startup

Startup Highlight: Creategate

At Common Desk, we love supporting and highlighting new startups in the DFW area. This particular startup holds a special place in our heart, because a former CD employee has chased her dreams to make it happen. Merrick Porcheddu, former General Manager at Common Desk and now CEO/Founder of CreateGate, is beginning to change artistic communities, and she’s doing it all through the newest app for creatives.

What constitutes “art” encompasses more trades than we might initially realize, and because of that, there’s a vast world of creatives out there doing spectacular things. It didn’t take long for Merrick to realize that there was a lack of resources supporting local artists in their trades while connecting them with like-minded individuals in their community. So through years of dreaming, planning, and developing, Merrick finally launched CreateGate as a tool for creatives, venues, and fanatics just 3 weeks ago on May 16.

CreateGate allows artists from all realms to interact with one another, which is a beautiful thing when you realize that they might not have ever discovered each other’s artistry before such an app existed. Even with just 3 weeks under its belt, CreateGate is already bringing together videographers with writers and slam poets and furniture-makers and curators; it’s essentially bridging the giant gap that’s existed in creative communities for far too long.

There are 3 different types of CreateGate users: the creative, the venue, and the fanatic. The Creative is either invited personally to join CreateGate, or they can apply for a referral code on the app. The referral code gives CreateGate the ability to ensure that content on the app stays original and trustworthy (we promise it’s not as intimidating as it sounds, so go ahead and apply!). The Venue profile is for the group of people who consider themselves to be planners who create events to benefit, showcase, or bring together artists. All Venue users can showcase events held at their physical venues to allow Creatives and Fanatics to discover what’s happening around the physical art communities in a city. And last but certainly not least, the Fanatic profile is for the people who enjoy art, love discovering different creatives, and desire to know what’s going on in their city’s creative world.

So what’s on the horizon for CreateGate this year?

As far as progressive development goes for the app, there are 3 new build-releases scheduled over the course of the next few months. One exciting feature that’s coming to CreateGate will be the Etsy-like feature, where people actually have the ability to sell products that they create and ship them directly to the local buyer.

One of the biggest things in store for CreateGate this year is the rolling out of their own magazine. The CreateGate magazine entitled Artist Uprising will officially release in Dallas towards the end of the year and will feature the Top 25 Most Influential Creatives of Dallas in a Kinfolk-style spread.

ArtistUprising is the entire movement behind CreateGate, and you’ll probably see the hashtag begin to pop up around town in local artistry, because CG is passionate about thriving in a real-time movement, rather than only staying within the boundaries of the iPhone in your hand. When it comes down to it, CreateGate is making something digital have a life offline.

Artist Uprising is all about artists joining together to help each other, launch one other, and begin to impact the culture around them for the better. There’s a powerful thing that happens when people unite, and artists in particular tend to unite well. So what does it look like to bring resources around that unification? That’s what Merrick is trying to discover with CreateGate. If the app doesn’t work for the artists, then it doesn’t make sense to keep doing it. Merrick’s current aim is to get the right artists using the app’s interface to make sure it efficiently meets their needs. The CreateGate team isn’t just encouraging people to join for traffic, they’re encouraging people to unify.

Artist Uprising as an entity will eventually become the nonprofit charity vein of CG, which will act as a scholarship fund for artists to help with the needs they have, whether that’s going to school to extend understandings of crafts or simply needing more supplies to do what they love. By creating an avenue that supports artists directly, major names in the art world will have a way to donate to the artists and know that they are benefitting from the resources first-hand.

Artists, in case you aren’t already excited enough, another really cool thing that CreateGate is rolling out a weekly round table meetup called “For Artists Only.” It will be held at Common Desk Deep Ellum (fist-pump), and the purpose of this event is to start fusing together the ideas and dreams of CreateGate users. Merrick hopes that through these simple weekly meetups, the Dallas community will start hearing stories of artists coming together and working on projects that they never would have collaborated on if it weren’t for the connections they discovered while attending For Artists Only.

Of all the exciting things in store for CreateGate’s future, Merrick is especially eager about this one. “There’s something really exciting in my soul about the For Artists Only event, because I’ve watched here at Common Desk what collaboration does: businesses starting from scratch just from meeting over coffee, much less what happens when artists fuse their talents together and start dominating around town.”

For Artists Only will be held every Thursday night for 25 artists, so if you want to have a seat in the discussion, reserve your spot here (also not to mention, it’s completely free of cost).

“We have started a movement; call it a revival for arts and entertainment, call it a renaissance, or call it a united belief that creativity should be undoubtedly expressed in a way that shapes culture for the better, that artists should have the resources they need to do the work that runs through their veins, and that through the gathering of resources, we will one day abolish the phrase “starving artist.” Day and night, the movement does not cease, for creativity never sleeps. We are the artists that make our cities one of a kind. We are the artists behind the beauty you see even in your own home. From the architecture that defines the place where you rest, to the space in between that’s lined with fine art and hand-crafted furniture and vintage finds, there was an artist who gave you a priceless gift: a piece of themselves.” #ArtistUprising

Since launching 3 weeks ago in the Dallas / Fort Worth area, CreateGate has already received requests for launching in Los Angeles, Austin, New York City, Denver, and Washington. Austin and L.A. are poised to launch next. On August 26, CG will have the public hard-launch event here at Common Desk Deep Ellum. There will be various types of live music, an open bar, and lots of creative conversations buzzing throughout our coworking space. The event will be open to the public, so mark your calendars!

Artists, CreateGate encourages you to apply to get the referral code for the app. The app is free and it’s a great way to put your portfolio, resume, links to social, and items for sale out there to start getting discovered. Whether you feel qualified or not, just apply. This could be a beautiful start to the creative path you’ve always wanted to forge. For artists who are wanting to show their support for the movement, use the hashtag #ArtistUprising to help pull the community together on social media and give other artists a way to follow you.

You can download the app here: apple.co/1SVoLWV

To learn more about CreateGate, visit their site at http://www.creategate.com/ and be sure to download the app if you’re in the DFW area!

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