THREE CREATIVE STARTUPS ARE WINNERS OF $50,000 FROM THE CENTER FOR CREATIVE ECONOMY
Winston Salem, NC, October 8, 2018 – 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.
EduMotion from Chicago, IL, received the top award of $25,000 to help 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. “The Creative Startups Accelerator has meant the world to our business. I can’t tell you how much we’ve grown through the program as we go on to the grand vision of expanding our business beyond the Upper Midwest. Our future success will be largely be due to these past eight weeks.”
Point Motion from Boston, MA, 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. “We provide an inclusive instrument for children with special needs to create music, express themselves and provide data to their healthcare specialist on how that child is developing,” said Kevin Clark. “Coming to Winston-Salem has been a journey. I have never found anything like this in the world.”
ArtPop Street Gallery from Charlotte 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. This company turns roads, highways and thoroughfares into opportunities for artistic appreciation and discovery. “ArtPop Street Gallery was in Winston-Salem in 2016 and 2017,” said Wendy Hickey. “Having the opportunity to engage and reconnect with the artists from this community, as well as go through this program, has been so exciting. I can’t even describe how much I’ve grown in the last eight weeks. I am so thankful.”
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 the business acumen of the creative entrepreneur and the connections with expert mentors provides the secret sauce to help these creative entrepreneurs develop solid business plans and gain knowledge that will help them succeed. Ninety-seven percent of the companies that have completed our program over the last three years are still in business.”
Other companies in this year’s cohort included Animation Bee from Miami, Beaumonde from Raleigh, NC, Drikybot from Bordeaux, France, EarlyGroove from Winston-Salem, NC, Joyfire, Winston-Salem, NC, Natalie Rebecca Design, LLC, from Raleigh, NC, and The Pepper Merchant (TPM), Winston-Salem, NC.
The Center for Creative Economy is a non-profit organization that helps launch, grow, and accelerate creative businesses. Creative Startups Winston-Salem is made possible through a continued partnership with the City of Winston-Salem, Parsec Financial, Ovation Foundation, DataMax Foundation, Inmar and the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts.