Flywheel and Center for Design Innovation Announce Program Partnership
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. 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, technology and design between Winston Salem 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 inspires disruptive enterprise, design and discovery to generate original work in education, arts, sciences, computational thinking and new cultural, social and creative frontiers.
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.
Chancellor Lindsay Bierman
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.”
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.
Interim Provost David English
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 on the south side 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 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.
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).
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.”
December 19, 2016