Follow Heather Twitter Facebook
Email Heather Email
Education
Oct 30, 2019

Masterstroke — the Art of Venture Creation

Sponsored Content provided by Heather McWhorter - Interim Director, UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

British venture capitalist, John Whatmore, is on a quest. He’s working to unearth the alchemy of creativity and use it to drive innovation and build the United Kingdom’s golden future.

And we’re following him on this journey. After being introduced to John’s blog by Bill Knowles, our local innovation guru and board member for the Center for Creative Economy, I’ve been taking notes on how we can harness the creative economy to develop a golden future for Wilmington.

Whatmore asked: Are Incubators and accelerators becoming ossified in their formats? If so, the arts suggest a more varied landscape, and a less prescriptive approach – from which businesses could draw.
 
Business accelerators continue to proliferate – with roughly the same basic model and well-established practices. The arts continue to be one of our region’s most vibrant sectors, and creativity and innovation are their foundation. What can we take from the artistic process and transfer to new venture creation?

Take filming a documentary, for example, something that is commonplace here. The filmmakers go through steps very similar to any business startup; from conception, through development, iterating, staging and filming, to commercialization; and the process is highly collaborative. The parallels are obvious.

Last week, Whatmore’s article, “Making Innovation Flourish” offers some great insights. He investigated arts incubators in London and New York City. 
  
Watershed Bristol’s Pervasive Media Studio is one. It’s a ‘hive’ where 30 people work in close proximity, hot-desking with an intensity and intimacy that encourages interaction. At tekMountain, a local co-working environment, they call those interactions ‘collisions’.
 
Another variant is the ‘ideas nursery’. Metal Art in London is a studio space where writers can take time out to develop an idea they have for a play. The National Theatre’s Studio Workshop acts as a concept development lab for playwrights to develop material – by providing facilities to ‘see how it works’.
 
Whatmore visited New York City’s New Museum, an art and technology co-working space, where 40 fee-paying members were selected from over 400 applicants for full-time access to the facility and its programs for two years. The space includes amenities typical of both business incubators and maker spaces, and membership includes business classes and mentorships.

Members bring new values to the business incubator model because “they are not necessarily devoted to profit, scale or attracting investors.” The focus is on artists who are starting their own tech-oriented businesses or adding a “missing ingredient” to entrepreneur teams; and there is a desire to leverage this interdisciplinary community for social impact. The goal is to support and diversify creative industries in the city.

A study by the New York Center for an Urban Future indicates that although New York turns out many art and design graduates who would like to stay in the city, most don’t have resources to do so. The same is true in Wilmington.

Interested in joining this quest? The next stop on our journey is Cucalorus Connect, November 14-15. Connect explores the intersection between creativity, technology, and humanity. Join us for two days of deep conversations, playful interactions, and new partnerships with artists, technologists, and leading thinkers on health, entrepreneurship, coastal resilience, racial justice, and more.

Diane Durance, MPA, is director of UNC Wilmington's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). The CIE is a resource for the start-up and early-stage business community to help diversify the local economy with innovative solutions. For more information, visit www.uncw.edu/cie.  

Other Posts from Heather McWhorter

Uncw cie 21
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Burrus rob headshot 300x300

Economics: The Inflation Surge

Robert Burrus - Cameron School of Business - UNC-Wilmington
Picture1 12522112034

Commercial Roof Spring Cleaning Checklist

Jeanette Omdalen - Highland Roofing Company
Jeremytomlinson enfuse headshot

37% of Orgs Said They Were the Victim of Ransomware In 2021

Jeremy Tomlinson - Enfuse Technology Solutions

Trending News

Wilmington Announces New Planning Director

Staff Reports - May 20, 2022

WECT Names General Sales Manager

Staff Reports - May 20, 2022

What’s Next For Wilmington East’s $315M Windfall?

Johanna F. Still - May 20, 2022

Owners Taking Fermental To New Level

Lynda Van Kuren - May 20, 2022

Info Junkie: Aariene Hansley

Staff Reports - May 20, 2022

In The Current Issue

Creative Campus Aims To Draw Artists

The Cucalorus Festival has covered a lot of ground over the past 28 years, and with executive director Dan Brawley at the helm, it continues...


Info Junkie: Aariene Hansley

Aariene Hansley, entrepreneurial academy education coordinator at business development firm Genesis Block, shares her top info and tech pick...


MADE: Making A Cut In Custom Woodworking

A staple in the community for about three decades, the Wilmington custom woodworking shop also features a retail component – a unique featur...

Book On Business

The 2022 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

Trying to Grow a Business?
2020 Health Care Heroes
2020 WilmingtonBiz 100