Triangle Entrepreneurship Week 2012: Government Role With Startup #TEW2012

Triangle Entrepreneurship Week 2012Welcome to this series of semi-live blogs from the Triangle Entrepreneurship Week 2012 (#TEW2012) conference in Raleigh and Durham, NC. Any errors, omissions, or silly side comments are my own.

Government Role With Startups
Panel: Derrick Minor (Innovation & Entrepreneurship Manager, Raleigh) Mary-Ann Baldwin, Deborah Ross (NC General Assembly), Bonner Gaylord, Casey Steinbacher (Durham Chamber of Commerce)

Questions were asked of the panel members.  These are most of the questions and the answers provided.

  • What are the failures of government in relation to startups.
    • Not listening
    • Getting too involved
    • Access to capital
    • Affordable healthcare
    • Being support of small business, not just business
    • Research funding
    • Large groups being ignored
    • Government averse to failure (lack of risk, government not letting something die if it is bad.)
    • Today’s entrepreneur is the same as the ones in the past and using antiquated solutions to fix the problem
  • How does each organization help me grow my business?
    • Partnerships
    • State of Small Business
    • Understand all the things to start up that business
    • Find someone to help them
    • Convenor, collaborate, communicate,
    • Think about basics: roads, fire dept., Planning
    • Everything is based on value
    • Accessible and engaged
    • Planning to get companies to grow organically
  • Word Association: Entrepreneur
    • smart
    • Strategy
    • creative
    • Passionate
  • Word Association: Government Leadership
    • Visionary
    • Yawn
    • Difference
    • Oxymoron
  • Recently, a startup, Deja me, and their 13 employees were kicked out of their workplace, a residential house, because of violations in relation to operating a business out of a home.  It became a huge social media nightmare for the City of Raleigh.  How do we prevent that from happening again?
    • It is not necessary laws that need to change, but how it is handled.  Use a velvet hammer.
    • Create different culture within city.
    • Look at food truck law only now changes.  Need to figure out how to keep up with innovative ideas.
    • Understand older set of policies and get the community understand the “new” type of community.
    • Try to follow the rules first.  If still not working, then ask for forgiveness.
    • Use resources that are available.  It is your job to find out about them.
  • Talent/immigration/entrepreneurship.  We have a lot of well-educated, entrepreneurial types that cannot stay here because of Visa issues.  Can NC be a visa free work zone for highly qualified individuals.  Is it possible?  How is the interaction with the state?
    • This is an issues that comes up within state Department of Commerce to work with business to keep theses individuals here with more visas.
    • Durham 20th largest use of work Visas and 2nd in intensity in the nation for work Visa use.
    • Does this make it more of an opportunity?
  • How do we help local education with entrepreneurship?
    • Entrepreneurial classes within schools.
    • Most at risk kids are best entrepreneurial…just need to provide a better focus.
  • How can we help entrepreneurs?
    • Young entrepreneurs need to get involved with new Startups.
    • Universities need to develop outreach
    • Change culture, but it is changing.
    • Being intentional about changing the culture.  Paying it forward.
    • If you want to make an impact, you can here in the Triangle.
    • “Have you helped your local entrepreneur today?”

There was a similar panel in last years TEW.  I felt this was a far better panel because of the interaction between the panel and attendees.  Also, Mary-Ann Baldwin brought up a great point that at last year’s panel, the city of Raleigh did not know what they had in regards to entrepreneurship. Now we are a year further into it and we have done some great things in relation to it. I could not agree more with her in this.

–J. Nolfo helps companies understand their market and customers though a variety of market research strategies. He has over ten years of experience of market research for strategic planning purposes. He is the Director of Research at Rhino Market Research. He shares his thoughts about market research and business concepts with his blog “Pensare…Understanding Market Research in Business“. If you would like to discuss this blog or how J. can help you understand your market and customer needs, email him at

About J. Nolfo
Well...there is a lot to know. #Cx, #Analytics, #SM, Specialty #AgChem, #StL sports, & more. FT @BASFAgProducts. @Mizzou Alum. Supporter of the #Rhino. Tweets my own. #SMMW17 attendee....Dad...Hiker...Scouter...and so much more.

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