GLOBALLY IN 2019, VENTURE CAFE WELCOMED OVER 100,000 VISITORS!

0 +
Total Unique Visits
Since 2017
0
Unique Visits
in 2019
0
Free Educational
Sessions

350+
Programming Partners

54,000
Hours of Connection

2ND* MOST DIVERSE VENTURE CAFÉ GLOBALLY

“I feel like Venture Cafe is a connector, you know, I’ve met so many people and new colleagues now that I have worked with or that I know I’ll be working with and most of them I’ve met either directly at Venture Cafe or through someone that I have met a Venture Cafe.”

— E.A. Green, Founder and CEO of Opin Media Lab

OUR FREE, WEEKLY THURSDAY GATHERINGS SERVE AS A PHYSICAL NEXUS FOR INNOVATORS AND ENTREPRENEURS TO CONNECT, COLLABORATE, BRAINSTORM AND BRING THEIR NEXT BIG IDEAS TO LIFE.

Almost one-third identify as Startup Employees or Founders, showing that we have risk-takers, innovators and decision-makers in our audience every week.

OUR COMMUNITY

NC TRIAD IN THE NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT

Ranked "4th Best Place in the US to Start a Business in 2020" by Zen Business

Named an Emerging Innovation Hub by NationSwell

Listed in Inc. Magazine’s Surge Cities Index article

Ranked a Top 10 City for Expected Job Growth in Q1 2020

Named a Global Leader in Creating Innovation Districts by the Brookings Institute

Tied with Charlotte, NC and Austin, TX as “The Best Place In The Country” for Rate of Small Business Growth

Local startup Fluree closes Second Largest Seed Round in NC history

Ranked a Top 20 City for millennials looking to buy a house

“I think Venture Cafe gives young people especially that push and that support system because we’ll be the first ones to say that starting your own business and leaving your corporate job can be really terrifying, but with the support of Venture Cafe we’ve had people say, ‘It’s not so bad. You’re going to be OK.’ It really filled that void for us.”

— Maggie Pendalwar, COO, Proodos

AMERICA AT WORK, BUILDERS AND BACKERS

We were so excited to be part of the kickoff for America at Work: Builders and Backers – a major storytelling venture, backed by WalMart, that will highlight the boldest ideas and creative problem solvers emerging from communities across the country. Follow the journey, and learn about builders and backers in our own community, here www.buildersandbackers.com.

ALIGNMENT, AMPLIFICATION, ACCELERATION

We're proud of the work we've done with our partners to elevate our ecosystem.

NEW COMPANIES launched by New Ventures and Velocity Accelerators in 2019

GROWTH STAGE COMPANIES in Winston Starts

BUSINESSES LAUNCHED MAIN STREET
in the last 2 years by Forsyth Tech Community College Launch Challenge

ENTREPRENEURS
served through Launch Greensboro programs

SWEET READS- WINSTON- SALEM POLICE PROGRAM AS SOCIAL INNOVATOR

Third grade reading levels set the number of beds in prison. After seeing this chilling correlation between literacy and crime, the Winston Salem Police Department and the Winston-Salem Police Foundation decided to get directly involved. Rather than passing the buck onto parents, schools or communities, the police developed an innovative solution to impacting child literacy rates in the communities they protect and serve: The Sweet Reads Literacy Program.

 

“We have an obligation to help our children be successful. The more successful children we have, the more possibility of having a successful adult who contributes in a positive way to society and reduces our crime rate.”

— Chief Catrina Thompson, Winston-Salem Police

START, BUILD, SCALE, GROW

“As a non-proft organization, we exist to serve entrepreneurs and innovators to connect them with one another and with the resources they need to start, build, scale and grow their businesses.”

“Venture Cafe has definitely helped me just be inspired. Venture Cafe is an experience I tell everyone about, especially if you’re an entrepreneur, or even if you’re just trying to find your space in life or trying to find your way. I feel like Venture Cafe is the perfect space to go to learn things, to just express yourself, to just be in a space with inviting people.”

— Christen Funderburk,
Founder, Lizzie’s All-Natural Products

THE POWER OF EQUITY + SUCCESS

“Without ACCESS, we would not be able to fulfill contracts because we needed funding. They eased our hearts and minds and allowed me to sleep at night…and gave our business the ability to keep growing, to keep moving, and really gave us a boost that we would not have received any place else.”

– Vincent Brown, Statesville
Painting & Maintenance

Opened in June 2019, the ACCESS Center for Equity + Success provides contract matching, certification support, capital and resources to high-potential minority-owned and woman-owned business enterprises (MWBE’s). ACCESS Center serves MWBE contractors, suppliers, and service providers who have existing businesses.

LOOKING FORWARD

A multi-year economic development initiative with a global startup competition at its heart, primarily within five strategic, future-focused sectors:

“We’ve been to a lot of different Venture Cafes, but the one that they have here in Winston-Salem is great because it’s always a reflection of the community. You have people from all over the world who have discovered and come to Winston-Salem.”

– Kevin Clark, Founder and CEO, Point Motion

IN 2020, THE VENTURE CAFE GLOBAL NETWORK IS EMBRACING THEMATIC MONTHLY programming AROUND THE UNITED NATIONS’ SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS.

Check out what's coming up at VCWS!

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE? HELP ENSURE THAT WE CONTINUE TO PROVIDE FREE PROGRAMS THAT ARE ACCESSIBLE TO ALL BY SUPPORTING VENTURE CAFE - EVERY DOLLAR COUNTS!

  • ACCESS Center for Equity + Success
  • BB&T Leadership Academy
  • Business High Point
  • Center for Creative Economy
  • Center for Design Innovation
  • Center for Private Business (WFU)
  • City of Greensboro
  • City of High Point
  • City of Winston-Salem
  • Collab
  • Downtown WS Partnership
  • East Greensboro Now
  • Elon University Doherty Center
  • Elon Law
  • Flywheel
  • Forsyth County
  • Forsyth Tech Small Business Center
  • Goodwill Industries
  • Goler Community Dev Organization
  • Greensboro Chamber
  • Guilford County
  • HQ Greensboro
  • Hustle Winston-Salem
  • Kenan Institute for the Arts
  • Kernersville Chamber
  • Launch Greensboro
  • Leadership Winston-Salem
  • Lewisville-Clemmons Chamber
  • Mixxer
  • NC Biotechnology Center
  • NC IDEA
  • New Ventures Accelerator
  • North Carolina A&T
  • Nussbaum Center
  • Piedmont Business Capital
  • Piedmont Triad Partnership
  • Piedmont Triad Regional Council
  • Plant Seven/HP 365
  • Salem College CWEB
  • SBTDC
  • SG Atkins Comm Dev Org
  • Soy Emprendedor
  • The Forge
  • Triad Minority Expo
  • UNC Greensboro
  • UNC School of the Arts
  • Venture South
  • Wake Forest Innovation Quarter
  • Wake Forest Law
  • Wake Forest University
  • Wake Forest School of Business
  • Wake Health
  • Wexford Science + Technology
  • Winston-Salem Business Inc.
  • Winston-Salem Black Chamber
  • Winston-Salem Chamber
  • Winston Starts
  • Winston-Salem State Univ

*Many individuals also support entrepreneurial efforts in our ecosystem

  • ALLEGACY CREDIT UNION
  • BB&T LEADERSHIP ACADEMY
  • COOK MEDICAL
  • JAVARA/GREATER GIFT
  • NC BIOTECHNOLOGY CENTER
  • PIEDMONT BUSINESS CAPITAL
  • WAKE FOREST INNOVATION QUARTER
  • WOMBLE BOND DICKINSON, LLP

Thank you to our Program Sponsors who have gone above and beyond to financially contribute to our Thursday Gathering programming. We appreciate your support!

PARTNERS

DATAMAX FOUNDATION
L. DAVID MOUNTS FOUNDATION
TRUIST FINANCIAL
WAKE FOREST INNOVATION QUARTER
WEXFORD SCIENCE + TECHNOLOGY

CITY OF WINSTON-SALEM
FORSYTH COUNTY
THE MILLENNIUM FUND
WOMBLE BOND DICKINSON, LLP

We’re incredibly thankful for our Partners who provide critical funding and operational support that ensures Venture Cafe
Winston-Salem remains accessible and open to all!

THE GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

Venture Cafe began in 2009 with an experiment by the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) to test a simple hypothesis: if we bring together innovators and entrepreneurs to engage in spontaneous conversations and semi-curated programming, they’ll come up with never-before-imagined innovations to make the world a better place and generate economic growth. And, it’s working.

VENTURE CAFE CAPITAL DAYS (MIAMI)

In October 2019, Venture Cafe Winston-Salem participated in a special collaboration with our partners at Venture Cafe Miami to bring a cohort of female entrepreneurs to Capital Days Miami – a big step in opening up access to capital for many women and minority founders in our community, and a great look ahead at the possibilities for leveraging the Venture Cafe Global Network in the future. Check out what some of the founders had to say about their experience, and what we’re excited to bring to the Winston-Salem ecosystem.

“We as Executive Directors in this global network are trying to create more connectivity between our sites, and this was one of the first opportunities we’ve had to really collaborate with our friends here in Miami. I also wanted to have a better personal understanding of what investors are looking for as we at Venture Cafe start to look at how we are attracting startups to Winston-Salem with economic development incentives. I want Winston-Salem to be known as one of the best places to grow a startup for women and minorities in the entire country.”