Design entrepeneurship after graduation

I have a unique opportunity to set up a business based on my final year project, after graduation. I can be supported by my college, and I would be given a year to get the business up to the minimum level of profitability. This is not about being a design consultant, but it is about being an entrepeneur, and running business which is based on a design concept.

So suppose I don’t make it to the minimum level of profitability after 1 year, does this mean that I’m wasting my time or does this count as a genuine work experience? Another thing I’d lke to ask is this entrepeneurship experience enough to land a freelance gig or a short-term position with a design company? Or is this actually a pre-requisite for a brief internship in ID?

So suppose I don’t make it to the minimum level of profitability after 1 year, does this mean that I’m wasting my time or does this count as a genuine work experience?

Are you wasting your time? Of course not, it is absolutely a genuine work experience. One is considered “professional” when one is paid for their services, in this case your client is the college. And no one, designer or otherwise, can guarantee profitability.

Another thing I’d lke to ask is this entrepeneurship experience enough to land a freelance gig or a short-term position with a design company?

To actually land a gig? Maybe. To be considered for a position; definitely. “Design” is more than just sketching and model making. A designer that understands how business operates (especially the client’s) is a valuable asset to any firm.

Or is this actually a pre-requisite for a brief internship in ID?

No. In fact, from a CV/Portfolio point of view, I would consider it as an internship, and emphasize the experiences that I gained during this period.

If I had been offered a unique opportunity like this when I graduated, I would have been all over it…

If the school is supporting (paying) you, I’d say go for it. Sure it counts.

This sounds like it could be a good idea. I just wonder about more of the business side of things. What will be your compensation for your idea? Who owns the idea? What percentage of the profit does the school get? I just wonder about those types of questions. Either way, it sounds like a great opportunity.

It’s absolutely professional work. My first freelance job was like this for my school junior year. Working for pay on a refugee shelter project that was initially started by a grad student but was taken over by the head of the department to try to go to market. It wasn’t a class assignment for credit, I was chosen and paid for it so that’s real work buddy!
Go with it. And why does it need to be a prerequisite for working for someone else. It can be the building blocks for you to be able to do your own thing from the start. Good luck!

Thanks for the feedback, this is a much more positive response than I’ve expected :smiley:.

I have just started doing research for my final year project for next September. What has really struck me is the cost of marketing a new concept, both at home and abroad. Trade shows seem to work far better, but their cost and also the cost of flights is nearly impossible to afford, when considering typical startup funding. How do some people pull it off? Large loans and family connections don’t count.

Hi, I was in the same position as you a few years ago, from graduating I was fortunate to be offered a position to setup a design agency through a business centre. The backing they provided was phenomenal and has helped the business grow massively, and believe me running your own business is awesome! :laughing: Go for it while your young!