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The Creator Economy: A guide for impact investors

May 4, 2023

The "creator economy" is the online ecosystem of platforms, products and services that enable independent content creators to make their work, build their audiences, monetize their ideas, and manage their careers. Technology is transforming how creative work is produced, distributed, compensated, and enjoyed — while simultaneously expanding who gets to tell their stories and who sees their own experiences represented online. Upstart Co-Lab believes impact investors can play a role to ensure the values of diversity, equity, inclusion and access are prioritized in this rapidly growing sector.The latest in a series of deep dives into key creative industries, this report looks at a fast-growing segment of Upstart Co-Lab's pipeline of impact investment opportunities in the U.S. creative economy.

Cultural Capital: The State of Museums and Their Investing

June 21, 2022

Upstart Co-Lab, the Association of Art Museum Directors, and the Black Trustee Alliance for Art Museums completed a first-of-its-kind survey of U.S. museums of art and design to establish their current level of impact investing activity and profile first-mover museums exploring the integration of values, mission, and investment. Sixty-one independent museums of art and design in the U.S., representing nearly $10 billion of endowment assets, responded to this survey. This report shares the findings of the survey and explores insights from interviews with respondents.

2021 Impact Report: Investing for an Inclusive Creative Economy

January 27, 2022

The creative economy is defined as a set of art, culture, design and innovation industries, and the economic contribution of those industries within a geographic region. A unique set of industries comprises each local creative economy, reflecting the culture, traditions and heritage of that place. Upstart Co-Lab identified 145 industriesthat states and regions across the U.S. use to define their local creative economy, and grouped these industries into five categories to describe the inclusive creative economy for the benefit of impact investors.