Inclusive Creative Economy Strategy

Upstart is launching a $100 million portfolio of funds and companies comprising the first impact investment strategy for the U.S. creative economy which will focus on fashion, film & TV, video games, food, the creator economy, the visual art market, immersive experiences, health & beauty and other creative industries.

Upstart’s approach will prioritize BIPOC and women entrepreneurs, and deliver people-focused impact: quality jobs, vibrant communities, and sustainable creative lives. To learn more about the impact that investing in the creative economy can create, please read Upstart’s Impact Report.

In tandem, Upstart will conduct an influence strategy focused on unlocking artists, art patrons and endowed cultural institutions as a new cohort of impact investors, and the creative sector as a new source of impact capital. The first museum to commit to Upstart’s Inclusive Creative Economy Strategy is the Toledo Museum of Art; read about their commitment here.

Upstart is seeking program-related investments from foundations; recoverable grants from donor advised funds; and mission-related investments from endowed nonprofit arts and culture organizations.  

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

Download the Inclusive Creative Economy brochure

Download the Inclusive Creative Economy tearsheet

Meet our Investment Committee

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.