A look at the UP/Start Venture Competition finalists for 2021-2022. (Courtesy image)

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) has announced the eight finalists for its 2022 UP/Start Venture Competition, which offers $100,000 to emerging entrepreneurs from the Baltimore art college’s community.

This is the seventh cohort of the program from the Ratcliffe Center for Creative Entrepreneurship, the business and entrepreneurship hub of MICA that aims to help its students create socially conscious businesses and thrive in the modern creative economy. The eight finalists stood out in an initial pitch competition that included 43 ventures made up of MICA alumni and current students. As finalists, they will now participate in a four-month incubator program, culminating in a cohort celebration and competition finale on April 12.

“This may be their very first competition or exposure to this kind of incubator/accelerator format,” said Stacy Stube, Ratcliffe Center’s associate director, of MICA students or alumni. “Many of them say, ‘This is my first time pitching outside of class.’ This brings a lot of not only attention to their work, but seriousness where they realize [their venture] is something people might be interested in and there might be a market for it.”

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