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Inspiration, Advice & Resources

Podcasts, tips, recommendations, market data and other resources for beginning entrepreneurs in the Triangle:

A Look Inside Entrepreneurship at NC State

NC State Entrepreneurship’s 2018-2019 annual report showcases the new and successful startup programs happening on campus. Check it out (PDF here) to learn about the university’s growing startup community.

Best Lawyers for Startups

Red Rocket Ventures’ list of Raleigh-Durham’s Best Lawyers for Startups outlines the law professionals who have expertise in the startup space.

Best Selling Podcast

In the Best Selling Podcast, local entrepreneur Vince Beese (founder and CEO of Sales@Scale) interviews top sales professionals on their secrets to success.

Business Link North Carolina (BLNC)

BLNC (pronounced “blink”) is an extension of NC Department of Commerce offering one-on-one consultations to people interested in starting a business, small business owners in need of general support, and entrepreneurs interested in moving to North Carolina. BLNC helps business owners navigate topics like regulatory requirements, licensing stipulations, small business training and more. BLNC also assists existing businesses with state resources to find needed talent from NCWorks.gov (a free state job-posting site) to custom training with community colleges.

By the Numbers: Duke Startup Impact

Check out this interactive infographic from Duke University’s Office of Licensing and Ventures, featuring stats about the university’s startup activity and impact. The data reflects the number of inventions, agreements and new startups coming out of Duke University. The 2019 report shows a record number of invention disclosures and agreements to $58 million in revenue. Two Duke spinouts went public, bringing Duke’s total of IPOs to nine.

Carolina Stories Podcast

In the Carolina Stories podcast, Wilmington investor Steve Vafier interviews entrepreneurs, executives and other business leaders from across North Carolina and South Carolina.

CED Innovators Report

The Council for Entrepreneurial Development’s Innovators Report provides an overview of North Carolina’s innovation economy. It includes the latest data on funding, deal flow and exits. The 2019 edition reported $1.5 billion raised by NC companies, across 184 deals. More TechWire coverage here and here.

CED Newsletter & Blog

The Council for Entrepreneurial Development’s newsletter and blog are two great tools to help you stay updated on the latest news, events, resources and programs within the Triangle’s startup ecosystem. The blog also contains tips and advice from experienced entrepreneurs and mentors. You can sign up for the newsletter on CED’s homepage and check out the blog here.

City of Raleigh Business Resources

The City of Raleigh has a useful resource package to help businesses of all stages of growth. It contains information on building site selection, zoning and permits, financial programs, education and training, and more business resources.

Cool Things Made by Triangle Entrepreneurs

Here’s a roundup of more than 30 startup books, video series and podcasts produced in the Triangle.

Duke Fuqua Insights

Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business has a Duke Fuqua Insights blog where Duke faculty members and experts share details on some of the studies and research they’re working on. A lot of the subject matter is relevant to entrepreneurs, including how to succeed at crowdfunding, CFO and CMO surveys, and improving communication between operations and finance teams. There’s also a Duke Fuqua Insights YouTube playlist, where professors and experts summarize their findings.

Duke Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship Resources

Duke University’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative offers a comprehensive resource guide specifically geared towards social impact startups. The guide includes information on social entrepreneurship fellowship programs, funding opportunities, venture support, suggested reading, and more.

Duke Startup Resources

Duke University’s Office of Licensing and Ventures has a handy list of internal startup resources within the university. Check it out here.

Duke Startup Scene Map

Duke Innovation & Entreprepreneurship (I&E) has an interactive map of all startup activity throughout the university’s campus and in downtown Durham.

DHIT Frequency Podcast

Digital Health Institute for Transformation (DHIT) produces an interview podcast in which DHIT Co-Founder and President Michael Levy sits down with leaders in the digital health, life science and biotech communities to discuss the future of healthcare.

DIG SOUTH Newsletter

DIG SOUTH’s biweekly newsletter summarizes the latest happenings across the major Southeastern U.S. tech hubs, including the Triangle. You can sign up on DIG SOUTH’s homepage.

Downtown Raleigh Alliance Resources

The Downtown Raleigh Alliance has compiled a helpful list of Raleigh business incentives, available resource space, reports, plans and publications, and more resources for new businesses or existing businesses that want to relocate to downtown Raleigh.

EntreDot Vlog

EntreDot, a mentorship program for startups and nonprofits, has developed a comprehensive collection of vlogs offering step-by-step advice to entrepreneurs. EntreDot Founder Bill Warner provides an overview of several topics relevant to founders—everything from market research and sales to technology and development to financing to HR and management. Check out the playlist here.

 

First in Future Podcast

NC State University’s Institute for Emerging Issues hosts a podcast, called “First in Future: Where Emerging Ideas Take Flight,” featuring interviews with business leaders, entrepreneurs, elected officials, researchers and innovators who are helping lead North Carolina’s future.

Free Employee Wellness Services from Wellistic

Wellistic, a startup based in HQ Raleigh, is building a network of wellness providers and partners where companies can get discounted rates for their employees. As a way to give back to the startup community, Wellistic makes this program free for companies with less than 25 employees (minimum of five employees). This is a helpful resource if you’re a founder of a startup or small business with a small team. More details here.

Funding Opportunities for Cleantech Startups

Dave Kirkpatrick, managing director of Durham-based SJF Ventures, put together a helpful list of national funding opportunities for clean energy startups. It includes everything from non-dilutive grants and government support to startup labs and incubators to VC firms. Check it out here.

Fun With Failure Podcast

Fun With Failure is a podcast hosted by Charlotte-based business communication coach Dr. Alexis Carreiro. The program features interviews with entrepreneurs, executives, mentors, investors and others in the North Carolina startup ecosystem.

How North Carolina is Fueling Startup Success

This Inc. piece tracks some of the most promising aspects of the Triangle’s startup ecosystem, including its universities, its fundraising opportunities and the presence of established names like Red Hat, Citrix and Pendo.

Hustle Unlimited Podcast

Hustle Unlimited is an interview podcast hosted by Donald Thompson, CEO of Raleigh-based digital marketing agency Walk West. Every week, Thompson interviews successful entrepreneurs and leaders about their path to success. (Read more about Thompson here and here.)

Inc. Surge Cities: Durham, NC

Want to know why Durham is a such a hot hub for startups? Inc. ranked the city No. 3 on its 2020 Surge Cities list, a guide to the 50 best cities for startups. Read the report to find out why Durham has one of the highest rates of entrepreneurship per capita in the U.S.

Innovate Carolina's 'Start A Venture' Tool

Innovate Carolina has created an interactive list of UNC startup resources. You can filter resources by category and interest to see what programs are right for you.

Investment Crowdfunding in North Carolina

INVESTinNC has put together a helpful guide on how businesses can take advantage of North Carolina’s investment crowdfunding opportunities. Check it out here.

Is Your Company Investable?

In this two-part blog post, CED Director of Entrepreneurship Jay Bigelow lays out the reasons why investors decline startup pitches and how founders can make their company more “investable.” Read part I and part II.

Joe Procopio's Blog

Joe Procopio is a serial entrepreneur with a 20+ year track record in the Triangle. After multiple exits, including ExitEvent (2014) and Automated Insights (2015), he’s now a full-time executive with Durham startup Spiffy and he writes a twice-weekly blog. The posts are real-time, real-world startup advice pulled from his current position, his roles advising startups and questions that come in through his website.

Kenan Insights Research and Analysis

The Kenan Institute, a unit of UNC Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, produces research and analysis of trends in business and entrepreneurship. Read the reports to get the latest insights on private equity funding, small business investment gaps, industry market research and more.

Map of Raleigh Startups

The City of Raleigh’s Startup Map is an interactive visual overview of the city’s startup ecosystem. It also shows which startups are hiring and which startups are raising money.

NCBiotech Resources

  • The NC Biotechnology Center’s company directory is a helpful tool for anyone interested in starting a life science startup in the Triangle or in North Carolina in general. It’s a good way to check out peer startups and connect with local resources.
  • NCBiotech also offers free and open access to their extensive market research collection, which includes over 400 life science research reports. Check out NCBiotech’s guide to market research for more.
  • Another great resource is NCBiotech’s core labs directory, which includes university-based laboratory facilities, most of which are available for use by outside companies.

NC Department of Commerce Resources

The North Carolina Department of Commerce has a helpful suite of resources available for businesses and nonprofits, including a list of state grants and incentives, site search data, economic development reports, labor market analysis and more.

NC Innovation Index

Produced by the NC Department of Commerce’s Office of Science, Technology & Innovation, the North Carolina Innovation Index tracks the state’s performance in the innovation economy across 40 measures. Comparing the state’s metrics with national trends, the report shows North Carolina’s progress in a competitive landscape. 

NC Secretary of State Business Resources

The North Carolina Secretary of State oversees record-keeping and registration for business entities operating in the state. The office also handles the trademark duties in North Carolina to help businesses protect their intellectual property. The Secretary of State’s website has a helpful resource guide packed with information for anyone who’s looking to launch a business in North Carolina.

On the Heels of Innovation Podcast

This podcast, hosted by UNC Entrepreneurship Center Director Ted Zoller features the stories and insights of entrepreneurs who hustled their way to success. The program is part of the Entrepreneurs Genome Project, which involves the research of students in UNC’s Entrepreneurs Lab course. Subscribe here.

Raleigh4U

A division of Raleigh’s Department of City Planning, Raleigh4U is a go-to resource for startups in the city. It contains data on local industries and demographics, along with information about the City of Raleigh’s innovation and business development initiatives.

Reflections on the Triangle's Growth from Bob Ingram

Bob Ingram, general partner at Durham-based Hatteras Venture Partners, has been instrumental in helping to build up the Triangle’s technology and life science ecosystem. In this feature from TechWire, Ingram shared his view of the Triangle’s growth and what’s needed for the future. His insight can give entrepreneurs some perspective on their community—past and present.

Research Triangle Region: Your Destination for Growth

Check out this video from the Research Triangle Regional Partnership about how the Triangle is a hot destination for business:

RIoT Underground Podcast

The RIoT Underground podcast features innovators who are bringing disruptive technology to market. You can subscribe on Google Play or Apple Podcasts.

RTP Community Impact Report

Research Triangle Park’s 2019 Community Impact Report provides a look into the continued growth of the RTP ecosystem. It includes an overview of RTP’s newest infrastructure projects, partnerships and initiatives, and a list of some of the companies that have expanded or relocated to RTP. Read the report here.

RTP Directory and Map

The Research Triangle Park directory and map is an overview of the 275+ companies and institutions based in RTP.

SBTDC's Accelerate Blog

Accelerate is a blog and newsletter produced by the Small Business and Technology Development Center. The content is tailored for CEOs and executives at mid-sized companies. Topics cover everything from HR advice to leadership strategies.

SBTDC's Intellectual Property Guide

The Small Business and Technology Development Center’s Intellectual Property Guide provides education for small businesses and inventors on the potential time and financial investments that may be involved with developing an invention and maintaining intellectual property rights. The guide goes in depth into patents and manufacturing, with helpful references and other resources. PDF here.

Small City Innovators Podcast

Produced in Durham, the Small City Innovators podcast features interviews with innovators who are championing the small cities movement in the South. Subscribe here or here.

Starter U

Starter U is the Brian Hamilton Foundation‘s free, self-paced online course teaching everything entrepreneurs need to know to start, run and grow a business. Instruction is led by Hamilton, together with other local entrepreneurs like Bobby Martin (founder of Raleigh-based Tilly) and Scott Ogle (former CEO of Sageworks). It also features video interviews with DJ Joe Bunn, Jake Finkelstein of Method Savvy, and other startup founders and CEOs. 

Startomatic

Founded by local entrepreneur Robbie Allen, Startomatic is a software platform that offers the ability to take an idea and turn it into a company with a domain name, logo, website, and email and social media accounts. The service also helps beginning entrepreneurs to process the necessary legal paperwork and state filings needed to start a business. More TechWire coverage on Startomatic here.

Startup Stage Podcast

The Startup Stage Podcast is a Shark Tank-style show in which Triangle-based entrepreneurs pitch their startups to a panel of local investors. More TechWire coverage here.

Startup Planning Templates from Raleigh SCORE

Founders seeking financial planning resources should check out Raleigh SCORE’s helpful monthly cash flow template and business plan template.

State of the Region Address

The 2019 State of the Region address, delivered by RIoT Executive Director Tom Snyder, lays out the progress, opportunities and threats facing the Triangle over the course of 2019.

State of Technology Industry Report

This annual report, produced by the North Carolina Technology Association (NC TECH), is a comprehensive source of data and trends demonstrating the vibrancy of North Carolina’s tech sector. Read the latest report here.

Tech on Tap Podcast

Tech on Tap is a locally produced podcast by WRAL TechWire and Capitol Broadcasting Company. We invite Triangle startup and tech leaders to come on and talk shop with us every other week. Archive here.

The Bootstrapped Business Podcast

In this podcast, local entrepreneur Brian Hamilton shares his practical approach to building a bootstrapped business that’s focused on prioritizing getting customers.

The Donald Thompson Podcast

Hosted by local entrepreneur and investor Donald Thompson of Walk West, this podcast features interviews with startup founders, VCs and community leaders, who share their experience and advice.

The Enlightrepreneurs Podcast

Hosted by local entrepreneurs Dave Gold and Justin Minott, The Enlightrepreneurs Podcast features interviews with startup founders and small business owners, who share their entrepreneurial journeys and lessons learned along the way.

The Jason & Scot Show

In this podcast, Triangle entrepreneur Scot Wingo of Spiffy and Channel Advisor, with co-host Jason Goldberg of SapientRazorfish, unpack the latest news and trends in ecommerce and retail.

The Price Podcast

The Price Podcast features interviews with entrepreneurs and investors within a range of industries. Most of the interviewees are local to the Triangle. The podcast is hosted by Drew Adams, founder of Durham startup Company 39A.

Three Sips of Advice Podcast

Three Sips of Advice is a weekly podcast hosted by Wilmington startup ecosystem leader Jim Roberts. In the weekly program, Roberts interviews entrepreneurs and investors from across North Carolina, including leaders from the Triangle.

Thought Leadership from Aaron Dinin of Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Aaron Dinin, founder of local startup RocketBolt and an entrepreneurship instructor in Duke University’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship program, frequently writes on Medium about his experiences as an entrepreneur. His blog posts cover several topics of interest to entrepreneurs, including how to navigate the fundraising process, how to pitch to potential investors, how to market your product, and more.

Thought Leadership from Brian Hamilton

Triangle entrepreneur Brian Hamilton, who co-founded fintech firm Sageworks (acquired in 2018), regularly shares advice and leadership lessons on Inc. Topics range from business plans, to alternative forms of capital, to managing a team. Read his column here.

Transformation Talks Podcast

Presented by the NC Biotechnology Center, the Transformation Talks podcast offers an in-depth look at the life science community in North Carolina.

Triangle Region Profile

The Research Triangle Regional Partnership produced a comprehensive report that showcases the Triangle’s strengths in economic development, innovation, talent, capital and other areas of growth. You can download the PDF here.

Triangle Small Business Week Resources

The organizers of Triangle Small Business Week, an annual event, have set up a helpful resource package for local entrepreneurs on their website. It has contact information for local Chambers of Commerce and economic development agencies, among other resources.

Triangle 'Tweener' List

Scot Wingo’s annually updated “Tweener” list of promising companies. Check out the latest edition if you want to get your feet wet in startup without taking the plunge yourself. More TechWire coverage here.

Video Library: NC IDEA Seminars

NC IDEA hosted a weekly seminar series running through the summer of 2019. They’ve uploaded footage from each session to an online video library for all to see. Here’s the collection.

Wake County Economic Development Resources

Wake County Economic Development’s website offers a host of business resources including information about the Triangle’s largest industries, demographics statistics, workforce development data and more useful tools for businesses and investors. You can also read their latest annual report to get a sense of local trends in the job market, investment, development, talent attraction, competitiveness, and more.

Why Raleigh Is the Tech Industry's Best Kept Secret

This piece from Inc. Magazine covers North Carolina’s positioning as a “bustling epicenter” for tech startups, talent and culture.

Winning Combo Podcast

This locally produced podcast features favorite quotes, business stories that teach valuable lessons and sales/marketing best practices to apply to life and work. It’s hosted by Triangle-based marketing expert Keith Washo, president of KDW Consulting President and co-founder of Startup Summit, alongside co-host Vijay Damojipurapu, author and head of product and marketing at San Francisco-based Vimana.

1789 Hub's List of UNC Innovation & Entrepreneurship Clubs

If you’re a UNC Chapel Hill student who wants to get more plugged in to I&E clubs on campus, this helpful list is for you.

24 Hours with Startups in Raleigh, NC

A guide to finding capital, coworking and community in the city, written by Atlanta VC Lisa Calhoun.

20 Cartoons Inspired by Triangle Entrepreneurs

Get to know some local faces in startup through this series of 20 cartoons inspired by Triangle entrepreneurs, created by Chris Lysy, a content design/digital marketing expert who works out of RTP’s co-working space The Frontier.