The first component of CCAD’s transformational MindMarket initiative is starting up this spring.
While all three parts of the new CCAD MindMarket program—a business incubator, a project center, and a thought lab—will formally launch this fall, the business incubator started a pilot phase in February. Two “beta participants” are benefiting from the incubator’s services at reduced rates in exchange for providing in-depth feedback to CCAD about what they need and how the incubator can best provide it.
Ultimately, the incubator will house up to eight resident participants in newly renovated, highly visible facilities on the first floor of CCAD’s Design Studios on Broad. (A limited number of non-resident members will also be served.)
Each participant will have an individual workspace, as well as access to meeting rooms, basic office equipment, and administrative support. While planning and construction for those spaces proceeds, beta participants are working with financial, legal, and marketing mentors just down the block in the Loann Crane Center for Design.
Entrepreneurial partners such as TechColumbus and the Columbus State Small Business Development Center are also available as needed.
CCAD alumni were identified as a logical place to look for potential beta participants, and they were notified in December 2011 about the opportunity. More than 40 applications poured in from diverse creative professionals including fine artists, fashion designers, photographers, and art educators.
In the end, two participants were selected. We’re proud to welcome them into their new roles and excited to see their businesses and the CCAD MindMarket incubator grow—together.
Jamie Dicus vividly remembers her first foray into serious jewelry making outside of her CCAD coursework. An aunt agreed to make a completely custom quilt for her—but not for free.
“The deal was that I would have to make her the value of the quilt, $700 or $800, of jewelry in return,” Dicus says. It didn’t stop there. She recalls, “Then my brother and his wife wanted wedding rings. And then I did a CCAD Art Sale—I had a tiny corner of my friend’s booth. I think I made my first non-family-member sale there.”
Dicus, who earned her BFA in Fine Arts in 2007, has steadily built that first CCAD Art Sale transaction into a loyal customer base. She didn’t pause for a second after graduation.
“You have to have a plan and get into it immediately,” she says. “You think it’s hard to be in school, but now it’s all up to you. And you have to figure out how to pay for it.”
She gradually assembled all the necessary equipment for a studio, while developing one particularly popular design into a fuller body of work. She named her business element Ag, after the periodic table’s symbol for silver.
Now that she’s poised to enter the incubator program, a different member of her family is the key influence.
“My dad is an entrepreneur and has been all my life. I’ve seen him have many businesses fail and succeed,” she says. “I love the idea of being your own boss and taking pride in what you do. It’s incredibly difficult, but the rewards outweigh the rest.”
Founded in 2002 as Fulcrum Design Corps by Jamison Pack and CCAD alumnus Jason Moore (Ad/Graph 1996), Fulcrum Creatives gained its current name in 2010, when it entered into partnership with Liz Samuelson, formerly of Genuine Creative. Fulcrum has always had a close bond with CCAD; at the moment, there are two CCAD student interns and one full-time employee who is an alumna (Sami Nummi, Ad/Graph 2011).
Offering a broad range of creative services, Fulcrum’s business model focuses on a triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit.
“Our one-liner is ‘we create, elevate, and sustain organizations that positively impact their community,’” says Samuelson. The incubator will allow Fulcrum to develop an idea that expands that model. It arose out of the company’s ongoing success.
“[As our business grew] we noticed that we had started working with clients who were bigger. We also realized it was a bummer to have to say no to grassroots clients who were doing some of the most important work in our community,” Samuelson says.
The result was Fulcrum’s incubator proposal: a program called Seesaw Squad that will use a multidisciplinary group of undergraduate art and design students to do identity and design work for clients with lesser budgets.
“There’s no one I know of in Ohio that’s doing anything like this,” says Samuelson. “The most valuable aspect of it is the opportunity for younger students to engage with the Columbus community and help make it a better place. Design can do good; creativity can do good.” For more, visit fulcrumcreatives.com.
First MindMarket Visitor Confirmed
We’re excited to announce the CCAD MindMarket’s inaugural visiting lecturer: Internationally renowned design thinking and management expert Roger Martin will speak on campus Friday, September 28. Best known in design circles for his book The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage, Martin was named in 2010 as one of the 27 most influential designers in the world and in 2011 as the sixth top management thinker in the world. The evening will kick off with a reception at 4:30. More details will follow, but mark your calendars now!
Published in print twice a year, CCAD’s IMAGE magazine shares stories about our creative community, whether here in Columbus or around the world—what we’re doing, thinking, and planning next. The IMAGE blog brings those stories online for transmission at the click of a mouse.