WINSTON SALEM – Three startups earned the top seed-stage investment awards for creative uses of technology in the Center for Creative Economy’s (CCE) Velocity Creative Accelerator.
In the fourth annual education and seed funding program, ten creative entrepreneurs completed a 9-week education program and pitched investors to be one of the top three startups to split $50,000 in seed-stage investment.
Tokyn, Winston-Salem, gamed their way to the second award of $15,000 with their startup that empowers board gamers to discover new games at wholesale prices and connects local players through the company’s app. Tokyn will join Winston Starts’ Explore Program and received a legal counsel award from Kilpatrick Townsend, as well as a software development package for $2,000 from Sightsource.
Receiving $10,000, Elevate, founded by Mike Schmid in Winston-Salem, helps orthotic practitioners use data, software and 3D printing to create hyper-customized orthotics that keep athletes in the game. Elevate will join Winston Starts’ Explore Program.
Royalty Marketing presented a marketing and social media award for $2,500 to Winston-Salem’s AstraHive, a cloud-based “dashboard app for bizzy creatives” that aggregates information from third-party applications into a platform that allows crafty creators to manage their businesses.
Winston Starts’ Explore Program also welcomed iScribble (Raleigh, NC) to help relaunch its online drawing software where artists collaborate with one another in real time.
42 companies from 11 countries applied to participate in this year’s program. Of the 10 companies selected, 70 percent were run by female entrepreneurs and half of the teams had people of color in their leadership. The other companies in the Velocity program included:
- Audiciones Latinas, Mexico City, Mexico
- Bloom Collective, Winston-Salem, NC
- The GINA Project, Columbia, MO
- Momtography Club, Lovettsville, VA
- The Nexus Center, San Francisco, CA, Portland, OR
40 companies have participated in CCE’s accelerators; 87 percent are thriving, creating more than 66 jobs. 70 percent of the founders of the companies in the program are women- or minority-owned.