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A Competition That Encourages Art and Commerce

Posted by: Nick Leiber on October 2, 2008

We’ve written fairly recently about ways artists can market themselves and their work as well as the dilemmas they grapple with when doing so. So my ears perked up when hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons kicked off a new competition at the New York Stock Exchange this morning meant to encourage artists to try their hands at business. russell_simmons.jpg

Cosponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the world’s largest foundation for entrepreneurship, and the Acton Foundation for Entrepreneurial Excellence, oddly-titled Race to BE. encourages creative young people skilled in film, music, or fashion to turn their passions into business ventures, awarding one winner in each industry $5,000 as well as mentoring and additional perks. From Oct. 2 through Oct. 31, 18- to 29-year-olds can complete an online application form and upload a short video submission of their work to be considered.

The competition is the signature event of the upcoming (Nov. 17 through Nov. 23) first-ever Global Entrepreneurship Week, a series of events meant to encourage young people around the globe to think creatively and to turn their business ideas into reality. It expands upon last year’s first-ever EntrepreneurshipWeekUSA.

Reader Comments


October 2, 2008 9:05 PM

This is a David & Goliath story for your readers. Patent in the US & Canada

Subject: Braking System for Personnel Watercraft

Dear Reader,

I’m writing to inform you of significant news on product introductions in
the Personnel Watercraft Industry.

“World's First On-Water Brake” was recently announced by Bombardier
Recreation Products (BRP) of Valcourt Quebec, Canada. This statement was
made regarding the introduction of their new personal watercraft models that
contain a braking system. This system contains a brake lever on the
handlebar that causes a deflection plate to lower at the rear of the
watercraft creating drag and reversing thrust. This innovative design was
honored by the US Coast Guard with a Boating Safety Award on September 17th

PWC Industries Inc.. of Fort Myers, Florida developed a PWC Braking System
back in 2004 which was granted a US Patent (7,007,621) in 2006, also filed
in Canada. This braking system contains striking similararities to the one
recently announced by BRP. The patented system contains exclusive rights for
a “hand controlled actuator assembly which requires the use of at least one
brake plate that is alternatable between a nonbraking condition above the
lower edge of the transom and a braking condition extending beyond the lower

Of further interest is the fact PWC Industries Inc. has put its Brake Patent
for sale on the global market to the highest bidder. The company that
purchases the Patent will have the exclusive right to prevent unauthorized
manufacture, sale or use of a personal watercraft braking system as claimed
in the patent.

Complete details of the patent and sale information are at or email

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What's it like to run your own company today? Entrepreneurs face multiple hurdles new and old, from raising capital and managing employees to keeping up with technology and competing in a global marketplace. In this blog, the Small Business channel's John Tozzi and Nick Leiber discuss the news, trends, and ideas that matter to small business owners. Follow them on Twitter @newentrepreneur.

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