Innovation That Matters

Design school equips grads with entrepreneurial toolkits


During tough economic times, the academic challenges of college can pale next to the difficulty of finding a job afterwards. Aiming to help make its graduates’ lives easier in this respect, the Rhode Island School of Design has begun equipping them with a kit of business-oriented tools upon graduation. Now in their second year, RISD’s “artrepreneur kits” include practical tools and resources designed “to help these highly creative thinkers to maximize their potential for innovation and explore entrepreneurial possibilities”. Among them, for instance, is a Square device and activation code, enabling graduates to process credit card payments anywhere. Also included in the kit are free six-month accounts with Prosite, a newly launched online portfolio site from Behance, along with an accompanying publication. YouSendIt, meanwhile, is providing each RISD graduate with a 2GB account free for three months, followed by a service discount on the file-transfer service thereafter. Perhaps best of all, Etsy this year is offering the first-ever Etsy RISD Fellowship to the graduate whose shop on the recently launched RISD Etsy Team Page shows the most promise. The winner will receive a USD 1,500 grant to attend Hello Etsy: A Summit on Small Business and Sustainability in Berlin this fall. RISD also maintains a section on Kickstarter to help its students gain funding and visibility. As tuition fees continue on their upward trend even as economic woes continue, it’s a smart educational institution that does all it can to help its graduates get a leg up in the real world. Other institutions around the globe: what about you? Spotted by: Katharina Kieck



Download PDF