Growing the Creative Economy
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Startup Accelerators for Creators: An Unmet Need

Creative Startups

Originally published by Alice Loy on her website, April 28, 2015

We Need More Startup Resources for Creators

comparison of resources available to support startups in various industries

Are you a creative entrepreneur, or “creator,” and wondering where all the love is? Where are the startup accelerators, investors, and boot camps for creative startups?  Despite contributing over $700 billion to the US economy, creative entrepreneurs struggle to find support that meets their unique needs as founders of high growth ventures.  As professional designers, musicians, filmmakers, many creatives are highly skilled in creative domains but have less knowledge and skills in finance, operations, or marketing. Despite these challenges, examples of successful creative entrepreneurs abound and include John Lasseter (Pixar), Beyonce (musician), and Calvin Klein (fashion). Yet, to date, the vast majority of creative entrepreneurs–and the enormous untapped economic and creative potential they harbor–have been mostly overlooked.  The lack of resources available to them reflects this oversight.

By contrast, the tech startup ecosystem is saturated with resources: entrepreneurship degrees are offered at hundreds of STEM programs in colleges and universities, startup investment firms are prolific and accessible, and there are thousands of accelerators, boot camps, and startup weekends dedicated to tech startups. There are over 5,000 accelerators for tech startups.

By comparison, we have identified only four accelerators for entrepreneurs in the creative industries. is an accelerator “supporting early-stage entrepreneurs building start-ups that make society more informed, connected, and empowered.”  Based in San Francisco, Matter focuses on digital publishing startups and is heading into its fourth cohort.

Dogfish Accelerator is “an art movement inside the center of a business development lab”.  Based in New York City, dogfish is breaking ground with content creators and artists who seek to beef up their startup skills, connect to mentors, and investors.

In the United Kingdom the School for Creative Startups provides online courses and events. (The School for Creative Startups website was not online at the time this article was published.)

And, last but not least, my own organization, Creative Startups, offers an 8 week intensive accelerator, with a comprehensive entrepreneurship curriculum designed for creatives and an exceptional mentor pool.

If you are looking for support as you build your creative venture reach out to one of these accelerators! 

If you lead an accelerator that serves creatives/creators, let me know so we can add you to the list!

And, if you are a creative community leader working to build out more resources for creatives in your region, consider partnering with an existing accelerator…because clearly, we need to bring more startup-forward resources to creators.

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