Helping students start their own businesses
The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute is a top-ten nationally-ranked hub for University of Utah students who are looking to become entrepreneurs. Both undergrads and graduates are invited to engage with community partners, talk to CEOs and venture capitalists and take full advantage of the Institute’s innovation space, prototyping facility and offices to launch the startup of their dreams.
One of the most difficult things for these entrepreneurs is taking that first step with professional business collateral aimed at winning over customers and investors alike. Adobe Creative Cloud provides students with all of the apps that they need to introduce their business, from creating a compelling pitch presentation to developing a professional website and marketing materials.
One graduate student, Mark Pittman, used his time at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute to found Blyncsy, a location analytics and customer intelligence company. Pittman needed pitch decks that could help potential investors understand Blyncsy’s innovative movement platform and recognise how data can help them to optimise movement around a city or state. Pittman used Adobe Creative Cloud apps including Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop to visualise the story of the company and create prototypes of his next-generation plans. The Blyncsy team continues to use Adobe Creative Cloud apps to visualise data and make it more consumable for customers.
“Adobe Creative Cloud apps are critical in helping students get their businesses off the ground,” says Troy D’Ambrosio, Executive Director of the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute. “Students don’t need to become experts in photo editing or web coding, as Creative Cloud has apps made for any level of creative involvement. The fact that they can access apps anywhere, at home or on campus, through their Creative Cloud accounts means that they can move forward with ideas quickly.”
Connecting digital and physical through design
The world of design is changing, with digital technologies switching the paradigm from static images to dynamic and interactive experiences. The Multi-Disciplinary Design (MDD) programme at the University of Utah focuses on challenging students to rethink design and the way that it connects the physical and digital worlds.
For one project, MDD students partnered with Yellowstone National Park to explore ways that the park can use digital projects and technologies. Students used Adobe XD to prototype and present their ideas to the park. One student created a prototype of a distance education programme for children. Using Adobe XD, he mapped out interactive user flows to help Yellowstone staff understand exactly how a young student would navigate through the programme. The collaboration features even allowed the student to test the portal with both children and educators.
Another pair of students proposed a new approach to fundraising by using a digital platform to engage audiences, spark emotion and encourage greater support for Yellowstone. Using the Auto-Animate feature in Adobe XD, the students added dynamic animation to their prototype. The ability to quickly iterate through variations on a design helped the pair quickly refine their design and develop an even better user flow.
“Adobe XD helps students focus on crucial user experience design skills, such as research and wireframing, with its rapid prototyping and collaborative workflows,” says Cable Bowen, Director of the MDD programme. “But most importantly, working with Adobe XD helps students understand how good design can be applied to solving real-life problems.”
Telling Ute stories
The University of Utah’s athletics teams are known as the “Utes,” named after the Native American tribe that the state of Utah is also named after. The University supports outreach programmes to the Ute Tribe, including creating pathways for higher education. For one workshop, Ute Tribe students were invited to stay at the University for a week and learn to express themselves through the art of storytelling. Anthony Sams, a New Media Projects Specialist at the University of Utah, decided to teach students to create their own videos using Adobe Spark.
Students loved how easy it was to jump in and start creating their own videos. Students could upload their own images or pick from music and images that come free through Spark. Students then recorded their own narrations to add a truly personal touch to their stories.
“Adobe Spark is a fantastic storytelling tool for all levels, but it’s also a great entry tool to encourage students to explore more advanced design tools, such as Adobe Premiere Pro,” says Sams. “We’re building pathways and broadening horizons by teaching students to explore and express themselves to the world.”
Teaching digital literacy for modern students
No matter what fields students study, digital literacy is an essential modern skill in every career. Students need to understand how to explore new tools, solve problems using technology and communicate with others using visual design. Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise provides students with access to a wide range of creative tools that help them brainstorm, visualise and create.
“With Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise, we can provide students with the digital literacy skills they need to think critically and express ideas to any audience,” says Stokes. “These are skills that help all students become more well-rounded and successful professionals.”