Soul in the Game

This week marks the second anniversary of our move to 500 West Fifth Street, a building vertically stacked with support resources for entrepreneurs. It’s a significant economic development engine for the city of Winston-Salem and the Triad Region.

This is our third location in the city, doubling the size of our space with new amenities and enhanced infrastructure. As was the case with our previous moves, our loyal membership base moved with us and enjoyed the inspiring views, the convenient parking, and the enhanced design that cultivates community among our members.

Our operating model has proven to be resilient through times of disruption and volatility. When we moved to 500 West Fifth, we had no clue that Covid was round the corner, a second major Black Swan event in just over ten years. We were planning a big open house event that like so many others got canceled. The last two years have been a constant adaptation that is still evolving as we dance with the Swan.

We’re working to make sure that as the Flywheel network grows it actually thrives in volatility and navigates the likely uptick in systematic disruptions that we will be facing economically, socially, environmentally.

You should check out “Incerto” by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a five-book series about the fragility of our complex world and how to become “Antifragile”, the title of the fourth book in the series. The fifth book is “Skin in the Game”, and the source of the title of this post.

When we opened our first location at 525 Vine in the Innovation Quarter, we had a conventional coworking business model – but that changed quickly when we identified a more purpose-driven model that cultivates community on multiple dimensions. Not to mention figuring out our own cost-effective unit economics that works for entrepreneurs

As we have grown and learned what works in markets of this size, we have completely changed our business model – we now design and operate coworking innovation spaces that focus on developmental support and capital access in collaboration with institutional partners and non-profits that care about equal access to entrepreneurship.

We’ve been supporting entrepreneurship since 2014, and we’ve learned a lot on our journey. Flywheel is a sustainable self-financed service provider built on a solid community membership that has stuck with us through thick and thin.

We created the Flywheel Foundation in 2015 to deploy our mission-oriented programming, events, accelerators, and entrepreneurship services. The Foundation leverages the Flywheel space infrastructure and now serves three regions, with more on the way as we build out our network of locations. Take a look at the Services menu on our website to see how much we have developed in concert with the Foundation.

But Flywheel is stronger than ever in no small part because of our members. Most of them are all-in on their business endeavors and serious about their work-life balance. They don’t just have skin in their game. Most of them have their soul in the game.  They care about each other and if the last two years are any evidence, we can get through just about anything together.

Thank you, members. Thank you, dedicated Flywheel Staff. Thank you, community partners, that have their soul in the game.