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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 to two-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.

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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 PhD

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.


Jacek J. Kolasiński, Ph.D. is the founding director of the Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator and an associate professor in the Department of Art + Art History at Florida International University, where he served as the department chair for six years.

As an interdisciplinary artist, designer, and curator, Kolasiński is engaged in a very dynamic field of creative practice that undergoes constant and rapid change. An essential aspect of his research/creative activities involves his profound interest in engagement through human interaction and social discourse within the public and social realm. He is particularly drawn to the notion of convergence, often described as “spatial practice,” which connects a variety of architectural and artistic engagements with the city, society and aesthetic practices at large. Through his creative work, Kolasiński has tested complex trans-disciplinary collaborative

productions, multimedia installations, single and multiple channel video projections, 3D digital fabrications, as well as community-based and site-specific projects.

Kolasiński’s artwork and curatorial projects have reached large international audiences through presentations and exhibitions in numerous venues, including the Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Festival Internacional Cervantino, Guanajuato, Mexico; 61 Festival de Cannes – Short Film Corner; Cinema Politic, Barcelona, Spain; Digital Fringe, Melbourne, Australia; Art Academy of Latvia; Vilnius Academy of Arts; Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw; and Tianjin University, to name a few.

His ongoing Creole Archive Project explores transnational connections between Poland and the global South, and Haiti in particular. In 2020, he was awarded a Library Research Grant at the Getty Research Institute to explore the Association Connaissance de l’histoire de l’Afrique contemporaine (ACHC) collection.

Kolasiński came to the United States from Poland, where he studied history and philosophy at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. He received his MFA from Florida International University in Miami, and his Ph.D. from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland. In 2018, Kolasiński was made an honorary member (Academia Artium Latviensis Socius Honoris Causa) of the Art Academy of Latvia.

Neil Ramsay MS

Research Associate in the Department of Art + Art History. 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.


Neil Ramsay is visiting faculty in residence at Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator and instructor for design and visual arts at Florida International University. He also works as a NEW INC mentor, Hudson Community Incubator advisor, creative capital consultant, founder of the experimental art space, ArtsUP! and concepts, and a consulting director of FATVillage Arts District in Fort Lauderdale.

As a creative economist, business advisor, designer of experiential learning platforms, artist, speaker and mentor with an interest in nonlinear solutions, his current practice focuses on a cross-sector integration of economics, art, and education. He has a professional history ranging from clinician to controller across industries: medical, maritime and e-commerce. Ramsay spent several years in what he endearingly refers to as “the world behind non-disclosure agreements,” consulting early-stage companies. He has also observed a broad range of internal business operations, a spectrum he believes helped form a lateral problem-solving style in the support of new projects/ventures.

Ramsay was born in London, England. He now spends his time between South Florida and New York.

Dimitry Saïd Chamy MFA

Mentor / Visiting Assistant Teaching Professor. 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.


Dimitry Saïd Chamy is an assistant teaching professor and resident artist at the Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator at Florida International University where he houses his studio. As an artist and designer of interdisciplinary practice, his work focuses on exploring speculative futures, unusual pathways and symbolic world-building through artifact creation and participatory storytelling from the queer, mixed-race and Caribbean immigrant perspective.

Chamy has exhibited work from New Haven to Beijing, including Fashion Week at Lincoln Center, New York and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco. He has worked on projects at multiple scales in diverse sectors, including art, education, fashion, technology and the non-profit world. Chamy holds an MFA in Graphic Design from Yale University.

Before immigrating to the United States and joining FIU, Chamy taught at six universities and served as an Erasmus+ Scholar and Honorary Chair at the Art Academy in Latvia. Chamy was born in Port-au-Prince and raised in a Haïtian-Lebanese family.

Octavio J. Visiedo MS

Faculty/Research Associate. Mr. Octavio J. Visiedo is a lifelong educator and had the honor of being the first Cuban American Superintendent of Schools in the history of Miami Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS). Mr. Visiedo was also the first MDCPS graduate to lead the 4th largest school district in the nation from 1990 to 1996.


Mr. Visiedo began his employment with MDCPS as a 19 year old bus aide at Ada Merritt Junior High School. Mr. Visiedo ascended through the ranks and served as an Assistant Principal, Principal, Director, Executive Director, Assistant Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent which uniquely prepared him to lead MDCPS through historically challenging times. Mr. Visiedo was appointed to the position of Superintendent of Schools at the age of 39, making him at the time the youngest urban school Superintendent in the nation.

Under Mr. Visiedo’s leadership the $1.5 billion capital construction program that languished for several years was placed on track, Pre-kindergarten programs expanded dramatically, raised over $3.5 million dollars of private funding for scholarships, dramatically improved the academic performance of MDCPS students at all grade levels and most significantly, led the recovery for MDCPS after Hurricane Andrew, at the time, the single largest national disaster in the history of the United States. As a result, Mr. Visiedo was honored by the South Florida community for being one of the Heroes of Hurricane Andrew.

In search of different challenges, he moved to the private sector. He proceeded to raise over $55 million in Wall Street to establish Chancellor Academies and a variety of other educational related enterprises throughout the United States and in Puerto Rico.

Currently Mr. Visiedo serves as a Faculty/Research Associate with Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator at Florida International University. This initiative aims to promote and foster social entrepreneurship and innovation among upcoming FIU artists and designers.

Ratcliffe Support

The Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation Inc. has made grants that fund the incubator. Specifically, the grant supports scholarships, two mentors who 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.

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    This Is A Custom Widget

    This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.