Spring of 2017, the following was announced in local newspapers and the business journal: 

“On May 4, 2017, all six colleges and universities in Winston-Salem announced their commitment to participate in an entrepreneurial grant program aimed at supporting entrepreneurship among their students and alumni. Each institution will provide financial capital to selected persons committed to starting their enterprises in Winston-Salem…

Salem will create an award fund to provide financial support to its current students and alumnae for a startup venture in Winston-Salem. The fund will strengthen Salem’s current entrepreneurship program.”

How students, alumnae, administration can participate in Salem’s program:

  • The goal is to help launch and/or scale enterprises that deliver economic and/or social value to and within the Winston-Salem community.
  • Applicants may be either Salem students or alumnae.
  • The program is a request for funds in the form of a grant – it is not a competition.
  • The process in short will consist of 1) application, 2) acceptance of consideration, and 3) granting or denial of funds.
  • Applicants will be chosen for consideration based on the feasibility of their idea, strength of their proposal, and agreement to participate in entrepreneurship education and mentoring (outlined below).
  • Decisions of grants will be made by an Emerging Entrepreneurship Fund (EEF) Advisory Board consisting of Salem alumnae and administration. The EEF Advisory Board will have full discretion over whether or not to grant funds, and the amount and timing of funds if granted, based on their assessment of idea validity, probability of venture success, magnitude of economic and/or social impact, and the stage of readiness and capability of the entrepreneur. 
  • Salem’s Professor of Entrepreneurship will administer the process.

Process:

  • Applications can be made at any time – find the link to apply below.
  • Applications will be reviewed by the Salem EEF Advisory Board once per quarter – a board will be established and consist of Salem administration and alumnae with relevant professional experience.
  • The EEF Advisory Board will either accept or deny the application and promptly notify the applicant.
  • Applicants that are chosen for consideration of a grant can immediately begin working with Salem’s Professor of Entrepreneurship to ensure that all requirements of the program are met (outlined below) and schedule timing of launch plan and pitch to the EEF Advisory Board.
  • Decisions to either grant or deny funds will be made promptly (no more than one week) after the pitch.

Requirements:

  1. Education

    Students must participate in the entrepreneurship program at Salem College. At minimum students must take Foundations of Entrepreneurship, ENTR120 (cross listed with Social Entrepreneurship NFPM 140). Applicants are strongly encouraged to go through the full Entrepreneurship Concentration (for Business majors) or Entrepreneurship minor programs. Students may also need to participate in local entrepreneurial boot camps and entrepreneurship labs as recommended by Salem’s Professor of Entrepreneurship.

    Alumnae must participate in accepted Entrepreneurship programs offered within the local community (or show proof of equivalent business experience):

    • New Ventures Startup Accelerator, offered by Flywheel.
    • Forsyth Tech Launch Challenge (either participation in the Challenge or participation in its programming) offered by the FTCC Small Business Center (SBC).
    • Creative Startup Accelerator, offered by the Center for Creative Economy.
    • Hustle Startup Accelerator, under design by Hustle Winston-Salem
    • Some combination of educational elements as recommended by Salem’s Professor of Entrepreneurship and approved by Salem’s EEF Advisory Board. Such educational elements may involve local boot camps or labs provided by the FTCC SBC, Hustle Winston-Salem, Flywheel, New Ventures Winston-Salem, Kenan Creative Lab, etc.
  2. Mentoring – each entrepreneur under consideration must have an active mentor who must be approved by Salem’s EEF Advisory Board. The mentor will be instrumental in helping the entrepreneur test their ideas, make resource connections, and challenge critical decisions.
  3. Plan – a business plan is required and must include three year projections on financial sustainability, amount of funds requested, and an outline of how the funds will be used. Creation of the plan should be a goal of and simultaneous with the educational requirements listed above.
  4. Pitch – entrepreneurs will be required to make a ten-minute pitch to the EEF Advisory Board when ready.
  5. Updates - Participants will be required to provide periodic updates to Salem’s Professor of Entrepreneurship during the consideration process, and if granted funds, provide same over the three-year plan period.