These three creative startups are 2018 winners of $50,000 from The Center for Creative Economy
The Center for Creative Economy is an independent non-profit organization established in 2011 by principals from industry, education and the Piedmont Triad Partnership (PTP) in Winston-Salem, North Carolia. The Center helps to launch, grow, and accelerate creative businesses.
Every year the organization organizes an annual 8-week accelerator program designed for creative startups. 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.
More than 40 companies globally applied to participate in this year’s program. Margaret Collins, executive director for the Center for Creative Economy, commented, “Our unique focus on developing the business acumen of the creative entrepreneur and helping them make the connections with expert mentors. Ninety-seven percent of the companies that have completed our program over the last three years are still in business.” Of the forty startups that participated in the competition, Edumotion (Chicago), Point Motion (Boston) and ArtPop Street Gallery (Charlotte) came on top. The three startups will split $50,000 in seed stage investments at 2018 Creative Startups.
EduMotion (Chicago) received the top award of $25,000 to propel “SEL Journeys,” a new digital learning platform, to the next level of growth. Owned by Margot and Trevor Toppen, the platform empowers educators nationally to integrate social emotional learning and movement into their school day. “More than 1,000 educators in the Chicago market have engaged with our flagship program (dancingwithclass.org) and consider us a leader in Social Emotional Learning (SEL) within the Upper Midwest region,” said Margot. “What we learned in the Creative Startups Accelerator set us on the path expand our business beyond the Upper Midwest.”
Point Motion (Boston) received $15,000 in funding to continue development of a music-based motion control application for the enrichment and assessment of children with special needs.
ArtPop Street Gallery (Charlotte, NC) was awarded $10,000 to advance its work promoting the work of local artists and making art accessible to communities through available media space like billboards, buses, news racks, airports.
Other companies in this year’s cohort included Animation Bee (Miami), Beaumonde (Raleigh, NC), Drikybot (Bordeaux, France), EarlyGroove (Winston-Salem), Joyfire (Winston-Salem), Natalie Rebecca Design, LLC (Raleigh) and The Pepper Merchant (TPM) (Winston-Salem).
Creative Startups also has partnerships with the City of Winston-Salem, Parsec Financial, Ovation Foundation, DataMax Foundation, Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, Flow Foundation, Inmar , Kilpatrick Townsend, BB&T, and numerous individuals.