I wrote a little while back about the Research Entrepreneurship Accelerator Project at the University of Waterloo. The program got up and running for this past winter’s academic term, and saw a team of six students working on a prototype of an online marketplace in which artists and other content creators provide creative services for owners of Christie Digital MicroTiles. I was lucky to be able to work with the student team, as well as with the extended REAP leadership team.
Last Wednesday was the end-of-term presentation for the inaugural student REAP team, and I was happy to be able to see them present the results of their project to representatives for Christie. While I had seen the team’s work at various points during the project, the students still managed to surprise me. Their presentation was in the form of a play in which the team acted out the the scenarios that they had created in support of their design work. This was delightfully unexpected, but perhaps shouldn’t have been given that REAP is an initiative of the Arts faculty that happens to build cross-disciplinary teams.
Fittingly, the first REAP term was something of a prototype itself, and the lessons learned by everyone involved are already being applied as preparations move forward for the spring REAP term that starts in May. There are multiple projects lined up this time, with some interesting ideas to explore. The recruiting process is in its final stages — last night I had a chance to meet the student candidates for the next REAP teams —and I’m looking forward to supporting the new teams on their projects over the coming months.