In February 2019, twenty-four applicants submitted ideas for consideration into MCAD's first annual arts entrepreneurship competition. Twelve finalists were selected to work with mentors before presenting their creative ventures to a panel of jurors at PITCHFEST on April 5, 2019. First, second, and third place, as well as the audience favorite, won cash prizes totaling $10,000.
Congratulations to the 2019 PItchFest winners!
FIRST PLACE: STUDIO LUMO ($5,000)
Ching Thao, Kelsey Maher, Sarah Steiner, and Rachel Bostic
Studio Lumo’s goal is to create a company environment where young artists can share their unique stories and create games at a professional level. To do this, they will establish a game and animation studio in Minneapolis that focuses on creating quality story-based games and short films. (Mentors: Martin Grider and Craig Rice)
SECOND PLACE: SELA SOL TOYS ($2,500)
Eleanor Strong and Sarah Billings
Sela Sol Toys is a company designing toys for children of all abilities, meant to be soothing and enriching and durable for all types of play styles and to be easily transportable for on the go needs. Sela Sol Toys is unique because neuro-divergent or children with disabilities are rarely considered when it comes to making and designing toys. Sela Sol Toys will be designed with these children in mind as well as being great for neurotypical children as well. Sela Sol Toys wants to create something new that adds to the market, is environmentally friendly and engineered for underrepresented groups of children. Sela Sol Toys aims to help the community and give children what they need to grow to become creative individuals in the future. (Mentor: Tim Brunelle)
THIRD PLACE: BADCO PRESS ($1,500)
Hannah Jerrie, Iris Monahan, and Emily Allen
BadCo Press has a focus on the production of printed material such as art books, zines, and prints, with the goal to produce annual anthologies collecting thematically related art works submitted by a curated selection of artists. Highlighting up and coming artists, the collective builds new connections through collaborative work. Artists are selected from online applications open to all, allowing for global participation. The connections built through this type of collaborative work are not only the basis for friendship and new inspiration, but also a network for sharing resources, advice, and critique. (Mentor: Sara Fowler)
AUDIENCE FAVORITE: LAZER ($1,000)
Zack Brandinelli, Spencer Scott, and Joe Andriani
Lazer is envisioned as a new company that handles creator owned properties and will have the ability to produce a quarterly graphic novel that will house short stories and serialized narratives, as well as other related products. Lazer aims to create both physical and digital media to help publicize member works, but also the works of our audience, readers, fans, and even potential competitors. The focus of each graphic novel provides an opportunity to network and collaborate with others in this field. Release events as well as an online store with our products supplement the quarterly graphic novel. (Mentor: Stephenie Rich)