The accelerator in one word

Hear from Meow Wolf Alumni

Meet all of our alumni!

Creative Startups Albuquerque 

Creative Startups Albuquerque was the location of the first Creative Startups Accelerator, and is run directly by the Creative Startups leadership team. To date, this program has had 5 cohorts, having accepted companies from all over the world to participate. 

2018/19 Accelerator: Presented by Meow Wolf!

In 2019 we partnered with '14 accelerator alum, Meow Wolf, to present the Accelerator -- with a big helping hand from the City of Albuquerque! Meow Wolf has exploded onto the creative tech scene and is disrupting and driving the immersive entertainment market across the USA.

Frequently Asked Questions


What are the dates of the 2020 Accelerator?


Dates for our 2020 Albuquerque Accelerator will be announced soon -- stay tuned!


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.  Working with Stanford faculty we have created an awesome, robust, and effective learning journey for creative founders. Topics include customer discovery, 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?


Most founders tell us they spend about 18 hours/week for the 6 weeks of the course. The Deep Dive is all day every day on location. As an entrepreneur, you know that you get out of it what you put into it!


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 generally 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 pre-revenue you might be agreat fit for our LABS or our Libraries as Launchpads programs! 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 2018 fee is $895 per person, once accepted into the program. 

There is no fee to apply.

Creative Startups Albuqueruqe takes no equity in your company. 


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. Lodging is provided by the beautiful Hotel Andaluz in Downtown Albuquerque.


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?


Funding opportunities for the Albuquerque program are still pending. Stay tuned for more info!


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.


Meow Wolf is a Santa Fe, New Mexico based arts and entertainment group that established in 2008 as an art collective. Meow Wolf creates immersive, interactive experiences to transport audiences of all ages into fantastic realms of story and exploration. The company is composed of nearly 200 artists across all disciplines including architecture, sculpture, painting, photography and video production, virtual and augmented reality, software and hardware development, music and audio engineering, narrative writing, costuming and performance, and more. 



New Mexico's creative economy is stronger than ever and we're excited to parner with the City of Albuquerque for this year's Accelerator! From Netflix's announcement of the acquisition of ABQ Studios to the Keller Administration's prioritization of the creative economy in their economic development plan for the city and their #OneAlbuquerque initiative, it's clear that New Mexico's creative entrepreneurs have limitless potential.