Why did you start your business in North Carolina?
I made the decision to move back to NC after going to college in Chapel Hill. I loved my 4 years here in Carolina: the quality of life, the caliber of people, the intelligence of the area, and the more moderate speed of life compared to NYC, Atlanta, and DC. So the first reason that attracted me to start a business was the quality of life in a center of smart people.
What is the best part about running your business in your community?
I'm in downtown Durham and I love this community. I'm passionate about entrepreneurship and culture, and we have them both in spades here in Durham. We all support each other, and we work together. One entrepreneur’s gain is seen as a win for the community, not a win at the expense of someone else. When HB2 was passed, we banded together to show support for those who were negatively impacted. And now, because we love our state, we are all banding together to try to cast a positive light on the community as a whole. We also have some amazing community builders and leaders like the Goodmon family, who were early movers in the redevelopment of the city.
What do you believe your North Carolina community has that other startup hubs can’t offer?
1) A lot of smart people who are here because they want to be here, not because this is where the jobs are (like NY or SF)
2) A strong entrepreneurial ecosystem
3) Great quality of life / cost of living
4) Culture, arts, amenities
5) Passion and commitment to making our area better as an ecosystem and as a community
Even if we don't rank the highest in any one category, we score very high in all categories, which is why I would argue we have one of the best hubs in the world.
In 3 words, how would you describe the entrepreneurial culture in NC?
Passionate ∙ Driven ∙ Supportive