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Chatting with Designpreneurs: RISD is designing the next gen entrepreneurs

I had the honor to chat with a group of talented students, aspiring to be entrepreneurs, at the Rhode Island School of Design over the weekend. We swapped stories and showed battle scars from our entrepreneurial endeavors. I shared with them my victories and defeats in my erratic career to date, dwelling mostly on the lessons I learned through missteps and failures. I believe that designers have the mettle to become excellent entrepreneurs, because designers are trained in the art and process of failing with great frequency, grace, and humility. We learn to define assumptions and seek to validate our ideas; we get some right and some wrong. Through failure, we understand how to improve, expand, and evolve our ideas.

We're excited to work with RISD student, faculty, and staff as they continue to take strides toward building formal programs and extracurricular activities to support the naturally entrepreneurial spirit within design. The team at Barnum has thoroughly enjoyed participating in student portfolio reviews, as well as our Transforming Inspiration into Enterprise workshop at Art of Business conference. So far, we have been thoroughly impressed by the ambition and the projects that these students are undertaking, from a hyperlocal sharing platform, to a new kind of shoe company, and redefining the food truck experience. I predict that the next crop of successful startups and entrepreneurs will come from art and design schools like RISD.

We look forward to our continued work with RISD and their students, as we are currently finalizing a few workshops and events over the summer with the Career Services department.