What is a creative entrepreneur?

There are many definitions of what it means to be an entrepreneur. Peter Drucker defined it as “An entrepreneur searches for change, responds to it and exploits opportunities.” In our fast changing world entrepreneurs and new technologies are transforming whole industries, changing the way we live and communicate.

Creative entrepreneurs are also thriving in this new environment and are utilising these tools to reach new audiences and build new revenue streams to sustain their creative output. That creative output is incredibly broad which will be reflected in the makeup of the participants in Foundry658.

The creative industries are an evolving mix of sectors spanning arts, culture, screen and filmmaking, design, publishing and literature, advertising and media, game development, fashion, performing arts, architecture, music, comedy, museums and craft to name some of them.

In the technology sector ‘Bootcamps’ and ‘Accelerators’ are tried and tested solutions that help entrepreneurs prototype, test, launch and grow ideas rapidly.

So can we apply this type of approach to support creative entrepreneurs? We recognise that the creative industries have a number of unique differences which means this model needs to be adapted and this is why Foundry658 is led by ACMI and State Library Victoria with the support of organisations such as REMIX Summits who have worked in this space for many years. We want to help creative entrepreneurs them think differently about their work and funding sources, understanding how to take advantage of a quickly changing landscape. The program will operate a number of streams to support a range of existing and a potential creative entrepreneurs.

Foundry658 aspires to help creative’s benefit from the emerging opportunities that now exist to develop new ideas, products and services in the creative industries space. The vibrant startup sector is one source of inspiration for creatives to innovate and explore new ideas.

Some creative start-ups have the potential to grow rapidly such as Melbourne’s RedBubble.com that now sells Artist designed products around the world. In the digital publishing space, startup Tablo is establishing an online Library literary community.

Over creative entrepreneurs are working on a far smaller scale and are seeking to find ways of making their artistic practice more sustainable or reach new audiences. An example would be Honor Eastly who developed the Starving Artist Podcast that has charted in the Australian Apple iTunes store.

Creative entrepreneurship also happens within cultural organisations. It is often fuelled by collaboration between cultural institutions, creative businesses, and the technology sector and business sectors. The Powerhouse Museum recently developed a  which resulted from the work of its education team to develop STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

Given the diversity of creative entrepreneurs we thought it might be helpful to share the stories of some of the ones we love which are drawn from all around the globe.

Image – Parlour Gigs