Startup Accelerator finalists include UNCSA alumnus, Kenan Institute Lab member

The Center for Creative Economy has announced the winners of the 2016 Creative Startups Accelerator in Winston-Salem, a six-week course that culminated last week with a weeklong “Deep Dive.”

The winners had strong connections to the Kenan Institute for the Arts, UNC School of the Arts, and Winston-Salem.

The overall winner of the Accelerator was Embodied Labs, a virtual reality company that builds custom immersive, interactive, health education curricula to help healthcare providers better care for and understand the perspective of vulnerable patient populations. Ryan Lebar (Drama '16) is the Creative Director for the company.

The local media company The Feeling Friends, which produces plush toys, books, and content to guide parents, caregivers, educators, and clinicians on teaching children how to identify, express and manage their feelings, won second place.

The Muddy Creek Café and Music Hall, a local venue owned by Bill Heath and Shana Whitehead, a member of the Kenan Institute’s Arts Enterprise Lab, was awarded third place.

The Kenan Institute for the Arts was a lead sponsor of the Accelerator, and Executive Director Corey Madden served as a mentor for the program. The week featured workshops and one-on-one coaching with mentors and investors, and the companies pitched their products to more than 250 people at Demo Night, a community wide event at Biotech Place on Sept. 28.

The finalists will receive seed stage funding from the Center for Creative Economy totaling $50,000.


Winston-Salem Journal Article

October 7, 2016