ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., June 29, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Eugene Brave Rock, who plays Chief in the blockbuster Wonder Woman, might have just confirmed a secret: during a non-translated chat, Chief introduced himself as Napi, a Blackfoot demi-god. This should please Lee Francis of Laguna Pueblo, NM, who years ago saw, "the need for Native American characters in pop culture." This led Francis to found Native Realities Press and in 2016, he discovered a stalwart ally: Creative Startups, the leading accelerator for the Creative Economy. After Francis's company completed the online 6-week curriculum (created by current and former Stanford faculty), and the 1-week Deep Dive, he then went on to the final Pitch Day for investors. Creative Startups awarded them $25,000 in investment seed funds.
NPR interviewed Francis at the first Indigenous Comic-Con, which they produced in 2016. Since then they've gone on to open Red Planet Books & Comics, a store where Native writers, artists, and game designers gather and brainstorm. Francis is known for going to bat for other Native artists—many who portray the hard facts about suicide and sexual abuse. Francis says, "These are things that we face in our community and we still need superheroes for this stuff. We need people that are going to be there to be protect us, that are going to be there to help us out."
Creative Startups couldn't agree more. Co-founder and CEO of the nonprofit, Alice Loy, says, "Like any healthy eco-system, diversity is our strength. We need characters of every race, and blend of races, gender and non-gender, all religions—you name it! We need our culture to reflect the real world, in all its multiplicity, tackling the hard issues. Lee Francis is a rock star artist and a truly brilliant entrepreneur."
At Creative Startups artistic people become founders and CEOs learning how to direct their talents toward solving market and product challenges. Lee Francis describes it this way: "We are always grateful to the work we were able to do with Creative Startups and the Accelerator. We've got so many more titles and stories to be able to tell—and we're on our way!"
With graduating founders 70% women or 'minorities,' 90% of their alumni companies are still going strong.
Are you ready to accelerate your creative business? Creative Startups is accepting applications. Deadlines: ALBUQUERQUE JULY 9—KUWAIT JULY 22.
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SOURCE Creative Startups