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Is the next Jack Dorsey or Drew Houston somewhere in the Winston-Salem area? North Carolina seed investment program The Startup Factory is out to find out, and they are working with Innovation Quarter’s Flywheel to do it. 

The Startup Factory has chosen to hold its first Bootcamp — a week-long program designed to help hopeful entrepreneurs flesh out their business models and make industry connections —  at Flywheel this August. It is a move that The Startup Factory founders credit to the growth and excitement around Innovation Quarter and Winston-Salem’s commitment to growth and expansion in the tech world.

Read more about it here. 

What began five years ago as a program to help contain the rising cost of healthcare for the company and its associates is now a movement that is comfortably a part of Inmar’s culture. From the bikes that line the company’s bike storage room to the backpacks filled with gym clothes for lunchtime workouts at the Innovation Quarter YMCA, Inmar’s corporate headquarters in Winston-Salem’s Wake Forest Innovation Quarter is full of driven professionals who are passionate about their work and their wellness.

And, the team is putting up the numbers to prove their commitment is paying off. Inmar was named the Healthiest Employer for the second consecutive year by the Triad Business Journal and has been in the top three in its category for five consecutive years.

In addition to logging more time with their sit/stand desks in the stand position:

  • In 2014, overall inpatient health claims spend decreased by 24% from the prior year.
  • Cardiac as a percent of admissions decreased from 12.5% to 8.3%.
  • Inmar’s plan experienced more than $600,000 in savings through associate participation in the Cigna Health Advocacy Program and Medical Management.
  • Inmar has consistently had over 90 percent participation in its Wellness Program.
  • In 2014, more than 200 associates and family members participated in the company’s second annual 5K; some participants had never run or walked a 5K.

And, during a time of increasing healthcare costs, the premiums associates pay for health insurance within Inmar’s plan have not increase over the past two years.

“We are, of course, very pleased with the statistics we’re seeing from the program,” says Inmar Chairman and CEO David Mounts. “But, it’s the people and lives behind these statistics that are the real story. When we improve our wellness, we change our legacies and improve quality of our life for ourselves and our families.”

Media contact:
Sharon Joyner-Payne

The final installation of the a 3-part series on the Innovation Quarter, “Challenges loom in Winston-Salem Innovation Quarter’s future,” by Fran Daniel at the Winston-Salem Journal hit newsstands Sunday morning, June 29, 2015. Read one blogger’s response to this story.

Innovation District. Cool. What’s an innovation district?

Big Winston-Salem Journal front-pager on the challenges facing downtown’s Innovation Quarter:

Its gradual shift from a research park to an innovation district in recent years has put Wake Forest Innovation Quarter on a path to developing a work, live, learn and play culture and community in Winston-SalemRead the full post.


In Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, residents can see artist Laura Lynn Lashley’s work on a larger-than-life 100-feet long nature-inspired mural. It is a focal point of Bailey Park, the newest addition to the creative landscape in the urban innovation district.

Like the true artist that she is, Lashley did not come to the project with pre-conceived notions. She took some color chips and followed her intuition that led her to paint an abstract scene depicting clouds, sun and sky. The soothing mural stretches underneath Bailey Park’s special events stage and frames out landscaped gardens.

“Laura’s mural is the perfect addition to Bailey Park,” said Eric Tomlinson, president of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. “Her bright and airy artwork provides a wonderful backdrop for this central meeting place for innovation and creativity.”

Laura Lashley’s long-time commitment to Winston-Salem made her the right choice for the project. Her work is seen throughout the city; her paintings and murals can be found at businesses, galleries, coffee shops, a restaurant and a school, to name a few. Walk into Yadkin Riverkeeper’s interior office and you will see Lashley’ work. Over dinner at Mary’s Gourmet Diner you can gaze at an inspired Lashley piece. Beer lovers enjoy her art at Small Batch Beer Co.

Lashley is a true “art farmer” and has worked for decades with Winston-Salem artists groups like Seed, a collective with a mission to “plant” art in the city. The former Art-o-mat artist has made more than one studio her home, dating back to Atelier in the arts district. Volunteering in galleries is in her blood along with organizing fundraisers for various causes and donating art to organizations such as the Arts Based School.

Lashley’s current project for the Fairfield Inn & Suites (walking distance from the Innovation Quarter) is a collaborative effort with artists from The Enrichment Center. She also transforms personal spaces for residential clients.

When she is not on a job location Lashley keeps her creative juices flowing at the Electric Pyramid Studio, a former funeral home and barber college located just one block north of Wake Forest Biotech Place. Lashley shares that space with 16 other artists. Some of her work finds its way to Design Archives™ Emporium where buyers can take home a piece of wearable art in the shape of an apparel piece or a painted purse.

Recently Lashley passed by Bailey Park on the way to Krankies Coffee. For an instant she wondered what city she was in. “Innovation Quarter has totally transformed the city,” she said. “It blows my mind.”

Learn more about Laura Lashley’s art at

Children will once again help adults build, program and operate robots at the Robot Fun Run Community Challenge, to be held Friday, June 19, in the atrium of Wake Forest Biotech Place.

The third annual competition, which is open to the public free of charge, will begin at 12:30 p.m.

Sponsored by Cook Medical, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools and Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, the event features up to a dozen teams of two to five adults representing area businesses and institutions, with each team having a middle school-age mentor.

The challenge for the teams is to build and program a Lego Mindstorms robot to perform specific tasks, then have it execute those tasks during multiple 2½-minute runs on a thematic playing surface with the goal of scoring as many points as possible. The team that accumulates the most points will be presented a Lego trophy by Eric Tomlinson, president of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.

“This is a great event that features technology, teamwork and creativity and produces plenty of surprises and smiles,” Tomlinson said.

The team representing Inmar edged Carolina Liquid Chemistries to capture last year’s title. Small Footprint won the 2013 event, finishing just ahead of the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences.

One purpose of the Robot Fun Run Community Challenge is to increase awareness of and participation in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools’ robotics program, which is designed to engage middle school-age children in science and technology. The program’s main event is the annual Forsyth County Robot Run, a competition in the fall that involves robotics teams from the system’s 17 middle schools.

Wake Forest Biotech Place is located at 575 N. Patterson Ave. in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. Free event parking will be available in Innovation Quarter Lot P1, which has entrances on East Fifth and North Chestnut streets.

Soaring arches and points that look like they were taken from a Moravian star would grace bridges over Business 40 if the folks at Creative Corridors get backing for their ideas, as the time approaches for making final decisions on how the downtown freeway will look when renovations are complete.

The Business 40 renovation doesn’t start until 2016, but city and state officials will be making decisions this summer on how the roadway will look.

The bridge that’s likely to get everyone talking the most is a proposal to turn the Strollway crossing of Business 40 into a “land bridge” that will take people over the freeway without taking them out of the trees and shrubs.

Read the full article at the Winston-Salem Journal.


Join us for the second annual Innovation and Cinema film and speaker series presented by Wake Forest Innovation Quarter and a/perture cinema.


This two-part series explores the relationships between innovation and the world in which we live. Representatives from various businesses, departments and institutions associated with the Innovation Quarter are creatively paired with a film that reflects their current work. Prior to the screening, guest speakers will engage audiences in a lively, pre-film talk to shed light on the connection.

The first three viewings of this year’s series are in June beginning at 8:45 p.m. Beer and wine are available for purchase, and you are welcome to picnic on the lower lawn prior to the film. Dogs are allowed but must remain leashed.

These screenings are free and open to the community to attend… and don’t worry, there WILL be popcorn!

When: Thursday June 4, June 11 and June 18
Where: Bailey Park – Upper Lawn
Parking: Parking is available in the P1 parking lot located across from Wake Forest Biotech Place and accessible via 5th Street.
Rain Date: In the event of rain, the screening will be rescheduled for Thursday, July 9.


June 4 – “Office Space” 1999
Edited Version
-Talk begins at 8:45 p.m.
Presented by Pete Simpson, Co-founder, Flywheel

June 11 – “Dead Poets Society” 1989
Rated PG
-Talk begins at 8:45 p.m.
Presented by Lauren Rogers, Salem Academy & College

June 18 – “Moneyball” 2011
Rated PG-13
-Talk begins at 8:45 p.m.
Presented by David Mounts, CEO, Inmar


Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s internationally accredited nurse anesthesia program will move to 525@vine in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter this summer.

The longest continually running nurse anesthesia program in North Carolina will move 55 faculty, staff and students from its present location at the Medical Center’s main campus to the second floor of 525@vine. The move is expected to take place in July.

The program will join two other School of Medicine programs that are already located at 525@vine. The Division of Public Health Sciences (PHS) and Department of Physician Assistant Studies (PA Studies) became some of the first tenants when the building opened in June last year.

“Our nurse anesthesia program is the first in the country to be accredited internationally,” said Edward Abraham, M.D., dean of Wake Forest School of Medicine. “This move allows the program to continue to excel as a leader in nurse anesthesia education by placing faculty and students in a collaborative space with other School of Medicine programs and offering today’s students state-of-the-art technology and learning spaces.”

The program will expand from 4,440 square feet of space at its current location to 11,000 square feet of new learning space at 525@vine.

“Being next to the PHS and PA Studies programs opens the door for collaborative and inter-professional activities that were not available to us before,” said Michael Rieker, D.N.P., C.R.N.A., program director of Nurse Anesthesia. “We have a reputation as a top-quality program, and that will continue to advance with the help of the up-to-date learning, skills and simulation labs, collaborative classrooms and distance learning capabilities the new space provides.”

The two-year Nurse Anesthesia program consists of 48 students with 24 students in each year’s class. Wake Forest School of Medicine confers the Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia degree upon graduates of the program. Graduates become certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) and are prepared to plan, administer and manage anesthetic care to a wide range of patients and in diverse settings.

The program that started in 1942 also offers a certificate in Global Health through collaboration with the School of Medicine.

The move of the Nurse Anesthesia program to 525@vine this summer means all School of Medicine educational programs will be located in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter by July 2016 when the medical education building being built from renovating and refurbishing part of the former 60 series R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company complex opens adjacent to 525@vine.

“The addition of the Nurse Anesthesia program to the Innovation Quarter will be another boost to this expanding downtown climate,” said Eric Tomlinson, D.Sc., Ph.D., chief innovation officer, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, and president, Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. “Together with the impending move of the School of Medicine beginning in July 2016 when the medical education building opens, the Innovation Quarter proves to be one of the fastest growing urban-based districts for innovation in science, business and education in the United States.”

Ninety-four percent of 525@vine will be leased with the arrival of the Nurse Anesthesia program. Other 525@vine tenants include: The Innovation Quarter YMCA of Northwest North Carolina; Flywheel, a co-working innovation space; Forsyth Tech at Innovation Quarter; and the headquarters of Clinical Ink, a provider of electronic data-capturing technology for clinical research. Mullen, a full-service marketing communications firm announced in January it would move in, December 2015.

Media contacts: Mac Ingraham,, 336-716-3487; Shannon Putnam,, 336-713-8261 or the main office at 336-716-4587.


This May the Innovation Quarter is proud to partner with the City of Winston-Salem to promote free biking activities for all ages and abilities during National Bike Month.

Innovation Quarter Bike Ride

When: Friday, May 1 at 11 am
Where: 635 Vine Street, Winston – Salem NC 27101
(Inmar Corporate Headquarters)
Sponsored by Inmar and the Forsyth County Department of Public Health

Join Innovation Quarter tenants and neighbors for a short bike ride during your lunch break. Riders will meet in the visitor lot in front of Inmar at 11 am. The streets will not be closed for this ride. Please make sure to bring your helmets.

The first 50 people to register for this event will receive a free, boxed lunch courtesy of Triad Air Awareness. To reserve your lunch please email Lorelei Elkins at

If you prefer to ride indoors, the Innovation Quarter YMCA is offering a free spin class followed by a complimentary lunch at the same time.

Walk & Roll Winston-Salem

When: Sunday, May 3 from 1 – 4 pm
Where: East 3rd Street and Research Parkway

A fun event for the whole family! Enjoy walking, rolling, biking and skating with no traffic at Walk & Roll Winston-Salem. This event is free but participants are asked to register at East 3rd Street and Research Parkway before partaking in the festivities. Research Parkway will be closed to motor vehicles so anyone can come play on the streets.

  • Enjoy a bounce caster, hula hoops, relay races, jump ropes, parachute games, corn hole and more
  • Drummers, salsa dancers, unicycles and pogo jumpers
  • Bike decorating, Trike & Training Wheels Parade (2 pm) and a bike rodeo
  • Free helmets and fittings by the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma, Joshua’s Friends Foundation and Active Routes to School
  • Camel City Grill and Kona Ice

For more info please visit

Brown Bag Lunch & Learn: Bicycle Commuting Class

When: Friday, May 8 from noon – 1 pm
Where: Wake Forest Biotech Place Auditorium
Brought to you by ActionHealth – Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

Join Matthew Burczyk, Winston – Salem’s Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinator for this educational class about commuting by bike in our great city. Matthew will discuss issues related to using a bicycle for transportation, the importance of proper bike selection and how to dress for various types of trips and conditions.

Please bring your own brown bag lunch. Seating is limited to the first 120 guests.


Winston-­Salem has been named a Startup Grind city, joining a global network of cities working to fuel innovation, economic growth and prosperity at the local level. Flywheel, a coworking innovation space in the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, applied on behalf of Winston‐Salem and will be hosting Startup Grind events for the city and region beginning mid­‐May.

Founded in 2010, Startup Grind is a global startup community designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs. In more than 150 cities and 65 countries around the world, chapters host monthly Startup Grind events where local founders, innovators, educators and investors share their own success stories.

“The selection process is very rigorous,” said Peter Marsh, cofounder of Flywheel. “We had to prove the vibrancy of our startup ecosystem and that we could execute compelling events with successful entrepreneurs on a regular basis.” The ratio of cities accepted versus total applications is around one in ten. Marsh will be a co-director of Startup Grind Winston­‐Salem, along with Flywheel Community Manager Jennifer Berg.

Startup Grind is also a major initiative of Google for Entrepreneurs, extending the network of relationships even deeper into the global tech community.

“Just as important as the events is the fact that Startup Grind has an unbelievable communication network through their project management platform,” Marsh said. “Now we can connect Flywheel members with the highest level of angel and venture firms, successful founders and domain experts.”

Startup Grind founder and CEO Derek Andersen said Google For Entrepreneurs will help Startup Grind expand internationally by providing access to distribution, Google technology and financial support.

“In the future, you will not need to be in Silicon Valley to be taken seriously as a tech startup,” Andersen said. “I just see so many places with such a high caliber of entrepreneurs.” Andersen said the monthly “fireside chat” interviews with local entrepreneurs are Startup Grind’s specialty. “We’re world­‐class at that one thing.”

Startup Grind is a perfect fit for Flywheel’s mission and vision for entrepreneurship in the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. “Very few for­‐profit coworking operators have a direct link to a multimillion-dollar commercialization enterprise right outside their door in the form of Wake Forest Innovations,” said Brad Bennett, another Flywheel cofounder. “This just expands the opportunities to connect.”

The Wake Forest Innovation Quarter is one of the fastest growing urban-­based research parks in the United States, with a master plan for as much as 6 million square feet of world‐class office, laboratory and mixed­‐used space over its 145 developable acres.

The first Startup Grind event is scheduled for mid‐May. Events will be posted each month on the Flywheel website.

Media contact:
Katie Kenney