The Design Accelerator

Fueling design-driven startups

In 2013, ArtCenter partnered with California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Idealab to establish The Design Accelerator, an incubator aimed at helping startups grow by merging great design, cutting-edge technology and business strategy to spur innovation.

Startups are selected based on their ability to demonstrate the value of human-centered design in support of advanced technologies, and the potential to disrupt the marketplace. 

By virtue of the institutions and people involved, The Design Accelerator sees many talented early-stage entrepreneurs with truly significant ideas—which translates into great opportunities for everyone involved. In addition to accelerating the creative capacity of ArtCenter and Caltech alumni, The Design Accelerator pulls a large number of early-stage entrepreneurs from across Greater Los Angeles. 

Advisors work closely with each of these entrepreneurs over an extended period, focusing on customer discovery and concept validation, ultimately investing in a select few. By making investment decisions based on a long pre-investment period, we’re able to see the entrepreneurs in action long before we put significant capital at risk, maximizing the potential for success.

Recent startups include:

– Acuity Press
– Anomaly 
Helynx
Khora
Live Love
Metamason
Raw Science

While ArtCenter retains its interest in some of these early startups, The Design Accelerator is only one of the College’s entrepreneurial initiatives, which also include Humanities and Sciences courses in business and professional practice, Career and Professional Development workshops for students, and educational programs for alumni like BOLD: The ArtCenter Symposium for Creative Entrepreneurs.

For more information about The Design Accelerator, please email the Marketing and Communications Department.

The Accelerator fills a critical gap by giving students and alumni the opportunity to develop their concepts into sustainable and commercial ventures—a bridge between academic and professional life.

Entrepreneurship Driven by Design

Soren Petersen, Huffington Post

Want to Build the Next Pinterest? Focus on Great Design

John Tozzi, Bloomberg

Pasadena boasts a vibrant ecosystem of technology and design innovation.