Currently browsing: National

Three Creative Companies Win Top Prizes from the Velocity Creative Accelerator

Three startups have earned the top seed-stage investment awards in the Center for Creative Economy’s Velocity Creative Accelerator.

In the organization’s fifth annual education and seed funding program, ten creative entrepreneurs completed a 9-week entrepreneur education program that refined their business plans and pitches to investors to be one of the top three startups to split a pool of $50,000 in seed-stage investment.

The Agent Accelerator, a Winston-Salem based startup that helps real estate brokerages scale their business by providing innovative training solutions, took the top award of $25,000, presented by NC IDEA Foundation CEO and President, Thom Ruhe. The Agent Accelerator founder, Chelsea Goodwin, was invited by Winston Starts President, Bob Boles, into their eight-week Explore Program, a startup incubator that provides office space and supportive services to Winston-Salem entrepreneurs.

LiveMo from Seattle received the second-place award of $15,000 with their startup that empowers artists to easily share and monetize their content through LiveMo’s concert live-streaming platform. LiveMo founder, Fernando Turrent, also received a consultation package for $5,000 from Sightsource to further develop their technology.

Running third, receiving $10,000, was FELOH, founded by Camille Heard in Cleveland. FELOH is a social marketplace for hair care and beauty enthusiasts. FELOH also received a day of consulting from Sightsource and $2,500 of in-kind social media marketing services from Royalty Marketing.

Daryl Shaw with Royalty Marketing also presented a marketing and social media award for $2,500 to Y’all Company, uniting people through food and Y’all Sauce, southern charm in a bottle, and Wavlength, a creative agency that helps musicians build their brand and enhance their creative direction by connecting them with a global network of creatives.

Winston Starts also welcomed Upshots, a line of premium alcoholic desserts and savory shots, and MAXIMYZ, a mind focused, gamification platform designed to build smarter and healthier communicating teams, into their Explore program. 

Other awards include additional one-day technology consultations provided by Sightsource, pro bono legal services from Kilpatrick Townsend, business coaching packages from ActionCOACH – Team Hauser, and the Velocity Connections Award presented by SueMo Consulting

40 startups from 11 U.S. states and 11 countries globally applied to participate in this year’s accelerator. Of the 10 startups chosen for the program, 50% are run by women entrepreneurs and 50% are founded by people of color.  

According to Executive Director, Margaret Collins, “We are so proud of the progress made during Velocity this year. The startups really worked hard, honed their business models,  and financials.  They made informative and compelling pitches at the October 1st Demo Day.”

The other companies that completed the Velocity Creative Accelerator included:

  • 2923 Comics (Kansas City, MO): Creates comic books that show the abuse of power in underserved communities, and how to overcome it. Founder Jauquan Herron showcases a wide representation of diverse urban communities within the stories. 
  • Mobiiuz (Lyon, France): A patented add-on for standing desks that encourage users to naturally maintain a healthy posture and expend energy without fatigue while working.
  • OWOGAME (Malaga, Spain): A wireless suit that allows players to feel over 30 different sensations in real-time while playing video games, and controlled through a mobile application, which allows users to increase or decrease the intensity of the sensations.
Read more

Three Creative Startups Are Winners of $50,000 From The Center For Creative Economy

Center for Creative Economy Winners 2018

 The 2018 Creative Startups Winston-Salem Winners Margot and Trevor Toppen of Edumotion, Wendy Hickey of ArtPop Street Gallery, and Kevin Clark of Point Motion


“During the past two months, ten creative enterprises completed an 8-week business educational program and came to Winston-Salem, NC, to compete for a split of $50,000 in seed stage investment offered by the Center for Creative Economy as part of the world-class Creative Startups Southeast Accelerator program. In North Carolina alone, creative industries generate $14 billion in wages, salaries and benefits and are a driver of the state’s economic future.”

Read the full press release here.

Recent news articles:

Yes! Weekly – Three Creative Startups Are Winners of $50,000 From The Center For Creative Economy


Want to learn more about Creative Startups Winston-Salem? Learn More here. 

Never miss an update on our latest press releases and media news. Click here to sign up for news alerts.

Read more

Center for Creative Economy Announces Accelerator Finalists and Awards Funding

The Center for Creative Economy announced the three Winston-Salem based companies that have taken the top prized in the Creative Startups’ Southeastern Accelerator Program.

Read the full press release here.

Recent news articles: – “Three Winston-Salem companies receive funding from Creative Startups accelerator”

Want to learn more about Creative Startups Winston-Salem? Learn more here.

Never miss an update on our latest press releases and media news. Click here to sign up for news alerts.

Read more

Creative Economy Employment in the US, Canada and the UK

This report measures employment in the creative economies of the US, Canada and the UK.

See Report

Key elements to the Creative Economy is that it A.) addresses an entirely new sector of the labor force.  This group of creatives B.) is build new companies and C.) create jobs.  It is an D.) export industry selling digital products on the Internet.  It is a E.) new form manufacturing, especially 3-D Printing, that engages the Knowledge economy.  And, it is a F.) growing sector of global trade.  The Creative Economy is an important sector of local economic development. 
Read more

Creative Startups Winston Salem Announces Competitors

Creative Startups Winston Salem Announces Competitors
for $50,000 in Venture Funding


cce logoCS Winston-salem_logo


Winston Salem, NC – August 8, 2016 – Ten creative entrepreneurs, from Asheville, Atlanta, Chicago, Mexico City, Nashville, Raleigh and Winston-Salem, will compete for $50,000 in venture funding as part of Creative Startups’ newest Southeastern Accelerator program in Winston-Salem, NC, the “City of Arts & Innovation.” The world-class program educates startups on business model development and venture capital funding. The initiative is hosted by the Center for Creative Economy in Winston-Salem to get creative businesses beyond launch stage to customer acquisition and profitability.

More than 100 applications were received from 19 countries and 21 states, including Washington, DC. The selection process involved reviews by a panel 14 judges, from business leaders and angel investors, to experts from Creative Startups and the Center for Creative Economy.

For the next six weeks, these 10 companies, who represent uniquely creative businesses run a diverse array of entrepreneurs, will participate in an intensive eight-week education program. Among the prestigious guest faculty is Lena Ramfelt, Ph.D., Professor at Stanford University and Co-Founder of Gear-up Ventures; Wendy Castleman, Innovation Leader and Design Thinking Strategist at Intuit; Jon Obermeyer, Chief Content Officer at Apogii, Chad Cheek, Owner of Elephant In The Room; Dalton Grein, Fund Executive of the Piedmont Angel Network; and Toni Sikes, CEO of CODAworx.

The program starts on August 8 with a six-week online course using Creative Startups’ entrepreneurship curriculum. From September 25-30, the companies arrive in Winston-Salem for a “Deep Dive” in which the teams work one-on-one with global visionary and creative leaders. A highlight of their experience will be DEMO DAY on September 28 in the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, allowing each creative entrepreneur to showcase their company to the media, business leaders and potential investors. On September 29, the 10 competing teams will “pitch” their business concepts to angel and venture capital funding leaders. On September 30, three finalists will be announced as recipients to share $50,000 in investment funding.

Major partners and sponsors for Creative Startups-Winston Salem include the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts, Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, the City of Winston-Salem the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter and numerous private businesses and community leaders.

Companies participating in the Southeastern Accelerator include:

Alan Henderson Studio, Winston-Salem, is reinventing ideas behind printed stationery and the value of a handwritten word. Henderson is a modern stationer, pressman, and designer. He uses typography to say things beautifully and to build excitement for events, to brand businesses, and to market products.

Bodhe, Kernersville, NC, was founded by Greg Ellington, a military veteran and healthcare professional, to develop therapeutic medical apparel that makes a difference in people’s lives.

Supporting the creative community while giving back to animal rescue organizations, Devoted Human, Asheville NC, was developed by Meredith Bennett to offer handcrafted, artist- and craftsman-made goods for cats, dogs, and the people who love them.

When Carrie Shaw, Erin Washington, Ryan Lebar and Thomas Leahy created Embodied Labs, Chicago, they recognized and built a company around custom-immersive, interactive, health education curricula to help healthcare providers better care for and understand the perspective of vulnerable patient populations.

Capitalizing on their love of Tennessee, M.I.D. Goods, Nashville, TN, was founded by Alicia Waters Binkley and Drew Binkley to produce silkscreened prints and goods inspired by their home state.

Muddy Creek Café, Winston-Salem, is a cafe and music venue with an emphasis on hearty food, great conversation, and live music. Started by Shana Whitehead and Bill Heath, they have a strong community of musicians and music lovers who consider the Café to be the “Cheers” of music.

Founded by Amanda Sabreah and David Paull as a tool to source creators for short-term projects, Partnr, Atlanta, links creative resources in everything from app development to film, digital design, music, photography, product design and more.

Redress Raleigh, Raleigh, NC, created by Beth Stewart, supports independent eco-conscious designers through an educational and mentorship program, fashion shows, and events aimed at growing the market for responsibly-produced fashion.

Inspired as a design studio interested in the exploration of industrial and traditional craftsmanship processes relative to artisan fashion development, Taller Nu hails from Mexico City and was created by Olga Olivares and Pilar Obeso.

Karen Cuthrell created The Feeling Friends, Winston-Salem, NC, to produce content to guide parents, caregivers, educators, and clinicians to teach children how to identify, express and manage their feelings.

Creative Startups, headquartered in Albuquerque, NM, operates startup accelerator programs around the world. The organization is unique in that it focuses solely scaling startups in 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 $3.5 million for new ventures. In the past 18 months, companies that have completed the program have raised on average $152,000 in funding for their projects while benefiting from more than 1,500 hours of mentorship from leaders in the creative industries, including Fast Company, Hopeless Records, and CODAworx, among others.

#          #          #


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


Contact: Siobhan Olson, Feisty PR, 336-769-6365,

Margaret Collins, Executive Director- Center for Creative Economy, 336-580-1037

Read more

Creative Economy Online Course

Christine HarrisCCE’s colleague in the National Creative Economy Coalition, Christine Harris, will offer a unique online class in the Creative Economy through the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. It will be available for credit and non-credit. 

Creative Economy is one of UMass Art Extension Service’s most unique arts management courses. AES recently spoke with instructor Christine Harris on the critical importance of understanding the Creative Economy to arts management professionals. Christine is a key national figure in creative economy work, with over 30 years of experience working with creative enterprises and community development. Click here to check out the interview!

Information has been provided on the UMassAmherst website to help with the registration process.


Read more