Creativity is, by its nature, kind of a slippery thing—it does not wish to be quantified. As a result, creatives and creative teams face unique challenges when it comes to quantifying the results of their work and managing data around it. Monicat Data, a young Twin Cities company, seeks to bring data management and technological solutions to the creative sphere.

Monicat co-founder and CEO Jasmine Russell will present at 1 Million Cups Fargo on Wednesday, January 30.

Russell co-founded the company along with Kurt Blomberg and Cassie Utt in September 2016. Utt handles project management and technical relations, and Blomberg acts as lead facilitator.

All three come from backgrounds bridging technology and creativity. Utt even possesses a Bachelor’s of Music degree. “She actually does opera by night,” Russell noted.

They focus on creative data management and technology design.

“We are basically technology consultants for creative businesses,” Russell said. “We’re working to give creativity a better track record.”

Work on Monicat Data began in fall 2016. Russell knew her fellow co-founders previously. Russell and Cassie were speaker curators with TEDx Minneapolis, and she and Kurt were friends who had already been having conversations about data and creativity. Cassie was on remote year, and they started their co-foundership when she returned.

One of their first moves was to start sending out emails to creative and creative teams about technology use and needs in the field. Their first two clients were Springboard for the Arts and Rhymesayers Entertainment. Russell said they’ve since worked with around 19 clients.

The work they do can vary. For one client, Forecast Public Art, the goal was to create an online learning tool for city planners, and Monicat Data helped implement the company’s pilot test in five southern Minnesota cities. For another client, Springboard for the Arts, they helped develop an interactive map the organization could use to visualize and track the impact of  toolkits they distribute to creative communities.

One of their clients, Forecast Public Art: “They wanted to create a massive online course,” Russell said. They wanted the course to gather all their data and knowledge on public art. This information spanned five cities.

Russell characterized the Monicat strives to occupy as presenting unique challenges.

“The creative economy is one that people observe but they don’t understand the complications behind it,” she said.

Last September, Monicat also hosted their first Yellow Summit, at which they brought together creative workers and related organizations at Vandalia Tower in St. Paul.

For more information on Monicat Data, visit 1 Million Cups Fargo takes place at 9:30 a.m. each Wednesday at The Stage at Island Park.

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Austin Gerth