History & Mission

Between 2007-2011, principals from industry, education and the Piedmont Triad Partnership (PTP) joined forces to establish a Creative Economy Initiative throughout the 12 county Piedmont region. This effort was made possible with support from the WIRED grant funded by the U.S. Department of Labor.

To ensure the momentum would not be lost from the successful work accomplished, the Center for Creative Economy was established as an independent non-profit organization in 2011. The center serves as a catalyst for the creative economy in the Piedmont Triad region and throughout the state.


The result of the Creative Economy Initiative has been a transformation of the region’s creative cluster which is comprised of 30,000 workers. Prior to these efforts, there was no organized infrastructure, no definition of the sector or projects focused on job growth.

In 2011 the Center was established as an independent nonprofit based in Winston-Salem, NC. CCE acquired the programs its founder had developed at PTP, and transformed them to present as its initial offerings to the Triad.

In 2017, the Center refocused its Vision and Mission on creative entrepreneurs, and building businesses in the creative economy. Through a program licensed through Creative Startups in Albuquerque, New Mexico, CCE hosted an accelerator for creative businesses from 2016-2018.

In 2019, CCE launched Velocity, a new brand of creative accelerator working closely with serial entrepreneur Chris Mumford, who is also on faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill's Kenan Flagler Business School, and Wake Forest University.  Velocity is an experiential, hands on program that catalyzes startups to Think, Create, Tell, and Run quickly for their businesses!

Our Vision

To be known as a premier economic development organization that is building the creative economy and creative community in Winston-Salem, the Triad, North Carolina, and the Southeast region.

Our Mission

Center for Creative Economy's mission is to Launch, Grow, and Accelerate creative entrepreneurs and businesses.

Our Impact to Date

  • 30 Companies Launched    
  • 87%  Still Thriving
  • 3.4 M Revenues earned
  • 3.1 M Investment raised
  • 70% are women and minority founders

*Program licensed through Creative Startups, 2016-2018

In 2018, CCE was honored to be chosen by NC IDEA as an Ecosystem partner. NC IDEA is a private nonprofit foundation that supports entrepreneurship in NC. CCE is working with communities across the state to develop creative entrepreneurs. If you seek help in building your creative business, contact us at info@CenterforCreativeEconomy.com

Focus Areas and Creative Industries CCE Serves

Art & Health
Apps (creative industries)
Augmented & Virtual Reality
Board Games
Crafts & Artisan
Creative Health Tech
Creative Sector R&D

Data Visualization
Digital Design
Education Tech
Graphic Design
Industrial Design
Museum Tech
Performing Arts

Product Design
Software (creative industries)
Studio & Fine Arts
3D Printing (creative products)
Toys & Games
TV & Radio
Video Games