Accelerator Programs for Growing A Startup in Winston-Salem

4 minute read

Young entrepreneur talking to a member of the community about his startup during an event hosted in the Innovation Quarter.

Find the Support Your Startup Needs in Winston-Salem

It’s no coincidence that so many startups call Winston-Salem home—it’s ripe with innovation, buzzing with collaboration and full of supportive resources. With a community focused on growth, there is always a place to turn when looking to grow your startup. Whether you need financing to get your feet on the ground, mentorship to help stay on track or partnerships that expand your capabilities, you have plenty of easily accessible options when you plant roots in Winston-Salem.

If You’re Looking to Bring a Concept to Life…

Winston-Salem’s innovation district is fueled by accelerator programs that help new and existing startups establish themselves and get connected.

Greater Winston-Salem, Inc.

Greater Winston-Salem, Inc. is committed to making Winston-Salem just that—greater. Its focus is to help businesses root, grow and flourish in Winston-Salem. This assistance includes relocation guidance, networking, talent development and more. Its tiered membership system means that businesses can select the benefits package that best fits their needs. Benefits include exclusive discounts, job listing and event publicity, committee participation, social media consulting, customized sponsorship opportunities and investment partnerships.

A new investment fund they’ve pioneered, the Winston-Salem Partners Roundtable (WSPR) Fund, is specifically focused on spurring the growth of Winston-Salem-based startups, preferably within the health care, technology, data analytics and virtual reality industries.

Forsyth Tech Small Business Center: Accelerate

Forsyth Tech’s Small Business Center focuses on helping small retail and service-type businesses succeed through reliable information, counseling, events and connections. Their five-stage business accelerator program includes weekly meetings, quarterly showcases, educational events and guidance on creating business and marketing plans.

Center for Creative Economy: Velocity

Hosted by the Center for Creative Economy, Velocity is a creative accelerator designed to assist startups in the art, design and advertising industries. The 10-week annual program accepts up to ten teams in a cohort and includes training materials, workshops, mentors and business planning.

New Ventures Accelerators

New Ventures offers specialized startup accelerator programs across industries, including health, wellness & nutrition, AgTech and B2B software. They’ve also partnered with Winston-Salem’s HUSTLE to run an industry-agnostic program for minority founders. Programs run for 12 weeks and focus on growth in full-stack startup communities.

Venture Winston Grants

Venture Winston Grants is a program committed to disruptive innovation. Ten to 20 early-stage startups in the nutrition & agriculture technology, aviation & aerospace and health & well-being fields receive a $50K grant and support, investor connections and resources.

A startup founder shaking hands with someone.
A group of startup entrepreneurs in a conference room.

If You’re Looking for Advice…

Never hesitate to reach out to other self-driven individuals. Winston-Salem’s startup ecosystem makes it easy to connect with other entrepreneurs and professionals experienced in starting (and successfully managing) a new company:

  • Forsyth Tech Small Business Center is a resource center that hosts networking events, provides courses on a variety of business skills and offers mentoring for entrepreneurs and business owners.
  • Winston Starts is an incubator that helps startups get on their feet and scale following an incubator or accelerator program.
  • Agile City Winston-Salem is a nonprofit innovation consultancy that brings groups together to build ecosystems focused on meaningful change, economic impact and creative solutions.
A group of entrepreneurs listen to a talk on startup acceleration during an event hosted in the Innovation Quarter.

If You’re Looking for Capital…

Partner up with a venture capital group and “show me the money!” Given North Carolina’s successful startup track record, there’s a long list of groups to choose from when it comes to project funding in the southeast:

  • Five Points Capital
  • Salem Investment Partners
  • Blue Point Capital Partners
  • Plexus Capital
  • Carousel Capital
  • Frontier Capital LLC
  • The Halifax Group
  • Intersouth Partners
  • Ridgemont Equity Partners
  • River Cities Capital Funds
  • Pappas Ventures
  • Venture
  • Wells Fargo Technology and Venture Banking

Join Forces in Winston-Salem

Developing a concept from scratch is a huge undertaking, but you don’t have to take that bull by the horns on your own. Winston-Salem’s innovative and collaborative nature continues to make it a desirable destination for startups looking for a network and support that will help them grow. Let us know what you do, what you need and what you’re looking for, and the Innovation Quarter will help you find the resources you need to get plugged in.

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.