USDA Rural Business Development Grant Project for a Feasibility Study of a Combined Incubator/Maker Space

Press Release: Southwest New Mexico Arts, Culture and Tourism (SWNMACT) is pleased to announce that it has received a grant from the Rural Business Development Grant program of the US Department of Agriculture. This grant will be utilized to carry out a feasibility study for a combined incubator and maker space facility serving the Silver City and wider Grant County creative community. Read More.

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Feasibility Study Consultant: Creative Startups


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.