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VENTURE WINSTON GRANTS

Like many mid-sized cities, our hometown of Winston Salem is transitioning from a legacy manufacturing economy to the new digital, innovation and knowledge economy. To help speed our transition, Agile City led a three-year initiative to identify regional assets, research associated future-focused sectors, build a startup recruitment model, partner with a local accelerator and incubator, raise funding and launch a repeatable, scalable program.   

 

Now we’re expanding our model to other mid-sized cities to help them do the same. Contact us to learn how to replicate our success in your community. 

 

THE PROGRAM 

Through a grant competition, the Venture Winston Grants program seeks to create startup density in five future-focused sectors – aviation (drones and eVTOLS), health tech, AgTech and FoodTech, creative enterprise, and AR/VR. We offer startups equity-free grants of $50,000 and a year-long residency at a local incubator where they will receive hands on mentoring, industry connections, programming, investor introductions and community knowledge. 

 

RESULTS 

In our first year, we received 1200 applications from all 50 states and 22 foreign countries. Nearly 70% of applications were from founders who identified as a minority and 75% were from outside NC. Our marketing campaign yielded 50,000 web site visitors and almost 20 million social media impressions.  

 

We worked with a team of 50+ evaluators, from industry experts and investors, to politicians and other startup founders, to review the applications and narrow the field from 65 semi-finalists to 15 finalists.  

 

THE LATEST 

Check out Venture Winston Grants to learn about our finalists, pitch event and see who the winners are. 

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Winston-Salem North Carolina City

BY THE NUMBERS

16

NON-EQUITY, $50K GRANTS SECURED FOR FIRST YEAR OF OPERATION

5

FUTURE-FOCUSED SECTORS IN WINSTON-SALEM

20

STARTUPS PROJECTED TO MOVE TO WINSTON-SALEM EACH YEAR, FOR THE NEXT 5 YEARS