“Good business is the best art,” Andy Warhol declared, and likewise, good art can be the basis for better business. Sam Magee, one of the principle organizers of MIT STARTUP, points out, “The arts are an integral part of the start-up process. MIT STARTUP recognizes that creative thinking and innovation are fueled by the artistic mind, and this initiative offers an arena in which students are encouraged and supported in their creative endeavors.” The Boston Globe recently reported, arts and cultural organizations create 45,000 area jobs and contribute $1 billion to the local economy. Acknowledging the role of the arts in both the start-up process and wider economic growth, MIT STARTUP adds to the Institute’s strong history of entrepreneurship and innovation.
MIT STARTUP, a new arts entrepreneurship initiative, supports arts-based entrepreneurial projects at every stage of development — from ideation to acceleration to launch. The initiative is presented by MIT’s Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) in partnership with the Sloan School of Management’s Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship. The program launched in October with the Hacking Arts festival and hackathon, and culminates in May with the $15K Creative Arts award, a track in MIT’s $100K competition that recognizes the most promising startup plan with arts or design at its core. The initiative also includes a new STARTUP makerspace equipped with state-of-the-art digital fabrication equipment and a speaker series on arts entrepreneurship, Arts Innovation in the Digital Age.
“We are thrilled to be launching this new initiative that combines MIT’s dynamic entrepreneurial culture with its deep heritage in arts and design,” says Leila W. Kinney, Executive Director of Arts Initiatives at MIT. “Ever since the presidency of Jerome H. Wiesner in the 1970s, MIT has incorporated the arts as a conduit of innovation, believing them to be essential to the creative environment of a research institution renowned for science and engineering.”
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