startup incubator

Startup Incubator for Creatives

Startup Incubator for Creatives

There are many startup incubators to support and accelerate early startup companies in the technology sector. However, there are very few incubators around to support artists, creators and designers. A few have been popping up and before you decide to join such an incubator, make sure they have the mentors, expertise and access to the type of investors you are looking for.

A creative startup incubator can support, build, commercialize and invest in entrepreneurial endeavours in the design-led, digital media, internet of things, and cultural industry space and anything that is not scientific or pharmaceutical.

Creative Startup Incubator – Areas of Focus

A creative startup incubator primarily focuses on the following creative areas:

  • Design-Led
    • Industrial Design Products
    • User Experience
    • Packaging
    • Branding
    • Graphic Design
    • Environmental Design Solutions
  • Maker Space
    • 3D Printing
    • Laser
    • Robotics
    • Rapid Prototyping, etc.
  • Digital Media/Mobile/Technology Start Ups/Internet of Things
    • apps
    • games
    • wearable technologies
    • data mining etc.
  • Cultural Industry & Social Enterprise Start Ups
    • health systems and process
    • transportation solutions,
  • Creative Start Ups
    • Arts
    • Fashion
    • Drama/Theatre
    • Music
    • Entertainment, Film/TV
    • etc

What A Good Startup Incubator Aimed at Creatives Should Provide

A good startup incubator aimed at creatives should be able to do the same things any incubator can do including:

  • Introduce you to potential outside investors interested in investing in the creative space
  • Identify technologies that you may wish to purchase or license relevant to creatives
  • Negotiate a license or business deal with a company taking into account the special issues that arise for artists and designers
  • Introduce you to other creative or other businesses that can either support your business or collaborate with you
  • Help you access government and other sources of funding (crowdfunding, etc.) aimed at the creative markets
  • Assist you with your business plan and business model
  • Introductions to potential licensees and buyers
  • Assist with marketing initiatives and marketing plan
  • Build contacts and relationships
  • Collaborate with other incubators
  • Help with pitches and your pitch deck and assist developing your value proposition
  • Assist with introductions to manufacturers and suppliers
  • Identify key competitors
  • Help identify target market and commercialization opportunities
  • Assist with customer validation and market awareness

Unfortunately, many incubators may have people who have actually never worked in the creative space and may not know their special needs. It’s important to choose people for a creative incubator that actually understand the needs of artists and designers.  Read on how a startup can value their company.


List of Startup Incubators

The following is a list of the various startup incubators in and around Toronto from Startup Here Toronto:

Artscale
Biomedical Zone
Bitcoin Decentral Accelerate
Blueline Bioscience
Canada’s music Incubator
CEO Fusion
Community Innovation Lab
Cookhouse Labs
Cossette
Department of Computer Science Innovation Lab
DMZ at Ryerson University
Driven Accelerator Group
Fasken Martineau LLP Start-up Entrepreneurial Development Program
Food Starter
Founders Canada
Free (coworking spaces)
Futurpreneur
Genesis:  UJA’s Center for Jewish Innovation
George Brown College – Digital Media and Gaming Incubator
Google for Entrepreneurs
Grit Ventures
HalTech
Harbourfront Centre
HELIX at Seneca College
HumberLaunch
IBM Innovation Space
iBoost Zone
Imagination Catalyst OCADU
IndiefilmTO
Italian Chamber of Commerce (ICCO)
JLABS @ Toronto
Laurier LaunchPad
Legal Innovation Zone
NewMarkeIt
Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE)
Open Sky Incubator
Rotman FinHub
Ryerson University – Centre for Urban Energy
Ryerson University – Design Fabrication Zone
Ryerson University – Fashion Zone
Ryerson University – Startmeup Ryerson
Ryerson University – Transmedia Zone
Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship
School for Social Entrepreneurs Ontario (SSE-O)
SheEO
Spark Centre
Startup Next Toronto
Startup School Ryerson University
Techstars Toronto Accelerator
The Big Push
Toronto Business Development Centre (TBDC)
Toronto Fashion Incubator
University of Toronto – Health innovation Hub (H2i)
University of Toronto – INstitute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS)
University of Toronto – The Hub Ideation and Experiential Learning Centre
University of Waterloo – Conrad Centre
University of Waterloo – St. Paul’s Greenhouse
University of Waterloo – Velocity
University of Waterloo – Waterloo Commercialization Office
Venture for Canada
ventureLAB
Wilfrid Laurier University Launchpad
YLab Maker Space
York Entpreneurship Development Instititute Accelerator
Youth Social Innovation Capital Fund