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Priya Kuruganti '26 poses in Gerri C. LeBow Hall.

Topping the Charts at the Hackathon: LeBow Student Wins Data in Music Competition


March 14, 2024

The old adage says, “follow your passion, and success will follow.”

One Drexel undergraduate student is hoping to link her passion for music with professional achievement in the music business, and recently took a step toward that goal by taking part in a learning opportunity alongside fellow students and professionals in her dream field.

Priya Kuruganti, a third-year operations and supply chain management student in the LeBow College of Business, helped her team win the Measure of Music Hackathon, a competition involving groups collaborating and presenting a project that ties into data in the music industry.

Kuruganti’s team, HomeStage, pitched a platform that would help local and independent music venues book artists through search and recommendations. This project earned top recognition from the panel of judges from music-industry mainstays like Universal Music Group, SoundCloud and Rolling Stone.

Her role in the project focused on the data analytics side, along with researching artists playing at various venues across her home state of New Jersey.

“Our HomeStage app is based around allowing artists and venues to sign up and book directly through the platform,” Kuruganti said. “I assigned each artist and venue a score based on criteria like genre, location and venue size to be able to match their compatibility.”

The competition also allowed participants to work directly with data analytics tools like Chartmetrics and real-world platforms like the application programming interface (API) used by Ticketmaster. “There are so many resources out there that a lot of us aren’t aware of,” Kuruganti said, adding that she also learned directly from her teammates.

“One of my teammates was so gracious — she sat me down while putting my data through a linear regression model and walked me through what every line of the code meant. It definitely shed light on something that would be beneficial to me in the future.”

Kuruganti grew up around music — playing a slew of instruments, being a drummer in a band and working with the School of Rock program in Red Bank, N.J. to provide music lessons — and she hopes this passion will foster a path in the industry. Venue operations and consumer analytics are two areas of the field that interest her, but she’s open to exploring and learning more about potential careers.

Her participation in the Measure of Music Conference, which featured Drexel’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design as a sponsor, can help open doors to finding a career combining her academic interest in operations and personal interest in music.

“I saw an opportunity to really get my foot in the door in the music industry, being that I am a business student and not a music student,” Kuruganti said.

“I didn’t enter saying ‘I want to win this.’ I just did it because I thought it would help guide me to see what I would want to do in the future. I think you shouldn’t just do things because you want to win. You should have the drive to want to learn new things.”

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