March 14, 2017
Since 2014, the Creative Startups accelerator has supported a wide range of creative entrepreneurs that went on to create 144 new jobs, raise $6.5 million, and bring in $7.9 million in new revenues. Those are great numbers for an accelerator that started in one area of New Mexico. And by expanding their licensed product into North Carolina and Kuwait, and adding a pre-accelerator lab, they expect even more positive outcomes.
Back in 2007, the organization was founded in Santa Fe, New Mexico by Alice Loy and Tom Aageson and was known as the Global Center for Cultural Entrepreneurship. Since molded into the nonprofit Creative Startups and fostering a few years of successful accelerator cohorts in Albuquerque, they realized that there were many companies who needed pre-accelerator assistance, so they put together a lab for early stage creative ideas, the applications just closed on the first labs.
“We wanted to help companies get ready to apply to an accelerator, maybe not ours, but whatever program they’d be right for.” Says Julia Youngs, Program Manager for Creative Startups.
It’s that focus on keeping things flexible and creative that is becoming a success for Creative Startups. For example, a representative from Kuwait approached Creative Startups to see about implementing the program there, but not for just any creative businesses. Kuwait has a burgeoning community of restaurants and food, and they felt that was the best use of a Creative Startups accelerator, so ‘Savor: Everything Food’ was born.
“We aren’t about just a cookie cutter image of what we do everywhere. Every situation and location is different and we need to make sure we’re addressing those differences,” said Youngs.
Want to hear more about the Creative Economy? Check out the panel discussion at SXSW, Rise of the Creative Economy Across Sectors, on Tuesday, March 13th at 5pm, where one of the panelists will be Julia Youngs of Creative Startups.
If you’re an Albuquerque (or surrounding area) creative, the accelerator applications open in May.
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