The Refinery: 10 Teams following their entrepreneurship dreams

In recent years, the Center for Career & Professional Development has implemented several new initiatives to engage students and alumni in exploring their entrepreneurial potential. Led by Brynna Tucker, Associate Director for Entrepreneurship and Experiential Learning, these initiatives have taken the form of Startup Sessions (workshops to educate participants on business basics like finance and crafting business plans), advising The Founders club (a student group for Pratt entrepreneurs), and creating the Co-Working Hours in the CCPD every Friday from 10 to 12 (sharing office space, resources, and ideas). Most recently, Brynna launched The Refinery, a  training program based on the Lean LaunchPad method. It is the first entrepreneurship education program of its kind at a school of art and design in the United States.

To take part in The Refinery, the Pratt community was invited to form teams and submit an application describing their business proposition and the role of each team member. Teams could consist of non-Pratt affiliated individuals, but the team’s application had to be submitted by a Pratt student, alumni, faculty or staff. In all, 19 teams applied. The 10 teams chosen and currently participating in The Refinery are listed below, consisting of 16 team members: 11 students, 3 alumni, and 2 guests. Their disciplines include industrial design, graphic design, library & information science, architecture, and some have even started businesses in the past.

TEAM ARGYLE – Vania Arevalo and Fernanda Alvarez

TEAM CAMOUFLAGE – Thomas Stroman

TEAM FLORAL – Viktoria Usui-Barbo, Janice Kwok, Hung Fai Tang, adn Felita Li

TEAM GINGHAM – Rajene Hardeman

TEAM HERRINGBONE – Selin Sonmez and Nikolaos Georgantas

TEAM HOUNDSTOOTH – Katherine Jacobson

TEAM PINSTRIPE – Matthew Moser

TEAM PLAID – Issa John

TEAM POLKA DOTS – Weihang Chen and Peiying (Peggy) He

TEAM STRIPES – Jane Huntington


Stay tuned for more updates coming soon. And mark your calendars now for the final Pitch Competition on Thursday, March 3, 2016.

If you are interested in learning about entrepreneurship at Pratt, visit the Events page to find out when the next Startup Session will take place, visit, or come to Co-Working Hours on Fridays. You can also contact The Founders Club at

About Robert Carabay