Recipe for Success: 3 New Innovation Funds in Winston-Salem

2 minute read

The word 'funding" layered over an image of entrepreneurs.

It’s no secret that access to capital is a key ingredient in the recipe for startup or innovative success. If you have dreams of being the CEO of the next big thing, early-stage and seed funding are constantly on your mind.

It used to be that securing funding for a start-up in the Triad meant hitting up places like Raleigh, Durham and even out of state. But more and more, Winston-Salem is a magnet for investors who see growth and potential for the area as an incubator for startups in life sciences, information technology, digital media and more.

Here’s a look at three of the latest developments in startup funding right here in the City of Arts & Innovation:

New Ventures Challenge 2016

Part startup incubator, part investment vehicle, this new program recently announced by Flywheel will invest up to $400,000 in “formative and early-stage entrepreneurial companies with web and mobile software, hardware or device innovation ideas.” As many as eight teams will be selected for funding, access to Flywheel workspace in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, as well as mentoring and coaching.

Catalyst Fund

This $15 million technology development program was initiated by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and is facilitated by Wake Forest Innovations, which is housed in the Innovation Quarter. Managed by Pappas Capital, a life sciences investment firm in Raleigh, the Catalyst Fund will invest in translational technology projects at Wake Forest Baptist and Wake Forest University in the areas of therapeutics, vaccines, medical devices, diagnostics and digital health. The Catalyst Fund is projected to invest in up to 25 technologies coming out of Wake Forest over the next 4 to 5 years.

Dioko Health Ventures I Fund

One of the biggest startup funding announcements in the last several years, the announcement of the Dioko fund should have local health care IT startups champing at the bit. In partnership with Nashville-based venture capital firm, FCA Venture Partners, Dioko Ventures has closed on its first tranche of investment as it seeks to raise $25 million to invest in companies located primarily in and around the Piedmont Triad. The fund will make 10 – 12 investments in seed to early-stage companies in the health care IT and service sectors, with commitments of $500,000 to $2 million.

Winston-Salem has a rich history of entrepreneurship, and the rise in interest from investors in our region is a healthy sign that this spirit will continue well into the 21st century.