In a significant stride for the startup ecosystem and venture capital landscape in Georgia and around Atlanta, RYSE Interactive, a pioneering Black-owned media company, has successfully secured funding to inaugurate the construction phase of its groundbreaking $25 million Creative Village project.
The infusion of capital with RYSE Interactive exemplifies the burgeoning opportunities for startups, particularly those founded and led by underrepresented entrepreneurs, to raise substantial capital and reshape industries. And as you know from our frequent considerations of HOW entrepreneurial and innovative ecosystems emerge, it requires the collaborate effort of public and private resources to develop the underlying infrastructure that enables the creative class to take risks. This funding not only highlights the confidence the community has in RYSE Interactive’s vision but also underscores the growing commitment to fostering diversity and innovation within the startup and venture capital realms thanks in no small part to the media.
“Obviously, there is no shortage of large-scale studios in Georgia for major film and television productions. These productions will always need access to talent, not to mention, the numerous opportunities that exist in the digital and emerging media landscape for content creators. We see RYSE Creative Village as a resource for curating and cultivating local, diverse creatives; helping them to get connected to some of the larger opportunities.”– Jay Jackson, Founder of RYSE Interactive
RYSE Interactive’s journey from a budding startup to securing substantial funding signifies the importance of a vibrant startup ecosystem that promotes inclusivity and champions the unique perspectives that underrepresented founders bring to the table. The company’s success in attracting capital attention is a testament to the power of innovative ideas, strong execution strategies, and a dedicated team.
This infusion of funding will empower RYSE Interactive to breathe life into its visionary Creative Village project. The project’s transformative potential is underpinned by the convergence of creativity, technology, and community-building. As the work embarks on the construction phase, momentum will undoubtedly accelerate the realization of the project’s goals, fostering a hub of inspiration and collaboration for creators, artists, and tech visionaries.
The Atlanta Voice reports, “The company recently closed on the financing to begin construction on Phase I of the innovative project, with a groundbreaking scheduled for August of 2023. The construction financing was provided by Black-owned Carver State Bank based in Savannah Georgia, along with several of their affiliate institutions. RYSE Interactive, Inc. acquired the site, a shuttered Atlanta Public School property formerly known as Preston Arkwright Elementary, back in May of 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. In May of 2021, the company received approval from the City Planning Department for the rezoning of the site, and has since obtained permits to begin construction.”
The investment, I’d encourage, echoes the broader shifts in the investment landscape. Investors are recognizing the immense value that startups, particularly those with a diverse and dynamic approach, can bring to the market. This shift reflects a strategic alignment between the impact of capital, effective use of space, and the implication to our creatives and entrepreneurs in fueling innovation and new business development. Where for decades past, property has been developed and merely leased, communities are recognizing (in large part, thanks to how we learned we can work from home) that fostering use of property requires investment in the ecosystems, events, programs, and community builders that attract people to property.
Just minutes from Tyler Perry Studios, the project is an innovative content production studio and development incubator specifically designed for creatives in Georgia’s film, music, arts, gaming, and immersive media industries.
“The landscape of Atlanta is rapidly changing due to new developments putting Atlanta’s secret sauce ‘the Creative Community’ at risk. RYSE Creative Village will ensure that Atlanta’s creative economy will be preserved and protected.”-Richard Dunn, RYSE Creative Village’s project team
As the construction of the Creative Village commences, RYSE Interactive stands at the intersection of ambition and execution, powered by the infusion the community and the underpinning of the impact of media. This juncture marks a significant milestone not only for the company but for the entire startup ecosystem, reiterating the potential for transformative change when communities, capital, and creatives collaborate (who doesn’t love alliteration!?) to bring visionary ideas to life.