Skip to main content

Course Spotlight — NUvention: Arts and Entertainment

The arts and entertainment space is ripe for innovation. Artforms inhabiting our world for generations, if not centuries, are being revitalized and renewed for contemporary times. Paintings are morphing into NFTs as a new medium to share and sell artwork. Film content has moved from movie theaters and home televisions to devices and streaming. Live theater, shuttered by the pandemic, discovered new life in virtual shows and immersive audio plays.

In NUvention: Arts and Entertainment (ENTREP 476, MSLCE 545), Northwestern students interested in the arts and entertainment world create new ventures in theater, music, television, and the visual arts, challenging convention and unlocking opportunities for energized, dynamic experiences.

Formerly NUvention: Arts, a longstanding and popular course, this class has been rebranded NUvention: Arts and Entertainment by Farley leadership to better capture the exciting innovation happening across the arts and the broad and changing world of entertainment. The class will be led by a new team of faculty and advisers, who will help cultivate diverse student projects that span arts and entertainment-based industries. Students will also be challenged to think about the role of technology in shaping the future of these lively fields, and will hear from guest speakers who will share their own career journeys. 


“Given our base in an engineering school and in a city renowned for the arts and entertainment, we have an obligation to put smart people together to conquer compelling challenges facing these industries.”

— Hayes Ferguson, Farley Center director and co-instructor, NUvention: Arts and Entertainment



From graduate engineering students to undergraduate thespians, from MBA candidates to aspiring media moguls, interdisciplinary student teams in NUvention: Arts and Entertainment identify a problem, brainstorm effective venture ideas, and craft a business strategy while composing a thoughtful plan.

To prepare their course-closing business plan pitch to industry veterans, entrepreneurs, and investors, students: 



Heather Aranyi

A lecturer at Farley, Aranyi runs her own consulting firm — the aptly named Aranyi Enterprises — specializing in personal branding and strategy. She is also a trained opera singer with a master’s degree in music from Northwestern’s Bienen School of Music. 


Hayes Ferguson

The director of the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship, former entrepreneur-in-residence at The Garage, Northwestern’s student startup incubator, and a one-time radio DJ and music critic, Ferguson has extensive experience in entrepreneurship.


John Stoops   

Powered by an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, a 17-year run in advertising, and a deep passion for live comedy, Stoops founded The Revival in 2015, a Chicago-based improvisational theater, training, and education company.



Jon Tai

Tai is a celebrated magician and storyteller who co-wrote Missed Connections, a critically acclaimed, live interactive play conceived for an intimate virtual audience. He and producer/director Alex Gruhin, a Northwestern graduate, continue to develop experiences in a changing performing arts landscape. 

Vishnu Indukuri

Indukuri is co-founder and CTO of Trala, which aims to democratize access to music education through an app. Fast Company named Trala one of the 10 most innovative education companies of 2022. Investors include executives from LinkedIn, DuoLingo, and Airbnb.

Back to top