Friday, October 19, 2012

PTRP innovation among top priorities for Eric Tomlinson

People may know Eric Tomlinson as the president named this summer to head the Piedmont Triad Research Park, but for him, it’s his second title — chief innovation officer for Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center — that’s most important.

“When I was approached for the job, it was president of PTRP, and oh, by the way, chief innovation officer of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center,” Tomlinson said. “But actually the job is chief innovation officer, of which part is to develop the park.”

That change speaks to a shift in focus for the research park, which includes 145 developable acres next to the heart of downtown. The park is expected to support more than 6 million square feet of building space as it’s built out.

Earlier this year saw the opening of Wake Forest Biotech Place, followed by the announcement that Winston-Salem-based Inmar will relocate its 900 workers to the park. Employment in the park is expected to approach 2,000 by the end of 2013, with hundreds of thousands of renovated square feet coming online.  Read more.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

November Frameworks Session
Access Your Readiness To Acquire External Resources

November 1, 2012

Wake Forest Biotech Place
575 N Patterson Ave., Winston-Salem, NC 
 Click Here for directions and parking information.

Anyone interested in entrepreneurship, considering commercializing new ideas, planning a new venture, working in a startup, developing new initiatives at larger companies, interested in exploring the potential of ideas with others, or improving their entrepreneurial and commercialization skills.

A monthly educational and networking series organized by the
Wake Forest University New Venture Incubator. There is no charge to attend Frameworks! seminars. Refreshments will be served.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Creative Corridors unveils twin arches theme for Winston-Salem's major interchanges

When the Salem Creek Connector roadway is built in 2016, two overlapping "twin arches" might soar dramatically over the connector's juncture with U.S. 52.

Crosswalks, sidewalks, landscaping and ornamental lighting will make the entire connector more appealing for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians as they find a safer, more direct route to downtown from Winston-Salem State University and Salem College.

That's the vision that was presented Tuesday in designs unveiled at a meeting of the Creative Corridors Coalition. It's a nonprofit that has been tapping community residents for how to influence the look of the roadwork that the N.C. Department of Transportation and the city of Winston-Salem will do in the next several years around downtown.

The work will include the replacement of 11 bridges along a downtown stretch of Business 40.

Read more.

BB&T to Add 1,700 Jobs

BB&T Corporation will lease the former American Express call center in Greensboro to create a new office to handle administrative and back office tasks, a move that could create as many as 1,700 jobs over the next five years.

The Winston-Salem-based bank said it plans to eventually have as many as 2,500 employees working at what will now be called BB&T Triad Corporate Center.

The office should open by the end of the year, with 50 to 100 employees.

The company's headquarters will remain in downtown Winston-Salem. Read more.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Attracting Investors Through Winning Grants
October 25, 2:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Joint School of NanoScience and NanoEngineering

Potential and Confirmed speakers:
John Ujvari, SBIR expert, SBTDC
NC Biotech Center Grant Expert (asked)
Dave Rizzo, NC IDEA, $50k grant and VC fund 
Ashok Mendirrata, Southeast Tech Inventures
Eric Dobson, Angel Capital Group, TN
Andy Dreyfuss, Piedmont Angel Network

Two Optional Seminars and Investor Showcase
(RSVP by email for optional seminars
1 PM, Invite Only Investor Showcase for 6 NC companies 
2 PM, Creation of One Page Grant Proposal Outline
3 PM, John Ujvari walk through of SBIR resources
 Info and registration link (no charge):

Capital Connects!  is coming up and presents a great opportunity to meet with potential investors.   It also provides the opportunity to pitch to potential funders.  The event takes place on Thursday, November 15 from 5-7:30 p.m. at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering in Greensboro.   

If you are interested in pitching, please submit an Executive Summary by October 20 through the Capital Connects iStart platform.  Read more here.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Winston-Salem gets big feature in US Airways Magazine

Winston-Salem's attractions and economy will be featured in a 98-page section of the October edition of US Airways Magazine.

It is the second time in less than three years that Winston-Salem has been selected as the magazine's featured destination. The section showcases more than 24 attractions, cultural arts and theater organizations, and educational institutions.

Stephen Mitchem, publisher of Pace Communications Inc., said the feature was expanded to include "all areas of innovation at the request of individuals in the private sector of Winston-Salem."

"This is, by far, the largest destination feature we ever published in the magazine and double the size we anticipated," Mitchem said.

Richard Geiger, president of Visit Winston-Salem, said the "positive feedback we received from the first feature certainly fueled us. These features are powerful and intriguing vehicles that tell millions of travelers why they, too, should experience Winston-Salem." Read more here.  

Join us tomorrow at
Our Annual Community Celebration!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 @ 5:30pm
Wake Forest BioTech Place (575 North Patterson Avenue)

This past year, Creative Corridors has been actively engaging the community and working alongside the City of Winston-Salem and the North Carolina Department of Transportation to collaborate on the design of future roadway projects – most notably, the Salem Creek Connector project.

At this Annual Community Celebration, Creative Corridors and the City of Winston-Salem will unveil the design concepts for Winston-Salem’s newest roadway (construction begins next year). For more information about the Salem Creek Connector project, please visit the NC DOT website.  RSVP

Friday, October 12, 2012

Piedmont Triad Research Park Moving Right Along with New Project

A gift from R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. could become an integral part of Winston-Salem’s research park, benefiting the city’s biotech industry and its burgeoning downtown revival.

In 2010, Reynolds gave the Bailey Power Plant, formerly used to generate energy for its downtown facilities, to Piedmont Triad Research Park. In August, the necessary environmental abatement work began in preparation for turning the plant toward its future use. And though that use isn’t fully determined yet, it will most likely involve retail, restaurant or entertainment uses.

“There are plans for retail and restaurants around this part of the district, and this could serve as an anchor to draw in consumers, as well as serve people living in the area,” said Eric Tomlinson, the park’s president. 

The area around BioTech Place — which itself served as various times as a Reynolds tobacco plant, a warehouse and a machine shop — is being transformed. And though it will largely consist of office, retail and lab space, the plan has always been to include residential and entertainment uses. It’s all part of the “work, live, play” concept.  Read more.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Winston-Salem's Small Footprint NCTA21 Award Finalist!

Congratulation to Small Footprint -- the custom software outsourcing company located in Winston-Salem's Piedmont Triad Research Park has been recognized as a Finalist for the NCTA 21 Award in the Small Company Category. NCTA recognizes companies and individuals who have characterized excellence, innovation and leadership in 21 categories.  Read more.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Forsyth Tech Shows Off Transportation Technology Center

Forsyth Technical Community College showed off its new Transportation Technology Center at 4255 N. Patterson Ave. to the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce’s Technology & Innovation Series Tuesday.

Using funds from a $15.7 million Forsyth County bond issue, the school converted the old Pinebrook Shopping Center into a 139,000-square-foot facility with dozens of classrooms and computer laboratories and open bays for teaching all aspects of transportation technology.

The new center will “create jobs for the people in this community,” said Dr. Gary Green, Forsyth Tech president. He said the long-term vision was to provide “all transportation technologies.”

Green listed five programs as currently available:

  • Automotive Systems Technology.
  • Collision Repair and Refinishing Technology including sheet metal and new finishes)
  • Heavy Equipment and Transportation Technology for large trucks and over-the-road tractors.
  • Recreational Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Technology.
  • The Richard Childress Race Car Technology program. This center will feed students into the $6 billion auto racing industry.
Students are on three levels – in certificate programs to meet the specific state certification  requirements of automotive sub-specialties  diploma and two-year associate degrees. The campus also has English and math and other traditional college classes – many of which are transferable to a four-year college degree and various remedial programs such as English as a Second Language.

Graduates will find good jobs at auto dealerships, trucking companies, RV dealerships and other sites. The school has sophisticated computer equipment to check whether auto realignment on repaired cars meet factory specifications or what a car will look like after repainting.  Special painting booths enable state-of-the art repainting of cars, and one instructor said that such auto painters typically make more than $100,000 a year.

Chris Harvey, Technical Training Manager for Southeastern Toyota, a five-state region including the Carolinas, said Toyota is partnering with Forsyth Tech. “We have to start  with good people,” he said, and backing the program at Forsyth Tech will assure a supply of technicians for the 20 Toyota dealerships in the area.

“The students get the necessary skills to get a job,” Harvey said.

He said that Forsyth Tech was one of the only T10 level certified programs in the Southeast. Many of the cars in the shops at the school were Toyotas.

Joseph Sakowski from Snap-On Tools said his company was also a partner with Forsyth Tech, and serves as an East Coast train-the-trainer site for Snap-on.

U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-5th) also was present and gave brief remarks.

Time Magazine Touts Wake Forest Helmet Research

Scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center are Making Football Safer
At Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, researchers are collecting data from youth players wearing helmets equipped with sensors that can record the direction and force of a hit.  This information will be paired with brain scans and cognitive tests of players taken at the beginning of the season and could ultimately be used to build better commercial helmets.  Read more.