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News . Feature Stories . CIA and CWRU Turn Designs into Business

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May 14, 2010

CIA and CWRU Turn Designs into Business

CIA and CWRU students collaborated on innovation and development this spring for the first annual "Turning Designs into Business" competition, sponsored by CWRU's Weatherhead School of Management.

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Contact:
Casey Burry cburry@cia.edu, 216.421.7404

For Immediate Release: May 14, 2010

CLEVELAND: Cleveland Institute of Art and Case Western Reserve University students collaborated on innovation and development this spring for the first annual "Turning Designs into Business" competition, sponsored by CWRU’s Weatherhead School of Management.

CIA, CWRU Designs Into Business


Inspired by product concepts on display in the CIA Spring Design Show, six teams of industrial design and MBA students submitted business plans to a panel of experts in design, entrepreneurship and marketing. The panel judged submissions by four criteria: concept and design, level of research, production plan, and business plan.

The first place winners, Sam Cahill (CIA), Tim Anderson (CWRU) and Maura Slater (CWRU), received $3,000 to further their business plan for a hospital I.V. accessory called Ivy. The Ivy is a portable unit that offers a charging station and a base to hold personal belongings such as a child’s toy.

“This is a very relevant product concept that touches on the need for patient care to move beyond science alone and take a more holistic approach to wellness,” said Mark Inglis, competition judge and Vice President of Marketing at CIA. “It is not technologically complex, and the design is very easy to realize with minor refinements.”

The second place team received a $1,000 award for Daypack, a complete convenience baby kit in bag format, which the judges commended for its attention to the social changes related to childcare. Two teams received honorable mention: one for Safecue, a ski patrol rescue equipment design; and one for Olive, a sustainable printer featuring recycled materials.

Every April, the CIA Spring Design Show features the work of over 100 Industrial, Interior, and Communication Design students. The students display renderings and prototypes of work ranging from furniture and home goods to electronics and cars that represent the seeds of future business ventures. Held for the second consecutive year in Weatherhead’s Peter B. Lewis Building, the show provided the perfect platform for experimentation.

“Over the years it has been a challenge to get the design culture at CIA to mix with the business culture at Case,” said Dan Cuffaro, Chair of Design at CIA. “There is a bit of a fear factor, fear of the unknown or fear of saying or doing the wrong thing in the presence of unfamiliar people. This competition provided a platform for students to break out of their comfort zone and learn about unfamiliar processes, language and ideas.”

During this year’s Spring Design Show, CWRU MBA students were challenged to identify a particular design project that they thought had business potential and develop a brief prospectus to describe how that potential could be realized. The teams of students from both schools met and worked together to explore and understand the context in which the idea was developed. Together they considered what it would take to capitalize on the design’s potential.

“Many Silicon Valley tech companies were started in dorm rooms by college students with innovative ideas and business acumen,” said Cuffaro. “Holding the Spring Design Show at Weatherhead and organizing this competition is part of a deliberate strategy of fostering this type of entrepreneurship. This is the first step in a process of taking innovative ideas, building compelling business plans around them, and launching new ventures.”



The Cleveland Institute of Art is a premier college of art and design committed to leadership and vision in all forms of visual arts education. The Institute makes enduring contributions to education and extends its programs to the public through gallery exhibits, lectures, a continuing education program and The Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque, an art and independent film program.

The Cleveland Institute of Art is located at 11141 East Boulevard in Cleveland, Ohio. For more information visit cia.edu or call 216-421-7000.

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