Winston-Salem, NC (August 11, 2020) – The Center for Creative Economy has selected 10 creative entrepreneurs to participate in the organization’s fifth creative accelerator. Velocity is an intensive high impact program that helps creative entrepreneurs discover their target customers, develop business models, and develop a go-to-market strategy. Top startups in this 9-week program will split a pool of $50,000 in seed-stage funding.
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.
Velocity will be in session July 28 to October 2 and engages a curriculum developed by Professor of Practice at the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, Chris Mumford. This rigorous, street-smart curriculum is organized around the themes of Create, Tell, Sell, and Run, focusing on customer development, financial forecasting, business model, and product-market fit. Startups will also work with professional mentors to guide them through the program.
Due to COVID-19, the entire program is being offered online for those not able to meet in person. CCE will continue with its in-person components, which began with Kick-Off Weekend in Winston-Salem, August 7th through the 9th. Six startups joined CCE for the opening event to jumpstart the program, introduce the cohort and mentors, and catalyze their workflow.
Participants are invited back to Winston-Salem for Velocity Week taking place September 27th through October 2nd. Post Velocity, startups have the opportunity to continue to work with their mentors and showcase their business to prospective funders.
Since its inception in 2016, CCE’s creative accelerator has launched 40 companies, with 90% still in business, having made $8.1 million in revenue, raising $7.4 million in investments, and having created 177 jobs. “Our startups have made huge strides each year. We are proud of their great work serving customers and growing their businesses. The 2020 cohort is no exception, and I’m sure will do very well in the marketplace,” says, Margaret Collins, CCE’s Founding Executive Director.
This year’s cohort is using their creative talents to bring innovation to their industries:
- 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.
- The Agent Accelerator (Winston-Salem, NC): A real estate franchise model and community that provides training and coaching for new real estate agents to thrive.
- FELOH (Cleveland, OH): A social marketplace for hair care and beauty. Social activity within the platform allows users to earn cash to go towards purchases within the FELOH store. Brands have the ability to post products for purchase.
- LiveMo (Seattle, WA): a concert live-streaming platform focused on high-quality audio, that makes it easy for artists to share and monetize their content.
- M1ND 6YM (Kernersville, NC): Strengthening mental fitness through uniquely themed interactive, immersive, and engaging brain game adventures both online and in-person.
- 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.
- Upshots (Winston-Salem, NC): A line of premium alcoholic desserts and savory shots in individual servings available through bars, restaurants, and caterers.
- Wavelength (Philadelphia, PA): A creative agency that helps musicians build their brand and enhance their creative direction by connecting them with a global network of creatives.
- Y’all Company, Inc. (Winston-Salem, NC): Uniting people through food and Y’all Sauce, southern charm in a bottle.