The Event

All businesses start with an idea and an assumption – the business will be successful because the product or service being offered is unique and in demand. Passion, enthusiasm and positive thinking are absolutely needed to be successful, but so are essential small business skills. Failure is rampant in the startup space, so why not set yourself up for success.

How to Launch a Creative Studio or Startup is a full-day workshop that will give you an overview of business basics and what it takes to launch and grow either a creative studio or a product-based company. By the end of the workshop you will have a general understanding of the main moving parts that make up a successful business, a plan of action and, most importantly, an awareness of pitfalls, wrong turns and how to avoid making fatal errors. In addition to four core courses, participants will choose either the creative studio or product-based company breakout session.

• An understanding of how a business works (legal, accounting, contracts, payments)
• A checklist of what you need to consider before you launch either a creative studio or product-based company
• A 101 overview of operations, new business development and closing deals
• Where to continue learning after the workshop

• Anatomy of a Business
• Operations
• Accounting
• New Business Development
• Choice of either: Design Studio: Best Practices + Lessons Learned or Startup: From Idea To Launch

Shana Dressler, AIGA NY Board Member and former ED of Google’s 30 Weeks
Shana has built decade-long career leading and nurturing entrepreneurs, creative professionals, and social change leaders. As the Executive Director of Google’s 30 Weeks, Shana Dressler ran a distinguished incubator for design entrepreneurs that Fast Company named one of the World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies of 2015 in design. Shana is a Co-Founder of the NYC Innovation Collective, an Aspen Institute Scholar, a judge for The Webby Awards, an AIGA/NY board member and a graduate of the THNK School of Creative Leadership. She has given keynote talks and led workshops at conferences including Fast Company’s Innovation Festival, Harvard Social Enterprise Conference, HarvardxDesign, A Better World By Design, Adobe’s 99u, the Social Good Summit, the Disruptive Innovation Festival, Core77 and many others. Shana makes her way around New York on a midnight blue Vespa. You can follow her @shanadressler.

Jennifer Markas, AIGA NY Board Member and ED of Damsels in Design
Jennifer is an ideator, connector and dynamic thinker who has worked in both non-profit and for-profit creative organizations including her time with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She built Damsels in Design in 2010, an educational platform dedicated to training creative women how to launch their own businesses, and is a Vice President at Citi Foundation where she manages finance and grant operations. Jennifer is a graduate from Boston University’s School of Management and holds a master’s degree from Parsons School of Design in the History of Decorative Arts & Design. She was recently nominated for New York Business Journal’s 2016 Women of Influence Award.

Julia Zeltser, AIGA NY Board Member and Creative Director + Principal of Hyperakt
Julia is a founding partner and creative director at Hyperakt, a social impact design agency. With over 16 years of design experience in brand development, print, and online communications, Julia has been instrumental in establishing Hyperakt’s visual voice. Julia leads a multi-disciplinary team of designers in a wide range of assignments. She has advised clients such as ACLU, Ford Foundation, and UNICEF to extend their brand in print and online. Julia initiated and leads Lunch Talks at Hyperakt: a monthly event to ignite collaboration and idea-sharing among the design community. Julia is an active member of the design community and has given talks for AIGA New York and San Diego, Adobe MAX, and Google SPAN. She has received accolades from organizations such as Awwwards, Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts, Brand New, and How Magazine for her design work. She was born in Ukraine and graduated from Parsons The New School of Design in New York. She lives with her husband, Lenny, and her two kids, in Park Slope.

Emily Cohen, Former AIGA NY Board Member and Business Consultant
A brutally honest consultant, Emily has been honored to consult and work with many leading design firms across the country. Through these experiences, she has developed, tested, and curated key business insights and strategies that have helped firms become more effective, profitable, and fun to work at. Emily conducts strategic business planning retreats and provides confidential, best-practice insights and advice on staff, client, and process-management strategies. She loves sharing her expertise through speaking engagements, guest posts, her Skillshare class, webinars, industry activism, and, most recently, in her new business book for creatives, Brutally Honest. She also runs Evolve Symposium an intimate event in Brooklyn where 30+ design firm principals from around the country meet to learn new strategies for running their business from experts as well as their peers. Emily Cohen is also fast-talker,a designer by degree, an avid reader, a trend-spotter, a connector, and her client’s advocate.

Scott E. Hunzinger, Founder of Scott E. Hunzinger CPA PC
Scott is a CPA with over 20 years experience providing services such as tax planning and preparation, accounting system implementation, establishing tax structures, forecasting, budgeting, financial modeling, creating business plans, and helping company leadership create valuable financial metrics. He has worked across a broad array of industries including advertising, entertainment, graphic design, nonprofits, bars & restaurants, retail, manufacturing & distribution, health & beauty, real estate, professional services and more. Scott is the father of four children and has a buck-toothed rescue dog named Huckleberry. When he isn’t crunching numbers, he enjoys playing basketball, cooking, and enjoying an IPA. Scott is a firm believer in Marxism. “If you find it hard to laugh at yourself, he would be happy to do it for you.” – Groucho Marx

Angela Mastandrea
Creative operations executive, consultant, and strategic thinker Angela has delivered exceptional results for multi-billion-dollar businesses and clients for more than two decades. As a leader of operational excellence across design agencies and internal creative groups, she has continually proven her ability to influence change, reduce organizational friction, build and mobilize teams, and develop effective partnerships to optimize performance. Angela has extensive knowledge of end-to-end design, product development and print production for clients spanning retail, beauty, consumer goods, luxury real estate, art and design, sports branding, licensed products, and financial services. As Design Operations Vice President at L Brands, Bath & Body Works, in New York City, Angela oversees an efficient & driven 65-person team that has helped generate more than $4B in annual revenue across 1,700+ stores. Angela was born and raised in Maine and loves the great outdoors. When she isn’t organizing and leading creative teams, she enjoys traveling, skiing, biking, and kayaking with her husband Pete and sons Nicholas and Jack.

Schedule: How to Launch a Creative Studio or Startup
9:45AM – Attendee check-in
10:00AM – General session – All attendees
10:15AM – Anatomy of a Business – Jennifer Markas
11:30AM – Breakout sessions – Note: these sessions happen at the same time. You must pick one.
Session A – Launching a Creative Studio: Best Practices + Lessons – Julia Zeltser – SECTION IS FULL
Session B – Startup: From Idea To Launch – Shana Dressler
1:00PM – Lunch on your own
2:00PM – General session – All attendees
2:00PM – Operations – Angela Mastandrea
2:45PM – Accounting – Scott Hunzinger
3:30PM – New Business Development – Emily Cohen
4:45PM – Conclusion of the day