Generation E: Ian Stake and Amplify, Inc.
A series featuring young entrepreneurs and the faith that pushes them forward
by Robin Tierney
Amplify, Inc.'s Snyder Renaissance Project involves restoring Snyder Memorial Church, built in 1903 next to Hemming Park in Jacksonville, Fla., turning it into a recording studio, performance space, and technology training center.
"We aim to reach out to youth through music and be a resource for them to grow in their musical expression and talent," explains Ian Stake, founder and CEO of Amplify. "We felt called to do this endeavor, and we see a close relationship with fostering creativity and understanding a Creator. Music lets that conversation happen."
Stake's background is ideal: He has served as an associate pastor, campus/youth minister, and worship leader, and he has 20 years of experience in the music industry.
To live out its motto—"Empower young lives through music and technology" —Amplify helps youth refine their art, record and distribute music, and find places to perform. Its after-school Digital Music Academy teaches elementary students how to create music on computers.
"We've made a difference by helping musical artists accomplish things that allowed their music to be heard by a much broader audience," says Stake.
Like any business, faith-based ventures require "vision, good leadership, teamwork, a plan, and the determination to see it through," explains Stake. "Our faith [is] what drives and sustains us."
In 2014, Amplify, Inc.'s Snyder Renaissance Project won the top award in the innovation category at One Spark, Jacksonville's fast-growing crowdfunding festival.
Robin Tierney, an award-winning arts and outdoors writer based in the South, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.