College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts
Modesto A. Maidique Campus
Paul L. Cejas School of Architecture Building
11200 SW 8th Street Miami, Florida 33199
PH: 305-348-7500 | Fx: 305-348-6717
RATCLIFFE | ART + DESIGN INCUBATOR 2017-06-09T12:57:43+00:00


Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator is an initiative aimed to promote and foster social entrepreneurship and innovation amongst upcoming FIU artists and designers. The incubator’s one year residency will provide Ratcliffe fellows with essentials tools to turn their ideas into profitable businesses.

This unique program, located at FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus in North Miami, is one of the most innovative art + design entrepreneurship spaces housed at a public university. The Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation Inc. and CARTA’s Department of Art + Art History will bring in two instructors that will operate their own on-site studios, mentor the student and oversee student business developments or patents.


The Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator at FIU seeks to bridge the gap between talent and entrepreneurship success while promoting innovative art + design within the community.


The Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator is dedicated to push the boundaries of innovation and creativity and inspire the next generation of future entrepreneurs actively participating to the exponential growth of South Florida’s creative economy.


In Fall 2017

In the Fall of 2017, the Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator will launch with 15 students enrolled in the program. Each fellow will receive a $7,500 scholarship covering tuition for their year in the incubator.

In August

The annual program would begin in August and coincide with the University’s academic semesters: Fall (Aug-Dec) and Spring (Jan-May).


Prior to submitting an application for consideration to the program, students are required to attend a mandatory orientation session. The Ratcliffe Foundation and FIU Department of Art + Art History will moderate the orientation.

Required Application Materials

All applications must include the following:

  • Artist’s statement. The applicant’s mission statement as an artist. Minimum 150 words.

  • Headshot. One professional and current image of the applicant.

  • Curriculum vitae (CV). An overview of the applicant’s experience and other relevant qualifications. Maximum one page.

  • Project proposal. A summary of the applicant’s envisioned business project and its potential impact on their artistic practice. How will the applicant’s start-up business or patent integrate with their artistic practice? How will support from the Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator allow the applicant to participate in and impact the socio-economic growth of South Florida’s emerging communities? Minimum 150 words.

  • Images. Submit five digital images of the applicant’s work. On a separate file list the applicant’s name, title of work, date of work, media, and up to 75 words of description per work.

Provided work samples must demonstrate the applicant’s skill and accomplishments in their field (or working across disciplines), must have been completed within the past four years, and if possible, must relate to the proposed project.


The Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator and its accomplished mentors provide guidance and lend their expertise to this creative ecosystem while contributing mentorship support to its member community. Participating mentors will be announced closer to the start of the program (early August).

Selection Process

Each July, applicants will undergo an rigorous selection administered by independent panel of experts, composed of designees from the Ratcliffe Foundation, CARTA Dean’s Office, Department of Art + Art History, and South Florida entrepreneurs and a funding experts.

Scholarship Funding

If selected to participate, each student would receive a Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator Scholarship of $3,750 each semester, a total of $7,500 for the year.

Funds would be administered by the College and credited to the students’ University accounts prior to the beginning of each semester ($3,750 Fall and $3,750 Spring)

Total participants in the Art + Design Incubator would not exceed 20. ($150,000)


Students admitted into the program must follow a detailed evaluation process consisting of the following:

Ratcliffe Fellows will be required to submit a detailed progress report at the end of the Fall Semester. An independent panel will review the progress reports, provide feedback to the student, and recommend to the College Dean if the student should be permitted to continue in the program.
If not selected to continue in the program, students would not be eligible to receive the $3,750 scholarship in the Spring semester.

Ratcliffe Fellows will be required to submit a detailed progress report at the end of the Spring semester consisting of a fully developed business plan. Additionally, at the end of the 1yr Ratcliffe Fellowship, students will be required to participate in a thorough exit interview conversation with a designees of the Ratcliffe Foundation, the College, and the Department of Art + Art History.


The Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation Inc. has donated a gift of $831,000 that will fund the incubator for a three-year period. The donation will include $450,000 in scholarships, two mentors who will guide students, a monthly lecture series, state-of-the-art technology, office space, accessible meeting space, a small business library, market research assistance, legal and accounting support, seed capital programs, and training.


If you’d like to set up time to speak with someone from the RATCLIFFE | Art & Design Incubator, or receive more information please feel free to send us a message and we will get back to you at our earliest convenience.