Congratulations to our two winners (in alphabetical order): Andrew Yee (Attacca Quartet) and Ruby Chou (Mundi Project)! Splitting the $10,000 Artrepreneur Award, the National Arts Incubation Lab's jury made of the Expert Artrepreneurs spent an intensive three days working alongside the 8 Artrepreneurs, professional artists who hailed from all over North America. (L-R: Idris Mootee, Ryhna Thompson, Kim Noltemy, Ruby Chou, Andrew Yee, Shanta Thake, Raymond Bisha, Max Weitzenhoffer.)
After a competitive admissions process through application, the 8 Artrepreneurs worked with Arts Management and Entrepreneurship (AME) faculty and Price College of Business faculty on various valuable intersections of the creative process, business acumen, and entrepreneurial strategy. From learning how to present one's ideas in various pitch formats to understanding negotations to exercising the business model canvas, this one-of-a-kind event brought our 8 Artrepreneurs to the forefront of a new ecosystem -- all aided by our AME Graduate Consulting Team, led by our extraordinary Honors Fellow, Dan Sloat.
The Graduate Consulting Team stayed late into the night to help our impressive professional Artrepreneurs with a variety of supports including market analyses, information, prototype wire-framing, and financial projections.
Our Artrepreneurs made the decision very difficult for our Expert Artrerpeneur jury members. All showed incredible openness, tenacity, and mettle diving into a variety of new frameworks and concepts. Working closely with our Experts, each Artrepreneur grew their ideas and abilities by leaps and bounds.
The Artrepreneur Award went to Dr. Ruby Chou, the Executive Director of Mundi Project, brings music education (including pianos into families' homes) to youths in low-income communities. Mundi Project minted a new partnership with Neighborhood House and is looking to expand and scale a new intergenerational program. Expert Artrepreneurs were impressed by Mundi Project's base operations and proven sustainability. Along with the guidance of Experts Shanta Thake and Max Weitzenhoffer, AME Graduate Consultants supported Dr. Chou with building a business model canvas and strategic planning.
The Artrepreneur Award also went to Andrew Yee, cellist of the Attacca Quartet, who is creating immersive and inclusive experiences including a vest designed and programmed specifically for the enjoyment and augmentation of music. An internationally award-winning artist, Andrew's Attacca Quartet is one of the leading string quartets in the world. Expert Artrepreneurs were impressed with Andrew's demonstration and deep potential for breakthrough. AME Graduate Consultants worked alongside Experts Idris Mootee and Ryhna Thompson to help understand the potential market impact and next steps for Andrew's business concept.
In a field of winners, the other Artrepreneurs were:
Against The Grain Theatre (Toronto): Innovative, award-winning opera company with exciting new expansion with CBC livestream agreements. Expert Artrepreneurs were greatly impressed with Artistic Director Joel Ivany's compelling projects and artistic achievements. AME Graduate Consultants worked on building clear financial projections along with market-based data, along with break-out sessions with Shanta Thake and Raymond Bisha.
Boulanger Initiative (Washington, DC): An extraordinary organization with a powerful mission to work towards greater inclusivity for underrepresented artists. Experts were impressed with Boulanger Initiative's early successes and impactful first conference. AME Graduate Consultants worked with artistic director Laura Colgate and her team members Simone Baron and Anthony Marotta on business strategy and lean start up methodology, with the advice of Raymond Bisha and Kim Noltemy.
Julius String Quartet (Dallas): This talented string quartet is in residence at Southern Methodist University who developed within the Lab a process and solution for one of the major pain points in new music: lack of access to dedicated musicians. Experts Kim Noltemy and Idris Mootee worked with Julius on business operations and digital technology, while supported by our AME Graduate Consultant with market benchmarks and building concept.
Miki Sawada (Boston): An accomplished pianist with her Master's from Yale University and numerous performances around the world, Miki Sawada has a unique and intimate concert program with early market success. Experts Artrepreneurs were impressed with Miki's videos demonstrating the impact of these events. Experts Shanta Thake and Idris Mootee worked with Miki on logistics and strategy, while supported by the AME Graduate Consultants.
M.J. Alexander (Oklahoma City): Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Famer, M.J. Alexander is creating a new project to follow up on her many successful publications and public presentations. Experts were moved by M.J.'s artful photography and passion for her Oklahoman subjects. Experts Ryhna Thompson and Kim Noltemy met with M.J. to discuss channels of delivery and visibility with support from the AME Graduate Consultant Team.
Nuné Melik (Montreal): An accomplished violinist with a passion for bringing together interdisciplinary and multicultural performances while championing works from her Armenian heritage, Nuné impressed our Expert Artrepreneurs with her rapid growth through the strategic principles taught in the NAIL bootcamp before their arrival. A new app and interlocking system was created during the lab for her project Hidden Treasures. After break-out sessions with Raymond Bisha and Ryhna Thompson, Dan Sloat from our AME Graduate Consultant Team helped build out a wireframes and a strengthened business model.