Applications for Creative Startups program open until June 10

Creative Startups logoUpdate: Deadline extended to midnight June 10.

Calling all University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) alumni, faculty, staff, students and other creative types: Applications are now open for the Creative Startups Winston-Salem Accelerator, hosted by the Center for Creative Economy (CCE).

Designed by and for creative entrepreneurs, Creative Startups is a world-class program that works with startups to deliver mentorship, investors, networks and information to accelerate a company’s success. The accelerator is built for creative entrepreneurs who are past the idea stage and are actively building out their ventures.

The Creative Startups Winston-Salem Accelerator offers an intensive, eight-week program that is open to startups anywhere in the world. Up to 10 startup teams will be selected based on their business/startup – not on location.

During the first six weeks of the Winston-Salem Accelerator, the startups will critically analyze their business models and receive tools and training by using a virtual, online program. During the final “Deep Dive Week,” all startups will meet in Winston-Salem to work together and network with more than 30 industry experts who are mentors and investors. The week includes a demo night with interactive community feedback, and ends with a pitch competition where the top three startups compete to split a pool of $50,000 in seed stage investment through interest-free loans.

An additional $10,000 in support and shared services will be available through a Chancellor’s Creative Startups Artpreneur Grant for a creative business affiliated with UNCSA. This additional support is made possible through a continuing partnership with the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts.

Last year, one of the three winning startups was a UNCSA alumna and, in addition, two UNCSA-affiliated companies received an Artpreneur grant. The Chancellor’s Creative Startups Artpreneur Grants support a strategic initiative of UNCSA to catalyze arts-based community and economic development.

The Winston-Salem Accelerator is accepting applications until midnight June 10. The startups selected will have an onboarding/orientation week that begins July 31. Classes will begin on Aug. 6 and conclude on Sept. 14. The Deep Dive Week will be held Sept. 23-28.

For more information, visit the Creative Startups website at or the CCE Winston-Salem Accelerator website at Startups with questions about the program or the application may contact Margaret Collins at or Adrian Smith at

The Center for the Creative Economy ( is the lead partner for Creative Startups ( across the Southeastern United States.

Contact: Marla Carpenter

Updated: May 31, 2018

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