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Design Entrepreneurship in Pasadena

By Mark Breitenberg — June 24, 2013
I just read a very insightful argument by Bruce Nussbaum in the latest Fast Company called "Designers Are The New Drivers of American Entrepreneurialism." The idea that design can drive entrepreneurial success doesn't have the same currency or perceived value as technology, but it's gaining ground. Early on in the development of Innovate Pasadena, design was as important part of our vision and mission as technology. Not just because Pasadena has two world class institutions in these fields—Art Center College of Design and Caltech. But also because we understood that design can provide the user interface that humanizes technology and integrates it into our daily lives in meaningful, engaging ways. This is very much the proposition of the recently launched The Design Accelerator, an Art Center initiative in partnership with Caltech and Idealab that mentors and launches startups. It's a great case study for the kind of collaboration Innovate Pasadena can create: Art Center, Caltech, City Hall, local entrepreneurs, The Pasadena Angels, the Business Technology Center and Idealab (where The Design Accelerator is housed) all came together to forge the first design-driven incubator in the Los Angeles basin, and one of the few anywhere. Looking at this list of collaborators should remind us that we have all the key elements of a vibrant start-up ecosystem right here in Pasadena.
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