About Upstart Co-Lab

Upstart Co-Lab is connecting capital with creative people who make a profit and make a difference, bringing the $8.4 trillion of socially responsible and impact investing capital in the U.S. to the $1 trillion American creative economy. Since launching in 2016, Upstart Co-Lab has:

Directly mobilized $45 million of grants and impact capital in alignment with our mission and co-created the NYC Inclusive Creative Economy Fund, the first targeted impact investment opportunity for the creative economy in the U.S.

Garnered international attention for impact investing in the creative economy by launching Creativity, Culture and Capital, a platform supporting a more just and sustainable global creative economy; through hosted conversations with SOCAP, Mission Investors Exchange, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and at the GSG Global Impact Summit; and by grabbing headlines in The New York Times, Financial Times, Forbes, Barron’s, Fast Company, Monocle, and ImpactAlpha.

Framed the inclusive creative economy as an impact investing priority through 12 original research reports demonstrating the role of creative places and businesses in comprehensive community development; the opportunity that the creative economy offers BIPOC and women entrepreneurs; the current state of impact investing in three key creative industries: Ethical Fashion, Sustainable Food and Social Impact Media; and how endowed cultural institutions can invest in alignment with their values and mission.  

Introduced a creativity lens to impact investing to bring into view how investing in the creative economy can deliver social and environmental impact while generating a financial return. This creativity lens reveals opportunities that up until now have not been fully recognized by impact investors, and welcomes investors from the creative sector – artists, art collectors, art patrons and cultural institutions – into the practice of impact investing.

Built a coalition of impact investors from the creative economy including 25 museums and other endowed cultural institutions who are learning to align investment strategy with their values of diversity, equity and inclusion (the Upstart Cultural Institution Study Group); and 10 donor-advised funds, private foundations, and endowed cultural institutions who are investing with funds and businesses in the creative economy expected to have commercial success and generate environmental and social impact (the Upstart Member Community).

Launched its Inclusive Creative Economy Strategy with nearly $15 million committed, including program related investments from foundations, recoverable grants from donor advised funds, and mission related investments from endowed arts organization. This is the first impact investing vehicle for the U.S. creative industries.

Upstart Co-Lab is a fiscally sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.