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“It takes a village,” said Sean Gaillard, principal of Wiley Magnet Middle School.

He was talking about the Future Innovators mentoring program, a partnership between the Winston-Salem school and Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.

“A magnet school requires unique community support,” Gaillard said. “Last fall, I got with my instructional leadership team and as we thought about innovation we naturally thought about the Innovation Quarter. We also wanted to find a sincere community partner that supported our school mission of ‘Inspiring Innovative Minds.’”

Wiley has a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) curriculum that promotes dialogue and critical thinking, making it a perfect fit with the Innovation Quarter.

Gaillard reached out to the Innovation Quarter, he and his team were invited over for a visit and a conversation about how to make a lasting impact on students who might not otherwise have such an opportunity got rolling.

“We wanted a sustainable program, not just a one-time field trip for our kids,” Gaillard said.

Chad Campbell, communications director for Wake Forest Innovations, came up with the idea of matching 10 mentors from the Innovation Quarter with 10 Wiley students for personalized learning. “Individual mentors saved and changed my life,” Campbell said. “I have no doubt this program can do the same for these students.”

The one-to-one model was suggested and accepted, and the Future Innovators program was born.


At Wiley, teachers selected 10 seventh-grade students who showed an aptitude and high interest in STEAM-related activities to be the first Future Innovators. At the Innovation Quarter, Steve Susalka, associate director of commercialization at Wake Forest Innovations, was charged with finding 10 mentors. He didn’t have to look for long: Ten men and women representing a variety of fields quickly volunteered.

The program began in September with a two-hour session that started with the students meeting their mentors. “It was humbling and energizing to see these professionals connect with kids,” Gaillard said.

The hands-on learning experience during the first session focused on robotics, with the students programming Lego robots to navigate an obstacle course.

“Our goal was to create an engaging program that highlighted the many varied disciplines here in the Innovation Quarter,” Susalka said. “The students learned quickly that there was more than one way to overcome an obstacle and used a trial-and-error approach to generate solutions.”

Daniel Yohannes, associate director of product innovation and commercialization services at Wake Forest Innovations, enjoyed his first experience with the youngsters from Wiley. “The students were a wonderful reminder of how infectious the joy and enthusiasm of learning can be,” he said. “And the lesson of teamwork in the robot challenge and throughout the morning is one that never really gets old.”

In their monthly sessions at the Innovation Quarter throughout the school year, the Future Innovators will learn about microbiology, computer science, regenerative medicine, digital design and biomedical engineering, with all activities related to their classroom studies. And, as in most educational programs, the students will have a test at the end. In May, the Wiley students will present their own innovative ideas to a panel of the Innovation Quarter experts in a contest modeled after the television program “Shark Tank.”

“We believe it is incredibly important to offer these young people the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of the exciting developments in science and technology that are happening here,” said Eric Tomlinson, president of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. “We’re also looking forward to seeing them demonstrate their intelligence, imagination and ingenuity.”

The mentoring program is off to a promising start. Quickly, new friends have been made and bonds have been formed.

At the end of the session in September, as the students and mentors sat down for a healthy lunch, Susalka’s young protégé called out, “Hey, Steve. We saved you a spot!”

Robert Ingram, general partner of Hatteras Venture Partners and former CEO and chairman of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), names North Carolina’s community college system as “one of the best in the country.” The system, he says, prepares its students for entry into the workforce, particularly into pharmaceutical and biotechnology manufacturing fields.

North Carolina has 58 public community colleges, and the system educates over 850,000 students each year. Ingram says that this workforce “asset” was a major factor in GSK’s decision to build a production facility in Zebulon, North Carolina.

One of these community colleges, Forsyth Technical Community College, recently opened a new Center for Emerging Technologies in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, a beacon for innovation in biomedical science and information technology in downtown Winston-Salem.

Read more about North Carolina’s community colleges.

Inmar, a company that operates intelligent commerce networks, today announced that 2.14 billion coupons (including offers for both food and non-food items) were redeemed during the first nine months of 2014. Of all the offers redeemed so far this year, 40.8 percent came from Free-Standing Inserts (FSIs), which represented the largest share of redemption among all “major” methods — those with more than 20 million redemptions.

Although FSIs remain the predominant method for redemption, shoppers’ desires for convenient ways to save continue to fuel significant growth in digitally discovered coupons. “Clips” of paperless digital coupons, which consumers load directly to retailer loyalty cards, exceeded 650 million during the first three quarters of the year. Redemption of these coupons, referred to as Load-to-Card (L2C), has more than doubled since 2013. At the same time, Inmar estimates that 600 million Print-at-Home (PAH) coupons were printed during this same nine month period — with a measured average redemption rate of 11.23 percent.

“Shoppers want convenience when it comes to finding ways to save and their surging use of Load-to-Card coupons shows us that,” says Inmar Chairman and CEO David Mounts. “The increasing capability of marketers to personalize and target these paperless offers is only going to grow their popularity among shoppers and enhance their effectiveness as tools for engagement and conversion.”

While L2C offers enjoyed explosive growth, FSIs still accounted for the majority (91%) of the 251 billion coupons distributed during the nine-month period. The 251 billion total represents a small decline in overall distribution (-1.7%) compared with the same period last year. Overall redemption was also down slightly (-2.5%) at the end of Q3 2014 versus the end of Q3 2013.

After FSIs, the most popular methods with shoppers (in terms of redemption volume) for the first nine months of 2014 were Instant Redeemable and Instant Redeemable Cross-Ruff which, together, accounted for 22 percent of all coupons redeemed. Other in-store methods garnering significant shares of redemption were Electronic Checkout with an eight percent share of coupons redeemed and Shelf Pad, representing 5.7 percent of the coupons redeemed during this period.

As marketers continue to experiment to find the right formula for motivating acquisition and driving redemption, face values for distributed coupons — at the end of Q3 — were up for both food and non-food offers ($1.15 and $2.05, respectively). However, the redemption period for food and non-food coupons distributed contracted (down to 2.4 months and 1.9 months, respectively).

Inmar has been in the promotion industry for more than 34 years and currently processes and analyzes more than 2.3 billion coupons and related campaigns annually, making it an expert in planning, executing and measuring promotions. In addition to providing promotion management, coupon processing, business intelligence and consulting, Inmar closely monitors coupon distribution and redemption across the country and regularly reports on trends and activity in this sector.

Media Contact:  Sharon Joyner-Payne, SVP, Marketing,, +1 336.631.7663


Inmar is a technology company that operates intelligent commerce networks. Our platforms connect offline and online transactions in real time for leading retailers, manufacturers and trading partners across multiple industries who rely on Inmar to securely manage billions of dollars in transactions. Our Promotions, Supply Chain and Healthcare platforms enable commerce, generate meaningful data and offer growth-minded leaders actionable analytics and execution with real-time visibility. Founded in 1980, Inmar is headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina with locations throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada.

For more information about Inmar’s products and services, please call 866.440.6917 or visit


Innovation Quarter tenant Inmar Inc. plans to buy the Wisconsin company, Hopster Inc., which specializes in digital coupons. David Mounts, Inmar’s chairman and chief executive, said the companies have worked together on projects for much of 2014. He said Hopster brings to Inmar “a powerful marketing and technology platform” with digital coupons – a growing segment for how retailers and manufacturers connect with consumers. Read the full story at the Winston-Salem Journal.

Forsyth Tech officially opened its newest location today at 525@vine in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter in downtown Winston-Salem, which is now home to the college’s Business & Industry Services Division.

525@vine, a former tobacco factory that was recently redeveloped and renovated into a mixed-used laboratory and office building, houses Forsyth Tech’s R. J. Reynolds Corporate Training Center, BB&T Biotechnology Program, Wells Fargo Nanotechnology Program, National Center for the Biotechnology Workforce, BioNetwork and Small Business Center.

The opening ceremony featured remarks by college and Innovation Quarter officials followed by media tours of the renovated space.

“We are excited to be expanding our presence into Winston-Salem’s vibrant downtown,” said Forsyth Tech President Dr. Gary Green. “Our location in the Innovation Quarter reflects the vision of the college to bring together services for business and industry under one roof where we can intersect with the business community as our client instead of the individual student.

“Here in the Innovation Quarter, we are at the epicenter of local economic development, making our business services more accessible than ever before, and creating opportunities to build new and even stronger collaborations that support the growing needs of our business community.”

Forsyth Tech’s 24,000 square feet of innovative work space at the Innovation Quarter was funded with $7 million raised through its Momentum Capital Campaign, which came to a conclusion in 2013, and includes lab facilities, computer labs, flexible classroom and meeting room space as well as small and large collaborative work areas.

Forsyth Tech at Innovation Quarter will serve more than 1,200 students each year as well as a growing number of corporate clients and small business owners through the:

  • J. Reynolds Corporate Training Center, which supports the college’s corporate training partnership programs and provides services for Innovation Quarter tenants
  • Small Business Center, which offers workshops, seminars, individual business counseling and a resource library for business owners and entrepreneurs
  • Lab facilities for the college’s Wells Fargo Nanotechnology Program, the only two-year nanotechnology program in the southeast
  • BB&T Biotechnology Program, the largest biotech program of any community college in the state, and
  • Offices for BioNetwork, the statewide biotechnology workforce initiative run by the North Carolina Community College System.

The 525@vine building was constructed in 1926 by the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and used as a blending and processing plant. In restoring and renovating the 234,000-square foot building, the new owner, Wexford Science & Technology, a BioMed Realty company, employed both state and federal tax credits that are available to qualified developers of income-producing spaces in historic industrial structures.

Media Contact: Martha Murphy, Public Relations Director, The Ruben Rink Co.,, +1 336.397.5407

About Forsyth Tech

Forsyth Tech provides students with flexible educational pathways to a competitive workforce for the community and global economy. The college offers associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates in more than 200 programs of study, including programs that promote personal and professional development through non-credit courses and seminars, as well as customized training for business and industry. Forsyth Tech is the fifth largest community college in North Carolina and serves more than 35,000 students with approximately 1,500 full and part-time faculty and staff.  

Clinical Ink, a provider of electronic data-capturing technology for clinical research, has relocated its headquarters to Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.

Clinical Ink’s new corporate office spans 7,676 square feet and is located on the first floor of the recently unveiled 525@vine building, a former R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. factory that underwent a $75 million renovation led by building owner Wexford Science & Technology, a BioMed Realty company.

“The synergistic culture at the Innovation Quarter makes it a natural fit for our headquarters,” said Doug Pierce, the company’s president and co-founder. “There is significant opportunity for innovation and collaboration at every turn, both of which are central to our success as a solutions provider for clinical research.”

At Clinical Ink, employees are surrounded by opportunities to collaborate. For example, in the center of their new facility is a free-standing cube already nicknamed the “Cube of Collaboration,” in which employees have four dry erase walls to collaborate and brainstorm ideas for clients.

“Clinical Ink makes a great addition to the Innovation Quarter as its pioneering work in information technology and clinical research is internationally recognized,” said Eric Tomlinson, president of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.

Clinical Ink offers solutions for domestic and international clinical research trials. Its principal product is SureSource®, an award-winning proprietary electronic platform that provides users with a paperless system for the fast and accurate recording of data, comments, explanations and other information required in clinical trials. The company, founded in Winston-Salem in 2007, also has an office in Horsham, Pa., a Philadelphia suburb.

525@vine offers tenants world-class research facilities with added amenities right outside its doors. Clinical Ink employees look forward to the Fall opening of Bailey Park at East End, a 1.6-acre park with green space and an outdoor stage, and the future Rails-to-Trails, a 20-mile walking and cycling trail that will follow an unused railroad track through the heart of the Innovation Quarter, eventually connecting to the Salem Creek Greenway.

In addition to Clinical Ink, current 525@vine tenants include: Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Division of Public Health Sciences and Department of Physician Assistant Studies; the Innovation Quarter YMCA of Northwest North Carolina; and Flywheel, a co-working innovation space. Forsyth Tech at Innovation Quarter soon will join the list.

Ten seventh-graders from Wiley Magnet Middle School in Winston-Salem will be getting an up-close look at the process of innovation this school year.

They’ll get to try their hand at it, too.

The 10 Wiley students are the first participants in the Future Innovators mentoring program hosted by Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. From September through May, the students will spend one morning each month at the Innovation Quarter, visiting different labs, centers and departments to learn about fields such as robotics, microbiology, computer science, regenerative medicine, digital design and biomedical engineering.

Along the way, the students will be challenged to come up with their own innovations, which they will present during their final session to a panel of experts in a contest modeled after the television program “Shark Tank.”

“We believe it is incredibly important to offer these young people the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of the exciting developments in science and technology that are happening here and the chance to demonstrate their intelligence, imagination and ingenuity,” said Eric Tomlinson, president of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. “The Future Innovators program at Wiley isn’t the only opportunity for students. We also encourage middle school students to participate in our SciTech program, which is a collaboration between Winston-Salem State University, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and the Innovation Quarter in which students learn about these exciting careers through hands-on learning experiences.”

Wiley, one of the 17 magnet schools in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools system, employs the STEAM approach to learning, which uses science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue and critical thinking. The 10 students in the Future Innovators program, who were selected by Wiley teachers, will have to complete assignments before and after the sessions at the Innovation Quarter, which will be related to their classroom studies.

“We are grateful for the partnership of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter in supporting our students at Wiley,” said Sean Gaillard, the school’s principal. “The school vision is ‘Inspiring Innovative Minds’ through STEAM, and the Future Innovators project is an amazing result for our kids. I believe the students involved will be inspired and motivated by this partnership.”

Steve Susalka, associate director of commercialization at Wake Forest Innovations, developed the curriculum for the Future Innovators mentoring program.

“We wanted to connect further with students in the community in a way that would be more engaging than a one-time tour and I’m glad that, thanks to the people here and at Wiley, we were able to come up with an extended, interactive program,” said Susalka, who is one of the program’s 10 volunteer mentors, all of whom work in the Innovation Quarter. “I’m confident this will be both fun and rewarding for everybody involved, and I hope it’s something we can all build on.”

Inmar and Wake Forest Innovation Quarter leadership recently spoke to members of the City of Arts and Innovation Winston-Salem Intern Experience (CAIIE). David Mounts, Chairman and CEO, Inmar, and Eric Tomlinson, D.Sc., Ph.D., Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s chief innovation officer and the president of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, conducted the “Masters of Innovation” program.

The program was held at Inmar’s new headquarters and Team Support Center, 635 Vine Street, Winston-Salem. Following the Masters of Innovation program, the group took a short walk to Flywheel, the city’s new co-working innovation space. During the mixer, interns had the opportunity to network and mingle with area executives in attendance. The Masters of Innovation program is just one of many enrichment experiences planned for interns at Winston-Salem businesses this summer. Twenty businesses from across Winston-Salem came together for the first time this year to form CAIIE to enhance the intern experience at their respective companies. The CAIIE provides opportunities for the interns to network, attend community events, collaborate on service projects and learn about business during their stay. More than 175 students from universities across the U.S. are a part of this year’s program. Mounts and Tomlinson spoke with the interns about environments that foster innovation, as well as provide examples of innovation and current disruptive trends that will influence innovation. Central to their message was that not all innovation is the result of “genius,” but rather a constructive dissatisfaction with the current state and an ability to listen carefully to identify needs. They also discussed where Winston-Salem falls in the pantheon of innovation. “We are very pleased to be working with area businesses to provide a rich experience for all of our Winston-Salem interns,” said Mounts. “It is exciting to watch the interaction among the students and to showcase all of the opportunities available to live, work and play in Winston-Salem.” Tomlinson added, “Tremendous innovation is occurring at Innovation Quarter and businesses across our city. The intern experience is far more constructive and fulfilling when they are provided the opportunity to become immersed in the area’s businesses, arts, and social and community events in addition to their work as an intern.”

Innovation Quarter tenant Carolina Liquid Chemistries Corp., located on the 4th floor of Wake Forest Biotech Place, engages in the business of developing, manufacturing and commercializing in vitro diagnostic reagents for quantitative testing of analytes, which are used in hospital and private laboratories worldwide. The company continues to grow and report upon its successes in the chemistry systems industry. It recently shared four announcements with the public regarding business successes:

Carolina Liquid Chemistries Corp. (CLC) announced on July 9 that its new Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test, used on the CLC720™ chemistry analyzer received certification by the National lycohemoglobin Standardization Program (NGSP). Read the announcement.

Carolina Liquid Chemistries Corp. announced on May 28, 2014 that its “Vitamin D-directTM” test has received a “Moderate Complexity categorization by the Food and Drug Administration. Read the announcement.

Carolina Liquid Chemistries Corp. announced on May 28, 2014 that it has received 510(k) clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its new CLC6410™ chemistry analyzer. Read the announcement.

Phil Shugart, founder of Carolina Liquid Chemistries Corp., received the award for “Entrepreneurial Excellence” at Triad BioNight 2014, the marquee event for the NC Piedmont Triad Region’s biotechnology community, held on May 21, 2014. Read the announcement.


Gathered in an auditorium, 25 seventh-grade students are shown a series of X-rays, CT scans and MRIs of injuries and charged with the task of identifying the abnormality in the scan.

The students’ engagement intensifies as Clifford Howard, MD, an interventional radiologist at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, follows up each diagnostic image with a photo of the actual injury. Howard explains that his presentation has a “Where’s Waldo effect,’’ and is quite successful at engaging audiences.

This particular audience is a group of middle-school students participating in the 2014 SciTech Summer Technology Institute. The two-week summer program gets students excited about careers in the STEM fields—Science, Technology, Engineering and Math—through exposure to unique and hands-on learning experiences. SciTech is a collaboration between Winston-Salem State University, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.

This summer about 140 sixth- through ninth-grade students, most from the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school system, participated in SciTech. This is the eighth year the enrichment program has been offered.

“We offer a wide variety of STEM experiences,” said Denise Johnson, EdD, the Winston Salem State professor who directs the SciTech program. “[Students] have an opportunity to see how STEM works in so many careers. No matter what their aspirations are, they can really leave with an appreciation for learning advanced math and science.’’

Howard takes a forensic approach to his instruction, and the students pepper him with questions. Interpersonal connection is one of the main objectives of SciTech.

For Kiran Solingapuram, PhD, also a radiologist at Wake Forest Baptist, the focus is on diagnostic and therapeutic uses of radiology as he shows students how a MRI-PET scan works. Solingapuram decided to enter the field of medicine after the death of a close family member due to cancer.

“Finding a cure was my reason for getting into this field. I’m happy to see if I can motivate students to pursue a career in the field of medical research to bring about change.’’

Howard and Solingapuram are only two examples of the many STEM professionals the students interact with over the two weeks, but their stories and approaches are all targeted at the same goal, as stated by Howard:

“I hope that it [SciTech] sparks an interest in medicine in these young students or at the least furthering their education.’’

Learn more about the SciTech Summer Technology Institute.