They discovered that the course would give them a framework to develop their idea and learn what they didn’t know about the business world of startups.
“The idea is evolving,” said Newman.
And this is only the beginning for these public health and entrepreneurial enthusiasts, who appreciate that the course grants them a great deal of flexibility in their approach. After being introduced to design thinking strategies as tools in the ideation process, they are encouraged “to really sit and be in this kind of messy, unknown place,” Newman said. “We don’t have to decide exactly what our plan is today.”
“But when we do decide exactly what it is, it’ll be the right thing,” said Carpenter. And while they are still operating in a developmental phase, it’s important to both Carpenter and Newman to embrace all the opportunities that they still have as students—taking advantage of the networking possibilities and resources that are available at the University.
“It’s not a traditional class style,” Carpenter says. “I was expecting it to be a top-down, this-is-what-you-do and that’s-how-you-succeed course. But it actually is ‘what does your venture need and what can you work on to develop that.’ It’s a lot more flexible than I was expecting, which is great.”
Carpenter and Newman’s startup will be an agency that creates visual content and messaging so that health organizations can effectively and creatively influence behavior. Unlike other agencies that focus only on the creative elements of design or advertising, or health organizations that know the science but not the art, their agency will offer expertise in both. Their goal is to make sure health organizations don’t miss opportunities to make an impact when they communicate with their audiences. And they believe that effective outreach and messaging will begin with a shared knowledge that goes beyond typical agency aesthetics: They will understand public health professionals because they are public health professionals.
So what’s next? We’re eager to follow Carpenter and Newman on their startup journey. Stay tuned to hear about what’s on the horizon for these two innovators.
If any readers are interested in working with Kathryn and Emily, they can be found at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.