Founded in 2007, Creative Startups is based in the highly creative city of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

We drive the creative economy and creative entrepreneurs around the world, including licensing accelerators in the United States, Middle East, and Asia, along with strategic initiatives to develop the broader entrepreneur ecosystem via pre-accelerator programs, workshops, training, and seminars. 


Tom Aageson, 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).

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.

Our Work

We build business accelerators for creative start-ups.  We offer online and in-person training, and work with communities around the globe to develop their own incubators or accelerators, maker spaces, and training programs.  We have graduated many successful small businesses through our programs, including MeoWolf in Santa Fe, NM.  From 2014 to2016 we served 41 startups, 76 individuals and created 144 new jobs.  These efforts have garnered $7.8 million in new revenues, and $6.5 million in investment capital raised.  90% of the companies are still thriving and 100% of the participants are working in startups.

Ecosystem Building: We conduct feasibility studies, build accelerators and deliver tailor-made workshops and seminars for entrepreneurs and creative economy leaders. Our clients have included:

·         Economic development agencies

·         International NGO's

·         Universities and colleges

·         Federal and state government agencies



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. 

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, OpenWorks for product based companies, ETC and Betamore for creative tech companies, and Impact Hub for creative social entrepreneurs.

Savour, Kuwait, is the Middle East’s first accelerator focused on the food vertical: everything from ag-tech to food distribution, consumer apps, goods and services. As such it is named, Savour: Everything Food.  Working together, Savour and Creative Startups bring MENA a world-class accelerator and experienced food executive team to support startups through:

·         Mentorship: Access and workshops with food industry thought and business leaders

·         Investment: Up to $50,000KD for 15-20% equity stake

·         Network: Access to a network of leading food companies, investors and press

·         Curriculum: Based on years of learnings from Creative Startups Accelerator

·         Co-working Space: Collaborative co-working with like-minded entrepreneurs

Creative Startups is partnering with the and the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC) to bring our program to Kuala Lumpur spring 2018. This new initiative ARTISTLABS is Malaysia's first pre-accelerator devoted to advancing the creative industries. This program is a launchpad for creative entrepreneurs to reach their full potential and scale their passion into a full-time company. With a focus specifically on individuals looking to launch or accelerate a career in Music, Literature, Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Fashion, and Crafts, selected participants will be funded through a series of dialogues, a rigorous self-evaluation, intensive mentorship with creative professionals, and a creative festival to showcase their works. 

The Center for Creative Economy in Winston-Salem, NC, hosts the Creative Startups Accelerator and is the lead partner for Creative Startups across the Southeastern U.S. This intensive 8-week virtual program is open to all startups regardless of location. During the first 7 weeks, startups will critically analyze their business models and receive tools and training to combat tough situations. The final week all startups, mentors, and investors will travel to Winston-Salem, NC to work together and network during the Deep Dive. This week ends with a pitch competition where the top three startups split a pool of $50,000 in seed stage investment. 

Our Network

We extend our own expertise with job-specific consultants who specialize in maker spaces.  Two of these, Sarah Boisvert (Founder of Fab Lab Hub) and Will Holman (Founder and Executive Director of Open Works Baltimore) would be utilized for this project in an advisory capacity.

Board of Directors

Name, Title/Company, Expertise

Bill Saubert, Owner, Saubert Enterprises, LLC, Marketing

Bob H. Borden, CEO, Ideas And People, Brand Development and Design

Christine Castro, Chief of Staff, Elysium Health Inc., Marketing and Communications

David Kantor, Partner and CIO, Santa Fe Advisors, Finance

Debbie Fleischaker, PhD, Fleischaker Women's Legacy Fund, Philanthropy

Ed Angel, PhD, Professor, University of New Mexico, Computer Science

Elizabeth Sipes, Attorney, Bryan Cave, Law

Mindy Magyar, Professor, Rochester Institute of Technology, Design

Roman Ponos, Vice President, IMPAQ International, Operations

Sandy Zane, Chair, Owner, Zane Bennett Contemporary Art Gallery, Fine Arts and Gallery Management

Sydney Alfonso, CEO, Etkie, Design