Title: 30 Minute Business Plan
Submitted by: Gary Beckman
Institution: The University of Texas at Austin
Course Title: "Entrepreneurship in the Arts"
Division Offered: College of Fine Arts - Fall 2006
Demographic: Undergraduates [Fine Arts, Liberal Arts & Business] & Graduates [Fine Arts]
Type of Activity: Group
1) To practice developing basic business plans quickly and efficiently.
2) To apply experience, research area expertise, intellect and creativity to potential Arts ventures.
3) To explore how arts ventures can be developed using the intellectual capital of groups as opposed to individuals.
Student Evaluation Method: None.
Description: Students are given a hypothetical Arts venture and work as a group to develop a "bullet-point" business plan in 30 minutes. Students reference a business plan template given previously in class. No computers are allowed; students are expected to draw upon their experience, creativity and research.
Instructor Comments: I'm sure this activity might have some educator's cringing. However, the point about this exercise is not wether the business plan is good, feasible or complete. Rather, the idea is to allow students an opportunity to "think quickly on their feet."
This "quick thinking" is partly intended to leverage student's expertise and to apply new knowledge in context. Additionally, student's are driven to think creatively and clearly with deadlines. What I'm really looking for are the results; in other words, innovative ideas.
Innovation in the context of this exercise reflects not just creativity, but the group having a firm grasp on the typical aspects of NPO and FPO operation: Product development, marketing, securing start-up costs, sustainability strategies, cultural knowledge, etc. It demonstrates that students understand the status quo in the Arts industries and how to create something both new and potentially successful in the market place.
This is also a great way to gauge how students are assimilating lecture material and contextualizing information. For example, if you notice the marketing section of each group's business plan is weak, you may want to address that next class.