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MICA Hopes New Entrepreneurship Center will be a National Model

The Daily Record

October 23, 2019


Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) plans to open a center for entrepreneurship next year, expanding the university’s moves create a national model for incorporating business education with an art and design core.

The Ratcliffe Center for Creative Entrepreneurship will open with $5 million in funding from the Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation, a consistent underwriter of the university’s entrepreneurial efforts.

The foundation has funded the university’s UP/Start Venture Competition since 2015. Samuel Hoi, the university’s president, described the entrepreneurship center as a next step in MICA’s efforts to support student entrepreneurs.

“With that relationship, we were able to think together about what was the logical next step,” he said. “The right next step really is boldly taking entrepreneurship into the curriculum and taking a full-college approach to creative entrepreneurship.”

Hoi said MICA, which now enrolls about 2,000 students, felt that more should be done institutionally to encourage art and design students to think like entrepreneurs, including through artistic or social endeavors.

“Artists and designers are natural entrepreneurs, but they don’t always see themselves that way,” he said. “Sometimes they don’t actually feel comfortable interacting with business.”

But artists and designers have always been entrepreneurs, and Hoi said they anticipated the gig economy.