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Renaissance Fiber Announced as a Venture Winston Grants® Winner


The cleantech hemp fiber manufacturer is recognized as a promising startup capable of disrupting the sector.


Winston-Salem, NC (December 20, 2021) – Renaissance Fiber is proud to announce it has been recognized as an awardee of the inaugural Venture Winston Grants® awards, a $50,000 grant competition presented by Agile City WS. Venture Winston Grants® is a public-private partnership program within Agile City Winston-Salem aimed at bringing future-focused disrupters to Winston-Salem. Renaissance Fiber is a North Carolina clean-tech and ag-tech company that manufactures softened hemp fiber for the textile industry using an Ecologically Invisible™ degumming process. The company is committed to long-term carbon negative operations and a net-positive environmental impact.


Renaissance Fiber’s technology yields exceptionally clean and high quality hemp fiber from North American hemp farmers. The processing method is not only clean, but cost-effective and scaled, up to 10M pounds per year capacity today with more planned in the next year. Since the 2018 Farm Bill, Renaissance Fiber has become a leader in the creation of a North American hemp fiber supply chain.


“We are attracted to the hemp fiber technology of Renaissance Fiber because the Triad has a rich tobacco heritage, and we see hemp farming as a potential agricultural renaissance,” said Karen Barnes, Agile City’s CEO. “Their team is experienced, their technology is promising, and we’re excited to see what they will do with this grant.”


Out of 1200 applications, spanning 22 countries, Renaissance Fiber has been recognized as one of the nine companies to receive $50,000 prize, which will help the winning companies accelerate their path to commercial success.


Renaissance Fiber was born in the NC Piedmont. “The initial goal of Renaissance Fiber was to help my family farm in Yadkinville. Small farms are harder and harder to keep going, but their importance is immense. It’s part of our identity here. Hemp offers a real glimmer of hope, it just requires lots of effort.” said Michael Long, the company’s founder. “Daniel [Yohannes] and I met first in Winston-Salem, where he lives. Our first discussion was about the value and needs of the area’s agriculture. Winston-Salem is built around the meeting of agriculture and industry. To us, winning the award from Venture Winston Grants® signals a shared vision and understanding of the area’s traditional industriousness. It’s helpful to know others see it too.”  


“Winning the Venture Winston Grants® award will go a long way to help our innovation advance to the next level by tapping into the rich and growing ecosystem of influencers, innovators, developers, entrepreneurs, consumers, incubators, and communities in Winston-Salem, “added Daniel Yohannes, the CEO of Renaissance Fiber. “We appreciate very much how the award allows us not only to deepen our roots in Winston-Salem, but thrive here.”


To learn more about Renaissance Fiber, visit, or follow us on LinkedIn at For more information about the Agile City and the Venture Winston Grant, visit  


About Renaissance Fiber

Renaissance Fiber is a cleantech company that manufactures hemp fiber for the textile industry using American grown hemp and an environmentally clean process. The company has established a scaled process for degumming of hemp fibers in an economically feasible and Ecologically Invisible™ manner. Renaissance Fiber is focusing its product development efforts on creating hemp fiber types with differential blending capabilities with cotton, polyester, wool and other common fibers in the industry. Renaissance Fiber is a 2019 winner of the North Carolina NC IDEA Seed Grant award and a 2021 finalist for The Biomimicry Institute’s Ray of Hope Prize. The company is privately held. For more information, please visit:  


About Agile City Winston-Salem

Agile City Winston-Salem is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded in 2020, designed to provide innovation consulting and entrepreneurial ecosystem building to help clients transition to the emerging economy.

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