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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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Maximizing Your Leadership Potential Program

Are you interested in prototyping a new leadership development activity being created by the Center for Creative Leadership?

As part of CCL’s product development process, we invite volunteers to help us test out our new creations free of charge and in return we ask for their input on how to make the experience better.  

On Thursday Nov 9 from 1:30 to 3:30 we will be prototyping a new activity that will provide a chance for participants to practice leadership skills such as communication and influence.  When it is complete, this new activity will be the capstone for our Maximizing Your Leadership Potential Program.  The activity will take 90 minutes and then we’ll have a half an hour to hear what you thought.

If you are interested or to get more information, please contact Diane Reinhold at
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Marketing for Artists and Crafters

Marketing For Artists and Crafters   Register

Thursday, May 19, 2016 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Do you give your art and craftwork away? Why not learn how to make some money selling it? Learn about “shameless self-promotion” and why it is so important. Discover your comfort zone and learn how to break out of it to find new opportunities and new customers. This seminar is designed for visual artists who struggle with trying to make a living with their talents. Students are invited to bring a piece of their work. Directions –

Speaker: Greta lint

Location: Forsyth Tech Small Business Center, 525@Vine – Innovation Quarter, Winston Salem

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Marketing for Artists and Crafters

Tuesday 4/26/16
Time:  6:00 – 9:00 pm 
Location:  Forsyth Tech SBC 
525@Vine – Innovation Quarter Winston-Salem NC 27101

Marketing for Artist and Crafters

Do you give your art and craftwork away? Why not learn how to make some money selling it? Learn about “shameless self-promotion” and why it is so important. Discover your comfort zone and learn how to break out of it to find new opportunities and new customers. This seminar is designed for visual artists who struggle with trying to make a living with their talents. Students are invited to bring a piece of their work.
Speaker: Greta Lint
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The Olio – Recap of Upstart Live!







rbUpstart Live! took place Feb 5th-7th at Flywheel and featured The OLIO – a local hot glass blowing studio and nonprofit, led by Winston-Salem resident Rebeccah Byer. The concept developed by Flywheel founder Peter Marsh, is a collaborative approach of taking a startup from idea conception to market in just 48 hours. Rebeccah met Flywheel founder, Peter Marsh at a CCE Swerve event in fall, 2015. She shared her dream of establishing a new product taking recycled glass from local restaurants and bars, and creating a line of sustainable barware.

abgtfAt subsequent Swerve meetings, Peter and Rebeccah continued conversations until the Upstart Live event was born. Peter and the Flywheel staff recruited entrepreneurial mentors Joel Bennett, Nathan Powell and Dana Dillehunt to lead the upstart teams during the weekend. Members of the local community participated as team members and provided feedback.

Programming at the OLIO includes workshops and apprenticeships for at-¬risk youth, both in glassblowing technique and specialized training in business. Current revenue is driven by workshops, corporate programs, classes and field trips.

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The Problem: The Olio wants to achieve sustainable revenue to reduce dependency on contributed revenue. Their needs include:

  • More apprentices
  • Expand programs
  • Hire employees

The Solution: artisan production glassware

  • Hand-blown
  • Crafted color palette
  • Streamlined production & budgeting
  • Iconic & recognizable

During the 3-day event, mentors in entrepreneurship, business development, finance, customer identification, and marketing created a sustainable revenue model to fund the new product line and support The Olio’s community outreach . . Future steps were determined for growth of The OLIO, which includes a grand re-opening of their retail shop, and hiring a sales representative to get the product into the market. Mentors also developed a robust marketing strategy, as well as a 3-year growth projections, which demonstrates how The OLIO can double its revenues by 2019.

It was great to see the Winston-Salem and Triad community devoting time to reinvigorate a local creative enterprise. The Upstart Live atmosphere was energizing and inspiring. Everyone participating was challenged to expand their thinking and enjoyed helping a local organization make a new start and grow their business.


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UpStart Live!

UpStart Live! Feb. 5th – 7th, 2016

imagesUpStart Live is an event like no other. It is collaborative approach to taking a startup through conception to market in just 48 hours. This event will focus on a creative industry, The Olio, Winston-Salem’s own glassblowing studio, and will create a sustainable revenue model for a new product line.

CaptureAs a community project, there are opportunities for the community to participate! There will be a panel of area experts in lean startups, finance, marketing, business development and design. Registration is now open for teams for audience participation, either as an observer ready to learn or as a seasoned entrepreneur ready to contribute. Join the fun of launching a new product for a local creative company!

Click Here for more details and to register!

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SWERVE’s December 3rd Final Launch Event

Swerve GroupCenter for Creative Economy wrapped up its three-event launch of SWERVE, the new hub for creative individuals and businesses in the Triad. The room was alive and inspired after hearing Kyle Webster, internationally-award winning illustrator, talk about his journey to success.
taneka kyleKyle began the presentation advising how to position your brand on the web and with social media. For many creative businesses today networking and building a large social media following is an important key to success. Promoting your brand and demonstrating your uniqueness is very important. Kyle also shared that providing value and showing gratitude makes all the difference. Your customers need to know they are valued for the relationship and synergy they bring, not just for the income to your business. Stay in touch with your customers and ask how you can be helpful to them.
The Dec 3 final launch event was a great success, concluding with a line of attendees waiting to sign-up and become Swerve Members. Triad Creatives are realizing the value Swerve brings in helping develop their businesses. Kyle inspired the attendees and the vibe was electric with creative individuals excitedly sharing their passions and ideas for business.
379fc418c2be4305889341310930897cSo what are YOU waiting for?! Visit to get more information on the program and learn how you can become a member. Don’t miss out on the Special Swerve Promotion: Become a Swerve Member by January 15th and receive a personal coaching session with a business development / marketing strategist through our partnership with Flywheel. Also, receive a free lunch at Jan. 21st event, and much more!
The next meetup will be January 21st with the topic, “Crafting Your Pitch.” Guest speakers will be Diane Reinhold and David Horth, from the Center for Creative Leadership.

Register Now!

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The 2nd SWERVE Launch was a Success!

CCE held the second Swerve launch event on Nov. 19th, with over 40 people attending.  The word is getting out as over 50% were new attendees! Lizzy Hazeltine of The Startup Factory, and Peter Marsh of Flywheel presented on “How to Develop Your Idea into a Product or Service”.  The attendees brainstormed new ways to engage customers, and get them excited about their product or business.
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Swerve 2 - Presenting group
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Swerve 2 - WHole group
  • The final Swerve Launch event is Dec 3 featuring Kyle Webster, an internationally recognized illustrator, who lives right here in Winston Salem.  Kyle will speak on Marketing Your Creative Business. Tell your friends about Swerve, and invite them to join us!
  • The Swerve website is now live!  Log onto to check out your new hub for the creative industries in Winston-Salem and the Triad. You can see the events lined up for the next six months, as well as the Directory, and Job portals to help you connect with each other and new business.
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Triad Design Leadershop returns Sept. 30 – Oct. 1

CCE to host Triad Design Leadershop Sep 30-Oct 1 with Intuit’s Innovation Catalyst Leader, Wendy Castleman

Center for Creative Economy will be host Triad Design Leadershop September 30 – October 1 at the new Center for Design Innovation, 450 Design Ave. in Winston-Salem. The distinguished guest Keynote is Wendy Castleman, Innovation Catalyst Leader at Intuit, makers of QuickBooks and TurboTax.

During the September 30th Keynote, Castleman will introduce Intuit’s “Design for Delight” methodology, share their story of success, and how to apply these skills to your business.

On October 1st, participants of the Innovation Workshop will receive hands-on experience in applying these skills, focusing on rapid experimentation for testing key assumptions in developing ideas.

Tickets are available for purchase now! Early Bird and Student rates available. Package rates to both Keynote & Workshop available, too.

Purchase tickets here

For more information, click here

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