← View All Articles

Business pitches, ceremony close FastTrac Artists and Creatives course

The South Carolina Arts Commission, in partnership with Midlands Technical College Corporate and Continuing Education and the Center for Entrepreneurial Success and Community Engagement, is pleased to announce the completion of its first cohort of FastTrac® for Artists and Creatives 2018. The closing ceremony will take place June 23, 2018 from 1-4 p.m. at the Midlands Technical College Northeast Campus (151 Powell Rd., Columbia). Eight artists and creatives from across the state learned from expert panelists who are practicing artists, as well as other professionals who gave incredible insights on topics such as accounting and finance, social media, business planning, intellectual property, and personal leadership. The Hub brought you the launch of this joint venture in March. Classes began in April, and school is almost out for the summer – but not before the heat gets turned up on students: The highlight of the closing celebration is "Pitch Your Arts Biz!," where the students use knowledge acquired in the course to develop a pitches for their business ventures. The winning pitch is eligible for a $500 grant award. The closing speaker is Dr. Kasie Whitener, president of Clemson Road Consulting, who will be joined by panelists Melissa L. Lindler, director for the City of Columbia Office of Business Opportunities; and Lasenta Lewis-Ellis, president/CEO of LLE Construction Group, LLC. The event is open to the public, but space is limited. Please click here to email your RSVP to attend. An artist’s comment about being part of this class: "It is very gratifying to know that we artists have such a great team behind us, advocating for us and looking for opportunities everywhere to expose us to larger vistas." Want to join the next class of FastTrac® for Artists and Creatives? Click here to message Program Director Joy Young.

SCAC, Midlands Tech offer new course to help creatives start a business

Announcing a new FastTrac® class geared especially for creatives! This spring, you can learn how to evaluate your ideas, position your businesses around target customers, refine your venture based on personal and professional goals and ultimately, launch your business. Attend all sessions, write a business plan, and pitch it – you could win up to $500! Through an immersive online course, participants have access to planning tips and exercises, including lessons on how to:

  • Discover how your business concept matches your personal vision.
  • Align your business concept with a real market opportunity.
  • Find your target market and discover your competitive advantage.
  • Determine the unique features and benefits of your product/ service.
  • Set realistic financial goals for your business.
  • Define your company’s brand and marketing.
  • Manage business functions and develop an organizational culture.
  • Determine the steps to profitability.
  • Identify potential sources of funding for your business.
  • Launch your business.
The course faculty are themselves artists of various disciplines, educators, and professionals representing law, finance, higher education, and business leaders who have hands-on expertise to share.  FastTrac® is facilitated by seasoned facilitator Tom Ledbetter, associate vice president, Center for Entrepreneurial Success and Community Engagement at Midlands Technical College.
  • WHEN: Every Monday from April 16-June 23, 2018, 6-9 p.m.
  • WHERE: Anywhere you can connect via web and video teleconference
  • WHO:
    • Visual artist and entrepreneur Mary Gilkerson
    • Graphic designer, photographer, and entrepreneur Dalvin Spann
    • Performing artist, author, and entrepreneur David Cutler of USC
    • Performing artist and entrepreneur Armen Shaomian of USC
  • COST: $75.00 (this is a significantly discounted rate from $150, and you can earn 3 CEU’s).
  • REGISTER: Click here to register with Midlands Technical College
The SCAC is partnering with Midlands Technical College Corporate and Continuing Education to host this class. Applicants must sign a commitment letter. Two face-to-face gatherings are tentatively planned for April 16 and May 14 from 6-9 p.m. Graduation will take place Saturday June 23, 2018 from 10 a.m. to noon. Face-to-face gatherings take place in Columbia at the Midlands Technical College Northeast Campus. Contact Joy Young, jyoung@arts.sc.gov to learn more.

COURSE OVERVIEW

Creative skills can be developed into a viable business. Working for yourself, either as your only job or as a second source of income, requires planning and preparation.  You can do this if you are willing to learn, put in the time, and commit to a track of entrepreneurship. Section 1: IDEATE Assess your entrepreneurial traits and personal priorities to better understand how your business goals might be affected by your strengths or weaknesses and your personal vision. Section 2: POSITION Any good idea will remain just that — an idea — unless it finds a place in the market and earns customers. In this section, you’ll figure out just who your customers (and competitors) are and where to find them. You’ll design your business model and think about the key factors that will help you transform your idea into a business. You will learn about legal structures that are best suited to your business, and you’ll start to think about how you’ll exit your business when the time comes. Section 3: COMMIT A business isn’t real unless it is reaching paying customers and generating revenue. In this step, you’ll focus on your brand, your distribution and your sales strategy. Finally, you’ll learn how to protect your intellectual property, your business and protect yourself from legal risks. Section 4: REFINE Now that you’ve sold and distributed your product/service, you have valuable information about the assumptions you made about your customer and your market. Now is the time to refine your business before you publicly launch. In this section, you’ll measure and analyze your financial results against your previous predictions. You’ll consider what people might be needed, and you’ll think about how to protect the assets of your business. You’ll learn what advisors and boards might do to help you as you work to launch. You will think about how you might fund your business. Finally, you’ll learn how to build and communicate the plan for your business with potential funders and others. Section 5: LAUNCH You’re ready to launch your business. In this section, you’ll learn strategies for launching, leading and developing processes that will allow your business to grow. You’ll learn how to draw attention to your new business. You’ll think about your leadership style, your company’s culture and how to manage the exciting challenges of growing a business. You’ll learn about best practices in process management and identify the success metrics that make sense for your business. You’ll forecast the financial future for your company and think about how to set yourself up for success. A professional faculty includes representatives from:
  • Accounting - Bauknight Pietras & Stormer, PA
  • Sales and Marketing - McKay Consulting Group, LLC
  • Law - McNair Law Firm

About Kauffman FastTrac® Kauffman FastTrac® aims to lower the barriers to entrepreneurship by providing practical learning materials, delivered online and via teaching partners, to entrepreneurs. In doing so, FastTrac® encourages and equips more people to start businesses, contributing to increased startup activity nationwide.