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School of Tourism and Hospitality Management alumnus making a career out of his creativity

By: Jamie Cann
First Published: January 16, 2015
Topics: Alumni Stories, STHM School

Robert Prince is a New York City native who moved to Philadelphia for a college education. After having established professional contacts in those cities, Prince challenged himself to start from scratch somewhere else.

So he did, and he’s never looked back.

The 37-year-old Prince set out to become a talent agent. Representing athletes and entertainers, however, wasn’t where Prince wanted to draw a line in the sand. A School of Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM) graduate, Prince is the founder of Innovation Genius, a Miami-based creative agency attempting to foster collaborations between the sports, entertainment, fashion, arts and technology industries.

“I’m creative at heart, and I started seeing the natural connections,” Prince said. “You speak to an athlete, and they want to be around actors and singers. They’re not peers, but they want to be in the mix. They all want to be on TV, and they’re all artists, when you think about it. That’s when I put the final connection together, to represent people across genres and bridge that gap.”

Prince put his innovation to good use when he first moved to South Florida. Without having forged professional relationships, he scoured event and social calendars to find events that were coming to Miami. He had worked as a professional model for 10 years, which gave him a baseline understanding of the fashion business.

“I was not above cold-calling people. Not at all,” Prince said. “I started out with Miami Fashion Week, providing models, makeup artists and some marketing and assistance where it was needed. It all depended on whose event it was and how much they’d let me do, but I was contacting everybody and anybody to see if they’d let me jump on board.”

Prince is always thinking about the next big thing, even pursuing education as a non-traditional student.

“Someone said to me, ‘Are you married? Do you have any kids? No? Then what are you waiting for?’” Prince said, recalling a conversation prior to his enrollment at Temple.

Prince credits STHM Assistant Dean Jeffrey Montague with “opening my mind to the pursuit of not just one passion of mine, but all of them.” After graduating from Temple in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sport and Recreation Management, he moved back to his hometown to work for a New York City agency that handled athlete appearances. Wanting another challenge, Prince completed an accelerated online Master’s program in Entertainment Business at Full Sail University. Then, Prince wondered if he could make a go of his career in another East Coast hotspot.

“Miami was the next phase of my career,” he said.

Innovation Genius, Prince’s agency, has seven employees, though Prince expects he’ll hire more soon considering the breadth of his upcoming projects.

In 2015, he’s planning an event in Chicago, Tribute to Black Film, and a fashion-related art show during both New York City Fashion Week and Miami’s Art Basel, an international art festival that, as Prince puts it, “is a fusion of art and fashion.” He’s also submitted a proposal to the National Basketball Association with an idea for improving its Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Game weekend. And he’s planning to launch a professional network of artists for artists, featuring the best new mixed-media artists worldwide.

“Professionally, it hurts me to see people with great talent and not know what to do with it or have any direction,” Prince said. “This industry is tough and I’ve worked with people who only care about money, fame or both. I love working with people and organizations that are just as passionate about their crafts as I am.

“That’s my team. My small team is like family. We want to see others succeed as an extension of our family. I can only be as good as the people around me. That’s why it’s important to make those connections and bridge those gaps. That’s what I try to do every single day.”