by Daniel Schere

Flywheel comes to 525 Vine | @Daniel_Schere

Young professionals without an office often turn to places that are conducive to business, like their home or Starbucks. But now they have a third option.

On June 30, three local corporations banded together to create a 12,000 square foot co-working space in the 525@Vine building in Winston-Salem’s Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. They included the planning firm Workplace Strategies, the communications agency Wildfire and Storr Office-an office supplier that is based in Raleigh and Greensboro.

Flywheel features a combination of open and enclosed offices along with several conference rooms that can be used for business meetings or luncheons. There is even a bar with snacks and drinks for members.

Chief Knowledge Officer Monica Doss said the business partners felt that this kind of space would be an important asset for the Innovation Quarter.

“The Wake Forest Innovation Quarter was looking at the idea of establishing a co-working spot so they got together and instead of having it done through the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, they collaborated together,” she said.

Doss said that rather than acting as an incubator space for startup companies, Flywheel is simply a space that fosters a healthy work environment.

“The idea is to serve a lot of needs and to create a social network as well as a highly productive working environment,” she said.

“A co-working space really is more member-driven. It’s based on the idea of membership. And the idea is that there are three things that you really focus on. One is building your community around the entrepreneurs and people who are there. The second is really the idea of high productivity, so when you come into the space you’ve got everything you need whether it’s audio conferencing or you need to have a meeting or whatever. The third thing is really flexibility.”

Doss said Flywheel’s team space allows groups to accomplish short-term projects which would not necessarily require the use of a permanent office, but would need a certain amount of space and materials for a couple of months. Currently an independent film crew is working on a project there until the end of August.

“They don’t need a leased office space,” she said.

Community Manager Jennifer Sandelli said membership starts at $20 for one day, then goes up to $300 for reserved office space, and is $600 per month for enclosed space. She said members have access to the space 24 hours a day, seven days per week except for those that only pay for one-day access.

Flywheel also features common areas such as its Windchime space–an area by a panel of windows with soft chairs and tables set up for computer use, along with wireless internet.

“It’s here for the taking,” Sandelli said. “We have a lot of people that just love to use the lounge.”

There are two large conference rooms that seat 10 to 12 people and two smaller ones that seat four to five. All of these rooms come with a monitor that can be used for presentations.

“Instead of having AV hookup, we actually have something called air mode,” Sandelli said. “You type in the IP address and it just shoots the tablet top or phone up onto the screen, so you’re not tangled up in wires or anything like that.”

All of the rooms come with whiteboards and conference phones, and one contains videoconferencing technology. Sandelli said Flywheel will also provide a discretionary amount of food.

“We can set up coffee, tea and water,” she said. “It’s all complimentary. But then as far as catering we can just recommend someone.”

Sandelli said Flywheel’s modular enclosed offices come fully furnished and are usually set up for one person, but can accommodate up to four.

“It’s really neat. It has such a fun feel to it,” she said.

She said the beauty of the team space is its flexibility in being able to welcome in a variety of different groups for various purposes. She said so far the film company is the only organization that has signed up to use the space, but two other companies expressed interest.

“I love that they’re in there, because it really shows what the area is used for,” she said. “You get your own separate desk but you still have room to collaborate and everything but you’re not out in the open.”

In one corner of the space is the “IQ” court–a basketball court that can also function as an area for speakers, seminars or just brainstorming.

“This is a place to unwind,” Sandelli said. “Get the juices flowing. It’s pretty great.”

In addition to the court, there is also a pool table and a dartboard located in the bar area.

Sandelli said there is often a perception that co-working spaces are more in line with what younger generations want, but so far they have seen people of all ages use the space.

“We’ve been told this is a great place for Millennials and things like that, but the interest we’ve seen has been all across the board,” she said. “It’s not just people in their 20’s that want a place to hang out or something.” !