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Global tech company Sunrise Technologies announced today it is moving to 525@vine in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. Currently occupying more than 6,000 sq. ft. in Victoria Hall, Sunrise Technologies will expand to 11,600 sq. ft., in the space formerly occupied by Flywheel Coworking, which moved to the Center for Design Innovation in the south district of the Innovation Quarter in February 2017.

Sunrise is expected to complete its move by early July.

“We are delighted to be staying in the Innovation Quarter and moving into larger space at 525@vine,” states John Pence, president of Sunrise Technologies.  “Sunrise has been a part of the Innovation Quarter for 16 years, and during that time our business has grown nearly 10-fold.  We have always been fans of the adaptive reuse of our historic buildings, and we are delighted to be staying in such a beautiful and vibrant downtown district.”

Sunrise Technologies, founded in 1994, employs more than 150 people worldwide and provides Microsoft Dynamics 365 solutions for global apparel, retail, manufacturing and textile companies like Patagonia, Hanna Andersson and Lacrosse. Its current Winston-Salem offices support 25 employees, but the announced move and expansion gives Sunrise the capacity to double that number of personnel in the City.

Opened in 2014, the 234,000-square foot 525@vine is also home to Forsyth Tech at Innovation Quarter, the Winston-Salem offices of MullenLowe, and the Physician Assistant, Public Health Sciences and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) programs of the Wake Forest School of Medicine. Wexford Science+Technology redeveloped the building.

“This expansion move by Sunrise Technologies represents perfectly the mission of the Innovation Quarter – to drive economic growth and build vibrant community,” said Innovation Quarter president Eric Tomlinson. “By creating the type of inspirational spaces where companies like Sunrise want to locate, we are driving economic growth and helping make Winston-Salem a destination for technology companies to expand their operations.”

As part of its commitment to the local economy, Sunrise Technologies is also working with local vendors to help make its move a success, including Elephant In the Room for environmental branding; West & Stem Architectural; Landmark Construction; Storr Office Environments for furnishings; and Wildfire for marketing materials.


Venture Café today announced the expansion of its global network of weekly innovation and entrepreneurial gatherings to Winston-Salem in early 2017 in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.

The growth of Venture Café builds on the success of its founding member, the Venture Café Foundation in Boston, Massachusetts which operates District Hall in Boston – the world’s first civic innovation center. Venture Café Winston-Salem will become part of a rapidly expanding global network that includes locations also in St. Louis, Missouri; Miami, Florida; and Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

At the weekly meetings of Venture Café, hundreds of members of the innovation and startup communities in Boston, St. Louis, Miami and Rotterdam regularly gather to connect, engage and learn from each other and from experts from across the region. These weekly Venture Café gatherings are free to attend and provide a full slate of topics for people interested in innovation and entrepreneurship.

As part of the expansion, Venture Café Winston-Salem is conducting a search for its founding Executive Director and will also seek to appoint a Program Director later in 2017. Interested applicants can visit the organization’s website at www.venturecafewinstonsalem.org.

“The growing innovation community in Innovation Quarter and Winston-Salem, City of Arts and Innovation, along with the support of the businesses and institutions in the city made the decision to expand here a compelling one,” said Travis Sheridan, president of the Venture Café Global Institute. “We are looking forward to appointing a founding Executive Director of Venture Café Winston-Salem with relationships in the community, start-up experience and non-profit management experience.”

Venture Café Winston-Salem will seek to align with existing organizations and programs in Winston-Salem, such as Flywheel’s New Ventures Accelerator, Forsyth Technical Community College’s Small Business Center, the Creative Startups program hosted by the Center for Creative Economy and others to amplify their impact. It will also add to the series of free community events offered within the Innovation Quarter including Network Night, Yoga at Bailey Park, Boost, Innovation & Cinema and Engage.

“The addition of Venture Café Winston-Salem to the Innovation Quarter fits perfectly with our mission to drive economic growth and build vibrant community,” said Eric Tomlinson, president of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. “We have a unique opportunity through Venture Café to bolster the innovation ecosystem in Winston-Salem by fostering entrepreneurship Winston-Salem as an ideal place to start and grow businesses and social enterprises.”

David Mounts, Co-Chair for the Entrepreneurial Culture Committee of the Winston-Salem Alliance, and Chairman and CEO of Inmar, says that “Recent visitors to Winston Salem quickly realize that it has evolved to be one of the world’s leading innovation districts. The Piedmont Triad is also now recognized as a top business environment for starting a new business. Joining Venture Café’s network provides important support and easy access for those seeking to invest in innovation and unique growth that is now occurring in our city and region.”


Complex will comprise 340+ residential units, 850+ parking spaces and 5,000 square feet of retail space

Wake Forest Innovation Quarter—part of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center—and Grubb Properties today announced an agreement for Grubb Properties to develop a new property in the Innovation Quarter in Winston-Salem comprised of 340+ apartment units, approximately 5,000 square feet of retail space and a parking deck with 850+ spaces.

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A new history series presented by New Winston Museum, Reynolda House, Triad Cultural Arts and Wake Forest Innovation Quarter will explore the history of the former downtown tobacco district, the people who worked there and the impact it had on many aspects of life including the development of downtown Winston-Salem.

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Wake Forest Innovation Quarter today announced the sale of portions of Bailey Power Plant to Wexford Science+Technology, a BioMed Realty company. Wexford will redevelop approximately two-thirds of the Bailey Power Plant property, including the main building and most of the surrounding grounds that include the iconic chimney stacks.

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Dioko Ventures, in partnership with Nashville, TN based venture capital firm, FCA Venture Partners, announced this week the launch of its’ first fund, Dioko Health Ventures I, LP. The Fund is seeking to raise $25 million to invest in companies primarily in and around Western North Carolina and the Triad.

Dioko will be managed and supported by FCA and led by Matthew King, Managing Partner of FCA. Accompanying King, FCA’s Co-Managing Partner, John Burch, and CFO, Nancy Allen, will provide fund oversight and administrative support. The investment committee for the Fund will be led by King, together with Tom Hearn, CEO of Novarus Healthcare, and Todd Johnson, co-founder and Board member with KeraNetics, LLC. Dioko will work closely with Inmar, Inc., Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, local universities, academic medical centers, and accelerators to help foster, grow and fund the local healthcare entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“In recent years, FCA Venture Partners has invested in two early stage companies in the area,” said King. “There are many signs of early stage investing opportunities on the rise in this part of North Carolina and we are delighted to deploy institutional capital in the area.”

The Fund will make 10-12 investments in Seed to Early stage companies in the healthcare IT and service sectors with commitments of $500K to $2M. Dioko anticipates that about half of the companies in the Fund will be based in Western North Carolina.

“I’m very excited about the potential for the Dioko Health Ventures fund,” said Advisory Board member Don Flow. “There are an increasing number of healthcare IT and healthcare services companies being started in our region, but there is no organized capital available to fund the growth of these companies. Matt King and his FCA team have a long and successful track record of investing in early stage healthcare companies, and will be a great addition to our healthcare entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Dioko’s deal sourcing team will be led by Andrew Bouldin, Principal at FCA. “We review over 400 start-up companies a year at FCA, with the majority in Healthcare IT,” said Bouldin. “With many of the deals too early for FCA to consider, I look forward to the opportunity to financing some of these earlier stage companies.”

“Early-stage seed funding is crucial for startups,” said Eric Tomlinson, president of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. “The Dioko fund is a critical shot in the arm for building a start up environment in the Innovation Quarter and our city that will support the growth of our innovation economy.”


Wake Forest University announced today that new academic programs in Biomedical Sciences and Engineering will anchor the University’s undergraduate presence, referred to as Wake Downtown, in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter beginning in 2017.

Last fall, Wake Forest announced plans to lease space in the rehabilitated former R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company 60 series building in the Innovation Quarter, adjacent to what will become the home of the medical education programs of Wake Forest School of Medicine this summer.

Now, newly approved courses of study in Engineering, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery will extend the exceptional faculty-student engagement that is a hallmark of the Reynolda Campus to one of the fastest-growing urban-based districts for innovation in the country. The proximity of the 115,000-square-foot Wake Downtown facility also will make it possible for undergraduates to take classes with faculty from Wake Forest School of Medicine.

“The frontier of science and technology has rarely been as exciting as it is today. While many Wake Forest students already work with medical school research mentors, the next-generation building complex that literally and figuratively brings medical and liberal arts education together under one roof will greatly enhance students’ opportunities for closer collaboration and deeper engagement,” said Wake Forest President Nathan O. Hatch. “Wake Downtown presents a wonderful occasion to rethink how science is taught and how learning is best achieved.”

Biomedical Sciences and Engineering programs rooted in the Liberal Arts  

According to the Education Advisory Board, employer demand for undergraduate biomedical science and technology graduates increased by 58 percent nationally and 43 percent in North Carolina from 2012 to 2014.

Academic programs recently approved by College faculty are expected to meet employer, student and societal demands. New courses of study include:

  • B.S. in Engineering – Wake Forest engineering students will exemplify the term ‘well-rounded,’ bringing to their subsequent careers or graduate studies a focus on applying engineering science, design and analysis to complex issues. The engineering major will offer optional biomedical and materials engineering emphases in a liberal arts environment of entrepreneurial and critical thinking. Classes in the engineering program are expected to begin in fall 2017.
  • B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology – Jointly administered by the Chemistry and Biology departments, this interdisciplinary degree will enable students to develop a conceptual understanding of and build practical skills to address increasingly complex biological, biochemical and biomedical challenges. Students preparing for research or pre-health careers will develop greater insight into the experimental approaches and results that lead to the current understanding of biomolecular function. Abundant undergraduate research opportunities will be available for students in WFU labs and those of several medical school departments already in the Innovation Quarter. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology classes will begin in January 2017.
  • Concentration in Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery – Building upon existing strengths and research interests of faculty and students, the establishment of a medicinal chemistry concentration within the Department of Chemistry will provide a distinctive, high-quality educational experience at Wake Forest. The concentration provides a new path to an American Chemical Society certified B.S. degree that will increasingly attract students interested in health-related fields, biomedical sciences and pharmacology. Classes for the new concentration will begin in January 2017.

“The distinct and compelling new set of programs of Wake Downtown represent the most significant academic innovation in recent Wake Forest history and one of the most audacious efforts to rethink undergraduate science education as we know it,” said Michele Gillespie, Dean of Wake Forest College. “Embracing the Innovation Quarter as a hub for a liberal arts education is central to our future.”

Wake Downtown transcends boundaries and promises collaboration

Undergraduate students in these programs are estimated to spend approximately equal time on the main campus – studying arts, humanities, and basic sciences – and in the new Biomedical Sciences and Engineering classrooms and labs downtown.

In addition to programs in Biomedical Sciences and Engineering, Wake Downtown will also enable expanded undergraduate offerings in entrepreneurship, bioethics, public health policy and the humanities.

“One of the most exciting aspects of Wake Forest’s undergraduate presence in the Innovation Quarter is the potential to collaborate with the greater Winston-Salem community, our shared City of Arts and Innovation. Along with contributing to the knowledge economy and growing job base in the Innovation Quarter, we plan to partner on community projects ranging from public arts to service to volunteer opportunities,” said Provost Rogan Kersh, whose leadership in the community includes chairing the city’s Poverty Thought Force. “As an extension of the Reynolda Campus, Wake Downtown will serve as an incubator for tomorrow’s leaders long before many of them even apply for admission.”

Approximately 350 undergraduates are expected to study downtown by 2021, when new programs are fully operational. Expanded facilities and an increased demand would enable the University to accommodate modest enrollment growth. Wake Forest also plans to hire additional faculty and staff – all of which would increase the University’s current $3.3 billion economic impact in the region.

“The Innovation Quarter has grown into a true knowledge community,” said Wake Forest Innovation Quarter president Eric Tomlinson. “The addition of these new Wake Forest University undergraduate program aligns perfectly with our ‘Work. Live. Learn. Play’ approach to building such a community.”


Wake Forest Innovation Quarter today announced architectural and landscaping improvements coming to Bailey Park in the first half of 2016. An entrance plaza with a water feature and awalkway connecting upper and lower levels are among the enhancements that are being added to Bailey Park in a community development initiative supported by local foundations and corporations.

Work on the improvements at the 1.6-acre publicly accessible green space in the Innovation Quarter will be completed in April. The Innovation Quarter is undertaking the project with funding support by:

  • Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
  • Wexford Science + Technology
  • The John Wesley and Anna Hodgin Hanes Foundation
  • The Millennium Fund
  • The Winston-Salem Foundation
  • Stimmel Associates, PA
  • Grubb Properties
  • Whiting Turner

“Bailey Park is for the whole community,” said Eric Tomlinson, president of the Innovation Quarter. “It’s gratifying that many local foundations and corporations have come together to support the further development of this unique resource.”

Enhancements to Bailey Park will include a new entrance plaza featuring a “water wall” on the North Patterson Avenue side opposite the Bailey Power Plant. Bailey Park’s two levels will be connected by an elevated concourse by two short flights of stairs, one rising to the upper-level stage area and the other descending to the new street-level plaza.

The enhancements also include new landscape features such as limestone terraces, planting areas bordering the lawn and a grove of cherry trees. Stimmel Associates, PA, which provided the initial design and landscape architecture services for Bailey Park, will provide the same services for these enhancements.

“Bailey Park has had a positive impact for the City and has proven to be a great venue for a wide variety of events and activities. The additions announced today are sure to make it an even more attractive and versatile locale,” said Lindsey Yarborough, senior manager of community relations for the Innovation Quarter.

Bailey Park, which opened in April 2015, is bordered by East 4th, East 5th and Vine streets and by North Patterson Avenue. It operates year-round between 7 a.m. to dusk, with special events taking place by arrangement outside of these hours.

Detailed information about Bailey Park, including a calendar of events, is available at www.baileyparkws.com.


The rich history of the predominantly African-American communities that were home to thousands of workers and their families during tobacco’s heyday in Winston-Salem will be explored at a free interactive event on Saturday, Nov. 21.

“Remembering the Neighborhood: Life in the Former Tobacco District” will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Wake Forest Biotech Place in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, which encompasses the sites of both once-bustling tobacco facilities and once-thriving residential and commercial areas.

The centerpiece of “Remembering the Neighborhood” will be a panel discussion including former Belews Street neighborhood resident Barbara Morris, former tobacco worker Miles Harry, former Winston-Salem city staff member Jack Stillman, community historian and author Annette Scippio and educator Rudy Anderson. The discussion will be moderated by Endia Beal, director of The Diggs Gallery of Winston-Salem State University.

Among the activities available to attendees will be viewing a slide show of images from The ARCHIVE (Society for the Study of Afro-American History in Winston-Salem) and other sources, listening to oral history recordings made by the City-County Planning Department and participating in a New Winston Museum “memory mapping” project.

Additionally, University of North Carolina-Greensboro graduate student Amanda Holland will be on hand to record the recollections of former area residents and tobacco workers.

Complimentary light refreshments will be served and there will be an activity area for young children.

Biotech Place is located at 575 N. Patterson Ave. Free parking for this event will be available in Innovation Quarter Lot P1, which is accessible via North Chestnut Street.

“Remembering the Neighborhood” has been organized by a partnership of The ARCHIVE (Society for the Study of Afro-American History in Winston-Salem), the City-County Planning Board, The Diggs Gallery of Winston-Salem State University, New Winston Museum, the Office of City Council Member Derwin L. Montgomery, the Wake Forest University Department of History, Old Salem Museum & Gardens – St. Philips Heritage Center, Wexford Science & Technology, Wake Forest Innovation Quarter and resident volunteers.