CCAD’s MindMarket Marries Business and CreativityEntrepreneurial Support — By Susan Post on May 21, 2014 at 8:00 am
After undergoing a name refinement from the MindShop to the MindMarket, CCAD’s space at 390 E. Broad is morphing from incubator to a more engaging space where creative forces can mesh.
“This is supposed to be the intersection between creativity and business,” MindMarket Manager Jack Storey says.
The MindMarket presents three lab philosophies for small business and entrepreneurs.
The Venture Lab is what Storey describes as the business nitty gritty services. This includes coworking resources, mentorship opportunities and business workshops.
“The Trend Lab is about research and development,” Storey says. This portion of the MindMarket is meant to help brands develop and help them to frame their ideas, looking at questions like why someone needs a product versus focusing purely on the creation component.
The Design Lab brings the MindMarket experience full circle providing the actual design component. The lab promotes collaboration across campus and operates similar to a design studio. Students of different majors handle design projects for about five clients a semester. The new program provides students the opportunity to work with other majors, solve business problems and work with clients on a business level. With the new program, CCAD is refining their process for finding clients, but is reaching out to some businesses, targeting interested alumni and sharing the opportunity by word of mouth.
MindMarket has a number of rentable spaces that serve a variety of purposes. In addition to an open coworking area, businesses can utilize MindMarket’s project rooms. Whiteboard walls are one of the creative components of the smaller spaces designed for brainstorming. MindMarket also offers ample classroom-type space. A large flex-space can be accommodated for events as necessary too.
Long-term, MindMarket has big plans for their Broad Street Lab. The space currently serves as the design area, but in the future will be part design agency, part innovative retail space. The retail space will allow a company to come full circle, providing the opportunity for entrepreneurs to incubate then put their goods out in a public way for consumption.
While it is a part of CCAD, the goal is to involve the community in the MindMarket.
“If you could use this kind of space then we would love you to be here,” Storey says. And, no matter the industry, Storey sees several distinct advantages to utilizing their resources. While the most obvious is providing a physical space for entrepreneurs – with free parking, a rare commodity downtown – the set-up also encourages student engagement, providing a good way to connect with hungry, brilliant students.
Speaking to the importance of the space combining creativity and business, Storey says, “I think that’s the future of work.” The line between business and creative has become blurred. A mixture of both is becoming increasingly vital in today’s business environment.
Creativity plays a role in every entrepreneur’s experience, and MindMarket Creative Director Jim Johnson asks, “How can we shift that creativity into solving business problems?”
“They are very complimentary to one another if you’re looking in the right places,” Storey says.