CCAD MindShop incubator to help creative businesses

Columbus College of Art & Design’s new MindShop will open this fall on the first floor of the school’s Design Studios on Broad at 390 E. Broad St.

In addition to being an incubator for arts-related businesses, the MindShop will also serve as a hub through which businesses, government agencies and organizations can access CCAD talent.

A speaker series, workshops and conversations about various aspects of the creative economy and its role in Central Ohio and beyond are also in the works.

“We know that a significant number of our graduates end up starting a business or creative services practice at some point in their career,” says CCAD Director of Career Services Cynthia Gravino, who has been tapped to lead the MindShop. “This introduces many of the key business components to them during their student careers and provides a way for us to continue to serve our talented alumni.”

The MindShop will feature workspace for up to eight tenant businesses, a conference area, two presentation spaces, a kitchen/lounge, and lockable individual storage units.

Additionally, the MindShop will provide access to experts in intellectual property law, contracts, finance, and marketing− professionals from the local business community who serve on its Incubator Mentoring Council.

CCAD is interviewing student and alumni candidates interested in working with the incubator.

“We are currently working with two resident tenants during the pilot phase, who will have the opportunity to remain with us during the full launch this coming fall,” Gravino says.

To ensure incubator applicants have a solid business concept and are ready to be mentored to take that idea to market, CCAD is requiring applicants to demonstrate that they have examined the opportunities that exist for their product or service.

“We will offer some coaching along those lines as well, but we want to see that the applicants have the capacity to be successful before we bring them on board,” she says.

Last week, the MindShop received a $300,000 gift from Huntington, which will be used to underwrite startup and early operational expenses.