Art & Art History Challenge Courts Student Ideas

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In college, students are often encouraged to explore new ideas and new ways of thinking. At The University of Texas at Arlington, one group is creating opportunities for students to take those ideas and launch an entrepreneurial venture.

The 2016 Studio CreaTec Challenge is “a cross-disciplinary team, idea pitch competition with the objective of creating university-wide student synergy and opportunity through the development, expansion and implementation of ideas and possibilities.” More than $10,000 in prizes and start-up resources will be provided to teams that successfully address the intersection of culture, business and technology.

“This is a great opportunity for students to meet and utilize the skill sets from students of other departments,” said Matt Clark, coordinator of the Entrepreneurship in the Arts in the Department of Art and Art History. “We want students to bring their original ideas, and we’ll help them find and develop a team, cultivate their idea and manage the project. The goal is for our students to create a viable, commercial product or service.”

Students will have a chance to explore this spring semester event at an information session Friday, Nov. 20, from noon to 2 p.m. in the Startup Lounge across from the Maverick Activities Center. Another information session is slated for Jan. 29.

Clark, who has spent the last several years helping UT Arlington student artists lay the foundation for a career after graduation, noted the diversity of talent among the student population as he worked on public art and entrepreneur projects on campus. But he did not see much collaboration across disciplines.

“I don’t see students interacting with one another outside their specific department or college,” said Clark. “There’s such a vast knowledge set among our students. I hope they realize that by coming together and working together that the sum is greater than the individual parts.”

The 2016 Studio CreaTec Challenge also includes North Texas industry partners, including TECH Fort Worth. Clark said these relationships will give students access to workshops, mentorship opportunities and possible funding to pursue their dreams. It will also give students to work in real-world conditions, he said.

“The Studio CreaTec Challenge will provide help and insight to our students and give them real-world experience,” he said. “They will be more prepared for the next chapter of their lives.”

For more information, log on to the Challenge’s webpage.

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