Vanguard Ideation – Interview with the Co-founder

Andrew Curtis, co-founder of Vanguard Ideation, is a local entrepreneur and lead organizer for the FXBG Design group.

We spent some time with Andrew Curtis last week, who is the co-founder of Vanguard Ideation. Andrew is a local entrepreneur and lead organizer for FXBG Design.

When did you decide to pursue design?

I started designing in high school. I found that I loved fine art, drawing, even publisher. I liked being around creative people.

After weighing the options, I chose to go to design school at George Mason University. My sophomore year, I took my first typography class, and discovered that I could apply art to the professional realm.

 Did you always plan to start a business?

I always knew I wanted to be part of a design firm, and after doing production design with AIGA GMU, I knew that’s the atmosphere I wanted to be a part of when I graduated. However, I hadn’t always planned to start my own agency.

What was the catalyst to found Vanguard Ideation?

My mentor, Joe Corbett – previously at Lanyap Creative – encouraged Luis Cavero and I to start our own firm. We were tired of close-minded jobs in the corporate setting, and wanted to be able to work in multimedia. In October 2013 Luis became my business partner and we started Vanguard Ideation.

What is the mission of your agency? Who do you really want to help?

We strive to be holistic in our approach to design. We determine the problems, and create a sense of unity throughout the visual brand. Consistency is our goal! We want clients that care about their business, and that are ready to elevate their visual identity.

How do you want to help the startup community?

We’ve built many relationships in this community. We want to give people with great ideas the opportunity to excel and succeed with their product. We hope to bring support, investing in their mission and goals in a long-term relationship. Our relationships aren’t one-way, but an exchange of ideas.

What do you like about being a “Creative Director”?

I have the opportunity to help convey the right standards to let a product or idea grow. I love identifying the problems and giving a brand direction – bringing consistency to all platforms.

What services does Vanguard Ideation offer?

Branding, social media design/ strategy, visual design, print, web, user experience, illustration, brand development and execution

Where do you envision your agency going?

We would like to have a strong team of under ten people. We want to grow in a well-rounded way, from smaller development to bigger design projects.

How have you benefited from #SWFXG?

Building relationships with people like Adrian, founder of Sprelly, and Kathy, founder of Kickshaws Downtown Market, have been huge. We were able to build their social and design presence, bringing consistency across media. My business partner, Luis, was even able to explore and build a game:

Startup Weekend Sponsor– SimVentions


SimVentions is a privately Voted Virginia Business “Best Places to Work” for 2014, is located right here in Fredericksburg- Specializing in the establishment of innovative products and solutions centered on the Company’s key theme of Image, Create, Explore and Discover.
Founded in 2000, SimVentions supports our local economy by providing high-quality component-based solutions that revolve around these six core disciplines:
• Systems Engineering
• Software Engineering
• Modeling and Simulation (M&S)
• Security Engineering
• Professional Education (ProEd) Training
• Program Management
SimVentions is a privately held, profitable corporation which attracts and rewards top quality staff. Their purpose and vision set the pace and environment that make it a great place to work in Fredericksburg. They play an integral part in the local economy as well as the community as a whole by offering an environment of innovation and collaboration.
Company purpose is to honor, please and glorify God by focusing on relationships and inspiring creative opportunities for employees and customers. Last year they were also blessed to be recognized by the Governor’s office for their “Commitment to Hiring Veterans”.
It is an honor and blessing to have SimVentions support and sponsor Fredericksburg Startup Weekend.

September 2014 Startup Weekend: Cody Wilmer

On September 26-28 of 2014, Startup Weekend Fredericksburg is hosting its third annual event. Whether you have an idea you want to work on, get some input on, or build a team around, or you want to help someone else build their idea, you’ll want be there.

If you’re on the fence about meeting other people who, like you, want to be a part of something new and explore, Cody Wilmer, the team leader of Fitz Kitz from the inaugural Startup Weekend Fredericksburg, gives some of the best advice:

“If you’re trying to decide whether to attend, really, there’s no reason not to. It’s fun and motivating even if you don’t have a project that you do yourself.  Go Friday night and hear all the pitches – something is bound to be interesting to you. Hop on that team and just see how far it can go. I really think you’ll be amazed. Also, free food for all three days pays for itself!”

To hear from more Startup Weekend Fredericksburg “veterans” and to get on the mailing list to hear about pre-weekend “boot camps” that cover things like what to expect over the weekend, best practices for pitching an idea, advance preparation recommendations, etc., sign-up for our newsletter. We promise not to bombard you with spam and we look forward to having you participate in the third Startup Weekend Fredericksburg this fall – September 26-28.

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