Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mark Heesen: “Triangle is fundamentally different from other regions”

Mark Heesen, president of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), is in town today. His first stop – giving a keynote address at Triangle Startup Factory’s Fall 2012 Pitch Day.

Heesen kicked off his address with a bang, arguing that the “Triangle is fundamentally different from other regions” which are focusing on building stronger entrepreneurial communities.

“Economic developers may downplay a few key aspects that this region has going for it,” said Heesen. Think about the weather, advised Heesen. People like to live where the climate is nice. Think about the colleges and the universities, said Heesen, and how the Triangle’s universities focus on involvement within the cities and communities. 

“What I see here is that folks will move here because of the incredible universities,” said Heesen, “and then they stay here, which leaves a base of young people and an increasingly larger older population, both of which have been brought up to take an interest in and support the entrepreneurial community.”

The result? “This environment is one which many other regions would absolutely die for and that they can’t get,” said Heesen.

With today’s technology and interconnectivity to global networks, “you could create an emerging growth company virtually anywhere,” said Heesen, “but the question becomes how you scale that business to an exit or to an IPO.” There are only a few regions in the country, said Heesen, that possess the capacity and networks needed to take a company from startup to emerging growth to exit, and the Triangle is one of these regions. “All of the essential building blocks are here [in the Triangle],” said Heesen.

Heesen will expand on these thoughts and discuss the current state of Venture Capital, looking at 2013 and beyond, at the RTP Foundation tonight at 5:30 PM. The event is free and open to the general public. For more information and to register, please visit the CED Event Page

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