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Removing financial barriers for creatives, so you can break the Internet—not the bank.

The Recipients Are Announced!

The Elevate Creatives Fund is a grant program jointly presented by Wave, the one-stop money management solution for small business owners, and the Shortys. Designed to fuel creative entrepreneurship, this program saw so many high-caliber entries that it added an additional recipient. The six recipients of this inaugural grant, totaling $120,000, were announced at the live event, with each recipient to receive $20,000 alongside personalized bookkeeping and accounting coaching from Wave's in-house experts to help take their business to the next level. The recipients are:

Additional Shortlisted applicants are:

About the Elevate Creatives Fund

The 100,000 USD Elevate Creatives Fund is designed to remove financial barriers for creatives, so they can break the Internet—not the bank. Five recipients will each receive:

Eligible applicants include independent creators and freelance creatives and consultants in the US and Canada. The recipients will be selected based on the quality of their work, creative ambitions, and contribution to their communities.

Application Requirements

Judging Criteria

A special judge panel from the Shorty Awards' judging community - the Real Time Academy - will be reviewing the applications and the recipients will be selected based on the following criteria:

Jury members include:


Key Dates and Fees

Wave will cover the application fee for anyone with a Wave account (it's free to sign up!). After signing up, simply check the box confirming you have an account and enter the same business name registered with Wave. Signing up isn’t a requirement to apply, nor a condition to receive the fund.

Fund Distribution

The total of $100,000 cash fund will be distributed to the five recipients at $20,000 each by December 31, 2023. Payment will be made directly to the bank account provided by each of the eligible recipients. The bank account must be associated with the individual applicant or their registered business. The recipients may be asked to provide proof of identity or their registered business, such as tax forms from the previous year. The Elevate Creatives Fund, the Shorty Awards, and Wave accept no responsibility for any tax implications. Applicants must seek their own independent financial advice.


The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!