Inclusive Creative Economy Strategy

Upstart Co-Lab’s Inclusive Creative Economy Strategy launches with nearly $15 million committed. The first impact investing vehicle for the U.S. creative industries, Upstart’s Strategy provides an opportunity to make money for investors, and achieve positive outcomes for women, BIPOC individuals, and other entrepreneurs and workers who are often overlooked and under-estimated in the overall economy but well-represented and able to succeed in the creative industries. 

The Strategy’s portfolio investment approach includes both emerging funds and early-stage companies, targets market rate returns, and aims to achieve five impact goals: It will provide access to capital for BIPOC and women entrepreneurs; create quality jobs for BIPOC individuals, women, and people in low-income communities; foster vibrant communities; support sustainable creative lives and pathways to a creative middle class; and build an inclusive, creative economy anchored in openness and experimentation, diversity and inclusion, and tradition and innovation. 

Upstart anticipates its demonstration portfolio will incentivize impact fund managers and wealth advisors to prioritize creative industry investment opportunities.

Upstart Co-Lab’s Inclusive Creative Economy Strategy is supported by ImpactAssets

Read the press release

Watch the video

Download the brochure

Download the tearsheet

Meet our Investment Committee

Learn about the current portfolio

To learn more about participating in the Inclusive Creative Economy Strategy and to receive access to our data room, please email

Webinar: Investing in an Inclusive Economy

An introduction to Upstart Co-Lab and our new Inclusive Creative Economy Strategy. Learn how — by investing in creative industries like fashion, film &TV, video games and more — you can prioritize BIPOC and women entrepreneurs, provide quality jobs, anchor vibrant communities, and enable sustainable creative lives. Hear about how Upstart will partner with ImpactAssets using their multi-funder pooled structure to launch the first impact investing vehicle for the U.S. creative economy.

Upstart Co-Lab Investment Pipeline

The Inclusive Creative Economy Strategy will invest in impact funds with creative economy exposure, and make direct investments in seed/early-stage companies in the creative industries. 

We expect the majority of funds will be “emerging funds”, i.e. first- and second-time funds, raising $20-$100 million, and led by women and BIPOC managers. We are targeting seed and early-stage companies that are already generating revenue; raising $500K-$10M; and led by women and BIPOC founders including artists, designers and creatives.

If you are a fund manager investing in food, fashion, media and other creative industries or an entrepreneur growing a creative sector business, we would love to hear from you. Learn more about Upstart Co-Lab’s assessment criteria, and share information about your fund or business here.