Created and Powered by Center for Creative Economy

Velocity is a 9-week accelerator designed for the creative entrepreneur. Velocity delivers online and in-person learning with cohort members and mentors. Through a high impact, startup success curriculum, teams gain the knowledge and tools to better think, create, tell and run their businesses.

The accelerator will officially begin with a kick-off weekend in Winston-Salem, NC to meet mentors and cohort members. The accelerator will end with 5 day Deep Dive in Winston-Salem to work on-site with mentors and investors to refine their business models.

Teams will also take part in a pitch competition and demo night. The top three teams will split a pool of $50,000 through a 0% interest loan, equity free. The Center for Creative Economy does not take any equity in the winner's company.

Another perk for Velocity participants is the opportunity to apply for the Explore Program at Winston Starts, an incubator with resources, mentors and space to move from startup to scale up.

Creative entrepreneurs globally are encouraged to apply. There is no cost to apply. If selected, the fee for participants is $895. The fee will cover the cost of the course, books, access to mentors, meals and accommodations for Kick-off Weekend and the Deep Dive in Winston-Salem, NC. Participants must cover their own travel.


Who Should Apply?

The Successful Velocity applicant:

  • Is a creative team of one or more
  • Is talking with customers and "discovering" your unique value
  • Has a creative business that solves a problem or creates a unique user experience
  • Is building a prototype or is ready to launch
  • May already have a product on the market, but needs a reboot to make it soar
  • Is ready to scale their business

Why Velocity?

Teams will learn how to:

  • Focus and refine their creative business model
  • Research and analyze the market, competition and industry your business is in
  • Prepare financial forecasts and budgets
  • Construct your marketing, operations and launch plans
  • Build the right team
  • Develop a pitch for seed stage capital from investors


The Curriculum

Velocity brings together a great curriculum, industry expertise, and mentors to develop the best version of your business and get traction in the market.

In collaboration with Chris Mumford, founder of the Joe Startup Entrepreneurial Curriculum and Velocity guest faculty, content and workshops have been tailored to accelerate your creative business.

The curriculum covers 24 business modules that are organized around the themes, “Think, Create, Tell, and Run.”  You will learn via video, a customized workbook, and a weekly workshop led by creative industry professionals. Each startup team will regularly connect with mentors to flesh out the concepts presented in the workshops, and put them into practice.

Important Dates

    • Applications: April 3 - June 2
    • On boarding: Week of July 30
    • Kick-off Weekend: August 9 - 11, Winston-Salem
    • Online Workshops: August 6 - September 13
    • Deep Dive: September 22 - 27, Winston-Salem

Info Sessions


Creative Focus Areas

There is a special focus on Art and Health, Culinary, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Design, and Education Tech. However, all creative companies in the industries below are encouraged to apply:


  • Advertising
  • Art & Health
  • Animation
  • Animatronics
  • Apps (creative industries)
  • Architecture
  • Augmented & Virtual Reality
  • Crafts & Artisan
  • Creative Sector R&D
  • Culinary
  • Data Visualization
  • Digital Design
  • Education Tech
  • Fashion
  • Film
  • Graphic Design
  • Industrial Design
  • Museum Tech
  • Music
  • Performing Arts
  • Photography
  • Planning/Design


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



 The online accelerator begins July 30, with a robust curriculum with 24 modules that are organized around the themes, “Create, Tell, Sell, Run.” Up to 10 teams are selected to critically focus on their business.

5 Day Deep Dive in Winston-Salem

The accelerator will kick-off in Winston-Salem August 9-11. In the final week, Sep 22-27, a 5 day Deep Dive in Winston-Salem brings together the participants, for a highly personalized experience.

Equity Free Seed Funding

 The Deep Dive week includes a public Demo Day with interactive community feedback, and a Pitch Competition where the top three teams split a pool of $50k through 0% interest loans, which are equity free.

The City Of Arts and Innovation

Why Winston?

Winston-Salem is home to a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, that welcomes creativity and innovation. With catalysts like Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, Venture Cafe Winston-Salem, Winston Starts, Flywheel, Kenan Institute for the Arts, and Creative Community Lab, there’s a growing synergy throughout Winston-Salem that embraces creative entrepreneurs as part of the robust economy. 


One-on-One Customized Mentoring

Each team will have access to personalized one-on-one mentoring from a roster of 30+ industry leaders, experts and entrepreneurs in the areas of:

  • Business Experience - Successfully Starting and Growing a Company
  • Identifying Customers and Defining the Competition
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Financials
  • Pitching
  • Investor perspective and knowledge

Below is partial list of previous mentors. New mentors are sourced based on the needs of each cohort.

Wendy Castleman, DevelopeopleUX

Ray Collins, TrueVoice

Jason Doherty, UNC Chapel Hill

Lou Anne Flanders-Stec, Launch Greensboro

Alyson Franciso, Salem College

Balint Gaspar, SightSource

Jenni Earle Hopkins, Jenni Earle

Mary Ann Hauser, Action Coach

Edwin Hamlin, Duck Creek Technologie

Chris Jones, Five Points Capital

Will Joyner, Kilpatrick Townsend

Michael Kelly, UNC School of the Arts

Frank Leak, thirty-six | thirty

Bruce Maxwell, Maxwell Consulting

Shuyi Mo, Infinite Film Studios

Chris Mumford, Joe Startup Enterprises

Margaret Neff, Beta Verde

Siobhan Olson, Feisty PR

Adam Orsborn, OrbitalRX

Bill Porter, Stepstone Strategic

Noah Reynolds, UNC Greensboro

Carol Reeve, Girl on the Roof

Ryan Schmaltz, METL, UNCSA

Daryl Shaw, Royalty Marketing

Will Spivey, MaxCom

Lee Thompson, LNT Consulting

Kyle Webster, Adobe

Emmy Williams, Interior Solutions

Jeff Wolfe, Forrest Firm

J.D. Wooten, Womble Bond-Dickinson

What The Startups Say

“The accelerator has impacted our business by preparing me, the CEO, to effectively communicate, and develop a clear vision. Without that clarity, I could never convince these mega contributors to come on board.”

Kevin Clark, Point Motion, 2018 Accelerator Alumni


“Always a person with ideas and a will to create, the Accelerator was the foundation for me to build a successful creative business. I now live the life I only dreamed about before.”

Jenni Earle Hopkins, Jenni Earle, 2017 Accelerator Alumni


“The people I met through the accelerator have provided incredible insight and support as I continue to grow my business. The mentors and other participants make the accelerator a top-notch program. I am confident that I will look back on this experience in 5, 10, 20 years and know that it was one of the defining experiences in my career as an entrepreneur.”  

Natalie Holm, Natalie Rebecca Design, 2018 Accelerator Alumni


The Center for Creative Economy’s mission is to Launch, Grow, and Accelerate creative entrepreneurs and businesses. CCE has a proven track record of helping creative businesses grow and remain sustainable.

For the last 3 years, CCE has hosted an accelerator, licensed through Creative Startups, that has helped launch 30 creative businesses with 46 founders. Since 2016, accelerator alumni have produced revenue of $3.4 million and have raised $3.1 million in investments, with 87% still remaining in business.

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