive at Microsoft.[31]


  1. ^ "Faculty and Staff | Berklee College of Music". Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  2. ^ "Panos A. Panay | Berklee".
  3. ^ "Interview With Panos Panay, Founder and CEO Of Sonicbids". Songwriter Universe | Songwriting News, Articles & Song Contest. 2013-12-04. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  4. ^ "Sonicbids Acquires ArtistData To Help Musicians Get More Exposure On The Web". Techcrunch. 2010-06-14.
  5. ^ "SonicBids acquired by Backstage - Boston Business Journal". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  6. ^ Sisario, Ben (30 January 2013). "Backstage to Acquire Sonicbids". Media Decoder Blog. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  7. ^ "Sonicbids acquired by Backstage". VentureFizz. 2013-02-02. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  8. ^ "BerkleeICE and the Brown Leadership Institute to Host High School Summer Program | Berklee College of Music". Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  9. ^ "Rethink Music puts focus back on music-industry transparency". Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  10. ^ Rubenfire, Adam (2014-08-06). "Fine-Art Students Get Lessons in Business". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  11. ^ "Music Royalties Initiative Unites YouTube, Spotify, Labels". Rolling Stone. 2016-06-13. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  12. ^ Granados, Nelson. "Academics, Music Labels, Streaming Services Unite To Fix Music's Digital Ecosystem". Forbes. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  13. ^ "YouTube, Spotify, Major Labels Join Initiative to Streamline Music Royalties | Pitchfork". 13 June 2016. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  14. ^ "Panos A. Panay | Berklee".
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Berklee Abu Dhabi Center | Berklee".
  17. ^ "The Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi Celebrates Opening of Berklee Abu Dhabi".
  18. ^ "Berklee College of Music has a new outpost in Abu Dhabi - the Boston Globe". The Boston Globe.
  19. ^ "Panos Panay". Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  20. ^ Panay, Panos. "Panos Panay". Entrepreneur. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  21. ^ Huston, Caitlin (18 September 2013). "Panos Panay: Offer the Best Work Environment". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  22. ^ "Why Music Majors Make Some Of The Best Entrepreneurs". Fast Company. 2014-11-04. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  23. ^ TEDx Talks (2014-08-27), How my guitar taught me entrepreneurship | Panos Panay | TEDxBerkleeValencia, retrieved 2016-06-21
  24. ^ "episode 3 - two beats ahead | Michael Hendrix and Panos Panay". The Artian. 2021-04-08. Retrieved 2021-04-09.
  25. ^ Panay, Panos A.; Michael Hendrix, R. (4 August 2020). Two Beats Ahead. ISBN 9781541730571.
  26. ^ Two Beats Ahead.
  27. ^ "05_Panos Panay". Fast Company. 2005-03-01. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  28. ^ "BBJ announces 40 Under 40 honorees - Boston Business Journal". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  29. ^ "Announcing This Year's 50 on Fire Winners [VIDEO]". BostInno. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  30. ^ "About Kimberly - Miximals & Co". Miximals & Co. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  31. ^ Reddit, "Ask me anything" with Panos Panay