Three startups have earned the top seed-stage investment awards in the Center for Creative Economy’s Velocity Creative Accelerator.
In the organization’s fifth annual education and seed funding program, ten creative entrepreneurs completed a 9-week entrepreneur education program that refined their business plans and pitches to investors to be one of the top three startups to split a pool of $50,000 in seed-stage investment.
The Agent Accelerator, a Winston-Salem based startup that helps real estate brokerages scale their business by providing innovative training solutions, took the top award of $25,000, presented by NC IDEA Foundation CEO and President, Thom Ruhe. The Agent Accelerator founder, Chelsea Goodwin, was invited by Winston Starts President, Bob Boles, into their eight-week Explore Program, a startup incubator that provides office space and supportive services to Winston-Salem entrepreneurs.
LiveMo from Seattle received the second-place award of $15,000 with their startup that empowers artists to easily share and monetize their content through LiveMo’s concert live-streaming platform. LiveMo founder, Fernando Turrent, also received a consultation package for $5,000 from Sightsource to further develop their technology.
Running third, receiving $10,000, was FELOH, founded by Camille Heard in Cleveland. FELOH is a social marketplace for hair care and beauty enthusiasts. FELOH also received a day of consulting from Sightsource and $2,500 of in-kind social media marketing services from Royalty Marketing.
Daryl Shaw with Royalty Marketing also presented a marketing and social media award for $2,500 to Y’all Company, uniting people through food and Y’all Sauce, southern charm in a bottle, and Wavlength, a creative agency that helps musicians build their brand and enhance their creative direction by connecting them with a global network of creatives.
Winston Starts also welcomed Upshots, a line of premium alcoholic desserts and savory shots, and MAXIMYZ, a mind focused, gamification platform designed to build smarter and healthier communicating teams, into their Explore program.
Other awards include additional one-day technology consultations provided by Sightsource, pro bono legal services from Kilpatrick Townsend, business coaching packages from ActionCOACH – Team Hauser, and the Velocity Connections Award presented by SueMo Consulting.
40 startups from 11 U.S. states and 11 countries globally applied to participate in this year’s accelerator. Of the 10 startups chosen for the program, 50% are run by women entrepreneurs and 50% are founded by people of color. According to Exective Director, Margaret Collins, “We are so proud of the progress made during Velocity this year. The startups really worked hard, honed their business models, and financials. They made informative and compelling pitches at the October 1st Demo Day.”
The other companies that completed the Velocity Creative Accelerator included:
- 2923 Comics (Kansas City, MO): Creates comic books that show the abuse of power in underserved communities, and how to overcome it. Founder Jauquan Herron showcases a wide representation of diverse urban communities within the stories.
- Mobiiuz (Lyon, France): A patented add-on for standing desks that encourage users to naturally maintain a healthy posture and expend energy without fatigue while working.
- OWOGAME (Malaga, Spain): A wireless suit that allows players to feel over 30 different sensations in real-time while playing video games, and controlled through a mobile application, which allows users to increase or decrease the intensity of the sensations.