Information

ACCELERATOR INFORMATION


 

The goal of Creative Startups is to get your venture beyond the launch stage to profitability and growth.

WE HAVE PROVEN RESULTS.

 

But don't just take our word for it, hear it from our startups.  And, watch what they say about our Mentors!

Creative Startups is a startup accelerator designed for creatives using creative technologies and meeting new and growing market opportunities.  We built the accelerator from the bottom up with creative entrepreneurs in mind.  We look for entrepreneurs who blur the lines between innovation, expression, and technology.  Creative Startups hosts accelerators in multiple locations.  Startups can apply to whichever location best suits their needs.  

If you are starting or growing your creative business you face a lot of challenges. Creative Startups helps you overcome these challenges and risks through providing you with a world-class intensive course in Creative Entrepreneurship, connecting you with successful creative entrepreneurs who are passionate about mentoring you, and accessing angel and vc investors.  If you are selected to take part in Creative Startups you will:

  • Work 1 on 1 with Mentors from your industry 
  • Access to all 70+ of our Mentors, and our global network 
  • Craft a profitable business model, reach new customers
  • Connect to industry leaders and open doors to bigger markets
  • Network with visionary creatives, founders of iconic brands, & CEO’s
  • Pitch to our network of Investors excited to support creative ventures.

The course was built in partnership with leading entrepreneurship faculty of Stanford University and is coupled with decades of experience working with creatives entrepreneurs.  In addition to teaching core entrepreneurship concepts, Creative Startups increases your leadership skills, helps you develop your interpersonal communication "toolbox", and connects you with a supportive network and resource set through mentoring and alumni engagement.  

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What are the dates of the 2017 Accelerator?

 

It depends on the location. Review the timelines to determine which site best suits your startup's schedule. 

Kuwait
Only for Middle East residents - Course held in-person
Applications Open: April 2 - May 12, 2017
Classes: July 9 - August 17
Deep Dive: August 27 - 31

Winston-Salem
Open to Startups Worldwide
Applications Open: May 1 - June 11, 2017
Classes: August 7 - September 15; On-Board week July 31 - August 4
Deep Dive: September 24 - 30

Albuquerque
Open to Startups Worldwide
Applications Open: May 29 - July 9, 2017
Classes: September 4 - October 13; On-Board week August 28 - September 1
Deep Dive: October 23 - 27

To find out about the info sessions and application process please fill out this short inquiry form so we can stay in touch. 

 

Can I talk to someone in-person about the Accelerator?

 

We welcome inquiries! Send us an email today.

 

Do you have a webinar info session I can attend?

 

You betcha! We offer webinars to help you develop your application, ask us questions, and get answers.
If you want to watch a pre-recorded one jump over to our Vimeo channel

 

How long does the program last?

 

Creative Startups Accelerators are essentially 10 weeks in duration.  Additionally, mentorship of startups continues throughout the year.

Week One: Orientation
Week Two through Week Seven: Online Classes
Week Eight: Prep for Deep Dive
Week Nine: Deep Dive
Week Ten: Follow up with “best fit” Mentors

 

What are the classes about?

 

The Creative Startups curriculum was built from scratch by creative entrepreneurs - for creative entrepreneurs.  The rigorous six-week curriculum covers essential topics for entrepreneurs in any industry.  Topics include business model development, branding, cash flow analysis, financing new ventures, legal topics, and more.  Classes meet twice times weekly with and additional peer-to-peer meeting each week - yep, it’s intense!

 

What should I expect for time commitment if accepted into the accelerator?

 

It depends on how dedicated you are to improving your business. The amount of time invested will directly influence how successful you are.

We say that you should budget at least 10 hours per week for classes, meetings, mentor time and homework. The class time will be determined by the best fit for all the cohort once accepted into the program. 

 

I am the only founder of my business - can I still apply?

 

Yes. However, we prefer teams of two founders or partners.  We will award more points to applications submitted by teams.

 

We are a nonprofit startup - can we apply?

 

Yes, but note we do not take more than one nonprofit startup per cohort. 

 

We don't think venture capital investment is right for our startup, should we still apply?

 

Yes.  We believe that VC/angel investment is only suited to some entrepreneurs, some startups.  Our Mentors include creative entrepreneurs who built their firms without outside investment, and others who have successfully worked with VCs.  We will have honest discussions with trusted VCs and entrepreneurs who can offer you advice and guidance on making these decisions wisely.

 

I have a great idea for a business, but I haven't started my business yet - should I apply?

 

Creative Startups Accelerator is built for creative entrepreneurs who are past the idea stage and are actively building out their venture.  If you are just getting started with your new idea consider applying next year. 
If you are local to New Mexico look into our LABS, as we are expanding programing in 2017 to help those in the idea stage take action steps towards building their business. 

 

My company is a few years old - can we still apply to Creative Startups?

 

Yes, you should apply!  Creative Startups has worked with companies that are still in startup phase despite being several years old.  Our judges will generally “pass” on companies that are over 5 years old AND have reached $5million in annual revenue.

 

Is the program restricted to only US startups?

 

No. We accept startups from all over the world!  Applicants are judged based on their business/startup - not location.
Startups can choose any city to apply to regardless of their geographic region. 

The only exception is our Kuwait Accelerator Savour is only open to Middle East startups. This program is an accelerator/incubator fusion and startups must be local in order to participate. 

 

What is the monetary value of Creative Startups?

 

The full value of the program for an individual participant is over $13,000. Through a grant provided by the National Science Foundation and NMEPSCoR we are able to dramatically reduce the fee to startups - by over 90%!  (Thank you, NSF and NMEPSCoR!)

 

How much is the fee?

 

2017 fee is TBD. 2016 was $795 per person, once accepted into the program. The fee helps cover the 5 days entrepreneurs are in Albuquerque or Winston-Salem - hotel, food, and events.

There is no fee to apply.

Creative Startups takes no equity in your company for participating.

 

What does the fee cover?

 

Everything except airfare. 

(Really?)  YES! 

The fee covers all Virtual Accelerator materials, 5 days/nights lodging and food at a hotel, and 6 months of mentoring.

 

What is the selection process and judging criteria for applicants?

 

2017 Application deadlines for applications are:

Kuwait May 12 @ 11:59pm UTC +3
Winston-Salem June 11 @ 11:59pm EST
Albuquerque July 9 @ 11:59pm EST

The application requires submission of a short video (you can use your smartphone to make it) as well as brief written descriptions of your business, your goals, and your team's background. 

Selection criteria include: Creative and innovative contribution to your field (film, music, design, etc.); scalability; market potential; team's passion and experience.

 

Who are "Top Finalists"?

 

All successful applicants will participate in the Virtual Accelerator, the 5-day Deep Dive, the Demo Day, and the Pitch Day.  The entire cohort, along with the accredited investors who join our Pitch Day, will vote to select the Top Finalists. The Top Finalist receives a $25,000 investment, the next a $15,000 investment, and finally a $10,000 investment.  We structure the investments in a mutually beneficial manner for the Top Finalists and Creative Startups.

 

What are the "creative industries"?

 

The creative industries include a wide range of sectors.  The thread woven throughout these sectors is creativity and culture, arts and expression.  According to the newly released, and first-ever estimates of the creative sector’s contributions to the US gross domestic product, the total output from arts and cultural production was $916 billion in 2011".