Criteria and Frequently Asked Questions

The MIT Creative Arts Competition encourages the launch of arts-focused startups at MIT. Consequently, teams are required to have at least one current MIT student member and to have a business plan with arts at its core.

 

COMPETITION RULES

  1. To compete, your venture must have arts at it’s core: this means your idea either directly promotes the arts or features arts as an intrinsic part of the mission or business model.
  2. Teams must include at least one current MIT student. Currently registered MIT students include all full-time and part-time undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral candidates.
  3. Each team may enter only one idea.
  4. Submissions must be the original work of the submitting team.
  5. The Judging Panel reserves the right to disqualify any entry.

 

JUDGING CRITERIA

The Competition seeks ventures with a strong:

ARTS FOCUS

The team has explained how their business idea and business model fit into the arts continuum, meaning that they fairly and sufficiently address the needs of: the artist, the producer, the customer/user, and/or all other pertinent stakeholders involved in a viable arts entrepreneurship initiative.

IMPACT

The arts-focused business plan offers an innovative approach to solving a real need related to the sustainability of the arts and/or a novel way to increase the cultural and societal impact of the arts. The ideal plan can be scaled, and once implemented, will have a substantial, sustainable, and measurable impact. Note that impact may not necessarily translate to profit; social enterprise and nonprofit models are also encouraged.

BUSINESS MODEL

The pitch describes a clear strategy and milestones that the team will execute to create a financially sustainable venture. Note that some teams may have already tested their business model, while others are in the early stages of developing their plan; applicants of all stages are welcome to the competition.

 

TEAM

The team (with at least one current MIT student) has the expertise, skills, and commitment necessary to execute their arts-focused business plan.

 

CLARITY OF PITCH

The pitch is presented in a professional and clear fashion.

2019 $15K Creative Arts Competition. Credit: HErickson/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 include: a new web platform that connects artists, a game company that focuses on music, a network designed to promote artistic culture, or 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. You can check out past recipients of the award here.

2. How do I apply?

Applications are accepted annually via online submission. Deadline and the access link will be posted here when available.

3. What is the judging process?

A panel of leaders from the arts at MIT will review all the applications. A group of semi-finalists will then be reviewed by our panel of expert judges at a live pitch event in the spring. Judges may include former and current MIT Visiting Artists, entrepreneurs in the creative industries, local artists, MIT alumni, and leaders in the arts at MIT.

In the initial round, the judges are looking for potential. Make sure to clearly define your vision and potential impact. In the final round, the judges are looking for more mature development of that potential in the business plans, with a clear understanding of your roadmap to success.

4.  I’m not ready to apply to the Competition; can I still join the START Studio?

The START Studio arts incubator and makerspace is currently at capacity; more space may become available in the future. Applications typically are accepted at the beginning of each semester and student teams are admitted after a brief interview and orientation sessions.

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

For more information contact:

Shannon Rose McAuliffe
Manager of Student Arts Programs
617.253.4004