Creative entrepreneurs in the Southeast will compete for $50,000 in venture funding

By Editor May 23, 2016

Applications Open May 23, 2016

Winston Salem, NC – May 23, 2016 – Creative Startups, the world-class program that helps creative entrepreneurs develop their business models and identify venture capital funding, has launched its newest business accelerator program for the Southeastern United States. Hosted by the Center for Creative Economy in Winston-Salem, NC, the program announced that it is now accepting applications from creatively-driven companies that want to compete for $50,000 in angel or venture capital funding. Companies from throughout the United States can apply, however this location makes it easy for companies in the Southeast to participate (Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida). Deadline for applications is July 1, 2016. For more information go to

Creative Startups is headquartered in Albuquerque, NM. Their programs are run in regions throughout the world. The goal of Creative Startups is to get creative business ventures beyond the launch stage to customer acquisition and profitability.

Companies in the creative enterprises compete to participate in the program, with 10-12 teams chosen to participate in an intensive eight-week session that includes a six-week online course using Stanford University’s entrepreneurship curriculum, and a five-day “Deep Dive” in which the teams work one-on-one with global visionary and creative leaders. The Southeastern Accelerator will be spearheaded by the Center for Creative Economy, with the online program starting on August 8 and the “Deep Dive” taking place from September 26-30 in Winston-Salem.

During September, Deep Dive week highlights will include DEMO DAY at the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter in Winston-Salem. The 10-12 competing teams will showcase their innovations to funding prospects, business and community leaders, and the media.

At the end of Deep Dive week, the 10-12 competing teams will “pitch” their business concepts to angel and venture capital funding leaders and compete to be one of three teams chosen to receive a share of $50,000 in investment funding.

“We are excited to bring Creative Startups to the Southeast,” said Alice Loy, Co-Founder of Creative Startups. “Our goal is to accelerate success and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurial, creative businesses. If you are starting or growing your creative business, you face a lot of challenges. Creative Startups helps you overcome these challenges and risks by providing a world-class intensive course in Creative Entrepreneurship, connecting you with successful creative entrepreneurs who are passionate about mentoring you, and accessing angel and VC investors.”

In the past eighteen months, companies that have completed the program have raised on average $152,000 in funding for their projects while benefiting from more than 800 hours of mentorship from leaders in the creative industries, including Fast Company, Hopeless Records, and CODAworx, among others. For a full list of the 2016 mentors, visit

“The mentors were top-notch; the structure of the programming was nearly flawless; and the amount I learned was incredible,” says Vince Kadlubek of Meow Wolf, an artist collaborative that launched an interactive art experience in Santa Fe, NM. Since the accelerator, they have partnered with George R.R. Martin of Game of Thrones; and opened the doors to their 20,000-square-foot multiplex, built by 80 artists, that now welcomes 1,000+ visitors a day. Since opening in March 2016, Meow Wolf has generated $1.2 million in revenue.

While the concept of startup accelerators is becoming increasingly popular, Creative Startups is unique in that it focuses solely on the teaching and mentoring of the creative industries with mentorship from successful entrepreneurs whose core skills are based in the creative industries. These industries cover a wide range of sectors, including design, gaming, software, film, music, publishing, performance arts, visual arts, new media, video, museums and education technology. Creative Startups’ mentors include musicians, filmmakers, designers, branding experts, and investors who invest in creative businesses. Combined, Creative Startups Mentors have raised over $360 million for new ventures.

Entrepreneurs interested in applying can visit The Southeastern Accelerator for more information.

About The Center for Creative Economy

The Center for Creative Economy serves as a catalyst for innovation and an advocate for creative industries and entrepreneurs, promoting connectivity and growth. The center brings people, ideas, and resources together to benefit a burgeoning creative sector. In addition to Creative Startups, its programs include Swerve, the new hub for creative enterprises in North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad. It brings creative professionals together at lively, informative monthly meetups, and through a growing online community. Swerve participants tap into a local network of collaborators, mentors, and new business contacts. The focus is on cultivating and expanding creative businesses and meeting new people. For more information, visit