WINSTON-SALEM – After weeks of mentorship and business development in the Velocity Creative Accelerator, 10 startups are gearing up to pitch their products to a live audience this Thursday in Winston-Salem.

They’re developing products and services in a variety of fields—from 3D-printed orthotics to online communities to digital health technology.

Run by Winston-Salem’s Center for Creative Economy, the Velocity Creative Accelerator involves nine weeks of online and in-person sessions. Over 30 mentors have worked with the cohort since August 9.

Now in its fourth year, the 2019 Velocity Creative Accelerator program brought in both national and international participants (five based in North Carolina).

Margaret Collins, founding executive director for the Center for Creative Economy, says the accelerator regularly gets applicants from around the world, representing the widespread interest in creative innovation.

“We focus on attracting companies whose sweet spot is the nexus of design, art and technology—and this year, we scored big in the creative tech area,” Collins said. “There is so much innovation being spawned from creative founders these days. Our mission is to find them and help them launch, grow and accelerate.”

This year’s cohort is notably diverse, comprised of 70% women and people of color.

“We are proud of the diversity of our cohorts,” Collins said. “This has been a consistent trend for the Center for Creative Economy throughout the years.”

Here’s a quick rundown of the startups:

  • Winston Salem-based AstraHive, a platform that helps creative businesses see their data in one place.
  • Mexico City-based Audiciones Latinas, a network for musicians and entertainment artists.
  • Winston Salem-based Bloom Collective, a community of sustainable microbusinesses, including crafting, gardening and catering services.
  • Winston Salem-based Elevate Insoles, a startup that’s developing on-demand 3D-printed orthotics for athletes.
  • Columbia, Missouri-based GINA Project, an AI-powered platform that helps users cope with stress and anxiety.
  • Raleigh-based iScribble, an interactive drawing platform for artists to collaborate in real time.
  • New Delhi, India-based Live Furnish Inc., a platform where users can instantly produce images of home textiles and furnishing.
  • Lovettsville, Virginia-based Momtography, an online community for moms who want to learn photography skills and share their creations with others.
  • San Francisco-based Nexus Center, a membership program that offers classes for physical, emotional and mental health.
  • Winston Salem-based Tokyn Games, a platform where board gamers can discover new games and connect with like-minded players.

On September 26, the program’s mentors will join investors to judge the final pitches prior to the Demo Night event. Startups will then take the stage at Biotech Place from 5-7:30 p.m. to present two-minute pitches to investors and mentors.

The awards, which will be announced following the pitches, include $50,000 in seed funding from Center for Creative Economy, plus prizes from local businesses including Sightsource, Royalty Marketing and Winston Starts.

Tickets are available for Demo Night on Eventbrite. Registration is free.