Press Release

Upstart Co-Lab Spotlights The Problem-Solving Potential of the Creative Economy in New Book

New York, NY
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Upstart Co-Lab, a project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, has joined forces with Carter Hales Design Lab and Mitchell Press to call attention to entrepreneurs and investors who are committed to making money with meaning in the creative economy. The resulting beautifully illustrated, custom-designed print book, titled Creative Impact/Impact Investing, aims to enlighten, inform, and inspire entrepreneurs, investors, and design teams. The project is rooted in the shared beliefs that great design solves problems that matter and that values-aligned capital can help bring those solutions to scale.

The work of social impact businesses in creative industries takes on new urgency in the COVID-19 era. Creative people are harnessing the power of business and the marketplace to scale and sustain their ideas. The businesses started by artists and designers often balance financial profitability with concern for the environment, workers, and the community. These socially focused companies seek capital from impact investors who understand the power of art, design, culture, heritage, and creativity to drive positive environmental and social impact.

“The creative economy has thecapacity to intrigue, engage, educate, and activate more mindful consumers,” said Laura Callanan, Founding Partner of Upstart Co-Lab. “Art-lovers and arts organizations are backing fashion, food and film/tv businesses to make money alongside social and environmental impact. This book shares the stories of how investors and entrepreneurs are shaping a creative economy that is inclusive, equitable, and sustainable.”

Added Sean Carter, Principal/Director of Design for Carter Hales Design Lab, “There is a rising class of impact investors who put society and the environment ahead of pure financial gain. They are looking to support creators who dare to think bigger. Creative design thinking allows high-impact solutions to social problems to be more compellingly articulated and to develop organically, as well as in collaboration, rather than being imposed as a top-down directive. Our hope is that this book can be a beacon to help more businesses and individuals to recognize that the creative economy can yield positive outcomes in all facets of our lives.”

The new publication features two investors and five entrepreneurs who are part of Upstart Co-Lab’s growing network. Lorrie Meyercord and Souls Grown Deep are 100% for impact investors and are inaugural members of Upstart Co-Lab’s Member Community, a cohort of pioneering impact investors who understand the power of design and creativity to drive financial return and make environmental and social impact. The book also shares the stories of Creative Action Network, a community of artists whose meaningful designs appear on posters, apparel, and home goods with sales supporting social causes; video game producer E-Line Media, which is inspiring players to understand and shape the world; Greenbelt Hospitality, which is democratizing farm-to-table dining; Preemadonna, a technology company building smart hardware products and software platforms to inspire creative expression for the next generation of girls and young women; and Upriver Studios, a women-led environmentally-friendly film and tv production studio revitalizing of the local economy in New York’s Hudson Valley.

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