The bustling Design Center in downtown Winston-Salem is home to The Center for Creative Economy, a non-profit organization focused on connecting creative businesses and professionals. This center hosted an eight-week intensive business development program, which ended in a five-day Creative Startups ‘Deep Dive.’ This accelerator course is customized for creative entrepreneurs and was developed by leading entrepreneurship faculty at Stanford University.
The participants come from a wide variety of business backgrounds and were competing for a $25,000.00 grant to help their startup dreams become a reality. During the Deep Dive portion of the program, the participants work one-on-one with a visionary mentor who is a well-known member of the community with vast experience in startup companies.
One of this year’s mentors was Leonard Caldwell, the President and founder of both Crocodile Consulting, LLC and Crocodile Solutions, Inc. Mr. Caldwell was an ideal choice for a mentor in the Creative Startups Deep Dive because he has over 30 years of business experience including four start-ups in the U.S. and Europe. Crocodile Solutions cloud-based offering, Wings software, offers unparalleled automation for the practice of law, especially in the area of Social Security Disability, PI, and WC. Mr. Caldwell understands the need for creative startup companies as an important driver in the economy for North Carolina and continues his involvement with the Center for Creative Economy throughout the year in various other programs as well.
The winner for the 2017 Creative Startups Deep Dive was ‘Oh My Goodness Herbal Bar’, a boutique offering customized natural and holistic products and services to enhance health and wellbeing. The second ($15,000.00) and third ($10,000)place winners were ‘Jenni Earle Design’ hand-dyed bandanas inspired by southern culture and courage and ‘The Dream School’ afterschool and summer camp programs which use podcasting, digital video, and coding to enhance students’ learning skills.