By Joel Bennett
Silicon Valley, watch out: Greensboro is making a name for itself as a startup city!
Local startups are finding funding, education and support as more and more entrepreneur-centric programs surface. Ryan Pratt, founder and CEO of Greensboro Startup GuerillaRF was selected to present his company and pitch to a room full of investors at the Greensboro Partnership Entrepreneur Connections annual showcase event. “In two years, we have raised $3.5M,” says Pratt about his recent funding campaigns, “most of which came through contacts made at Capital Connects. I strongly recommend this event for early stage startups seeking funding.”
Capital Connects is a showcase event presented by the Entrepreneur Connection that highlights promising ventures to local funding sources. Startups who have presented at Capital Connects have gone on to raise funding from local investors to the tune of over $9.5M.
Meg Ragland is the co-founder of Plum Print, located in Asheville NC. After making the trip to present at Greensboro’s Capital Connects last year, Plum Print connected with several strategic partners “It’s true: you never know who is in the audience when you pitch your business!” proclaims Ragland. “The day after the event we heard from an angel investor who had been in the crowd, who was ready to write us a check!”
Greensboro has witnessed an explosion of entrepreneurial activity in the past year, and has created a business development cluster rivaling those of larger cities. These new platforms includes a new downtown maker space, the launch of Triad Startup Lab business accelerator two more downtown co-working spaces and the established business incubator at the Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship.
Others are taking note of Greensboro’s rising entrepreneurial community: Last week The Startup Factory(Durham, NC) announced a 3-day startup bootcamp to be hosted here in December. Venture backed programs like The Startup Factory that seek to identify our local talent and bring successful investment opportunities to bear high returns.