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Introducing Brilliance Lab

WSSU and Brilliance Lab Logos


Winston-Salem State University is engaging in an exciting new venture that will provide the opportunity for every student to graduate with both a degree and a business plan. In April, we are officially launching Brilliance Lab, an entrepreneurial incubator that will allow minority entrepreneurs and prospective entrepreneurs to engage the lab for funding, mentorship, and training.

Made possible in part by the Mackenzie Scott gift, the Brilliance Lab offerings will be available for current WSSU students, faculty, staff, alumni, and members of our surrounding community.

Brilliance Lab will be one prong in our multi-faceted approach to entrepreneurship. In conjunction with our academic programming and work from the Simon Green Atkins Community Development Corporation and the Center for Design Innovation (CDI), we will begin laying the foundation for WSSU’s approach to emerging as a viable and sustainable innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. 

As we look to inspire new entrepreneurs, we must go beyond education and provide the financial backing and business support that so many minority businesses lack. The funding we provide will fill this void and can be used as start-up capital or for expanding current businesses. We want to be the most significant source in the southeast to launch minority-owned businesses, putting WSSU and the city of Winston-Salem on the map as a national hub for entrepreneurial growth.


The first opportunity for you to support WSSU’s Brilliance Lab is to join us for the inaugural year of the WSSU Innovations Festival. The festival will be held April 4-8 at various sites across the city. This multi-day event will be a full display of WSSU’s entrepreneurial prowess. We’ll feature faculty research, student genius presentations, a business pitch competition, and provide opportunities for the entire Ram family to connect with our business community. Our annual Scholarship Week presentations and festivities will also be celebrated during the festival. 

You are cordially invited to learn about Brilliance Lab in person at our official launch on April 4, 2-4 p.m. at Sparq in the Innovation Quarter. Find more details and event registration here. We encourage you to engage with as many events during the festival as your schedule will allow.

Over the next few weeks, you’ll begin to hear more about how you can engage with the lab and encourage your students and colleagues to do the same. We are committed to unleashing the genius of every student while becoming a major catalyst for minority entrepreneurship.

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