Innovation Quarter will further make itself a hub of entrepreneurial innovation with its newest venture, which is set to launch later this year.

Sparq, a small business launchpad, will help entrepreneurs and small businesses connect with local resources and opportunities, Innovation Quarter announced last week.

Innovation Quarter’s latest addition will be housed on the second floor of Bailey Power Plant, a 75,000-square-foot mixed use space at the heart of downtown Winston-Salem’s innovation district. Sparq will launch later this year, with a grand opening planned for early 2022.

An initiative in partnership with Founded Communities, Wake Forest School of Medicine and Wexford, Sparq will allow new companies to be introduced to Innovation Quarter and all it has to offer. Sparq will be a primary feeder for startups to participate in iQ labs, such as the iQ Healthtech Lab and the iQ Community Lab.

“We know from research and community conversations that there has long been a barrier of entry to people who want to participate in everything happening here at the Innovation Quarter,” said Damiqa Golden, Community Development Director for Sparq. “As the new front door to the Innovation Quarter, Sparq will help small businesses and entrepreneurs can get connected, access resources and find space that will help them succeed.”

Some of the resources Sparq will offer to both its members and the greater community include office hours with attorneys, accountants and marketing professionals; pitch practice with venture capital companies and individuals; connections to mentors and accelerator and grant programs; and networking events.

Sparq will feature these resources and programming for free to the community, as well as a paid membership option that unlocks more amenities. The paid membership will include co-working space, private offices and suites, shared kitchen space and a bar that serves coffee, espresso and beer.

“Creating a platform for innovators to connect, grow and thrive is central to our mission here in the Innovation Quarter,” said Graydon Pleasants, head of development for Innovation Quarter. “Sparq will provide access to a more robust platform of programming, resources and space, and we look forward to watching this space within Bailey Power Plant become even more activated.”

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Sparq will be housed on the second floor of the Bailey Power Plant and plans to open later this year.
(CJMW Archiecture + Interior Design)