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Bulldogs Add to Area’s Creative Economy

April 11, 2017

The 2017 Cultural Entrepreneurship Fair is scheduled for April 19.

UMD’s Cultural Entrepreneurship students are preparing for their bi-annual Cultural Entrepreneurship Fair. It’s taking place in the Kirby Ballroom, 1120 Kirby Drive, on Wednesday, April 19 from 5 – 7 p.m.

"The Cultural Entrepreneurship program is first among a small number of full degree programs nationally which focus on the creative economy,” explains Aparna Katre, assistant professor of Cultural Entrepreneurship. “The courses in this major provide students ample opportunities for practical application of knowledge.”

An example of this is Katre’s Introduction to Creative Economy class’ visualization of Duluth's creative economy. With help from UMD's Geospatial Analysis Center, this class project maps about 75 creative enterprises in Duluth. They’ll use stories to illustrate the value of each one at the Cultural Entrepreneurship Fair.

The Ideas

Ten other creative business ideas will also be on display at the event, including–

UAlive– An app to increase student engagement with their campuses and the community at large.

Procon– An app that facilitates transition to employment for undergrad students and allows local businesses to tap into the student talent pool, particularly in University towns. 

The Bridge Café– Dedicated to providing employment for the homeless population, while also supporting local talents through live entertainment and bringing the community together.

Cafe D'artiste– a local coffee shop that supports and promotes local artists by selling their art work.  

Duluth Sports Rental ("DSR")– offers affordable sporting goods equipment rentals throughout the whole Duluth community– targeting schools, child care programs, and families who are looking for inexpensive equipment to use for the day.

North Shore Experience– rents and sells equipment for a variety of outdoor activities to tourists and active people in Duluth, with rental and sale proceeds going towards local environmental causes.

People for Duluth Trails– A nonprofit organization that educates people about trails in Duluth and cleans them to make them more appealing for public use and enjoyment.

Ready to Launch

Katre says four of her students’ ideas are at the advanced stages of development.  

One of which is Folx, developed by senior Sebastian Nemec. It’s an online retail hub for the transgender community. "I knew I wanted to have a business that helped trans+ people," says Nemec. "Because of my own shopping experiences and what I heard from others, I decided to go for a retail business."

Nemec and his Folx business recently won at the Acara Challenge, an annual completion for University of Minnesota students with ideas that address social and environmental challenges. He won the Gold Award and the Audience Choice Award in the domestic division competitions.

Visit the Cultural Entrepreneurship program website

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