Upstart Co-Lab is demonstrating that the U.S. creative economy can deliver market rate returns alongside positive social impact.

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.

Learn more about the Inclusive Creative Economy Strategy.

Upstart Co-Lab is building a coalition of impact investors who understand the power of art, design, culture, heritage and creativity to drive social impact.

From January 2020 through December 2022, Upstart advised 10 private foundations, donor-advised funds, and endowed cultural institutions — with $1 billion of aggregate investment capacity — on investing with funds and businesses in the creative economy expected to have commercial success, and generate social impact. Learn more about the Upstart Member Community.

From October 2020 through October 2022, Upstart Co-Lab advised 25 museums and other cultural institutions — with $6 billion of investment assets – supporting their impact investing journey and helping them learn to align their endowment with their values and mission. This is the start to unlocking the impact investing potential of museums and other cultural institutions which hold over $64 billion in their aggregate endowments. Learn more about Upstart’s work with museums and cultural institutions.