Submitted by Jane Royall
If the goal was to attract 100 people to hear North Carolina Treasurer Janet Cowell speak on the Innovation Fund – goal reached. As for attracting capital for startups and growing businesses in North Carolina– there is always work to be done.
Treasurer Cowell’s Attracting Capital to NC listening session and panel discussion touched on several topics, including the Innovation Fund, challenges for North Carolina startups and why entrepreneurs come to the Tar Heel state. Although North Carolina is home to several of the best universities in the country and the Research Triangle Park, there are many challenges facing local entrepreneurs.
The panel of local tech entrepreneurs touched on the wonderful weather, delicious food and great college basketball North Carolina has to offer, but the panelist noted the biggest challenges include lack of government incentives for startups, the absence of a direct flight from RDU to San Francisco, the shutting down of LaunchBox Digital and most importantly the challenge to secure funding. In addition to acknowledging these challenges, the Treasurer emphasized the importance of the Innovation Fund and expanding international business relations as ways our state can attract capital and create an entrepreneurial environment like that of Silicon Valley - a place overflowing with incubators and where securing funding comes easy.
This event provided a special occasion for transparency and communication between local entrepreneurs and the State –paving the road for attracting capital to North Carolina and having it continue to be one of the best places to not only live, but to start and grow a business.