Opportunities Innovation Quarter’s Startup Ecosystem Offers

3 minute read

Entrepreneurs and community members at a shared workspace in Sparq's coworking space in the Innovation Quarter

Sparq™, a startup and small business launchpad, is transforming what it’s like to live and work in Winston-Salem’s Innovation Quarter and amplifying the ways in which the city holds its own in helping startups scale. From connecting businesses to the right resources to growing the overall professional network in Winston-Salem, here’s why organizations that help entrepreneurs get plugged in are integral to fueling a thriving startup ecosystem.

Partnerships Between Startups and Anchor Institutions Increase Development

Small businesses can benefit from big relationships. Though Winston-Salem may be known for its small-city feel when it comes to relationships and networking, its big players and anchor institutions present major partnership and growth opportunities.

Having a connection to larger institutions can be game-changing for startups. Organizations like the Wake Forest University School of Medicine have engaged in mutually beneficial partnerships with entrepreneurs that both help small businesses grow and increase efficiencies in healthcare systems. Sparq™ wants to expand these opportunities and ensure such experiences come to fruition among appropriate ecosystem members.

Access to Resources Unique to Startup Ecosystems

Businesses can find the right workspace, materials, technology and guidance more easily with the support of a startup ecosystem. There are people who genuinely want to help, creating a welcoming environment that encourages interaction and connects professionals to the tools they need.

Sparq™’s inclusive coworking space offers flexible workspace options that allow entrepreneurs to buckle down and focus on their business and collaborate with other professionals. It’s also conveniently located and connects members with all of the available assets in the ecosystem, many of which are highly relevant to startups or small businesses looking to grow. Whether you need to find lab space to test a developing concept or meet individuals with capital to invest, becoming a Sparq™ member enables connections to resources that wouldn’t be available elsewhere.

Experienced Guidance on How to Scale a Startup

Knowing the ins and outs of what the iQ has to offer is a significant advantage. Being embedded within the ecosystem and knowing its capabilities and resources allows Sparq™ to connect businesses with the appropriate people. There’s no substitute for experience, and there’s value in hearing informed, third-party perspectives. Whether it’s someone who’s seen businesses prevail in similar circumstances or walked in the aspiring entrepreneur’s shoes themselves, experienced professionals can help wavering startups get unstuck at any stage of development.

Increased Community Involvement

Startup ecosystems are fueled by engaged communities. Being integrated within a welcoming, active community helps develop organic relationships, attract top talent and maintain the work-life balance necessary for long-term success. Sometimes, the key to getting involved is knowing where to start. Organizations like Sparq™ can help:

  • ensure you’re equipped to stay informed, including recommended newsletters and communication channels.
  • raise awareness around relevant programming and placemaking initiatives.
  • provide recommendations and discounts to ecosystem members to encourage greater immersion in the community.

Join the Ecosystem, Grow Your Startup

If you’re contemplating becoming a part of the growth, development, inspiration and community experienced within the Innovation Quarter, Sparq™ can help you take the next step. Whether you’re a small business that’s looking for physical resources or interested in connecting with other members of the existing startup ecosystem, join Winston-Salem’s startup ecosystem to become a part of everything happening at the iQ and get help launching your business to the next level. Get started with Sparq™.

Cover of Innovation Quarter's eBook titled "Ten Reasons Why Winston-Salem is One of the Best-kept Secrets among Entrepreneurs and Startups"

The Secret Is Out

Winston-Salem is rapidly making a name for itself as a top midsized city. From a thriving innovation ecosystem to a diverse cultural experience, Winston-Salem has what startups and entrepreneurs need to hit their stride.