Grow Your Business With Creative Startups - Apply Now
Creative Startups is partnering with Baltimore Creatives Acceleration Network (BCAN) to bring our accelerator to Baltimore as part of their Founder Fellowship program. BCAN is launching a new 10 year city-wide initiative providing both strategic and as needed, just in time entrepreneurship support for Baltimore creatives of all disciplines and backgrounds in an effort to foster a more equitable creative ecosystem and economy.
BCAN's Founder Fellowship features:
- a rigorous in person & online business boot camp powered by Creative Startups
- a local & global network of mentors
- pro bono legal services from DLA Piper and the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
- a closed-door investor pitch and demo day (with the chance to win seed funding up to $15,000!)
- a 6 month subsidized residency at one of Baltimore's top creative incubators including Eubie Blake for performance, Open Works for product based companies, ETC and Betamore for creative tech companies, and Impact Hub for creative social entrepreneurs.
What are the dates?
Workshops, Mentorship & Online Course: March 26 - May 11, 2018
Deep Dive: May 21 - 25, 2018
How do I apply?
We are accepting applications until January 21, 2018.
Is this program restricted to only Baltimore residents?
Is there a fee involved? What does it cover?
BCAN's Founder Fellowship program is free for participants, but we believe in paying it forward. Fellows will be required to develop and conduct a workshop in their community in partnership with BCAN as part of the program.
Are there info sessions when I can learn more?
Info Session Schedule
What you'll need to apply
- You and your company need to be in Baltimore.
We ask a lot of questions - but that's because we appreciate brief answers vs. long essays. Once your video is done and you have your basics in hand, it shouldn't take you longer than an hour or two to fill out the application.
Can I talk to someone in-person about the Accelerator?
We welcome inquiries. Fill out our Accelerator inquiry form and we will be in touch.
How long does the program last?
Creative Startups Accelerators are essentially 10 weeks in duration. Additionally, mentorship of startups continues throughout the year.
Week 1: On-Boarding & Orientation
What are the classes about?
The Creative Startups curriculum was built from scratch by creative entrepreneurs - for creative entrepreneurs. The rigorous six-week curriculum covers essential topics for entrepreneurs in any industry. Topics include business model development, branding, cash flow analysis, financing new ventures, legal topics, and more. Classes meet twice times weekly with an additional peer-to-peer meeting each week - yep, it’s intense!
What should I expect for time commitment if accepted into the accelerator?
It depends on how dedicated you are to improving your business. The amount of time invested will directly influence how successful you are.
We say that you should budget at least 15 hours per week for classes, meetings, mentor time and homework.
I am the only founder of my business - can I still apply?
Yes. However, we prefer teams of two founders or partners. We will award more points to applications submitted by teams.
We are a nonprofit startup - can we apply?
Yes, but note we do not take more than one nonprofit startup per cohort.
We don't think venture capital investment is right for our startup, should we still apply?
Yes. We believe that VC/angel investment is only suited to some entrepreneurs, some startups. Our Mentors include creative entrepreneurs who built their firms without outside investment and others who have successfully worked with VCs. We will have honest discussions with trusted VCs and entrepreneurs who can offer you advice and guidance on making these decisions wisely.
I have a great idea for a business, but I haven't started my business yet - should I apply?
Creative Startups Accelerator is built for creative entrepreneurs who are past the idea stage and are actively building out their venture. If you are just getting started with your new idea we hope you reach out and we can access if our program is right for your company at this stage.
My company is a few years old - can we still apply to Creative Startups?
Yes, you should apply! Creative Startups has worked with companies that are still in startup phase despite being several years old. Our judges will generally “pass” on companies that are over 5 years old AND have reached $5million in annual revenue.
Are there additional resource opportunities?
Each Creative Startups locations structures funding and resources differently.
What are the "creative industries"?
The creative industries include a wide range of sectors. The thread woven throughout these sectors is creativity and culture, arts and expression. According to the newly released, and first-ever estimates of the creative sector’s contributions to the US gross domestic product, the total output from arts and cultural production were $916 billion in 2011.
The most valuable part of Creative Startups is the network: its like a customized group of people who know how to specifically help you. And, there's a lot of support for the creative side of the business.