Flywheel Announces Second Location in Davidson, NC
Winston-Salem, NC—March 6, 2018—Flywheel announced expansion plans today with the opening of a new location in Davidson, NC. Flywheel will operate a coworking innovation space and a social commons area totaling 9,700 square feet in the newly renovated Jay Hurt Hub for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Davidson College.
The Flywheel operation is part of a 23,000-square foot renovation by the College of an historic finishing mill in the Davidson Cotton Mill complex. Known as The Hurt Hub@Davidson, the building is situated just two blocks from the heart of campus and within Davidson’s central business district. The renovation is expected to be completed on July 1, 2018.
“We are thrilled that Davidson College selected Flywheel to bring our coworking innovation concept to Davidson. In Winston-Salem, we have built a successful model that cultivates a vibrant member community and accelerates innovation and startup formation,” said Flywheel cofounder Peter Marsh. “It’s exciting to bring that model to a special place like Davidson.”
Unique among liberal arts institutions, The Hurt Hub@Davidson will include classroom and innovation lab spaces for students and faculty, research, project-based learning and entrepreneurship activity. There are four suites for student-led startups, open areas for team and project work, VR and analytics labs, along with collaboration, meeting and social spaces. A large outdoor patio will be shared by the College and Flywheel communities.
“We see real value for Davidson students in combining campus and community in The Hurt Hub,” said Raechelle Clemmons, Davidson’s Chief Information Officer, who oversees the project. “Students can extend their educational experience by working alongside and learning from our region’s entrepreneurs. Established companies, startups and other ventures can also benefit from the resourcefulness of Davidson’s talented students. Flywheel is a critical partner in enabling entrepreneurs to be able to work in The Hurt Hub, and in offering innovation programming that will benefit students and entrepreneurs alike.”
The Flywheel space has capacity for more than 100 seated members at any given time, including 15 private offices, a large open plan coworking area, event spaces, meeting rooms and amenities for members. For those interested in learning more and touring the facility, The Hurt Hub@Davidson will be holding informational open houses on March 15, April 19, and May 17. Two anchor companies, Rocus Networks (a cybersecurity firm) and Quoin, Inc. (a software engineering firm with offices in Boston and Washington, D.C.) already occupy finished office suites in The Hurt Hub@Davidson. Eleven additional companies have already committed to offices in the coworking space, including:
- LaunchLKN (a nonprofit network supporting entrepreneurship)
- Versame (early childhood education technology)
- Acta Wireless (consulting and early stage investments)
- Lead Point (online lead generation)
- Omnistream (content development and management)
- Enformia (knowledge data management)
- Nocivity (idea incubator for tech companies)
- Everblue Training (online sustainability training)
- Proctorfree (secure online proctoring)
- Integration Point (global trade management software)
- Impact Radius (digital marketing)
“I am really looking forward to the shared space in The Hurt Hub,” said Versame cofounder John Boggiano. “As a tech cofounder, I feed off the energy, inspiration and shared learning. My hope for The Hurt Hub is that it can really accelerate technology and innovation in the Lake Norman area. Personally, I am excited for more day-to-day interaction with other similar stage companies.”
“Davidson’s intentionally designed mix of academic, research and private sector uses is a perfect fit for Flywheel,” according to Flywheel cofounder Brad Bennett. “We create and nurture rapidly scalable businesses. The dense co-location of Lake Norman area tech companies and startups in our space surrounded by the Davidson programs is a proven winning formula.”
Another key partner in the project is LaunchLKN, which will base its operations and programs out of the Flywheel space. Established as a nonprofit in 2017, LaunchLKN is a collaborative community of entrepreneurs, mentors, educators, and community leaders, dedicated to sharing knowledge and motivating growth of technology-enabled startups in Lake Norman area.
“The Hurt Hub@Davidson has already generated a buzz around our growing LaunchLKN community,” said Mark McDowell, LaunchLKN founder and a well-known investor in technology-driven companies. “Our members recognize the critical need for collaboration in every phase of building a thriving company. The Hurt Hub will provide a much-needed physical space for this kind of interaction, but more important, it will create opportunities for learning and an exchange of knowledge between students, professors, and entrepreneurs. Lake Norman has a wealth of expertise that in some cases is hiding — I think The Hurt Hub is going to be the entry point to things we never thought possible.”
Davidson alumni investments paved the way for the project, with alumnus and business leader Jay Hurt ’88 committing $5 million to support innovation and entrepreneurship efforts through the repurposed building. The Van Deman Innovation Lab for Davidson students, faculty and alumni was made possible with a $1 million gift from alumnus Ed Van Deman ’69, CEO of Financial Navigator, Inc., and his wife Dr. Nancie Fimbel.
“The Hurt Hub is a first-of-its-kind for a liberal arts college, and was designed to serve Davidson’s students and the campus community, as well as the regional innovation and entrepreneurial community,” said Clemmons. “When students, faculty, entrepreneurs, industry intrapreneurs, technology talent, and investors intersect in a shared space, serendipitous encounters are bound to happen. We believe the region is strengthened by the entrepreneurial ecosystem that we hope to convene and catalyze at The Hurt Hub.”
Founded in 2014, Flywheel has built a community of 169 members at its first location in Winston-Salem’s Innovation Quarter. Members include 45 startups, 80 service providers, investors, mentors, consultants, freelancers and independent knowledge workers. More than 28 companies have formed at Flywheel either organically or through the Flywheel New Ventures inception stage investment fund and accelerator.