It's That Time Again! Come Tech out NC!
by Brittany C.
Postcards from Smartopia Most Recent Post
Building anything can be tough - relationships, brand equity, card houses. But building a business can be especially difficult. Thankfully, here in the Triangle, we have amazing resources on hand to make the process a little easier for our Smarty Pants and their budding, brilliant business ideas. One of those awesome resources is Triangle Entrepreneurship Week . The goal of TEW is to connect the best and brightest entrepreneurs with local leaders, capital and resources to encourage collaboration on current and future business opportunities. All of this is done with the goal of working together to create new jobs and economic growth in the state of North Carolina. Pretty cool, huh?
November 12-16 will be the 2nd annual Triangle Entrepreneurship Week and this year’s event includes networking opportunities, industry specific discussions and addresses from some of the most sought-after mentors. Because here in the Triangle we live, work, learn and play smarter. And the event wouldn’t be complete without the Startup and Play social. This event brings local startup companies and organizations together for a meet and greet with the community while allowing them to play with cool new products and meet other innovative founders. With all of these opportunities it’s no wonder the Triangle was ranked the number two best place for business and careers!
We understand it’s not easy having all of these awesome ideas in your head and not quite knowing where to start making them a reality; but remember we’re here to help! Last year’s Entrepreneurship Week events resulted in funding for over 50% of the companies pitched. With odds like that you’ve got to want to be a part of the event this year. For more information visit www.triangleew.org.
In the Mind of a Smarty Pants: An EXCLUSIVE Q&A with TEW founder, Jon Leonardo
Jon is an entrepreneurship enthusiast who has decided to make the Triangle his home. He is dedicated to fostering the entrepreneurial spirit of the area and creating opportunities for the benefit of Smarty Pants everywhere.
Q: How many other cities have an Entrepreneurship Week?
A: Well, I held the first event in D.C. in the fall of 2010 and decided to expand to the Triangle last fall. We are now working with teams in Atlanta, Miami, and Boulder, Colo., planning an Entrepreneurship Week in each of those locations for early 2013.
Q: Why did you choose to start an Entrepreneurship Week in the Triangle?
A: The universities, the community and the need. The universities in the Triangle are arguably the best in the world and they are pumping out the brightest kids. I wanted to tap in to those students that wanted to start their own businesses. The community here is very strong. Everyone’s working together to make sure the Triangle is on the map as a go-to entrepreneurship community. I saw a need here for this type of event because people had great ideas that they just needed to get in front of investors and make the connections. This event makes it easier for companies to have access to the things they need to start here, stay here and grow here.
Q: Where else have you lived before the Triangle and what do you think makes this place great for entrepreneurs?
A: I’m originally from Boston but I attended Elon University here in North Carolina. I intended to move to D.C and stay, but I knew I wanted to set up a team here in the Triangle for an Entrepreneurship Week. I came back for the summer to get that done, and after about a month I didn’t want to leave! The people are awesome, the weather is nice, the cost of living is great and you have access to amazing resources, connections and leaders. You can’t beat that!
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do in the Triangle?
A: Going out and meeting people. I love to meet up with a group and go kayaking, or out to eat or just hang out. The Triangle is full of really cool people and I love that my job lets meet so many of them.
Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out in the Triangle?
A: There’s this new place called Bolt. It’s downtown on Fayetteville Street. They’ve only been open for like two weeks, but I’ve already been about seven times.
Q: What’s your best advice for entrepreneurs?
A: I’ll give you the best advice I ever got: Don’t do it for the money. Create value and the money will come.
Oh and just because you guys are so awesome, use code ‘SmartyPants’ when you register to attend any of the Triangle Entrepreneurship Week events and receive a 50% discount!