We are thrilled to announce that Flywheel Coworking is relocating to a new, spacious, beautiful, inspiring, and easily accessible new home. We hope that you will share in our excitement as we grow into this new phase of developing the entrepreneurial economy here in Winston-Salem and beyond. Please read our recent press release for more information and stay tuned in to our website, Facebook, and twitter for frequent updates to our moving schedule and developing programs.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Flywheel and Center for Design Innovation Announce Program Partnership Flywheel to Move to CDI Building in 2017 Winston-Salem, NC—December 19, 2016— Flywheel and the Center for Design Innovation (CDI) announced today that they have entered into a new program partnership. Flywheel will be moving its coworking innovation space, member community, events and programs to the CDI building located at 450 Design Ave, Winston-Salem in the south district of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. Flywheel will be moving from the 525@Vine building to the new location in late January.
“The synergy between CDI and Flywheel is amazing,” said Peter Marsh, cofounder of Flywheel. “It’s an opportunity we just could not turn down. CDI offers our members a perfect complement of experimental research spaces, including rapid prototyping, flexible multimedia and computer labs, and the ideas and expertise of faculty across all disciplines. All of these build capacity for both the academic communities and Flywheel’s community of freelancers and startups to put to use to launch and grow their businesses. Flywheel and its Foundation are focused on entrepreneurial skill development and resources for startups. Design innovation is central to our values.”
The Center for Design Innovation is a partnership in education, research and design between WinstonSalem State University, the UNC School of the Arts and Forsyth Technical Community College. It serves as a catalyst for transforming North Carolina’s discovery economy. A world-class research center bridging the art and science of creativity, CDI incubates and inspires disruptive enterprise, design and discovery in education, design, arts, sciences, computational thinking and new cultural, social and creative frontiers.
UNCSA Chancellor Lindsay Bierman said, “We’re excited for Flywheel to continue incubating ideas, hatching startups, and launching successful companies at CDI. Our partnership will foster artistic and entrepreneurial exploration to grow the local economy and fulfill Winston-Salem’s potential to become a leading cultural capital in the South.”
“This is an exciting opportunity to develop a dynamic entrepreneurial hub in the city,” WSSU Chancellor Elwood L. Robinson adds. “As part of our Strategic Plan for 2016-2021, we are striving to provide all our students with exposure to high-impact experiences and creative thought. Through this partnership, our students will have exposure to innovation and entrepreneurship, which I hope sparks within them a desire to be the next change agents, pioneers, and thought leaders.”
“The addition of the Flywheel community and the Flywheel Foundation programs to CDI will energize a new intersection of the community and academic institutions’ networks,” said Brad Bennett, another cofounder of Flywheel.
“We have already built great relationships with the Wake Forest Community Law and Business Clinic and the undergraduate entrepreneurship programs at Wake Forest and Salem College”, continued Bennett. “This adds a whole new level to our program partnerships.”
UNCSA Interim Provost David English, who begins his tenure as Provost on January 1st, said, “It was a little over two years ago that Flywheel launched its coworking community space in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. They have supported several faculty members like our own David Smith with the Design and Production faculty, who runs his business, 2ndLifeTech, out of Flywheel. We are pleased that at CDI Flywheel is enhancing its offering of faculty and student membership to the UNCSA and WSSU community. It will be a great way to fully engage these university populations in turbocharging the community’s startup ecosystem.”
Corey D.B. Walker, dean of the College of Arts, Sciences, Business and Education at WSSU, said, “As an anchor institution in CDI, this new partnership is consistent with Winston-Salem State University’s commitment to collaborating with corporate and community partners to spur innovation in creating a dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem in Winston-Salem. This partnership will only strengthen the relationship between our city’s two UNC constituent universities as well as our relationship with Wake Forest University, Salem College, and Forsyth Tech as we all work to enhance the City of Arts and Innovation.”
Flywheel will occupy the entire upper level of the CDI building and will equip and operate a conference center and event space available for institutional and community use. The new location in the south district of the Innovation Quarter offers closer colocation to WSSU and UNCSA and improved logistics and access for events.
“It’s a straight translation of our current space to the new location,” added Marsh. “We will carry over all of the current member benefits and plans, but with all of the other activities in the building now available for creative use and collaborative projects. It’s a gorgeous building with incredible views of downtown and the Innovation Quarter. And it will have free parking for all of our members and events. With the upcoming opening of the Research Parkway link to Interstate 52, the access will be fantastic for members and guests. Logistically, it’s a great move for us.”
In its first two years in the Innovation Quarter, Flywheel has built a community of 142 members, representing more than 80 companies and a mixture of startups, consultants, freelancers and independent knowledge workers. More than 17 companies have formed at Flywheel either organically or through the Flywheel New Ventures inception stage investment fund and accelerator.
“Flywheel and CDI both have played central roles in the Innovation Quarter’s mission of driving economic growth and building vibrant community,” said Eric Tomlinson, president of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. “This unique partnership will serve to strengthen our innovation ecosystem.”
Startups that are now scaling and adding jobs include Threat Sketch (cybersecurity) One Donation (charitable giving platform), Leading Role (VR content studio), Ampogee (operational excellence for production workers) Fluree (business operating system platform), and MexXoom (healthcare payment identity).
“Entrepreneurial startup space and experimental maker space are keys to a thriving innovation culture, and this opportunity to strengthen both will be a welcome step forward for Winston-Salem,” said Dan Cramer, executive vice president, Wexford Science & Technology.
Adds Peter Marsh, “We have over 21 startups we are nurturing in our developmental pipeline currently. We will be launching the second New Ventures Business Challenge in January 2017 and increasing our number of accelerators next year. The move to CDI helps tremendously with capacity building for these economic development activities.”
About Flywheel and The Flywheel Foundation:
Flywheel LLC is a 10,000 SF Coworking innovation space that provides a community workspace concept for startups, consultants and freelancers in the form of membership plans tailored to their needs, network resources, and programming focused on technology skills and business development. Flywheel hosts numerous Foundation activities focused on startups including the New Ventures Accelerator, Idea Tap, Startup Weekend and Startup Grind fireside chats, powered by Google for Entrepreneurs. The Flywheel Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting a healthy entrepreneurship ecosystem through education, research, events, innovation challenges and business accelerators.
About the Center for Design Innovation:
The Center for Design Innovation is a multi-campus research center of the University of North Carolina system. Part laboratory, part workshop and part convening space, the Center is a visual gateway to a newly emerging Winston-Salem and the greater Piedmont Triad Region. Located in the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, the Center is a new kind of incubator engine powering people across a region long known for its innovations in manufacturing and the arts, the Center works broadly with academic, business, and local community organizations along with its founding partners Winston-Salem State University; UNC School of the Arts; and Forsyth Technical Community College. Recent research projects include: scientific visualization and communication with immersive music and media, Motion-Capture research in group behavior patterns, dynamic techniques and collaborations for interpreting cutting-edge scientific research for laypeople. Recent workshops/courses include Design Thinking for young women, NCPTA 3-D design and prototyping competition, and Motion Capture for WSSU and UNCSA students.
The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is America’s first state-supported arts school, a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in dance, design and production, drama, filmmaking, and music. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system when it was formed in 1972. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.
Winston-Salem State University fosters the creative thinking, analytical problem-solving, and depth of character needed to transform the world. Rooted in liberal education, WSSU’s curriculum prepares students to be through leaders who have the skills and knowledge needed to develop innovative solutions to complex problems. Founded in 1892, WSSU is a historically Black constituent institution of the University of North Carolina with a rich tradition of contributing to the social, cultural, intellectual, and economic growth of North Carolina, the region and beyond. Guided by the motto, “Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve,” WSSU develops leaders who advance social justice by serving the world with compassion and commitment.