Entrepreneurs and Start-ups

If you’re looking to start your start-up here, find answers to some of your biggest questions.

How do I get connected to other entrepreneurs and resources?

Whether you’re new to Winston-Salem or looking to begin a new venture, there are variety of ways for you to get plugged into the community. A number of organizations offer networking and community-building activities, such as Venture Café Winston-Salem, HUSTLE Winston-Salem, Swerve, Flywheel Coworking, Winston Starts and MIXXER. Regardless of your interests and needs, there’s a community here for you.

How do I start turning my idea into a business plan?
  • One of the best ways to turn your idea into a plan is through an accelerator. Accelerators can take you from idea to business plan or minimal viable product. Winston-Salem has several accelerators, including the four below, each with its own specialty:
  • Forsyth Tech’s Launch Challenge helps retail and service-type businesses get off to a solid start.
  • Velocity, powered by the Center for Creative Economy, is an accelerator for creative start-ups in art, design and advertising.
  • New Ventures Accelerator provides assistance to scalable tech start-ups.
  • The Pitch Please competition provides opportunities for both investor-ready and idea-stage companies to pitch their ideas before judges and connect to ecosystem partners.
Where can I find space for my start-up?

The Innovation Suites in Bailey Power Plant offer start-up space with flexible terms to help your company grow. Other organizations such as Flywheel Coworking and Winston Starts also provide space for entrepreneurs getting on their feet.

Where do I get help to grow my business?

The entrepreneurial ecosystem of Winston-Salem is constantly growing and developing more resources for entrepreneurs and start-ups. The Forsyth Tech Small Business Center provides courses on a variety of business skills and mentoring for entrepreneurs and business owners. Winston Starts is an incubator that helps post-concept businesses get on their feet. If you’re looking for a little advice from someone who has been there before, Triad Connects provides a platform for entrepreneurs to connect in real-time with local advisors.

Small and Established Businesses

Whether your business is local or relocating, the Innovation Quarter has resources to help your company thrive.

What kind of space is available for my start-up, growth-stage or established small business?

The Innovation Quarter has a range of space options from private offices up to 3,000-square-foot suites and larger 5,000- to 20,000-square-foot offices for growing companies. In particular, the Innovation Suites of Bailey Power Plant offer flexible six-month and one-year terms for start-ups and growth stage companies and include amenities like conference room space for tenants.

The entrepreneurial ecosystem of Winston-Salem provides opportunities for both networking and mentoring for companies here. Entities such as Venture Café Winston-Salem and the Innovation Quarter host networking and tenant events to help companies plug in and find collaborators and clients. Other organizations offer opportunities for mentorship, such as Triad Connects, Forsyth Tech Small Business Center, the ACCESS Center for Equity + Success, the New Ventures Challenge and Winston Starts.

What talent pools and workforce development pipelines exist to help grow my company?

From workforce trainees to MBAs to PhDs, our knowledge community is anchored by five distinct colleges and universities with access to even more institutions region-wide. In addition to these traditional educational institutions, Winston-Salem’s blossoming entrepreneurial ecosystem and a host of programming from business accelerators to code camps are shaping an adept workforce pipeline.

Where can I get help and resources for growing my business?

The ecosystem of Winston-Salem provides unique resources for promoting the growth of companies. Winston Starts is a competitive incubator that helps businesses scale up by providing space and resources. The ACCESS Center for Equity + Success assists minority- and women-owned businesses thrive by providing a continuum of services to open doors for MWBEs.

What venture capital is available in the Piedmont Triad area?

As North Carolina increasingly becomes a haven for start-ups, there are a variety of venture capital groups statewide, regionally and locally.

Among them:

The Aurora Funds Inc
Ridgemont Equity Partners
Five Points Capital
River Cities Capital Funds
Blue Point Capital Partners
Salem Investment Partners
Plexus Capital
Pappas Ventures
Carousel Capital
Southeast Interactive Technology Funds
Dioko Fund
Southeastern Angel Capital Organizations
Frontier Capital LLC
TAO Venture Capital Partners
The Halifax Group
VentureSouth Piedmont
Intersouth Partners
Wells Fargo Technology and Venture Banking

Site Selectors and Brokers

If you’re looking for a spot for a large company, get a jump on your clients’ questions.

What land/space is available in the Innovation Quarter that fits my client’s requirements?

The Innovation Quarter has space and land available to fit a variety of companies’ needs, including a 28-acre greenfield site—nestled at the intersection of two major four-lane highways—with a capacity of 2.4 million square feet. With infrastructure like redundant fiber and redundant power in an urban setting, the Innovation Quarter is not only shovel-ready, but also has a built-in community to help your company thrive.

What talent pools and workforce development pipelines exist to help my company grow?

From workforce trainees to MBAs to PhDs, our knowledge community is anchored by five distinct colleges and universities with access to even more institutions region-wide. In addition to these traditional educational institutions, Winston-Salem’s blossoming entrepreneurial ecosystem and a host of programming from business accelerators to code camps are shaping an adept workforce pipeline. For more information on the workforce in Winston-Salem, contact Walter Farabee of the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce.

What state-wide support exists for businesses and corporations in North Carolina?

A number of organizations are dedicated to creating a thriving business ecosystem state-wide, including:

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