$10K Creative Arts Competition

The MIT Creative Arts Competition is a $10,000 prize, awarded every year at the MIT $100K Launch Contest, for the innovative use of the arts as a core component of a business plan.

The submission deadline for the next 10K Creative Arts Competition is March 2015

Teams submit through the 100K application

2014 Winners: SoundSpark

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Congratulations to SoundSpark, the winner of our 2014 $10K Creative Arts Prize! SoundSpark is a music crowdfunding site that works with labels, allowing fans to co­invest in an artist’s record deal and receive a share of revenues. By working with the world’s most influential labels, they allow fans to connect with label-curated artists before they blow up.

Photo: Christopher Nolte and Ana Villanueva of SoundSpark are presented the prize by Leila Kinney, Executive Director of Arts Initiatives at MIT on May 14, 2014.
Photo by L. Barry Hetherington


2013 Winners: Depict

Kim Gordon and Shambhavi Kama of Medium with Sam Magee at 10k creative arts competition 2013

Kimberly Gordon and Shambhavi Kadam of Mediuum receive $10k Creative Arts Competition prize 2013.  The award was presented by Sam Magee, coordinator of student arts programs during the $100k contest finale on March 15, 2013.

Depict.com, a new online platform, helps people discover, display, and enjoy art digitally by bringing new art to any wifi-enabled device with a screen.

The team of MIT graduate students, computer programmers and artists was awarded $10,000 for the best arts-focused business plan.

“Coming from MIT, the prize establishes our company at the intersection of art and technology.”
-Kim Gordon of Depict.com


Watch a video interview with Mediuum (Depict), produced by the Martin Trust Center for Entrepreneurship

The Depict.com team includes:
Shambhavi Kadam:
MIT (B.S. Aerospace Engineering ’06), MIT Sloan (MBA ’12)
Kimberly Gordon:
Columbia (B.A. East Asian Studies & Chinese Literature ’08), MIT Sloan (MBA ’13)




Our distinguished jury who selected this year’s winners:
Eran Ergozy, ’95, musician and Chief Technical Officer & VP of Engineering of Harmonix Music Systems
Marc Steglitz, ’65, Chief Operating Officer at the Guggenheim Museum, New York
Marcel Botha, ’06, entrepreneur, engineer, architect and inventor
Guilherme Marcondes, artist, filmmaker and 2013 MIT Visiting Artist
Mary Hale, ’09, artist and Designer at Shepley Bulfinch

About the competition

Any MIT student team in the $100K Launch Contest is eligible to win $10K if the arts or design are a core component of the proposal. It is possible to win the $10K competition even if the team does not win the entire MIT $100K Launch Contest. The funds awarded help support the launch of the team’s enterprise and are awarded as a grant. The same rules that apply to MIT $100K Launch Contest prizes apply to those of the $10K Creative Arts Competition.

Our mission is to support innovative and entrepreneurial student start-ups that have arts at their core, while also placing MIT at the forefront of arts and design competitions.

Judges may include former and current MIT visiting artists, entrepreneurs in the creative industries, local artists and leaders of the Arts at MIT.

This prize is part of the MIT $100K Launch Contest. In this contest, teams come together to develop plans to launch their start-ups, while competing for the Robert P. Goldberg Grand Prize!

Submission of Entries

  • Any MIT student team in the $100K Launch Contest is eligible to win the $10K Creative Arts Competition by checking the box on the MIT $100K Launch Contest application.
  • An executive summary explaining the significance of the arts and/or design, no more than 1,200 words and no more than 10 charts and images in a pdf format, must also be submitted by March 17, 2014 to sammagee@mit.edu.
  • Entries must be received on time and in the appropriate format
  • A live pitch and feedback session is scheduled for April 29th 4-8pm
  • The decision of the the $10K MIT Creative Arts Competition jury regarding late or non-conforming submissions is final.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What does it mean to have arts and design at the core of a business?

  • Your business must create, integrate or promote the arts as its primary goal. Examples are: new web platform that connects artists; a game company that focuses on music; a network designed to promote artistic culture; a company that licenses an algorithm used to collect data points on songs for better searching and disseminating. As long as the arts and/or design are critical to your business plan, you are eligible to compete.

2. What happens if my team is not selected to be a semifinalist of the MIT $100K Launch Contest? Am I still able to compete for the $10K Creative Arts Competition?

  • Yes.

3. How do I apply?

  • Check the box on the MIT $100K Launch Contest application and submit the executive summary described above.

4. What is the timeline for submission of entries for the $10K Creative Arts Competition, and when will the Prize be awarded?

  • The timeline for submission is listed above; the prize is awarded each May.

5. What is the judging process?

  • A panel of leaders from the Arts at MIT will review all the applicants who check the $10K Creative Arts Prize box and submit their executive summary. A group of semi-finalists will then be reviewed by our panel of expert judges. Judges may include former and current MIT Visiting Artists, entrepreneurs in the creative industries, local artists, MIT alumni and leaders of the Arts at MIT.

6. Are the rules for the $100K and the $10K MIT Creative Arts Competition the same?

  • All of the rules are the same except for the additional requirement that the arts and/or design must be critical to the business plan.


7. Who do I contact with questions about the $10K MIT Creative Arts Competition?

  • Contact Sam Magee, Coordinator of Student Arts Programs at sammagee@mit.edu.