Deans' Cultural Entrepreneurship Challenge

The Deans’ Cultural Entrepreneurship Challenge calls upon visionary and entrepreneurial students to develop venture-based solutions that provide the organizational infrastructure necessary for arts and artists to create, thrive, and maximize their societal impact.

The Challenge draws on the combined expertise of the Harvard Business School, the Faculty of Arts and Humanities in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Silk Road Project, a nonprofit arts organization affiliated with Harvard University and led by cellist Yo-Yo Ma. We encourage creative solutions to this challenge that are not bound to specific focus areas and at any stage of development. Suggested areas include, but are not limited to the topics described below.

2014 Cultural Entrepreneurship Challenge Finalists

Folio (formally known as Gapelia)
Folio is a long-form publishing platform that lets storytellers — journalists, artists, scientists, scholars, and innovators — create their own digital publications and connect directly with paying subscribers.

Iconic Energy Consulting
Iconic Energy Consulting transforms renewable energy projects into cultural icons, creating a public dialogue through art and civic engagement.

PIVOT is an interactive mobile application that reveals to users images, videos, and information based on a specific location in a specific time period within modern and ancient Palestinian history.

SPOUTS of Water
SPOUTS of Water aims to create a sustainable workspace for Ugandan potters to carry on the long tradition of making pottery in Uganda, and be part of a mission to increase access to clean water by sustainably producing and supplying effective and affordable ceramic water filters.

Worldi is a local discovery interface that helps urbanites explore music and dance from around the world.

YapZap lets people record, share, and play up to 10 seconds of audio and create a mosaic of conversation on any topic (gallery, song, plays, television).

To read the Harvard Gazette story about Finalists in this and other Deans' Challenges, click here.

We’re at a moment in time when new ways of thinking about business and culture can have a profound impact on society...If artists and artistic organizations are to thrive, we have to think about new models. The ideas the students have presented as part of the challenge are a significant step in the right direction.”

- Mukti Khaire, HBS Associate Professor of Business Administration