Creative Economy Entrepreneurs


The first accessible in-depth introduction to the entrepreneurs shaping the 21st century...

From education entrepreneurs in Brazilian favelas to festival founders on Malaysian beaches, creative entrepreneurs are driving unprecedented value in economies.

They're building new markets, inventing new technologies, and solving the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

In Creative Economy Entrepreneurs, we share their stories, and we show you how to spark the success of creative economy ecosystems in your region. 


Contact us today to schedule a 2019 Book Tour event!
Praise for the Book
Alice and Tom are pioneering the work of accelerating creative entrepreneurs. If you are wondering why the creative economy is explosive, this book answers all your questions.

Tom Byers, PhD, Professor of Entrepreneurship

Stanford University, Palo Alto, California

Everyone starting-up would benefit tremendously from reading this book.

John Howkins, Author

The Creative Economy: How People Make Money From Ideas, London, UK

Offering a perceptive analysis of some of the world’s most exciting creative enterprises, this book delivers useful lessons and insights for those committed to developing the ecosystems that help creative businesses and creative ideas thrive.

Caroline Norbury, CEO

Creative England, Bristol, England

Anyone worried about what the age of robots will do to society will feel much relief after reading this book. The role of the creative entrepreneur shows where humans will thrive. Any aspiring entrepreneur with an eye to the future should read this book.

Darryn Melrose, CEO and President

New Media School, Auckland, New Zealand

A must-read for politicians and practitioners alike!

Bernd Fesel, Director

European Creative Business Network, Rotterdam, Netherlands

This book lays a path for those who are driven to a build a more vibrant creative economy. It gives readers a framework and practical tools for creating economic opportunities and developing a robust startup ecosystem. 

Tina Seelig, Faculty Director - Stanford Technology Ventures Program

Stanford University, School of Engineering, Palo Alto, California


Why This Book Matters 

This book is intended to fuel the global Creative Economy movement, energizing leaders—like you!—who strive to build resilient economies, engage youth, create jobs, and spark wealth formation.

In this book, we highlight the creative entrepreneurs often bypassed by traditional “tech” accelerators, economic development strategies, and private sector investors. We show how placing creative industries entrepreneurs at the center of economic development strategies is not only effective, but essential.

There is a lack of Creative Economy publications focusing on the role and value of entrepreneurship. Instead, related books and articles often address the macro-economic view of the Creative Industries, providing policy frameworks and discussions regarding the structural formation of industries.

While these works are useful analyses of established creative economy ecosystems, they don’t provide leaders with practical advice on how to start a creative economy ecosystem.

Our experiences building creative ecosystems from Kuala Lumpur to Kuwait, Baltimore to Brisbane, tell us that entrepreneurs are the visionaries, the do-ers, the risktakers essential to successful economic development. Without entrepreneurs, there simply is no economy in your city or region.

We hope this book will encourage more leaders to invest in Creative Economy entrepreneurs, and more regions to support creative ventures—from startups to scaleups.

Alice and Tom

Alice Loy

Tom Aageson

Alice Loy, PhD, Co-founder & CEO

Alice Loy is a Co-founder of Creative Startups and widely considered a leading authority on entrepreneurship in the creative economy.  Dr. Loy created the Creative Startups Accelerator with a vision for catalyzing high growth company formation in the under-served creative economy.

A sought-after speaker on topics ranging from developing creative economy ecosystems to investing in the creative economy, Alice frequently travels to Europe, Asia, and Latin America to work with entrepreneurs and economic development leaders.  Alice has lived and worked in Mexico, Costa Rica, Spain, and China.  She holds a PhD in Strategic Communication and Entrepreneurship and an MBA.  She speaks Spanish fluently.

Tom Aageson, Co-founder

Tom is a Co-founder of Creative Startups. He previously served as Executive Director for the Museum of New Mexico Foundation where he successfully led a $25 million capital campaign, and the launch of the first statewide history museum.  Since coming to Santa Fe, Tom has also launched several successful startups including New Mexico Creates, an initiative that links artists and entrepreneurs to the global marketplace and the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, now the largest folk art market festival in the world. Before coming to Santa Fe, Tom was director of Aid to Artisans, an international artisan enterprise development NGO.  Previous to that he was at the Mystic Seaport Museum where he created the innovative Mystic Maritime Gallery, which created new markets for maritime artists and spawned for-profit gallery enterprises across the US.  He holds a MBA from Columbia University and BFT from the Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird).


Frequently Asked Questions


Who is this book for?


Economic developers, policymakers, mayors, investors, university faculty, incubators, VC firms, creative economy nonprofits, business organizations, mentors, foundations, donors, chambers of commerce, and—of course!—creative entrepreneurs.


When/where can I buy it?


"Creative Economy Entrepreneurs" by Alice Loy and Tom Aageson will be available for purchase in hard copy and Kindle format on September 15th, 2018.

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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.