Teaching Entrepreneurial Design to Designers

Fred Wilson from Union Square Ventures has a super post up today titled Building The Ecosystem in which he gives a very specific example about what two of his colleagues at USV are doing in New York to solve a specific issue that USV has while helping build the startup community.

“The ProblemThe idea to teach this class came out of Gary’s observation that almost all of our portfolio companies are suffering from a dearth of talent in interaction design and that we needed to do something to help produce more talent in this area. Gary and Christina didn’t ask for permission to teach this class from anyone in our firm. They just did it. Freedom to innovate in action. I love it.”

“The Solution: This was part of a three hour class that Gary and Christina teach master students at the School Of Visual Arts (SVA) here in NYC. The class is a requirement for the Interaction Design major and it is called Entrepreneurial Design. Gary blogged about the class here and Christina blogged about it too.”

The Impact: Gary and Christina are getting masters students at the School of Visual Arts exposed to entrepreneurship while they are students. At the same time, they are building relationships with up and coming designers who they can connect with their portfolio companies. While New York is huge, they are creating a very dense community, centered around the USV event space in the middle of Union Square (one of the highly concentrated startup communities in New York City), that involves a set of people who previously would struggle to find each other.

This model can be replicated everywhere.

4 Comments on “Teaching Entrepreneurial Design to Designers”

  1. Thanks for the kind words, Brad!

    Liz Danzico (@bobulate), has put together a stellar Interaction Design MFA program at SVA, and we’re fortunate to be invited to work with Liz and the 14 extremely talented students.

    We’ve released our syllabus under Creative Commons, so it’s available for people to share and remix:

    All one needs to do to get started is File -> Make a Copy!

    • Hi Gary,
      We have already done that here in Iceland, it is a really awesome collection of topics very relevant to all Entrepreneurs not just Design centric ones. Thanks for taking the initiative. It would be even more awesome if you guys could share a video log of the classes. We here in Iceland are a maverick group of viking entrepreneurs (excluding me, I don’t have one viking bone in my body), we meet every thursday and are going over The Lean Startup book and my intention is to go through your syllabus once we are done with the book. Any thoughts or comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I can be found @BalaInIceland

  2. Rick Duggan says:

    Great idea. This reminds me of two key principles that seem to drive communities forward: 1. there is always more to do and another way to connect people, and 2. just doing it creates a virtuous circle of innovation. The more people see other people just jumping in and solving problems, the more inclined they are to try out their ideas. The “no master committee” approach is one of the key ways I think younger communities can get to critical mass faster.

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