Wexford Science & Technology, LLC today announced a new minority- and women owned business initiative to be located in the Innovation Quarter and run by an independent local non-profit or government agency. The aim of the initiative will be to encourage, support and accelerate local small businesses and start-ups founded by women and minorities.
Under the initiative, Wexford will provide $200,000 in funding support to the chosen organization over a two-year term, in addition to 1,400 to 1,600 square feet of office space inside the Bailey Power Plant. Non-profits and government agencies whose missions align with the goal of supporting minority- and women-owned businesses can apply to lead the initiative.
An independent advisory council will review all applications based on the merits of each response and the council’s assessment of the business acceleration opportunities presented by each program.
The members of the advisory council include:
- Derwin Montgomery – Winston-Salem City Council
- Evan Raleigh – City of Winston Salem
- Allan Younger – Forsyth Technical Community College
- Alyson Francisco – Salem College
- Stephen Rice – American Communities Trust
- Nicole Thompson – Downtown Durham, Inc.
- Will Partin – Wexford Science & Technology
- Graydon Pleasants – Wake Forest Innovation Quarter
“Our community must be intentional about creating inclusive spaces and opportunities for the entire city,” said Council Member Montgomery. “When the city council incentivized the re-development of the Bailey Power Plant, it did so with the caveat that there was a need for space to be created to foster minority-owned business within this new creative ecosystem. This incubator space is but one step in that direction.”
The program will be housed in the Innovation Suites in Turbine Hall, part of the Bailey Power Plant, which opened in February. The Innovation Suites now house several startups, as well as the operations and Thursday Gatherings of Venture Café Winston-Salem, making it the ideal location for an initiative of this nature.
“Wexford has worked to develop strong, collaborative relationships with the City of Winston Salem, Forsyth County and the Innovation Quarter,” said Will Partin, Senior Director of Development for Wexford Science & Technology. “We believe initiatives which support a more inclusive economy are crucial both in our community as well as across the country, and we are excited to do our part to encourage that here in Winston Salem.”
Non-profits and government agencies interested in organizing and managing the accelerator can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.