Growing Your Startup: Winston-Salem’s Resources

Find the Support Your Startup Needs in Winston-Salem

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

If you’re Looking to Test, Refine, Scale and Deploy…

Talk to iQ Healthtech Labs. This partnership hub strategically pairs businesses looking to advance in the healthtech space with the world-class intellectual anchor institutions in the Innovation Quarter. Experts sit down with innovators to understand their products, projects, goals and needs to facilitate mutually beneficial partnerships that are the best fit for the company. Our anchors are always looking for innovative growth, while our entrepreneurs need the footprint and establishment of an anchor to scale successfully. It’s a concierge partnership service that you won’t find anywhere else.

Innovation Quarter convergence meeting.
A Wake Forest University researcher working in a lab.
Wake Forest engineering students measure water pressure inside a pipe in a hydrodynamics lab.

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.

See Where You Fit In

Winston-Salem’s startup ecosystem isn’t just for startups. Contact us to learn more about available resources and upcoming programs to help your venture grow.