October 26, 2015
This past Saturday, October 24th, RISD Careers hosted RISD Entrepreneur Mindshare sponsored in part by SE Greenhouse. The event featured RISD alumni that started their own businesses and was interspersed with networking coffee breaks. A portion of the speakers did 30 minute sessions including a Ted-style talk and then follow-up Q&A, while the segment titled “Making It in RI” included 15 minute interviews with entrepreneurs that have stayed in RI after RISD to start their businesses!
A common thread among the presentations was the foundation that these Design Entrepreneurs had as graduates of the Rhode Island School of Design: through the honing of their own design process, whether in studies pertaining to furniture design, illustration, textiles, graphic design, and so on, these designers are able to bring their unique processes to the world of entrepreneurship. The stories of the speakers painted a picture of creative use of their design strengths and process to address a need or problem facing society.
SEG Accelerator Graduates, Maeve Jopson and Cynthia Poon of Increment, were featured alongside the founders of Pneuhaus, Cable Car Cinema, and O&G Studio in the segment named “Making It in RI.” An interesting theme among these businesses is that many of the partnerships and business concepts took root during coursework at RISD. Even more exciting to hear were what these entrepreneurs saw to be the benefits of doing business in the great state of Rhode Island. For example Maeve and Cynthia emphasized that “everyone [in RI] has an attitude of being in it together.” Similarly, Daniel Kamil of Cable Car Cinema noted that “the smallness of the state is incredible… we are able to engage in our community and have an impact.” Many also noted that the “design culture” in Rhode Island is a huge advantage for product testing and development– critical feedback is readily available.
We are proud to have sponsored such an inspirational event that highlighted the intersection of Design and Entrepreneurship. We look forward to working with RISD Careers in the future!