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Creative Startups--Leading Accelerator for the Creative Economy--Goes Global

Application Deadline July 9

The starving artist? So 1990s.”
— Alice Loy
ALBUQUERQUE, NM, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, July 6, 2017 / -- As the labor market in the United States wrestles with the shift away from traditional manufacturing and service jobs, there is one global sector that outshines the rest. The Creative Economy is growing at an estimated 8% per year, creating high-wage jobs and reinvigorating rust belt regions. When governments reduce their arts budgets, they ignore the 30 million people employed in the creative industries globally. With $2.2 trillion in economic revenues, creatives are no small factor in
the vibrant health of every country worldwide.

Explains CEO and Co-founder of Creative Startups, Alice Loy: “The starving artist is a thing of the past. Just think about our own spending habits, how much more we spend now on Netflix, iTunes, games, eating out, and travel. The Creative Economy will keep growing—we see it in our daily routines.” These changing economic patterns inspired Loy and her co-founder, Tom Aageson, to launch the world’s first startup accelerator dedicated to creative entrepreneurs. “We knew that 50% of creative grads nationwide had tried and failed to start a company. We knew they were digital natives. So, we thought, why not bring these creative entrepreneurs into the startup world and invest in their success?”

The gamble paid off. Since 2014, the nonprofit accelerator has hosted 41 startups that have gone on to raise $9 million in private investment and generate $11 million in new revenues. Most impressively, 90% of their alumni companies are still going strong. Funded by the National Science Foundation and the Kauffman Foundation, Creative Startups has disrupted the accelerator market—currently overrun by tech startups—with their rigorous 8-week course designed by current and former Stanford educators. But alumni don’t just come away with a sterling education; Creative Startups provides them with world-class mentors, angel and venture investors, and a pitch competition where the top three startups split a pool of $50,000 in seed-stage investment.

Cities around the world have contacted Creative Startups inquiring about licensing its accelerator and abbreviated pre-accelerator LABS. Loy says, “It’s been amazing! Peru, Malaysia, Australia, El Salvador, Qatar, and Portugal, are all in the pipeline. Regions everywhere are investing in their Creative Economies—they know that creative entrepreneurs strengthen regional identity and build the jobs of the future.”

Creative Startups Accelerator is ingeniously crafted for startups scaling globally: courses are online for the first 8 weeks with a one-week Deep Dive in the anchor city. The Kuwait Accelerator is unique in that it is hosted in-person and thus startups must either be able to commute or relocate to Kuwait City. Accelerator licensee, Rashid Sultan, Founder and Managing Partner of Messilah Ventures, says he was looking for an extraordinary accelerator and Creative Startups’ was the obvious choice for Kuwait: “In partnering with Creative Startups, we aim to enrich the startup ecosystem in the Gulf by assisting startups to move successfully onto the next stage of business growth.”

Recently published, Creative Startups’ 2016 Impact Report describes the program in full and gives a glimpse into the future of startups. With the graduating founders 70% women or people from minority communities, their companies range from 3D printers of pinball machine accessories to the now famous Meow Wolf, the nation’s largest “explorable art world” whose first angel investor was George R.R. Martin, creator of "Game of Thrones."
Applications for Albuquerque close July 9 and Kuwait July 22.

Justine Moore Luparello
Creative Startups
email us here

2016 Cohort