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Looking ahead to what’s next

After three years operating Venture Café Winston-Salem as part of the Venture Café Global Network, the VCWS board has chosen to shift focus. The founding team will transition to a new organization, called Agile City, and will launch the Venture Winston Grants, expand the reach of the ACCESS Center for Equity + Success, and offer innovation consulting. 

During the current COVID crisis, the Venture Café Thursday Gathering, held in Bailey Power Plant within Innovation Quarter, transitioned to a fully virtual environment with the expectation to return to a hybrid of physical and virtual programming post-COVID. Given the founding organization’s shift in programming focus and, in the midst of the COVID pandemic, it is critical to reassess the Winston-Salem ecosystem and the role of a program like Venture Café’s Thursday Gathering. The Venture Café Global Institute is currently considering the continuation of Venture Café programming within Winston-Salem with local leaders. During this reassessment period, the Venture Café Thursday Gathering program will be on hiatus. 

With a mission of connecting innovators to make things happen, Venture Café has been a good fit within Winston-Salem, and Winston-Salem has been a good fit with the other ten member cities of the Venture Café Global Network around the world. We are optimistic this work will continue, as it is vital to increase global awareness of the great innovation happening in Winston-Salem and the opportunities that exist in the region. However, we want to be prudent and ensure the programming still meets the needs of the community. Since the launch of the Venture Café Thursday Gathering in Winston-Salem, the event has attracted over 19,000 attendees from the innovation local community, making it the largest and most diverse weekly gathering of the innovation ecosystem in the region.

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