Meet the 2017 Cohort

Creative Startups Albuquerque

Creative Startups Albuquerque was the location of the first Creative Startups Accelerator, and is run directly by the Creative Startups staff. To date, this program has had 4 cohorts and accepts companies from all over the world to participate. 

2017 Accelerator

Applications for 2017 Albuquerque program are now closed. Stay tuned for updates on the 2018 Accelerator. 
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Frequently Asked Questions


What are the dates of the 2018 Accelerator?


TBD we are working on this now! Fill out our Accelerator inquiry form and we will let you know as soon as this is announced. 


Can I talk to someone in-person about the Accelerator?


You betcha! 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
Week 2 - 7: Six weeks of Classes
Week 8: Prep for Deep Dive
Week 9: Deep Dive
Afterward: Follow up with “best fit” Mentors


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 and 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. The class time will be determined by the best fit for all the cohort once accepted into the program. 



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 consider applying next year. 


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.


Is this program restricted to only New Mexico startups?


No. We accept startups from all over the world!  Applicants are judged based on their business/startup - not location. As most of the program is hosted online your company can be located anywhere. For one week during the Deep Dive your team will need to travel to Albuquerque, NM for 1:1 mentoring and workshops in person. 


How much is the fee?


The 2017 fee was $895 per person, once accepted into the program. 2018 is TBD.

There is no fee to apply.

Creative Startups Albuqueruqe no equity in your company for participating. 


What does the fee cover?


Everything except airfare. 

(Really?)  YES! 

The fee covers all Virtual Accelerator materials, supplies, 5 days/nights lodging and food during the Deep Dive, and 12 months of mentoring.


What are the selection process and judging criteria for applicants?


The application requires submission of a short video (you can use your smartphone to make it) as well as brief written descriptions of your business, your goals, and your team's background. 

Selection criteria includes: Creative and innovative contribution to your field (film, music, design, etc.); scalability; market potential; team's passion and experience.


Are there funding opportunities?



Each Creative Startups locations structure them differently.

Albuquerque funds 3 startups at the end of the Deep Dive. The entire cohort, along with the mentors and accredited investors who join our Pitch Day, will vote to select the Top Finalists. The Top Finalist split a pool of $50,000.  We structure the investments in a mutually beneficial manner for the Top Finalists and CCE


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.