Teach the 1K

A free one-day workshop for entrepreneurship educators and activators led by Christina Xu and Gary Chou on February 8th, 2019 in New York City.

We will begin notifying people who have been accepted into the workshop on November 17.

Final confirmations will be sent out by December 7.

  • See how the $1K Challenge functions as a transformative tool for teaching entrepreneurship.
  • Learn the processes and frameworks we've used to teach the $1K Challenge over the past seven years.
  • Experiment with adapting the $1K Challenge to your community and environment.
  • Connect with others who are also working to foster a new generation of community-oriented creators.

What is the $1K Challenge?

Over the past 7 years, over 100 students at School of Visual Arts MFA in Interaction Design Program have taken this challenge:

“Design, launch and complete a crowdfunding campaign that benefits a community you’ve worked with over the course of the semester.

The campaign should raise at least $1,000 from 50 different backers.”

Collectively, they've successfully earned over $300K from thousands of backers—all out in the real world.

However, as with any challenge-based learning model, the core value lies not in the money earned, but from the lessons learned along the way.

Year after year, we have watched our students go through transformative experiences around:

  • co-creating with communities
    "The biggest lesson I have learned is that good design isn’t just for people - it is with people."
    Amy Ashida, 2017
  • confronting uncertainty
    "...the most powerful thing about sharing the unfinished, about being open and raw with the world, is that others can recognize themselves in you."
    Rachel Balma, 2018
  • unlearning the obsession with achievement
    "It’s about there being no right answers. About fighting the tendency to ask for approval or permission. About getting out of your head and engaging with the world."
  • trusting in the process
    "If there’s any secret sauce to entrepreneurship, if there’s any “it” factor, it’s this: start before you feel ready."
    Melody Quintana, 2014
  • leveraging online infrastructure
    "I don’t know if you can teach someone to be an entrepreneur any more than you can teach someone to have good taste, but you can teach about the power of the Internet."

We've come to believe that:

  • the lessons of the $1K Challenge are more crucial than ever for weathering today’s uncertain economic and political climate.
  • the $1K Challenge is a highly effective teaching tool in catalyzing these lessons for students.
  • our methods and frameworks for teaching the challenge can be taught to others.

Apply by November 8th, 2018

If you are interested in incorporating methods and ideas from the $1K Challenge into your teaching, coaching, or mentorship practice, we invite you to apply.

We're particularly interested in connecting with:

  • teachers and administrators in higher education
  • staff and directors of community-based incubators and entrepreneurship centers

However, we understand that the work of fostering and activating new creators is an emergent practice, and there are likely others for whom this workshop will be relevant.

Also, if you're unable to travel to New York, we'd still love to connect with you.

Please Note

  1. Accessing the workshop requires walking up one flight of stairs.
  2. If you require travel / lodging support in order to attend, please let us know. This will not influence whether you are accepted, and it will give us the information required to ensure we get the right people in the room.
  3. As we are limiting this workshop to 15 attendees, we may not be able to accept everyone who is interested.

About Us

Christina and Gary (seated) with the SVA MFA in Interaction Design Class of 2019. Photo via Margarita Yong

Christina Xu has taught Entrepreneurial Design along with Gary Chou at SVA's MFA in Interaction Design program for the last 5 years. She works as a freelance ethnographic researcher studying internet culture and social behavior around technology in the US and China. Her past projects include Letters for Black Lives, Awesome Foundation, and ROFLCon.

Gary Chou is founder of Orbital, a studio for building networks. In addition to co-teaching with Christina, he’s been an advisor to Venture for America and Austin Center for Design. Previously he was General Manager at Union Square Ventures, a venture capital firm based in New York City. He’s held senior product management roles at a number of early stage consumer and enterprise startups.