Meow Wolf provides an exceptional example of the positive impact an accelerator can have on team with raw entrepreneurial talent and drive. Prior to taking part in Creative Startups, Meow Wolf had consisted of a loose collective of artists building large scale “worlds of wonder” art installations. But in 2011 the group erected the Due Return, a life-size ship with interactive art throughout it’s bowels. The show attracted 25,000 paying customers and Meow Wolf realized they could become more than a collective of talented friends: they could revolutionize interactive gaming and entertainment.
Based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Meow Wolf now employs 30 full time artists building out a 30,000 square foot art complex that will house both a 20,000 sq ft. art installation and ample co-working and production space for artists. The House of Eternal Return has over 100 artists and youth working on various projects and promises to be more exciting than the Due Return.
Coming into the program the founders reported they had “never heard of” various startup concepts or terminology including “market segmentation”, “revenue share models”, and “minimum viable product”. The team expressed concern about their lack of business expertise and knowledge. They stated that they had “0” paid employees and had raised no money from outside investors.
Within five months of completing Creative Startups, Meow Wolf created a revenue share model for the 10 “core artists” working on the current the project and has raised over $800,000 from private investors. The team also successfully raised $104,000 from over 600 Kickstarter funders in February, 2015.