The HIVE Hosts Draper Competition for Creative Innovators

CalArts’ HIVE held the Draper Competition for Creative Innovators earlier this month.

So you want to be an entrepreneur?

That was the simple question posed to CalArts students and alumni last semester when the Institute launched its HIVE (Hybrid Incubator for Visionary Entrepreneurs) initiative. The Office of Career Services, working in partnership with the Office of the Provost, offered a series of programs and workshops on business development, project funding and overcoming legal hurdles for those who were interested or curious about entrepreneurship and the arts.

The HIVE curriculum was designed to culminate in the Draper Competition for Creative Innovators, a “pitch” competition comparable in format to ABC’s reality TV show, Shark Tank (though the HIVE’s version was more supportive and definitely less cut-throat than the TV counterpart).

Nineteen proposals were submitted for the Draper Competition, with eight selected to move forward to a live pitch round on April 8 before several judges: CalArts alumna Amy Amsterdam (Theater BFA 93), co-chair, HIVE Advisory Council; Ryan Germick, head of Google Doodle; CalArts alumnus Robbie Nock (Art MFA 12), manager, Entrepreneurship & Professional Practice, ArtCenter College of Design; Tracy McWilliams, HIVE Advisory Council member, and founding partner, Heritage Capital Ventures, LLC; and John Underkoffler, HIVE Advisory Council member, and CEO, Oblong Industries.

The presentations were judged on creativity, originality, and cohesive business and financial plans, among other criteria. The Draper Competition winners and their project summaries follow:

Wonder, Inc.
Lian Walden (Theater MFA1 19); Set Design; Lisa Dring (Critical Studies MFA 18); and Ratri Anindyajati (Theater MFA 17)

We are launching an experience design firm specializing in intimate, site-specific experiences. We curate custom urban adventures that are part scavenger hunt, part performance installation. We activate public spaces by imbuing mundane urban landscapes with whimsy and wonder. We design surreal encounters in familiar settings in order to deepen people’s curiosity and engagement with their environment. We curate private experiences for corporations, groups and individuals.

Curry Tree Design
Ekta Aggarwal (Art MFA 18)

I make earth-friendly bags using handmade fabrics in Delhi, India. Through my work, I want to create an awareness for compassionate fashion. The materials that I use for the bags are ethically sourced and support farmers and the landscape. The bags are made by local craftsmen, and through our work we support local industry and craftsmanship.

Tri House Films
Jeremy Griffith (Theater BFA 18); Matthew McKay (Theater BFA 16); Kevin Frederick (Theater MFA 16)

Tri House Films is a production company aimed at enriching the lives of our audiences. We strive to create content that is as joyful and exuberant as it is socially relevant and thought-provoking. We currently specialize in making comedic shorts; we are currently developing comedic television shows; and we are working to one day create dramatic feature-length films as well.

Collaborative Music Notebook
Benjamin Finley (Music MFA 16)

I would like redesign what it means to listen to an album. I want design and distribute a visual accompaniment to music that I’ve composed for a chamber ensemble that acts as a literary guide and bridges the gap between written narratives and music. This will be an interdisciplinary effort with photographers, writers, graphic design artists and musicians that will be sold in music stores, at performances, festivals, book stores and fairs.

The teams and individuals were vying for project stipends of $3,500, a $1,500 stipend to help cover living expenses, and a spot in the 5-week HIVE Summer Program, which runs from May 22-June 23. The Summer Program provides the winners with physical space, resources, workshops, programs and mentors to help further develop their enterprise ideas.

Reporter Priska Neely covered the Draper Competition for KPCC 89.3, Southern California Public Radio. Listen and read her on-site report.

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