Nicholas Cianfaglione ’21
Nicholas Cianfaglione ’21 founded Artist Republik, a decentralized networking platform that allows independent music artists to manage, market, and book themselves, because he wanted to change the music business. His company now serves more than 90,000 independent artists, as well as a network of 2,000 networked professionals, and recently won Rhode Island Inno's Tech Madness Competition, which recognizes fast-growing, tech-enabled local businesses. That’s pretty good for a start-up launched from a dorm room.
Cianfaglione, an Entrepreneurship and Legal Studies major, says that his time at Bryant was instrumental in helping him develop the skills and network he’s needed to turn his big idea into a successful reality. “Being an entrepreneur sometimes means being a one-man band,” he notes. “But it also means knowing that sometimes you can’t do it all by yourself.”
Cianfaglione wears many hats in his day-to-day business. “I'm handling a lot right now,” he acknowledges, “everything from finance to marketing to sales to customer service.” His coursework has helped him rise to that challenge. “I think I've learned something useful from every single class I took at Bryant,” he says. A course in entrepreneurial finance, for instance, helps him manage his business’s finances and plan for the future. An entrepreneurial marketing course allowed him to work with a real client on their marketing plan, trying out what works in a real-world environment.
As the president of Bryant Ventures, the University’s student start-up incubator, Cianfaglione brought together student entrepreneurs exploring business opportunities across a wide range of fields to share inspiration and work together on each other’s problems. “It’s a think tank that gets results,” he says, noting how much he’s enjoyed sharing what he’s learned with other young entrepreneurs.
He’s also been able to build a powerful group of collaborators through his Bryant University connections. “You can’t be the best at everything, that’s just the way it is,” Cianfaglione notes. “By building an effective network around you, though, you can talk to, and work with, the people who are the best at everything.” He counts Marketing instructor Loring Barnes as one of his biggest supporters and cites Legal Studies Lecturer Ilisabeth Bornstein’s assistance with legal issues as invaluable. He’s also found mentors and advisors among Bryant’s 50,000-strong alumni network – and has hired Bryant students for internships and full time positions.
As Artist Republik continues to grow, Cianfaglione knows that he has a great foundation to build on as he continues his mission to change the way the entertainment industry works. “You can’t teach someone to be an entrepreneur; the drive to run your own business has to start with you,” he says. “But what I like about Bryant is that they teach you how to take that drive and turn it into success.”
Real World Experience
Founder, Artist Republik
• Oversees and coordinates a digital platform for independent music artists to manage their careers
Founder, Northeastern Entertainment Solutions, LLC
• Coordinates and manages a company devoted to innovating the entertainment scene
• Grew offshoot marketing company NES360 to over 500 clients across a range of fields
President, Bryant Ventures
• Manages the University’s student start-up incubator, including leading meetings, scheduling events, coordinating speakers, and organizing Public Relations efforts
Co-Organizer, TEDxBryantU 2018
• Assisted in overseeing all aspects of Bryant University’s first TEDx event
Intern, Clarity Software Solutions
• Worked in compliance and data privacy for two years
A Connected Community
Bryant's purposeful student life delivers co-curricular immersion with an inspiring, collegial community. Students forge deep connections that last a lifetime.
Combining diverse ideas and perspective is helping a student to manage a complex world.
“I use real-world examples to highlight what we are talking about and to illustrate not only what faculty are doing, but also to show what’s going on outside our windows.”