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James McAulay (businessman)

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

James McAulay (born 1993) is a Scottish technology entrepreneur and cellist who co-founded the online musician booking platform Encore[1]. McAulay is the CEO of the company.

Early life and education[edit]

McAulay was born in Glasgow. He attended the specialist music school Douglas Academy where he gained an ABRSM Diploma in cello performance.[2]

He began studying Computer Science at Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge in 2011 and achieved his Bachelor of Arts in 2014.[2] At university he played cello in the Cambridge University Music Society (CUMS) Symphony Orchestra.


McAulay was invited to London-based startup accelerator Entrepreneur First’s third cohort in 2014 where he met fellow Cambridge computer science graduate James King[3]. The two decided to combine their knowledge of tech and music and to build Encore, a new platform designed to make it simple for anyone to book musicians online.[4]

In 2017, the platform won the Europe Category at Slush Music tech startup awards in Helsinki.[5]

By 2018, Encore had a full-time team based in its offices in central London and had become one of the UK's largest suppliers of live music for weddings, corporate functions and other events.[6]  

Later that year, Encore was shortlisted for's Innovative Business of the Year award for "shaking up the music-booking industry in a way that’s beneficial for everyone involved".[7]


McAulay has given a TEDx talk[8] and regularly appears startup podcasts[9][10][11][12]. As a professional cellist, he has performed at the BBC Proms in the Albert Hall and on a live broadcast of The X Factor with Emily Middlemas.[13]

Under McAulay, during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 Encore received recognition in Forbes[14], The Times[15], Techcrunch[16] and BBC Radio Wales[17] for its personalised music messages initiative which helped musicians earn a living by selling custom music videos through the platform.


  1. "Encore – lights up or curtain call?". The Tab - Cambridge. Retrieved 2020-05-21. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  2. 2.0 2.1 "European Graduates | University of Cambridge, United Kingdom". Retrieved 2020-05-21.
  3. Whitwell, Joe. "Encore Founder James McAulay Taught Coding To Make Ends Meet During The Entrepreneur First Programme". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-05-21.
  4. "Encore wants to make it easy to book a musician or band for your event". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2020-05-21.
  5. "WARM Wins Slush Music 20 Pitching Competition". Slush. 2017-11-28. Retrieved 2020-06-23.
  6. "How "Airbnb for musicians" established the UK's largest live music network". Business Advice. 2018-06-06. Retrieved 2020-05-21.
  7. "People's Champion finalist 2018: Encore Musicians - Startups Awards". Startups Awards by Start up a successful business. 2018-10-22. Retrieved 2020-06-23.
  8. "Music Startups and Embracing the Unknown | James McAulay | TEDxRNCM". YouTube. Oct 17, 2017. Retrieved 2020-05-21. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  9. "‎Create Reach Inspire: James McAulay: Empowering Musicians With Tech on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved 2020-05-21.
  10. Reinventing the face of the music booking industry with James McAulay, CEO of Encore, retrieved 2020-05-21
  11. "#056: James McAulay". startupsecrets. Retrieved 2020-05-21.
  12. "‎Marketplace Mechanics on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved 2020-05-21.
  13. "Emily Middlemas puts her own spin on a Whitney classic | Live Shows Week 3 | The X Factor UK 2016". YouTube. 2016. Retrieved 2020-05-21. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  14. Bell, Douglas. "How This Music Business Is Bouncing Back From Crisis By Spreading Joy". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-05-21.
  15. Hodgkinson, Will. "How to help your favourite band survive the coronavirus crisis". ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 2020-05-21.
  16. "Encore's musical messages let you commission a video performance to send to loved ones". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2020-05-21.
  17. "Jonny Venvell posted on LinkedIn". Retrieved 2020-05-21.

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