Triangle Construction’s Good News

Housing ConstructionHousing and construction has been in the news a lot over the past few days.  And this news has been positive.

The news substantiates discussions I have been having with those I know in the construction industry, both residential and commercial, that construction is on the upswing.  Now, I am not saying it is on the late 1990’s, early 2000’s upswing.  But then again, look at what ended up happening.

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One Man’s Perspective on Why Innovate Raleigh Is Important

Innovate RaleighLast Thursday afternoon was the latest installment of Innovate Raleigh, Innovate Raleigh 2013: Building on the Past, Creating the Future.  If you are a newer reader to my blog, or just not sure what Innovate Raleigh is, you can get an understanding of it from previous post here and here.  Although I have been to several of the meetups over the past year or so, this event was, in my opinion, something special.  Most of the previous meetups were evening affairs that informed the community about some industry or something specific that is going on in Raleigh that is innovative in some way.  Typically before and after the main event, there was open networking and some good food and drinks as well.

Well, this one still had a great session of open networking and some great food and drinks from Bolt Bistro & Bar.  But that was the only thing that was the same.

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Triangle Entrepreneurship Week 2012: Starting Up Green: Integrating Triple Bottom Line #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.

Starting Up Green: Integrating Triple Bottom Line
Presenters: Jason Massey (Sustainable industrial Solutions), Quenton Ankri (Green Sky Wind Systems), Kristen Adams (Afterglow Cosmetics), Matt Kopac (Burt’s Bees)

Questions were asked of the panel members.  These are most of the questions and the answers provided. Read more of this post

Triangle Entrepreneurship Week 2012: Pitch Sessions #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.

I was able to attend three of the four pitch sessions throughout the week.  Each of the sessions that I attended had multiple entrepreneurs provide a 5 minute pitch about their vetted entrepreneurial company and idea to multiple representatives of angel fund and venture capital firms.  The companies varied in industry, scope, and amount of funding they were looking to receive   Afterwards, the representatives of these firms were able to ask questions of the entrepreneurs for about 15 minutes.  If time allowed, the general audience were able to ask questions, too.  At the end, feedback  thoughts on the pitches and company were provided by the investors.  

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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 jnolfo@rhinomarketresearch.com.

Triangle Entrepreneurship Week 2012: Triangle EW Kick-Off Event #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.

Triangle EW Kick-Off Event Read more of this post

Triangle Entrepreneurship Week 2012 Is Here

Triangle Entrepreneurship Week 2012As I mentioned last Monday, not reading a blog having to do with market research related on a Monday morning may seem odd.  But this is the second week in a row where there is a major conference in the Raleigh-Durham area.  During the week, I will be posting shorter blogs related to what I hear about the conferences.  Again, my traditional postings will resume next week.

This week, the second annual year Triangle Entrepreneurship Week (TEW) will be held throughout locations in downtown Raleigh and downtown Durham.  Throughout the week, the purpose of TEW is to “CONNECT entrepreneurs with local leaders, capital and resources so they may successfully COLLABORATE on current and future business opportunities to CREATE new jobs and economic growth in the state of North Carolina.”

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Internet Summit 12 Is Here

Internet Summit 12For regular readers of this blog, not reading something market research related on a Monday morning may seem like you have entered into the Twilight Zone.  Well, don’t fret.  Because of major conferences in the Raleigh-Durham area over the next two weeks, the blogs will be shorter and related to what I hear about the conferences.  My traditional postings will resume the week of November 19.

This week, the fifth year of Internet Summit will be held and, in my opinion, the best of the the two that I have been aware of.  Although the conference, as a whole, does not start until it Tuesday, I am already excited about it just on what I am seeing as the setup and who is talking.  You can see all the details and the agenda here, but the typically two day conference is now a full three days with the addition of Startup Summit and Preconference Intensive Workshops. Read more of this post

Using Market Research In Start-ups

start upLater this week, I will be teaching a class at Wake Tech Community College about finding job opportunities with start-ups and early stage companies. It is a class I have taught before with a lot of success and positive feedback. We discuss a variety of topics related to working with and understanding the general culture of start-ups, learning how to find them (as they are not necessarily well known) and profile ones that are hiring in the Triangle area.

We also look at the fact that, although any company could go out of business any day, start-ups tend to do it more frequently because of the market, newness of the companies, and just the general failure rates of newer companies. We specifically look at EvoApp. Now EvoApp, based on everything, should have been a company that was to be a survivor. It had a great idea when the company had started. It also had investment from solid individual and group inventors. It also had high profile customers and solid mentor-ship.

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Homebuilding In The News

House Under ConstructionIt’s been a while since I wrote a blog about the home building and residential real estate. It has been three months since I even mentioned the industry in this blog and over seven months since I talked about the economic conditions of the market, locally or nationally.

Although it has been some time, I have not been ignoring the market. I have recently had discussion with those employed by builders, big and small, as well as a investor interested in a local large project. Also, over the past 10 days, I have seen a number of articles and news stories about the industry. So, I figured I let you all know about some of the news and provide an overview.

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