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The 336 | Venture Cafe Blog


Like Winston-Salem, Pittsburgh rose to fame as a manufacturing hub, churning out tons and tons of steel and earning the city the nickname of The Iron City. Today, Pittsburgh is widely recognized as a tech hub, anchored by Carnegie Mellon University, a thriving startup scene and a surprisingly international and tantalizing foodie culture.

It’s home to Google, Amazon, Facebook and Uber, who decided to test their self-driving cars there, placing the city at the forefront of the autonomous vehicle revolution.

So what can we learn from their transformation? How did they re-invent themselves into a tech destination for the most innovative companies in the country?

Pittsburgh used to be known as the home of US Steel and Carnegie Steel, where a young man named Thomas Mellon started a small business that turned into an empire. The downtown skyline is dominated by a glass castle, complete with turrets, home to Pittsburgh Paint and Glass (PPG).

Not unlike a small, Southern city we all know and love that has a miniature Empire State Building and a proud heritage of making furniture, textiles, tobacco products and more.

But here’s the big X Factor that Pittsburgh has and we don’t. A global research university that’s pumping out thousands of robotics experts, computer science engineers, artificial intelligence experts and software developers. Carnegie Mellon University boasts a world-class robotics lab, a state-of-the-art computer science faculty and facility in a building named for Bill Gates, all in a city that’s throbbing with energy and high quality of life scores. CMU introduced the first machine learning department and tested a self-driving car way back in 1984.

Where in the Triad is this class of tech innovation and research being done? What would it take to replicate their model? Here are a few ideas – build on them and make them better:

  • A satellite campus of NC State in Winston-Salem
  • A well-funded and equipped technology research + development center jointly run by local colleges/universities and companies
  • Launch and recruit more tech startups to the area

What are your ideas? Start a conversation in our LinkedIn group here.


HUNTING UNICORNS: THE NC COMPANIES VALUED AT $1 BILLION OR MORE                         Posted 16 March 2018

It’s one of the magical, mystical dreams of every innovator or entrepreneur – seeing their company hit the $1 billion mark. For some of us, thinking of that number is practically impossible. First, we have to hit the $1000 a month goal. And that’s exactly where two NC unicorns started, too.

And did you know that a group of local angel investors got in on the ground floor on one of them?

There are two NC-based unicorns – AvidXchange based in Charlotte, and Carbon3d founded in Chapel Hill. AvidXchange, valued at $1.40 billion, automates invoicing and bill paying and successfully raised $300 million last year, the most of any NC company. Carbon3d, valued at $1.74 billion, is a 3D printing company that started in a garage with used parts purchased off eBay. Today, it has a lucrative contract with Adidas and is poised to disrupt the additive manufacturing space.

Even though neither is located here in the Triad, one has a local connection. In its early days, AvidXchange received an investment from Piedmont Angel Network, an investment that continues to this day. And a profitable one at that. Back in 2015, the investment resulted in a $1.5 million payout.

So here’s the moral of this short story: never put limits on your dreams – they can grow past your wildest imagination. And don’t ignore investment opportunities in your own backyard- there’s great talent and promise growing right here. It’s time to grow our own unicorn.

Posted 13 March 2018

What’s the next great milestone in computing? It’s called quantum computing and all the big players are racing to achieve it. From IBM to Google, Microsoft to Intel, scientists are unleashing the next wave of computing that will leave today’s supercomputers choking on their virtual dust.

So what is it? Here’s a short YouTube Video that helps explain the coming revolution.

Last week, Google announced a major breakthrough: a 72-qubit quantum computer called Bristlecone that’s taken the next step toward “quantum supremacy” and is pushing the field closer to true usefulness.

So here’s the simple explanation of the head-scratching physics that make quantum computing so exciting. Scientists have learned that subatomic particles have the surprising ability to exist in two places at the same time. In classic computing, these particles have been assigned to be 1s or 0s. In quantum computing, the basic building blocks are called quantum bits, or qubits, and they can store far more information than just simple 1s and 0s. This is promising to power the next advances in cryptography and security strategies, optimizing search, modeling complex molecules, dissecting complex problems and improving artificial intelligence.

So how far away are these supercomputer killers? Well, progress is happening fast. Just last November, IBM announced they’d created a 50-qubit quantum computer, only to be ousted last week by Google’s Bristlecone chip breakthrough. But we’re nowhere close to true commercialization. As one Wired magazine journalist described it, “The baby hasn’t even take its first steps yet.” But that hasn’t stopped Google from staking a bold claim to have commercially available quantum computers in the next five years.

As always, here’s to what’s next!

Posted 09 March 2018

In the past several years, research by a Stanford professor Carol Dweck has reached the top levels of progressive companies, universities and non-profits alike. Her acclaimed book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, shot up the ranks and is now required reading at places like High Point University.

Have you noticed that it’s not always brains and talent that bring success?

That, in fact, sometimes those very things stand in the way of success?

Did you know that praising brains and talent can actually jeopardize accomplishment and self-esteem?

Then you need to know about the growth mindset.

Dweck describes two belief systems or mindsets that influence achievement and success – the growth and fixed mindsets. Those who “believe their talents can be developed through hard work, good strategies, and input from others have a growth mindset.” These people believe their abilities can be developed through hard work and effort. This mindset is about the love of learning and the resilience that’s vital for accomplishment.

Those who believe their talents are fixed traits have a fixed mindset. These folks spend their time “documenting their intelligence or talents instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success – without effort. They’re wrong.”

Her research shows that those individuals and organizations with growth mindsets tend to achieve more, put more energy into learning and have more engaged and empowered employees. Those with a fixed mindset report more cheating and deception to get ahead.

Now keep in mind that no one is just one mindset – we’re all on the spectrum somewhere – so don’t get hung up on trying to be a “pure” mindset.

Dweck advocates that leaders encourage and praise the effort that goes into the work, not just the results. Do results matter? Of course. But, she argues, it’s just as important to reward the learning, progress and processes that produce real achievement – things like asking for help, trying new approaches and strategies and recovering from setbacks. Organizations that embrace a growth mindset encourage risk-taking, knowing that sometimes sometimes those risks won’t work. But the resulting lessons learned, emphasis on collaboration instead of competition and opportunity for growth are worth the effort.

Here at Venture Cafe WS, we encourage risk-taking, personal learning, resilience and learning through experience. What are the ways your company expresses the growth mindset?

If you want to read more, here’s a great article from Harvard Business Review

posted March 6, 2018

Maybe you’ve noticed that we’re big believers in the power of eyeball to eyeball communication. But we’re also big believers that conversations and creative collisions happen throughout the week, not just at our Thursday Gatherings. So we’re pleased to roll out a new way for our community to grow, to encourage each other, and get connected with resources.

Our new LinkedIn group is a great way to:

  • Pose a burning question or use your experience to answer someone else’s questions
  • Find a mentor or expert or share your lessons learned with a local innovator or entrepreneur
  • Post job openings or resumes
  • Continue conversation
  • Find presentations from Venture Cafe WS speakers

Join the Venture Cafe LinkedIn Group


Posted 27 February 2018

From the halls of elementary schools to the labs of graduate institutions, the production lines of advanced manufacturers to new practice facilities, robotics are taking center stage in the Triad.

  • Local use of industrial robotics have doubled in the last eight years, according to a national study, and the Triad ranks in the top 30 metro areas for advanced manufacturing. Burlington-based powerhouse LabCorp is doubling their robotics capacity while local plants for Siemens Energy, Technimark and Fusion3 help make up the nearly 1400 robots deployed across the Triad today.
  • We have a new practice facility – Mounts Robotics Center – that students can use to develop and test their robots. WS Mixxer, our new maker space, is open for tinkerers and builders of all interests, including robotics.
  • Check out this amazing video of a robot cat being built by a WFU professor of physics and computer science.

We’d love to feature your robotics program, students, or work stories at Venture Cafe – sign up here to share your experiences, lessons learned and successes with the region’s leading innovators and entrepreneurs.


Posted 13 February 2018

Over the last nine months, Venture Cafe has travelled between eight different locations, highlighting different areas of our community where diverse ideas and connections have been shared.  On Thursday, February 22, we will move to our permanent home in Turbine Hall at the newly renovated Bailey Power Plant. The Power is YOU.

Winston-Salem is a community that continues to reinvent itself; we have moved from a from manufacturing town, to a banking town, to a town that embraces innovation and entrepreneurship. The arts continue to ignite our souls and touch our hearts, and the restaurants, breweries and local businesses give the needed spark to our city’s identity.

The people of Winston-Salem are the generators, the transformers, and the fuel. We continue to create, connect, collaborate, and transform. Venture Cafe will be the turbine that will connect, create and support the power of innovation.

Turbine Hall is where new ideas, new connections, and new ventures will bring the building back to life. It will be an exchange of power from the past to innovative future of our community. The energy behind the power, is you.

Please join us for The Power Move on February 22, from 5pm-8pm at Turbine Hall.

Winston-Salem Journal Article about the new Bailey Power Plant


Posted 09 February 2018

Several weeks ago, we announced an exclusive benefit for the Venture Cafe community – free consulting services from the Wharton School of Business Undergraduate Consulting Club. And we’re pleased to announce that Adriana Granados of PixGift has been selected – she’ll start receiving expertise in the coming weeks and will report back to us in April about her experience, her progress and where she’ll be headed next.

Here’s our conversation with Adriana.

Q: What are the biggest challenges facing PixGift right now?
A: PixGift is challenging the status quo of online donations by designing emotional experiences and making it more creative, personal, visual and fun. If you saw the ads during the Super Bowl, you probably noticed that a large majority (especially Toyota) made reference to emotional experiences. Today’s marketing focuses on experiences. But in the online donation world, there are no personal and fun experiences; only cold donate buttons and progress bars.

Pixgift builds on the energy of images, the crowd and collaboration to take the experience of giving and giving-back to the next level. But even when we help people and organizations better connect with online audiences, build community and turn images into thousands of dollars for a cause, the challenge is to convey that a community is needed to make a difference.

A company should understand that running a community project is a great way to get exposure for their brand, a non-profit should understand that the power of the online channel lies in its ability to amplify the message, create donors in the future, and raise incremental funds. A donor should understand that there is power in togetherness.

Q: What do you think the experience with WUCC will be like? What are you most excited about?
A: Like any startup, financial resources and time are scarce. First, I’m looking forward to getting assistance from passionate students and experts who want to help my business. Second, obtain information, feedback and practices on marketing and data analysis. Third, being part of an intergenerational team in which each one of us is a part of a whole to make a difference. I know the time will be short for all the needs that PixGift has, but even if they can only complete one task from my long list, the help is invaluable and priceless.

Q: How has coming to Venture Cafe helped you in your business so far?
A: Venture Café has been the best experience I’ve had in Winston Salem. I’m not saying this out of courtesy, but because I really mean it. I found incredible friends, mentors and connections. Every Thursday is an opportunity to learn more from others, do something for others, listen to others, embrace innovation. It’s amazing how much Winston Salem has changed since I came to the United States 11 years ago and walked on 4th Street at noon without crossing a single human being for three blocks! Like PixGift, Venture Café is built on the energy of collaboration. I invite people to never stop coming as weaving a new fabric requires time and effort from each member of our community.

Congratulations Adriana!

Three Things About Women + Entrepreneurship
posted 06 February 2018

Women entrepreneurs and investors are grabbing the lead in the Triad this week from leading Silicon Valley fund founder Laura Deming on Thursday to Startup Weekend Women’s Edition this weekend. Plus we have an opportunity to join a national network of women entrepreneurs and investors who are slaying it at work and owning their financial futures.

Here are three things you need to know this week.

Thursday, Feb 8 @ 1pm
Laura Deming, Founder of the Longevity Fund, will speak at Forsyth Technical Community College’s SciTech Lecture Series. Reserve your seat here. Laura is a 23-year-old prodigy who heads a $23 million investment fund providing capital for companies disrupting the aging process. The lecture is free.

Triad Startup Weekend | Women’s Edition
February 9-11 | Hustle WS, Venture Cafe, Flywheel Co-working
Intensive weekend is designed to inspire more female leaders in the startup world and to connect more women to the amazing amount of resources and mentors available in our startup community. The hardest part of starting up is starting out! Register here.

Women Investing In Women | Ellevate
The number of women entrepreneurs, professionals investors is growing, so how do we support them and connect them with great futures? Check out Ellevate, a global network of advisors, investors and fellow professional women. There are chapters in RTP and CLT – so who’s up for starting one here in the Triad?


The Importance of #OpenSourceConnections
posted 02 February 2018

You hear a lot of conversation these days about open source software – that’s software that’s freely shared, easily modified and widely distributed.

And that got me thinking about how Venture Cafe is an open source community. Here’s why that’s important.

Like many startup ecosystems, there are incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces here in the Triad. And they play a vital role in launching small businesses. But they’re only open to a select group of entrepreneurs at a time. These cohorts are generally subject to an application process and select the founders who are ready for their program. Once in, they have access to additional resources, mentors, space, funding, etc. And that’s awesome – we need that.

But we play a different role in the local landscape. We’re here to serve everyone. In a cohort or not. Entrepreneur with a dream or successful small business owner who wants to grow. Visionary non-profit or large-scale industry that’s hungry for innovation. From idea to expansion, we’re here to help get you connected to the resources and people you need to succeed – including incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces! We’re open to everyone. We’re always free. And we’re always looking for more ways to serve our region.

If you have ideas about how we can further align, amplify and accelerate our local innovation economy, let us know. That’s what #OpenSourceConnections is all about.



#TriadTalks: Community Conversation About Our Tech Future
Posted 30 January 2018

At last week’s Thursday Gathering, we shared some videos from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) highlighting key innovation and technology trends. We then asked the gathered group three things: what was most surprising, how can we leverage this technology and how do we become a more tech-savvy community?

The conversation was spirited and the group didn’t want to stop talking at 8pm. Here are some key topics that had them so engaged.

  • The most surprising things were actually the things not mentioned: How will our current infrastructure (electrical grid, bandwidth, streets, etc.) handle the new demands placed on it by things like smart cars?
  • Leveraging the latest technology sparked conversation about Smart Cities. This growing movement is projected to be a $34 billion sector in just two years – and some developing countries are designing new population centers to be smart from the very beginning. What would it take for Winston-Salem to be a Smart City? Greensboro is already part of a national Smart City Challenge which includes the launch of an Open Data Portal, partnership with Waze to share traffic data, and an increase in mobile options for residents, including real-time transit tracking and a pay-by-smartphone parking option.
  • 5G is being heralded as the next revolution with exponentially faster speeds, practically no lag time. But when will it come to our neck of the woods? What does it mean for rural areas? Will be help equalize the technological divide?
  • To become a more tech-savvy community, the group suggested our city tap into our creative community for collaboration; that everyone become learners, not just kids, and learn abstract thinking; and in this age of STEM education, we should leverage our great history of art to emphasize STEAM.

The conversation will surely continue. What do you think?


Posted 26 January 2018

The NC Office of Science, Technology and Innovation recently released their Innovation Index report a few weeks ago and the results are decidedly mixed and there are reasons to be concerned about our state’s trajectory – unless we adopt some aggressive new strategies and take action.

So where do we stand?

Here are some of the key findings:
• Economic Well-Being: North Carolina has one of the fastest-growing populations in the nation, but the productive capacity of its economy is below average, with a higher-than-average share of its residents unemployed, with low wages and incomes, and/or living in poverty.
• Research & Development: North Carolina excels at academic research & development, but the total level of the state’s research & development, particularly that performed by business, is below the national average and insufficient to fuel and sustain strong economic growth.
• Commercialization: North Carolina organizations, particularly its academic institutions, generate significant intellectual property, but the overall levels of the state’s innovation commercialization activities are below the national average and must be stronger to realize the full economic and social benefits of that intellectual property.
• Innovative Organizations: North Carolina’s high-technology sectors are increasing in employment and have wages that are above the national average for all business establishments, but a higher-than-average share of the state’s business establishments and employment is not high-technology in nature and has average levels of entrepreneurial activity.
• Education & Workforce: North Carolina has a well-educated and well-trained science & engineering workforce at the more-advanced educational levels, but the overall educational attainment level of its residents is below the national average; additionally, while the average years of education of its recent in-migrants and the in-migration of college educated adults as a percentage of the total state population are above the national average, they are not sufficient to raise the state’s overall educational attainment level significantly.

Below average isn’t good enough – not nearly good enough. NC we have to do better. And we have to start right now.

January 23 2018

“Alexa, how many hits did my website get last week?”
“Siri, show me football scores.”
“Hey Google, where’s the closest dentist?”

More and more, we’re talking to our devices instead of typing. Thanks to advances in computers’ ability to understand and engage with conversational language – called natural language processing – we’re entering a new era of technology.

Experts predict that within the next four years, more than 66 million American homes will have voice assistant or smart speaker devices – that’s nearly half of all households. 50 million are projected to ship this year alone. At the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES), integrated voice assistants appeared in everything from refrigerators to cameras. They can even start your Jeep now.

So how can you leverage this new technology in your business?

Do you have a customer service department? Consider adding a chatbot to your web site driven by artificial intelligence and natural language processing. Big companies are already successfully deploying this to streamline operations, reduce human interface time and increase accuracy.

Do you have an app? Think about adding voice commands instead of buttons.

Do you receive product orders? Add a voice feature where customers can re-order their favorites using a spoken request.

Do you confirm appointments with customers? Instead of sending an email or leaving an old-school voice mail, automate those notices through smart speakers.

Alexa, what else can we do?


January 19 2018

Lots of great news for NC this week from RTP making the Amazon HQ2 short list to BB&T’s announcement that they’ll invest up to $50 million in fintech startups.

But what impacts will be felt here in the Triad?

RTP is too far away for many direct impacts, say local economic development officials. And Charlotte is positioning itself as a fintech hub, so BB&T will probably look at startups in many places other than its hometown.

So what will it take for the Triad to lure investments and tech jobs?

There’s no one silver bullet. It’ll take a systemic effort – public and private sector partnerships, workforce development, more local investment, a concerted effort to raise our profile in-state and beyond, more startup success stories, improved economic mobility, community buy-in, a culture of self-learning and many other variables.

Here’s what you can do. Don’t stop learning. Stay curious. Push your abilities. Adopt new technologies. Read. Embrace risk. Invest local. Support new businesses of every size and shape. Celebrate our wins but have real conversations about the work that remains to be done. Raise your hand. Disrupt the cycles that don’t serve us anymore. Forge new partnerships. Fight irrelevance. Re-create yourself. Shed old stereotypes. Demand better from yourself and those around you. Stay strong. Believe.

We’re working hard to help create a community built on these things. We’re glad to have you in it. Let’s get to work.


Jan 16 2018

I recently attended a talk given by a leading futurist and he characterized what’s next as the manipulation of atoms, genes, neurons, bits and qubits. Truth is, we live in an increasingly digital world where the near horizon promises to bring disruption like we’ve never seen before. And that can be scary…and it can be a time of immense opportunity if you’re prepared for it.

So what are we doing to prepare for it?

First, some context. In a recent study from The Brookings Institution, digitalization is defined as: “The process of employing digital technologies and information to transform digital businesses.” And these experts found that more American jobs require higher levels of digital skills, and that trend is only expected to grow. Tech skills are table stakes now – from spreadsheets to cloud computing, customer relationship management platforms to videoconferencing – it’s not just so-called “white collar” jobs that demand them, it’s what the authors call “good jobs.”

These good jobs pay more. Companies with higher adoption of technology show greater productivity and growth. Regions with skilled workforces are leaving others behind. In other words, digital fluency is the new currency.

But it also has unintended consequences as workers who perform rote work are essentially de-valued, contributing to increased inequality. Digitalization is changing the skills less advantaged workers need to acquire these good jobs. So we must move forward consciously and intentionally to ensure that no one is left behind in gaining digital skills as we seek to create a more innovative economy here in the Triad. Not kids. Not women. Not people of color. No one.

As the authors stated, digitalization “amplifies both opportunity and inequality and that means that getting a clear view on its workings is an urgent priority for workers, business people and policymakers who want to maximize the benefits of this trend and mitigate its harmful effects.”

So here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to talk about it here in this blog, we’re going to talk about it on Thursday nights and in every event we attend. We’re going to ask YOU to talk about it. We’re going to explore how to apply new ideas and innovations to our communities, organizations, and products. We’re going to show you some tools like design thinking, systems thinking and strategies for creating learning organizations. We’re going to encourage you to take on the role of self-learner and we’re going to connect you with the resources you need to move into the digital realm.

Welcome to 2018 – the Year of Digitalization. Let’s get started.


December 5, 2017 | Innovation + Financial Services: Four Questions with Allegacy Federal Credit Union

The Triad is home to thriving life sciences firms, but it’s also got a rich heritage in financial services including the headquarters for Allegacy Federal Credit Union. Tucked just off Stratford Road, their campus features a waterfall, local artists and resident geese and their commitment to supporting the local economy runs strong.

Allegacy serves more than 700 businesses across North Carolina, and like other financial services institutions, they’re retooling their offerings to reflect technology, the community and the new realities of today’s customers. We sat down with Tracy Myers, VP Business and Community Development, to discuss the future of fintech, and what’s happening right now in the Triad.

Q: What is Allegacy’s commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship here in the Triad? What are some examples?  

A: Our AllHealth Wellness Account rewards members for their active lifestyle. Our AllHealth Lite product offers small businesses an economical option to offer their employees a wellness plan. Healthcare Financial Advising is an innovative product that helps show people how much their health risk factors could cost them in healthcare costs in retirement. Our Interactive Teller Machines allow independent transactions like traditional ATM’s with added functionality of cashing checks and talking to a live person when needed.

Q: How do you think the financial services industry will change in the next 5 years?  

A: I think we’ll see more electronic options with a personal touch and products that combine financial services and financial education customized for the individual’s lifestyle.

Q: What are you most excited about right now that’s happening in the Triad?  

A: We are excited that the Triad is committed to expanding efforts in healthcare, education and biotech and we are thrilled that we are here to adapt and grow with those changes.

Q: Finish this sentence: In 10 years, Winston Salem will be….

A: The hub for cutting edge healthcare. Though technology will be at the forefront of how transactions are completed in many business sectors, Winston Salem will still retain its personable small town feel while harboring the technology of much larger cities. We will continue to be an integral part of the Triad and partner with the other Triad cities as well as Charlotte and the Triangle to create a place where the businesses of the future want to call home.

Thanks to Allegacy for being our Lead Sponsor for Biotech Night. We appreciate your support and community involvement!

June 16 2017 | Three Questions with NC Biotechnology Center

As we count down to Biotech Night @ Venture Café on June 22, we reached out to Nancy Johnston, executive director of the NC Biotechnology Center here in the Piedmont Triad for some context.

Here are some important things to know for us non-scientists:

  • You don’t have to have a PhD to be interested in biotechnology. It impacts anyone who wears a fitness device, gets a flu shot, eats vegetables that are more resistant to pests, or is interested in cleaner energy.
  • Biotech means good jobs. There are more than 650 companies here in NC, employing 63,000 workers and creating $86 billion in annual economic activity.
  • Right here in the Piedmont, there are 74 companies with nearly 9500 workers.

Q: Nancy, what distinguishes our region from other biotech hubs in the state?

A: In our 12-county region, we are diverse and continue to gain traction with new entrepreneurial advancements and existing company growth. There is no single story that defines the success of the Triad, but more of a sum of all parts from our growing cluster of biotech companies, the strength of our academic research institutions and the value of our research park and innovation communities. There are many reasons to be proud of our contributions to the state. Alamance County leads the nation’s small metro regions in research, testing and medical labs. We have the second highest concentration of Ag biotech companies. And we’re home to The Joint School of Nanoscience & Nanoengineering, an academic collaboration between NC A&T and UNC Greensboro, which also houses the only Zeiss Helium Ion Microscope in the southeastern United States as part of its Nanomanufacturing Consortium. And so much more…

Q: What’s new around our region when it comes to biotech?

A: Well, the region just attracted 400 high level attendees from across the state and beyond to celebrate biotechnology excellence at Triad BioNight 2017 with Keynote Speaker, Dave King, Chairman and CEO of LabCorp. The energy and enthusiasm of our advisory committee and key leaders have provided momentum for advancing innovation and job growth. And, right now there’s a lot of activity happening from the new pharmacy school at High Point University to the new Center of Excellence in Biotechnology at Alamance Community College. Workforce training here is among the most established in the country with the National Center for the Biotechnology Workforce at Forsyth Tech and continues to push new boundaries. The FDA just approved a device created by Cook Medical that helps newborns avoid surgery from esophageal birth defects. And the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) is leading a $20 million effort to apply advanced manufacturing to regenerative medicine. Regional innovation can be discovered in areas such as Ag Biotech, nanobiotechnology, diagnostics, regenerative medicine, biopharmaceuticals and medical devices. Just to name a few…

Q: What’s the most surprising thing about biotech here in the Piedmont to non-scientists?

A: People just don’t realize how much biotechnology touches their daily lives. For example, if you or a loved one have benefited from healthcare innovations to help treat, manage, or even cure disease, you have experienced the value of clinical trials conducted in our area. You are more than likely using products with oils extracted from novel crops made here. Or if you have a dog, chances are you’ve given your pet a pharmaceutical that was researched and developed here. If you’ve been to the NC Zoo, you’ve been to one of the hubs for animal science and horticulture in our state. Basically, biotechnology provides solutions to help heal, fuel and feed our community and the world. Biotechnology innovation can be found most everywhere and our region is one of the strongest in the state. In fact, we’re the second largest behind Research Triangle Park.

Join us to learn the stories behind the discoveries and the brains behind the business at Biotech Night @ VentureCafeWS on June 22. Thanks to the Piedmont Triad office of the NC Biotechnology Center for being our Lead Sponsor, and to NK Patent Law and the Greater Gift Initiative for their partnership.

See you at Biotech Night @ Venture Café at the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter!  Click here to check out the detailed schedule!