Think business and creativity don’t mix? The Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) wants to prove the stereotype wrong today in its November Forum, Entrepreneurship and the Arts: The Impact of the Technology Revolution.
“Entrepreneurship is unique in that it’s applicable to just about any industry,” media coordinator for CIE and journalism senior Kristin Kenney said. “One of the goals of our forums is to illustrate that point by focusing on various industries — from transportation and clean technology to entertainment and media.”
The forum will be split into three different sections. The first is an opening networking session in which students will have the opportunity to meet the featured guests who work in the fields that connect to their interests.
“The forum offers a great way to meet local entrepreneurs and successful people who will both have advice and become possible contacts or future connections,” business administration sophomore and Cal Poly Entrepreneurs officer Tim Sweeney said.
The second section of the forum is the interactive student portion, called Pitches, Networking and Student Exhibits (PEN). This is where students from Cal Poly will have the opportunity to showcase their own projects.
“We’ve cultivated a group of creative and entrepreneurial student enterprises to engage guests and share their passions,” Kenney said.
There will be several exhibits displaying products designed, built and marketed by students, Kenney said. Participants in the PEN section include the Cal Poly chapter of American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), the Concept Creation Club, Vellum Furniture Show Products, UGS, KCPR and the DanceSport Team.
“This is a great opportunity to get inspired and motivated by seeing what other students are doing and sharing in their passions,” Sweeney said.
The last portion of the forum will be a question-and-answer panel with the featured guests led by a moderator. Two of the panelists work within the arts department at Cal Poly, art and design associate professor Enrica Costello and Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center (PAC) managing director Ron Regier.
Additionally, there will be panelists who started their own businesses, such as James Roberts from Subplot Studios, Mark Coudray from Coudray Graphic Technologies and co-founder of Hundred 10 Layne Lev. The final speaker is Chris Burkard, a freelance photographer from Surfer Magazine.
The forum is open to students of all majors, but is specifically targeted at those students studying art and design, architecture, graphic communication and journalism, Kenney said. The forum will be held from 4:45 to 7 p.m. today in the PAC, with the capacity to fit 200 students. Registration can be found online and is free to any Cal Poly student.
CIE holds two forums per quarter. The first forum of the quarter in October focused on building a diverse start-up team for a new business.
“All these forums that get put on are awesome and the people that go to them are not only bright, but are extremely fun and interesting to talk to,” Ken Orvick, who graduated from Cal Poly in the spring, said.
Not only does the CIE hold forums, but the center also offers a summer accelerator program, the Innovation Sandbox and access to consultants and resources from a variety of industries.
“We’re developing an entrepreneurial ecosystem in San Luis Obispo by connecting student startups with the mentors and opportunities they need to successfully launch their ideas,” Kenney said.