Ten creative entrepreneurs, from Asheville, Atlanta, Chicago, Mexico City, Nashville, Raleigh and Winston-Salem, are competing 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 is educating 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 six weeks, these 10 companies, who represent uniquely creative businesses run a diverse array of entrepreneurs, are participating 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 began on August 8 with a six-week online course using Creative Startups’ entrepreneurship curriculum. Beginning September 25, the companies arrive in Winston-Salem for a five-day “Deep Dive,” in which the teams work one-on-one with global visionary and creative leaders.