How to become an Artrepreneur in 4 days?! - why innovation!

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How to become an Artrepreneur in 4 days?! - why innovation!

Alice Yu Yuebo 3 min
How to become an Artrepreneur in 4 days?!
Over these past four days, we all realised that passion, mindset and energy are the main key points to have a very successful entrepreneurship and to start your own business.
 – Team Passionaire, Diploma in Graphic Communication, Year 2, NAFA​
Why innovation! ran an Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for 40 students across art disciplines from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), one of the most prestigious and well-known arts schools in Singapore. The programme, which ran over four days during their summer break, reinforced the need for art students to look at their ideas from a business and sustainability perspective, to bring them to market. 
This came from a group of students from the Design (Landscape and Architecture) and Fashion Design courses, who proposed an App to create a Community to connect and support students:
As Landscape & Architecture students, we have no background in business. We thought that it is straightforward to create a business - it’s just to think about something you want to make and then you have it; but after the workshop, we realised that the entire process is very tough and complicated.
You may say I’m a dreamer… 

Students have the knack of thinking creatively, to dream about ideas that could change the world but they often lack the business sense to turn their dreams into reality. How do you get them to look at their ideas through a business lens? 
 
The objective of the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp was to help NAFA students to understand an entrepreneur’s mindset and to equip them with the tools, techniques and framework required to start their own business that could sustain changing market forces. 
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Why innovation! spent time with NAFA to understand their needs and expectations of such a programme before designing a customised curriculum to follow over four days for their students.  

But I’m not the only one… 

The students were prompted to self-organise and form groups according to common ideas and shared interests for their business. This taught them the importance of working towards a common goal and the benefits of cross-disciplinary teams, as well as to appreciate different point of views and the significance of teamwork. 
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A group of five students from Diploma in Graphic Communication, who worked on a platform designed to create an Art Community in Singapore so as to connect locals artist and designers and allow them to gain recognition, shared:
We collected all of our ideas together and we worked together as a team; that was one of the most enjoyable things during this Boot Camp.
Another team of students from the Design (Interior and Exhibition), Fine Art and Dance courses, who designed a co-working space tailor-made for students, indicated:
As a team, the workshop allows us to learn about one other, especially students from different programmes, i.e. Fine Art, Dance and 3D Design. Our learning capacity has been enhanced to learn beyond our scope.
Learning from the experts 

To give students a chance to interact with the outside world, we invited some industry experts and entrepreneurs to share their fascinating journeys as a source of inspiration and encouragement to them. These ‘mentors’ provided guidance and provided feedback to each group throughout all four days of the Bootcamp. 
 
Guillaume Levy-Lambert, co-founder of The MaGMA Collection, and of Art Porters Gallery shared this during his mentor talk: 

I like the idea that students have to work as a team and to pitch collectively to a jury. It’s a very life-like situation, and it was wonderful to see different teams of students handling this challenge in different ways.
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Why innovation! experts while guiding the students in their thought process, also constantly challenged their assumptions and played devil’s advocate from time to time to make sure they were on the right track. During the four days, the students continuously improved their business models to best meet customer needs and expectations. 
 
Theatre and Arts Management students who proposed a physical space 24/7 available for artists to do their personal projects, collaborate, rehearse and encourage fusion work, shared:

The coaches were very helpful in trying to elevate our ideas and lead them into projects that  can be successful. They coached us individually and customised our learning experience.
“When we start this type of entrepreneurship bootcamp we always ask ourselves “are the students going to be motivated?”, “are they really going to play the game?”, “are they going to give their best?” But once again the answers have been “yes!”, “yes!” and “yes!” reflected Laurent Basset, Principal Consultant, Innovation Practice Lead in why innovation!.  
I hope someday you will join us 

Over four days, we witnessed some gruelling brain work, some sleepless nights, a compelling drive to succeed, fabulous teamwork and top-class storytelling. On the last day, students pitched their business ideas to a panel of external as well as internal jury members to inspire and compel them to invest in their vision. 
 
Another mentor for this Boot Camp, Blair Thomson, co-owner and director of Art Gallery Addicted Pte Ltd, presented his career path on the first day of the Boot Camp. From Barclays and JP Morgan banks to creating his Arts online platform, he has been following his passion for talented art-makers from South Asia. This sharing session was very inspiring for the students and laid the foundations to create a business within the teams. According to Blair,
When I think about entrepreneurship, there're two things: first, entrepreneurship doesn't mean that you have to be sort of somebody independently running your own business. Second, entrepreneurship is innovation, that can actually happen in normal careers as well. It has to be out of the box thinking. We have to get the right people to the table and sort of figure out how to make it actually work.
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“Be resilient because nothing is a one-day success, just keep trying and trying. Failure does help in learning and preparing for the future. Be creative, have a lot of ideas, but at the same time, be realistic, don’t fly too high.” shared by Students from the Fine Art, Design (Interior and Exhibition), Arts Management and Graphic Communication courses, who worked on a one-stop App to connect Arts students and allow them to sell their used material. 

The essence of entrepreneurship 

Although some teams emerged as winners at the end of the Bootcamp, all students took away with them the essential lessons of entrepreneurship—lessons that will guide them to release their dreams, whatever they might be, in the future!  
 
From a group of students from Diploma in Advertising and Diploma in Graphic Communication:

I think this Boot Camp was a great experience as we learned some basics about entrepreneurship, what it takes to run a successful business, and I have been very lucky to work with great teammates because everyone was very motivated and we could bring the project to life in 4 days. It was very fulfilling to be able to deliver this project in a limited period of time.
We let the final word to one of our mentors, Guillaume Levy-Lambert:
Go for it! Take a step and learn from that step. I believe also it’s important to remember to ask yourself once in a while ‘What do I want to do when I grow up?’. It’s a very simple question that you can ask yourself at different stages of your life. The entrepreneur who has the clarity of how his business plan fits in overall his life objective has a winning edge. Connecting to this very simple question about your life objective gives you an answer.
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