Talking art in stART-Up UW students, alumni talk about entrepreneurship in arts

From left to right: Associate Director for Arts Advancement, Nancy Mattes, winner of the Randy Bauslaugh Arts Entrepreneurship award, Muaaz Masood, UW President and Vice- Chancellor Feridun Hamdullahpur, President of the Arts & Business Society, Amy Zhou. Photo by Ju Hyun Kim

In order to introduce entrepreneurship to arts students, the Arts and Business Society hosted stART-Up on Jan. 17. The event consisted of a panel of students, alumni, and members in the community gathered to talk about the connection between the arts and entrepreneurship. It also served as a networking event, combined with an arts entrepreneurship awards ceremony.

Both on- and off-campus entrepreneurship programs, such as Velocity and the Accelerator Centre, had a booth set up at the event, to tell arts students about the programs and opportunities available to them.

“I really enjoy connecting with the arts side because there’s obviously a stigma: that we’re totally aware that the tech sector does not engage with the arts side,” Accelerator Centre Co-ordinator David Hussey said. “It is really important for us because the arts bring so much to businesses and organizations.”

The fireside chat was moderated by Dialogue Xchange Co-founder Trishala Pillai, the place of arts in the entrepreneurship world was discussed by HealthIM Co-founder Daniel Pearson Hirdes, TedXUW 2016 Co-chair Tim Souza, Fidget Toys Co-founder Renish Kamal, and Velocty Business Advisor Crista Renner.

“When I was in my undergrad way back when, if you were in the arts, you were kind of a rock star in the self-supporting world,” Renner said. “I think it’s important to remember that sometimes the barriers are within ourselves, and we’re putting our own boundaries on ourselves because … maybe we’re not tech or maybe we’re not science, but we are bringing something that used to be pretty accepted, that we were an entrepreneurial spirit.”

At the end of the event, the Ali Arts Entrepreneurship Award was given out to Michel Zehr and the Randy Bauslaugh Arts Entrepreneurship was given to Muaaz Masood.


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