Bring Your Ideas to Life, with IdeaMensch

Idea Mensch Road TripFor the regular readers of this blog, you know that I am a huge proponent on start-ups and entrepreneurship. In the past, I have blogged about various events that promoted start-ups and entrepreneurship. This blog is not different. Last night was IdeaMensch, Raleigh edition. IdeaMensch is a community of people who inspire others to act on ideas and the Road Trip is a traveling idea generation platform that covers 48 states, with 50 events over 4 months.

Along with Mario Schulzke, who started IdeaMensch, there were 5 great entrepreneurial speakers about their ventures, opportunities, and things they learned. Here are some quick highlights of all the speakers:

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A Big Week for (Current & Wannabe) Entrepreneurs And Startups In The Triangle

Downtown RaleighIt has been a big week in the Triangle area for those in and around startups, or those thinking about a new entrepreneurial venture.

In any given week, there are always good events to network and get re-acquainted with those you may not have seen around. This is true for the Triangle area too. However, this week we saw three different great events to not only network, but learn and understand hoe innovative and entrepreneurial the area really is. Read more of this post

The Need For Raleigh (and The Triangle) To Be Innovative

Innovate RaleighI enjoy being in the outdoors.  Hiking and camping are two of my hobbies I have had since I was a kid.  Well, last night I got the opportunity to hear about RGreenway Raleigh, with an App in process (You can also check them out on Twitter). It will ensure that you never get lost in Raleigh’s and the Triangle’s Greenways.  I got to hear about them because last night was another Innovate Raleigh meetup.

The purpose of these meetups is to let people know about the people, companies, and organizations that are being innovative and to help promote Raleigh as a hub of innovation across the country. Read more of this post

The Case For Going Green in Home Building

The wave of the future is green construction

I started being involved in the hombuilding industry back in 2000 in Southern California.  At that time, the “green” concept was still in its infancy.  Many of the concepts had been around for a number of years.  And I feel like many home buyers wanted energy efficient homes.  Although there was a fair amount of clamoring for this, the research showed (through both internal studies as well as outside studies) that the value was just not there.  It would have cost significantly more to include energy efficient aspects in the design and features of the homes than buyers were willing to pay for them.

The value proposition started to shift, albeit slightly, a few years later when California started to experience rolling blackouts, intentionally engineered electrical power shutdowns where electricity delivery is stopped for non-overlapping periods of time over geographical regions that was mainly do the insufficient generation capacity in regards to demand. Read more of this post

Raleigh’s Future Looks Bright

Downtown RaleighYou would think we would get used to it.  “Get used to what?” you may ask.  Well I am not referring to the 100+ degree heat that the city will be experiencing for the five days.  It is to another Top 10 or Top 15 ranking by some outside organization looking in.  This time AOL Real Estate included Raleigh in its listing of 15 Cities Where The Future Looks Bright.  Why?  Jobs, jobs, and more jobs.

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Do You Know About ProductCamp RTP 2012?

ProductCamp RTPI always want to let people know about some great events that are happening in the Triangle area. One of those events is ProductCamp RTP.

The 2012 ProductCamp RTP is a half-day “unconference” is being designed with activities designed to improve ProductCamp RTP as a product. “ProductCamp RTP is a wonderful way for product developers and designers to come together and sharpen existing skills while learning new ones,” says Montie Roland, president of Montie Design and a ProductCamp RTP organizer. “Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, it is free for attendees.” Read more of this post

Hey Raleigh, It’s Time To Startup and Play!

Startup And PlayOn Wednesday evening, The Flying Saucer in Raleigh was packed full of entrepreneurs, startups and throngs of people who want to be near them.

This is just another example of how dynamic Raleigh (and the Triangle) truly is.  And based on discussions and interviews with Aaron Gerry and Patrick Shampine, who organized the event, they think so too.

Aaron told WRAL “The big idea is to create a groundswell of support for consumer-facing Triangle startups by connecting the companies with the community at large,” He continues to stay that both he and Patrick “strongly that the Triangle community is stronger if we all work together. We want to help bridge the Durham-Chapel Hill-Raleigh ecoystems through a collective celebration of entrepreneurship.”

“My focus is to foster relationship building and continue to put momentum behind our ever growing startup community in the Triangle,” Shampine told WRAL.

The whole idea of Startup and Play was not only to get people together that had an interest in startups and the entrepreneurial community, but to introduce many of them to the public.  People were able to learn about Matt Senter and his new privacy oriented photo sharing, play the newest game “Plight of the Zombie” by Sparkplug Games, or sign up with LiPi’s to be beta testers for their new platform.

The list of Raleigh-based startups include:

Be sure to check out all of the great companies.  Although these are not all inclusive, these companies are just an example of the entrepreneurial community in Raleigh and the Triangle.

Let me know what local startups are your favorite.

–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.

Raleigh Is The Place…For Fashion?

Redii RaleighLast night I attended a great event launching REDii Raleigh.  What is REDii?  Well I am glad you asked.  REDii stands for Raleigh Emerging Designers Innovation Incubator.  Last night was the official launch party and Fashion Extravaganza which featuring some of Raleigh’s dynamic new fashion designers.

Now I know what you are thinking…why would a T-shirt and jeans kind of guy like me want to attend a fashion show and how does it tie into what I do and blog about.  It all comes down to two things: Read more of this post

The State of Downtown Raleigh

Downtown RaleighWant to get nearly 300 business people, executives, and politicians in one place on a Wednesday morning?  Do an official “State of the Union” type forum and invite a Senior Director from a tech savvy company,an Executive VP, for a large hospitality group, and a newly appointed Economic Development Manager.

Well, that is exactly what happened yesterday at Downtown Raleigh 2012: An Economic Forum held by Downtown Raleigh Alliance. Read more of this post

Even In Down Markets, Businesses Need To Figure Out How To Grow

Believe it or not, businesses can grow in down markets!

This is especially true for small businesses.  However, many businesses are still in survival mode.

As the general population gets larger, the development of niches became more of a potential; especially with the recent trend of buying local.  However the “buy local” can actually be developed nationally and internationally.

Last week I had the opportunity to go to the launch party of Feelgoodz, a 100% recyclable and biodegradable flip flop, in Raleigh.  It was great to see the store and meet the owners.  However, after reflecting on the event, if someone had told me five years ago about a company being successful in this space, I would have thought they were crazy.  Here is a local company that is being successful by developing a niche.  However, their “local” niche ships worldwide.  Here is a prime example of how a small business is being successful by developing its own unique niche.

What are you doing to grow your business instead of just survive?

–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.

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