Creative Arts Competition

About the Competition

Any MIT student team in the $100K Launch Contest is eligible to win the Creative Arts Competition if the arts or design are a core component of the proposal. It is possible to win the Creative Arts Competition even if the team does not win the entire MIT $100K Launch Contest.

Winners of the Creative Arts Competition will be awarded $15,000 to help support the launch of the winning team’s enterprise and is offered as a grant. The same rules that apply to the MIT $100K Launch Contest apply to those of the Creative Arts Competition.

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

  • Yes

3. How do I apply?

  • When submitting the MIT $100K Launch Contest application, check the box for Creative Arts Competition and submit an executive summary.

4. What is the timeline for submission of entries for the Creative Arts Competition and when will the winner be awarded?

  • The timeline for submission is concurrent with the $100K Launch Contest and 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 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 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. Please visit the $100K Launch Track website for details.

7. Who do I contact with questions about the $15K MIT Creative Arts Competition?

Image: $100K Competition. Credit: John Marcus III.

Submission of Entries

  • Any MIT student team in the $100K Launch Contest is eligible to win the 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, including no more than 1,200 words and no more than 10 charts and images in a pdf format, must also be submitted.
  • Entries must be received on time and in the appropriate format
  • A live pitch and feedback session is scheduled for spring 2015
  • The decision of the the Creative Arts Competition jury regarding late or non-conforming submissions is final.

Our distinguished jury who selected the 2013 and 2014 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

TapTape (formerly SoundSpark)

TapTape (formerly SoundSpark) is a music crowd-funding site that works with labels, allowing fans to co­-invest 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.

Image: 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 (formerly Mediuum) (formerly Mediuum), 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

The 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)

Media Coverage ( was previously named Mediumm):

Bloomberg Businessweek, May 2013
MIT Campus News, May 2013

Q&A with Kim Gordon in Worth Magazine, February 2015

Photo: Kimberly Gordon and Shambhavi Kadam are presented the prize by Sam Magee, Manager of Student Art Programs at MIT. Photo by L. Barry Hetherington.