Visit the digital book version
Download the PDF


The work of social impact businesses in creative industries takes on new urgency in the post-pandemic 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. Together, investors and entrepreneurs can grow the inclusive creative economy. Creative Impact/Impact Investing tells the story of Upstart Co-Lab, and features 5 entrepreneurs and 2 impact investors in the Upstart network.

Featured in Creative Impact/Impact Investing

Creative Action Network started as a website called Design for Obama and has grown to be a platform rallying artists around a variety of causes. 

E-Line Media is harnessing the power of video games for positive good. E-Line’s games bring diverse new voices and perspectives to video games, help players become creators instead of just consumers, and allows players to explore important issues while having fun.

Greenbelt Hospitality is democratizing farm-to-table dining.  The project is led by Matthew Moore, an artist and fourth-generation farmer operating at the intersection of rural life and urban sprawl.

Lorrie Meyercord is a Kauai-based artist and 100% for impact investor focused on advancing the cause of creativity. According to Meyercord, “by aligning our investments with our values, we can have a bigger impact on the causes that mean something to us.”

Preemadonna’s first product is The Nailbot, which prints unique art, emoji, pictures and custom designs directly onto fingernails. The company’s founder, Pree Walia, views the company as a natural evolution of her upbringing as the girly-girl daughter of entrepreneurs, with an education in gender studies, and experience in the technology start up world.

Souls Grown Deep is an Atlanta-based foundation dedicated to the deeper inclusion of African American artists in the overall story of American art history. The foundation’s endowment is 100% mission-aligned and foundation president Dr. Maxwell Anderson advocates for a better calibrated moral compass within influential arts organizations.

Upriver Studios is providing state-of-the-art sound stages and post-production facilities in New York’s Hudson Valley. In partnership with its nonprofit sister Stockade Works, which provides workforce training preparing locals for jobs on set, Upriver Studios is working to reinvigorate the local economy and bring 21st century quality jobs to the region.

Upstart Co-Lab appreciates the support of
the Marian B. and Jacob K. Javits Foundation in honor of Marian B. Javits
and the Woodcock Foundation
for the dissemination of Creative Impact/Impact Investing.