Posts archive for September, 2019

Discover the Next Big Thing in Entrepreneurship

Ten finalists in “Velocity,” the fourth annual education and seed funding accelerator for creative entrepreneurs, will present their innovative business concepts during DEMO NIGHT.  Velocity is presented by the Center for Creative Economy (CCE) in Winston-Salem, NC.

During DEMO NIGHT the 10 companies will showcase their initiatives to media, funding prospects and businesses.

The 10 entrepreneurial companies have been participating in a 9-week education and mentoring program that culminates with the top three startups splitting a pool of $50,000 in seed-stage investment.

At DEMO NIGHT, you can explore the demo tables and hear each team’s pitch.

NEW THIS YEAR: Funding awards will be announced at the event.
DATE: Thursday, September 26, 2019
TIME: Doors open at 5PM. Program begins at 6PM.
LOCATION: Biotech Place, Wake Forest Innovation Quarter
575 N. Patterson Ave., Winston-Salem, NC

NOTES: The event is FREE. Registration is required at:

  • Free drinks and food, while supplies last.
  • The event is free and open to the public.

DEMO NIGHT is presented in collaboration with Wake Forest Innovation Quarter and  Venture Cafe Winston-Salem!


42 companies from 11 countries applied to participate in this year’s Velocity program.

Of the 10 companies selected for the program, 70 percent are run by female entrepreneurs and half of the teams have people of color in their leadership.

From July 30 to September 27, “Velocity” used a rigorous 24-module educational curriculum developed by Professor of Practice at the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, Chris Mumford. CCE licensed Mumford’s curriculum and created collaborative content to create the Velocity accelerator. The entrepreneurs also worked with professional mentors to guide them through the program.

The entrepreneurs will be in Winston-Salem for the five-day VELOCITY WEEK, from September 22-27 in Winston-Salem, to work directly with global visionaries and creative leaders.

According to the 2018 Creative Startups Impact Report issued by CCE, 30 companies have participated in its prior accelerators; and 87 percent are still thriving. “Our startups have raised $3.1 million in funding and generated $3.4 million in revenues” added CCE Director, Margaret Collins. “Our accelerator has proven its success in creating more than 50 jobs and helping creative entrepreneurs succeed. We’re especially proud of the fact that 70 percent of the founders of the companies in our program are women- or minority-owned.”

The new cohort’s companies challenge old ways of doing business and offer new, creative solutions:

  • AstraHive (Winston-Salem, NC): A cloud-based dashboard that aggregates information and data from third-party applications into an efficient, easy-to-use platform that allows crafty creators to manage key statistics about their businesses.
  • Audiciones Latinas (Mexico City, Mexico): A professional web-based service for music and entertainment artists where users can cast and contact the artists they need.
  • Elevate Insoles (Winston-Salem, NC): Creators of bespoke, 3D-printed orthotics to high-caliber athletics, on demand.
  • The GINA Project (Columbia, MO): Developers of a gamified platform to help individuals who suffer from anxiety disorders lead empowered and balanced lives.
  • iScribble (Raleigh, NC): An online service that enhances the artistic community by providing a universal drawing software where artists can collaborate with one another in real time.
  • Live Furnish Inc. (New Delhi, India): A photography automation platform for the home textiles and furnishing industries.
  • The Nexus Center (San Francisco, CA): Offers classes to improve your physical, mental, and emotional health via an all-in-one membership program.
  • Momtography (Lovettsville, VA): A community for moms who want to learn how to use photography and their creative skills to capture what matters and create a life they love.
  • Bloom Collective (Winston-Salem, NC): Promotes economic opportunity through environmentally and culturally sustainable microbusinesses, including crafting, gardening/farming and catering services.
  • Tokyn (Winston-Salem, NC): Empowers board gamers to discover, connect and play new games with like-minded players at wholesale prices.

The Center for Creative Economy is a non-profit organization that helps launch, grow, and accelerate creative businesses.

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Beryl Young + Momtography

Beryl Young helps moms use photography as a tool to reignite their creative spark and build greater confidence while raising kids. 

Beryl understands the stress and overwhelming nature of the role and has developed Momtography, a creative business solution to help moms capture the joys in life without adding stress.

Beryl is part of the 2019 Velocity Creative Accelerator cohort, joining us from Lovettsville, Virginia. She stumbled upon Velocity through a late night of Googling. “I knew I needed a cash flow intervention for Momtography, and a friend recommended looking into loans or investors”, says Beryl. After finding Velocity, she knew that it would be a supportive space to explore her options. 

In 2009, Beryl and her husband found out she was pregnant and began researching the cost of newborn photographers. After finding out the cost, Beryl decided to purchase her own DSLR camera to capture memories of her growing family. 

Four months after finding out she was pregnant, Beryl lost her first daughter. Instead of using the camera she bought to document this exciting time in her life, Beryl used it to process her grief and healing.

A year later, Beryl found out she was pregnant again. She now has a healthy, vibrant nine-year-old daughter. While Beryl was on maternity leave, she created Momtography – a community for moms to capture, develop, and preserve what matters most in their life. Momtography is for the mom who wants to learn how to use their new camera, and for the mom who is an aspiring professional photographer.

Beryl comes from a family of entrepreneurs. Her dad, mom, and sister are all entrepreneurs as well. “There’s definitely a thread that runs through our family, so it’s no surprise that I started my own business”, says Beryl.

Even though Beryl grew up surrounded by entrepreneurs, she did not always have an entrepreneurial spirit. “I was that person that was checking all the boxes and following all the ‘shoulds’”. After graduating from college, Beryl became a teacher. She always knew she wouldn’t teach forever, but she didn’t know what her next move would be. 

Photography was a side gig during her time as an elementary teacher for 10 years. It wasn’t until her need for creativity wasn’t being met that Beryl decided to go full-time with Momtography in 2013.

Beryl Young | Momtography | 2019 Velocity Creative AcceleratorSince going full-time in 2013, Beryl has launched online and in-person courses that break down technical photography, step-by-step. After teaching these courses locally, she realized that moms really enjoyed being in a community and talking with other moms.

Beryl is building a movement that bridges in-person and online learning. Through her time with Velocity, Beryl developed the idea to build in-person Momtography Clubs. It’s all about the community for Beryl. It’s about self-discovery, telling your life story, and making meaning from it.

Beryl has big dreams for Momtography. She wants to see Momtography Clubs in every state and internationally, write a book, and start an annual conference. With the many goals and dreams, education is still at the core of what Beryl does. “If I’m able to spread creativity into the world, and with moms especially, that’s going to filter down to their kids and hopefully into the education system”. 

See Beryl and the Velocity startups in action on Demo Night on September 26. Explore demo tables and hear each team’s pitch. This is your chance to discover the next big thing in creative entrepreneurship!

Demo Night is presented in collaboration with Wake Forest Innovation Quarter and  Venture Cafe Winston-Salem

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