Her advice for Challenge entrants: “Never doubt yourself! In life, I have always learned that obstacles will try to block your way. Even though you may not know what to do right away, stay focused on your goal and do not let the obstacles in life come between you and your dreams.”
Carlos Cruz-Taura believed emerging artists could benefit from a vibrant online community to help them promote themselves, make money and “spread the arts.” He also believed in the need for a trusted central place where event hosts and organizations could book local talent.
Carlos should know — he’s a musician.
The cellist at New World School of the Arts won third place for his plan, called Music Connection, in the Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge High School track last year.
Now a senior at New World, Carlos is president of the Future Business Leaders of America school chapter and is in a leadership development program for the school’s science department. Last summer, he attended two music camps. He has accumulated more than 1,500 hours of community service, which included playing in a lot of community orchestras and for theater groups.
“Many colleges asked applicants to explore the subject of diversity. What better experience in learning how to work effectively together with a diverse group of people than by playing in an orchestra. No matter how much attention any one instrument may seem to get in a composition, every instrument in the orchestration plays a vital role,” he said.
He has been busy applying to universities and auditioning for their top music programs. He plans to pursue a dual degree in music education and physics — eventually, pursuing a career that combines them both in concert hall acoustic design, he said.
His advice for Business Plan Challenge entrants: “Get to know the business or challenge you want to address very well — really understanding the issues and industry ... I also think that innovation comes from breaking away from any constraints we impose on ourselves figuratively or practically. Think big, think ideal world, and then chip away at the details one by one. And don’t be afraid to look to others for inspiration, information and expertise.”