Communities, Networks & Memberships
Plug in with these startup networks to get connections, support, mentorship and camaraderie among fellow entrepreneurs:
American Underground is one of Google For Entrepreneurs’ tech hubs. The startup hub offers coworking and office space in three locations in downtown Durham, and hosts fun community events, pitch competitions and workshops. AU also offers its entrepreneurs connections to some of the Triangle’s top tech leaders, through networking events and introductions.
Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) is a network of entrepreneurs, innovators, founders, investors, and even some government officials from all over the Triangle. The organization offers two major conferences for the life science and tech ecosystems and meetups for its members, as well as one-on-one venture coaching for early-stage startups and connections to venture capitalists for growth companies through Capital Connects. For more information, read CED’s pitch for why entrepreneurs should join here.
Digital Health Impact + Transformation (DHIT Global) is a hub and resource for startups and research projects in the local health sector. Headed by parent company Bluedoor, DHIT offers tools and strategies, a database of health startup programs and funding options, industry news and insights, and has gained a member base of Triangle stakeholders including the Duke Global Digital Health Science Center, NC IDEA, American Underground, RIoT, Innovate Carolina, RTI International, as well as local health-industry companies. DHIT hosts monthly Digital Health Happy Hours for the community.
DukeGEN is an organization of over 5,000 entrepreneurs and industry leaders who are part of Duke University’s alumni network.
The Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce helps its members connect with hundreds of business owners and managers in the city’s market. Companies join the network to expand exposure for their business to a wider network of investors and partners. There are plenty of networking events, community workshops and business training programs offered as well.
First Flight Venture Center is a Research Triangle Park-based incubator that offers several programs for tech and science-focused startups, granting them access to mentors, funding, connections and resources. The Center offers physical and virtual membership options. It also houses a coworking space and prototyping facility. Since its inception in 1991, FFVC has hosted over 300 companies with a combined value of over $8 billion and has helped issue 44 patents to client companies. Current residents have raised $70 million since FFVC’s start.
HQ Raleigh is a membership-based space promotes collaboration and peer-to-peer connection for startups. Three HQ locations in Raleigh are home to several regular networking events, lectures, chats and workshops. The network also extends to Greensboro and Charlotte.
Innovate Raleigh is a not-for-profit startup support organization that’s run in partnership with the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce. Through events, ecosystem resources and a wide network of stakeholders, Innovate Raleigh is dedicated to boosting entrepreneurship in the Triangle, particularly among underserved communities.
Based in Durham, the NC Biosciences Organization is a trade association that promotes research and commercialization in life science industries. Members get access to industry events and programs, and connections to legislators at the local, state and federal levels.
The North Carolina Healthcare Information & Communications Alliance (or NCHICA) is a nonprofit organization that provides support and connections for members in the information technology healthcare industry.
The North Carolina Small Business Technology & Development Center offers a host of resources and business development programs for local startups. Funding avenues are also available.
NC State eGarbage is a collaborative prototyping space for students who want to take their business ideas to the next level and test them in a practical setting. The facility is open to students 24/7.
The NC State Office of Technology Commercialization and New Ventures offers accelerators, launch programs and inventor’s resources for university-based startups ready to protect, market and license their product.
NC TECH (North Carolina Technology Association) fosters growth and innovation in North Carolina’s tech sector, cultivating a network of corporations, investors, small and medium sized companies, startups, nonprofits and institutional stakeholders in the state’s innovation economy.
The North Carolina Biotechnology Center is a central connector for the state’s university researchers, startups, job seekers and job providers within the life sciences sector. The organization, which is supported by the NC General Assembly, offers grants, business loans and awards to emerging biotech ventures. It’s headquartered in Research Triangle Park, with offices in Asheville, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Greenville and Wilmington.
Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster, headquartered in Research Triangle Park, is a network of academics, scientists, government leaders, business executives and professionals operating in the clean energy space.
The Research Triangle Regional Partnership is an economic development organization serving 10 counties in central North Carolina. RTRP helps make connections for businesses looking to expand or relocate, and supports the region’s economic development offices, government agencies and businesses.
RIoT represents a network of technologists, engineers, business leaders, academics, policy-makers and entrepreneurs, all of whom have a stake in the Internet of Things industry. Companies ranging from startups to international heavyweights meet frequently to exchange ideas, to learn new technologies and to create new opportunities. More coverage here.
Wake Tech Entrepreneurship Initiatives promotes entrepreneurialism as a way of thinking and being, as well as a process for creating new business and social ventures. They design and implement intensive courses and programs for business owners and entrepreneurs that include LaunchMyCity, the Veterans Entrepreneurship Advantage (VEA) program, and StartUP@WakeTech, a program that matches entrepreneurs with Wake Tech classes for mutual benefit. In collaboration with the Wake Tech Small Business Center, they also provide information that current and prospective business owners need for expanding or starting a small business.