Test out being an entrepreneur through the Arts E-Co-op program



image URL

From left to right: Christina Morrow, Lindy Yang, and David Boguslavsky

Have you ever had a great business idea or project you were super excited about, but didn’t have time to explore? Through Arts Entrepreneurial Co-op (E-Co-op), you can work full-time on a project you’re passionate about in a low-risk environment. Starting Summer 2021, participating students can receive $5,000 to pursue their own ventures.

From developing high-performance activewear for women, to writing a novel, to building a video game, meet three budding entrepreneurs from the Arts E-Co-op program. Learn about their projects, experience with E-Co-op, and why you might want to participate in the program, too.


image URL

Christina Morrow (she/her)

Christina is a recent Arts graduate (BA’21) with a degree in International Relations. Christina participated in the E-Co-op program in Summer 2020.

Why did you choose to participate
in E-Co-op?

I began working on my business in March 2020, so an E-Co-op term that started in the late summer/early fall lined up perfectly with getting my business off the ground. I loved that there was an entrepreneurial path offered to Arts students. Arts students have a ton of great ideas, but few outlets to pursue them within our faculty.

Can you tell us about your project?

During my three years training Muay Thai, I’ve realized that the one thing that hasn’t caught up for women in the space has been activewear for training. Women are often wearing men’s or children’s gear to train, which is uncomfortable, distracting, and ill-fitting. My business, Wicked Rose, is developing high-performance, Canadian-made, environmentally conscious activewear to help women in martial arts train comfortably and challenge themselves in a traditionally male-dominated sport.

https://www.arts.ubc.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2021/07/Bombshell-Boxing-Product-Photography-5_Christine-Morrow_570px.jpg

Product: 'Boxing' Crop Top

“My business, Wicked Rose, is developing high-performance, Canadian-made, environmentally conscious activewear to help women in martial arts train comfortably and challenge themselves in a traditionally male-dominated sport.”
BA’21

What was your greatest takeaway from your experience?

I’m still very much in the thick of things with my business, but my greatest takeaway has been that entrepreneurship can be for everyone as long as you’re driven and working on something you’re passionate about. Although I didn’t have a business background when I started, I’ve found great support systems and learned about a variety of topics. Whether you’re starting a venture by yourself or with a co-founder, find a problem you’re passionate about, develop a solution, and go for it.

What impact has E-Co-op had on your professional, academic, or personal goals?

Being able to nurture Wicked Rose through E-Co-op for a full university term allowed me to focus on my business. The weekly recaps kept me accountable and required me to reflect on what I accomplished each week. I would like to go into Wicked Rose full time in the winter and begin building a small team, so this will hopefully become a career for me.

Why should Arts students consider E-Co-op and what advice would you give to them?

E-Co-op is a great way to commit yourself to an idea, test it, get feedback, and go all-in to something that interests you. It gives you the opportunity to explore something you’re passionate about while learning about accountability and entrepreneurship. Very rarely do you get the chance to work full-time on an idea when you’re out in the “real world”, so this is a great opportunity to take life by the horns and explore something that interests you.

My advice would be to talk to people in your target audience as early as possible, to understand if the problem you’re trying to solve is the right one, and to always be open to constructive feedback. Build a support system of people around you with differing opinions so that you’re not shouting in an echo chamber. Enjoy the ride.

“Whether you're starting a venture by yourself or with a co-founder, find a problem you're passionate about, develop a solution, and go for it.”
BA’21

image URL

Lindy Yang (she/her)

Lindy graduated in 2021 with a BFA in Creative Writing. Lindy participated in the E-Co-op program in Summer 2020.

Why did you choose to participate
in E-Co-op?

I’ve always known I wanted to be a writer and E-Co-op offered the time and resources to develop my writing career. I also appreciated the opportunity to design a co-op term where I could focus on projects I was passionate about.

Can you tell us about your project?

My main project involved writing a novel draft. This novel retold the myth of Narcissus as a way to explore the impacts of amatonormativity (the normalization of the desire for romance, monogamy, and marriage). I was interested in exploring how we could build relationships — of all types, not just romantic ones — which enable us to live fulfilling and meaningful lives.

What was your greatest takeaway from your experience?

My biggest takeaway from this experience was the importance of persistence. It can be discouraging when a project isn’t going according to plan, but it’s important to keep putting in the hours and celebrating the small successes. While writing, I kept in mind that even if I wasn’t satisfied with a current draft, I could always revise it into a more polished version at a later date.

“It can be discouraging when a project isn’t going according to plan, but it’s important to keep putting in the hours and celebrating the small successes.”
BFA’21

What impact has E-Co-op had on your professional, academic, or personal goals?

My E-Co-op experience reaffirmed my desire to be a writer. I enjoyed writing full time and could definitely see myself doing it as a career.

Why should Arts students consider E-Co-op and what advice would you give to them?

I encourage Arts students to consider E-Co-op because it’s a wonderful opportunity to work full-time on projects you’re passionate about. In terms of advice, I would recommend embracing mistakes as a learning opportunity. If we reflect on our mistakes in order to avoid repeating them, every part of the E-Co-op experience — whether it goes according to our plans or not — becomes an opportunity for growth.

“If we reflect on our mistakes in order to avoid repeating them, every part of the E-Co-op experience — whether it goes according to our plans or not — becomes an opportunity for growth.”
BFA’21

image URL

David Boguslavsky (he/him)

David is a fourth-year Arts student majoring in Visual Arts.

Why did you choose to participate
in E-Co-op?

I participated in E-Co-op because it offered funding for a personal game project I was working on. I always thought of Co-op as the benchmark to determine my career path — which E-Co-op did 100%.

Can you tell us about your project?

During the program, I chose to work on my video game project, Mythos, that I have been developing with friends over the past year. Mythos is a 2D action platformer where you explore shattered dimensions, fight horrific Lovecraftian creatures, and amass magical powers to solve the mystery of your parents’ disappearance. Currently, we are about to begin the capital gathering stage with development of our minimum viable product.

 

What was your greatest lesson from your experience?

The greatest lesson was learning how much I like entrepreneurship and what qualities you need to be successful (hard work, determination, leadership, etc.). My experience with the program solidified the “that’s what I want to do” mentality and set me on a more direct path in my career.

What impact has E-Co-op had on your professional, academic, or personal goals?

The program was definitely impactful and motivating. Following my E-Co-op term, I used my last elective to take COMM 280, the intro to entrepreneurship course (which has no prerequisites by the way) and dove into the technicalities of venture building.

Additionally, our project won two first-place awards at local game development showcases, and we capped off the school year by getting into the CORE venture accelerator program from E@UBC. We just finished phase 2 and are well on our way to creating a great business.

https://www.arts.ubc.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2021/07/Mythos-Video-Game_Art-Style-Panel-4_David-Boguslavsky_570px.jpg

Artwork from Mythos

Why should Arts students consider E-Co-op and what advice would you give to them?

Give entrepreneurship a try. It’s the most freeing experience you can ever have. If you have a great idea or are tired of improving other people’s work, dive into E-Co-op. UBC has a million and one ways to get where you want to go. At the end of the day, it all comes down to your passions, and if you have that, you can take over the world.

“UBC has a million and one ways to get where you want to go. At the end of the day, it all comes down to your passions, and if you have that, you can take over the world.”
Fourth-year Arts student, Visual Arts major

E-Co-op adapts the experiential learning part of Co-op to be more self-driven, and inspires Arts students to think outside the box of what is possible for an Arts degree. If you are interested in trying out an entrepreneurial project (lifestyle, risks, rewards and all) in a low-risk environment, consider applying for E-Co-op!