DETROIT — The first participants have been selected to take part in a pilot acceleration program, the Creative Ventures Acceleration Program, developed by the Detroit Creative Corridor Center (DC3) to help boost the success of creative sector businesses in Detroit.
The 17 participating business owners will be introduced during a grand opening celebration of the DC3 Acceleration Studio scheduled for Tuesday, July 12 from 5:00-9:00 p.m. inside the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education located at 460 W. Baltimore Avenue in Detroit.
Matthew Clayson, director of the Detroit Creative Corridor Center says Creative Ventures is unlike any other business accelerator in the area because it was developed only for creative sector businesses.
“Detroit is busting at the seams with creative practitioners and business owners that need targeted and sector specific support to achieve their full growth potential,” said Clayson. “Creative Ventures was developed solely for the early stage creative business owner. Each has their own distinct set of qualities and services that cannot be cultivated using a cookie cutter approach. With this accelerator program model we believe we can help many creative sector businesses soar to new heights.”
The DC3 is a business accelerator specifically focused on the creative sector industries. It became reality through the partnership and support of the former Detroit Renaissance — now Business Leaders for Michigan — and the College for Creative Studies. As one of six Road to Renaissance initiatives identified in 2006 to help grow the economy of southeast Michigan, the now fully operational DC3 provides a full menu of services and incubator space to entrepreneurs and small, growing companies and is helping to increase the density of creative sector businesses in the downtown area by supporting business attraction efforts.
The selected Creative Ventures business owners will participate in a 12-month curriculum DC3 developed in partnership with Tech Town. The accelerator offers a “ventures-in-residence” track, for which thirteen firms have been chosen, and a virtual track, in which four firms will take part.
The Creative Ventures Acceleration Program offers participants access to resources, services, strategic counseling, and developmental support; but each track offers a unique experience.
“Ventures-in-residence” has a more robust curriculum that will identify development goals, resources, best practices and outcomes. This track allows a business access to the DC3 Acceleration Studio, business center, design library and meeting rooms.
“Virtual acceleration” is for those who want a less rigid experience and features virtual tutorials, roundtable discussions, monthly Open City business forums and talent expositions/resource fairs will be used to share best practices, resources and counsel.
Financial support for the Creative Ventures Accelerator Program totaling $500,000 is being providing by the New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and the U.S. Small Business Administration.
“The New Economy Initiative is pleased to support the Detroit Creative Corridor Center and the Creative Ventures Acceleration Program as part of our broader commitment to a flourishing innovation and creative district,” said David Egner, Executive Director of the New Economy Initiative. “We believe that participation in this program with other creative firms in close proximity will contribute not only to the success of these participating businesses but to the district as a whole.”
The following creative ventures have been selected for the in-residence program:
- First Element Entertainment, a full-service film and video production house
- Homeslice, a for-profit apparel design and manufacturing house striving to utilize methods that make a humanistic and ecological impact
- coG-studio, an architectural design and service firm
- PASSENGER Center for Contemporary Art, a creative cultural center, exhibition venue, and studio/residency program for artists
- PTD Design, an architectural design firm
- Left Bank Creative, which specializes in identity management, digital animation, web development and branding services
- People of Detroit, whose mission it is to give voice to the positive, dynamic individuals that live in or have relationships with the city of Detroit
- Detroit Lives!, a developer of engaging multimedia products and projects that push a new image of the city of Detroit
- GAS Afterhours Productions, a film production company
- Publicity Ink, a developer of ad copy, web content, press releases, newsletters and bios
- Detroit Big F Deal, a crowd-funding platform that facilitates financial and volunteer contributions toward areas of social and civic need
- Rippid, a source for helping businesses find freelance support and other resources
- Will Do Designs, which provides public relations and image management consulting
The following firms have been chosen to participate in the virtual program:
- Centric Design Studio, an organization that merges architecture and graphic design practices
- Detroit Design Center, designers of sculpture and functional art
- MASH, a media and lifestyle branding company with an emphasis on fusing fashion and design
- PEDL, is a Detroit based tech start up providing new solutions in collaborative transit and peer to peer commerce
To select program participants, DC3 convened a taskforce comprised of its Advisory Board members who reviewed all of the applications and shared feedback. DC3 staff aggregated the feedback and conducted 1-1 interviews with each. Businesses selected to participate in the Creative Ventures Program were chosen based upon the following:
Potential to capture large markets, ability to create a product or service that fills an existing or future demand, current leadership has a solid commitment to grow her/his business to the next stage, and demonstrated ability to effectively leverage the resources being provided by DC3.