New Program to Address Entrepreneurs At All Stages

DURHAM & WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Flywheel, the co-working innovation space in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, is teaming with serial entrepreneurs, investors and The Startup Factory co-founders Chris Heivly and Dave Neal to fulfill a promise to create a center of gravity for entrepreneurship in Winston Salem.  The move delivers a vision for TSF that will significantly extend the impact of their program from the RTP region to the entire state of North Carolina.  Beginning this summer, TSF will operate one week Startup Boot Camps around the state starting in Winston Salem, which will both encourage and accelerate early-stage startup activity.



“Our expansion plans will substantially raise the profile of the state’s entrepreneurial scene, placing us in the top echelon of startup states,” said Chris Heivly, TSF managing director. “Founders, investors and community leaders alike will materially benefit from our program.”

TSF has operated for four years in Durham as the leading seed investor/mentor program in the Southeast United States.  TSF has invested in 35 companies, putting over $3.5 million into play, in which 75 percent of those companies originate from North Carolina, and the remaining 25 percent move to North Carolina for at least three months.  Follow-on investment capital is one of the more difficult challenges of a startup. However, 64 percent of TSF companies received funding totaling over $17 million, which is more than double the national average for entities like TSF.  In addition, ongoing TSF companies have added over 100 new hires to their staff.

“Our state has some of the most vibrant emerging entrepreneurial communities in the nation,” noted Dave Neal, TSF managing director. “We see a great opportunity in Winston Salem at Flywheel for building on the success of our current program.  By partnering with Flywheel and its initiatives, we can deploy the depth of our experiences and our extended network of successful advisors and experts to put some real muscle behind promising ventures. We expect to help launch 50 or more promising startups over the next five years just in Winston Salem.“

The first TSF Boot Camp at Flywheel will run from Aug. 3 through Aug. 7.  The TSF team, working with Flywheel and its community partners, is poised to bring decades of experience starting, scaling and coaching early-stage companies.

“Bringing The Startup Factory’s track record to The Innovation Quarter and Flywheel is an incredible opportunity for the area.  This bootcamp gives Triad Region startups the chance to get in the room for a week with the most successful accelerator in the Southeast. It's a door-opening opportunity." said Peter Marsh, Flywheel founder.

Companies can apply now for one of the limited spots in the first boot camp, which will run in Flywheel Winston Salem’s co-working space in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. Applications will be open until July 12 at www.thestartupfactory.co/bootcamp.

About Flywheel
Flywheel is a co-working space located in the heart of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter in downtown Winston-Salem. Since September 2014, the space has served as the community’s center of innovation and 24/7 workspace for people to come together to work on the fly, learn and share knowledge. Flywheel is the center of gravity for supporting startup companies and entrepreneurs in Winston-Salem and in the overall triad ecosystem. Its four core offerings provide the fuel that accelerates the success of business startups: technology workshops; How to Start a Startup series; Idea Tap Series that gives entrepreneurs access to an idea pitch process; and knowledge and networking-based events including Startup Grind powered by Google for Entrepreneur. Flywheel offers flexible short and long-term membership plans for open and enclosed spaces. Three locally owned companies have partnered together to bring Flywheel to the community: Workplace Strategies; Wildfire, LLC; and Storr Office Environments. To learn more about Flywheel, visit www.flywheelcoworking.com.

About The Startup Factory
The Startup Factory, the most highly capitalized technology accelerator in the Southeast, runs an intensive, three-month program customized for early-stage companies.  Startups receive up to $50,000 in seed capital, hands-on mentorship, and access to an ever-widening network of active angels, veteran startup founders, and experienced technology experts. All companies that successfully complete the program receive a convertible note of $20,000 to $150,000. www.thestartupfactory.co.

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