Creative Entrepreneurs Win Seed Funding and Resources for Growth at Velocity
Accelerator Demo Day
Winston Salem, NC – October 7, 2021 – Three east coast based startups will share $50,000 in
seed-stage funding from the Center for Creative Economy’s Velocity Creative Accelerator based
The Velocity Accelerator culminated in a pitch competition September 30th followed by an
Awards Breakfast on October 1st. The organization’s sixth annual accelerator brings creative
startups from across NC and the US together to complete a 10-week entrepreneur education
program to refine their business plan, marketing strategy, and prepare pitches to investors. The
top three startups split a pool of $50,000 in seed-stage investment.
Leah Wyrick, founder of Three Strands Recovery Wear in Winston-Salem, NC took the top
award of $25,000, presented by Kyle Haney of Forsyth County’s Department of Community and
Economic Development. Three Strands Recovery Wear is a recovery garment company with a
current focus on post-operative bras for mastectomies and other breast surgeries. Leah was
also awarded $2,000 in software consultation from Sightsource to further develop her
technology, and pro bono legal services from Kilpatrick Townsend.
Rahul Kulkharni founder of Sukhi in Washington, D.C. received the second-place award of
$15,000 with their startup that is strengthening resilience in the modern workforce to foster
corporate wellness, collaboration and reduce burnout. Rahul also received $1,000 in software
consulting from Sightsource, and pro bono legal services from Kilpatrick Townsend.
Running third, receiving $10,000, was My Relief Wear LLC, founded by Mary McElya of
Greenville, SC. My Relief Wear is patent-pending cold therapy clothing that transforms the
process of icing painful aches and joints. The garments provide freedom of mobility, thin
anti-leak packs, and a fresh cool look. Mary also received $2,000 in software consulting from
Sightsource, and pro bono legal services from Kilpatrick Townsend.
Daryl Shaw, founder of Royalty Marketing, presented two marketing and social media awards
for 20 hours of marketing services each to:
JSQ Designs, founder Jenna Anderson, an apparel manufacturer that creates unique and
inclusive button down shirts from scratch in Winston-Salem, NC. JSQ creates items that are
unique and authentic for the customer.
Frogshop, Founder Malcolm Egun, of Newark, NJ, who has created software specifically for
gyms to streamline their business mixing fitness with ecommerce. Malcolm partners with more
than 50 dropship suppliers in the health & fitness industry and provides cloud-based automation
that helps small to mid-sized eCommerce businesses automate and deliver products. Malcolm
also received $4,000 in technology software consulting from Sightsource,
Winston Starts President, Bob Boles also welcomed Frogshop and JSQ Designs into the
Explore program, an 8 week discovery program for startups to get acquainted and develop
inside Winston-Salem’s own scalerator. After Explore, the founders pitch to determine their
potential for year round admission.
Luna Creative, founder Cordelia Norris, of Wilmington, NC, a design and marketing studio that
helps clients create positive change, with a focus on sustainability. Cordelia received $3,000 in
technology software consulting from Sightsource,
Each cohort member was also awarded a business coaching package from ActionCOACH –
Team Hauser, based in Winston-Salem.
Founders from 11 U.S. states and 11 countries applied to participate in this year’s accelerator.
Of the 6 startups chosen for the program, 67% are run by women entrepreneurs and 50% are
According to Executive Director, Margaret Collins, “The cohort made great progress during
Velocity this year. They emerged strong, ready to launch and earn revenue. Our robust mentor
pool deserves high praise for their customized coaching of each founder to deliver what was
needed each week.”