Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator is an initiative aimed to promote and foster social entrepreneurship and innovation among upcoming FIU artists and designers. The incubator’s one year residency provides Ratcliffe fellows with essential 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.


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.



First Year

Second Year


Jacek J. Kolasiński MFA

Program Director / Associate Professor. Areas of expertise: art and history, emerging digital technologies, 3D design and rapid prototyping, 3D printing and scanning, public art and social practice, exhibition curation, video installation, multi-channel projection and multimedia environments, cross-cultural visual communication, curriculum development and academic administration.


Neil Ramsay MS

Visiting Instructor. Areas of expertise: creative economics, strategic design, venture partnerships, integration of artistic-thinking in business contexts, developing alternate solutions to social and commercial challenges, functionally tinkering with nonlinear processes in problem-solving, business management constructs applied to institutional hierarchies.


Dimitry Saïd Chamy MFA

Mentor / Visiting Instructor. Areas of expertise: design branding and corporate, product & experiential design, graphic design, content and exhibition curation, 3D modeling and visualization, presentation and motion graphics, writing for business / persuasion, small business coaching and development, UI/UX, interactive and web development, surface & pattern design.



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.