Why did you start your business in North Carolina?
I was born and raised in eastern North Carolina. It had been the only state I ever called home. After attending NC State University, I accepted a position that took me to Kansas City. I spent my first year in industry traveling across the United States doing healthcare systems engineering. I got to see a lot of the country. But the more I saw, the more I became aware of just how special of a place North Carolina is. I moved back to Raleigh in 2006 and opened the agency a year later. My wife never had the experience of moving away as a professional after college. Shortly after starting the agency, she began to look at other hotspots that young professionals could thrive. We looked at Austin, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. But it didn’t matter what Forbes list we looked at, Raleigh was always #1, #2, or #3 in the “Best Places” lists. We decided that if we were anywhere else in this country looking to make a move, we’d likely be moving to Raleigh. So we decided to make Raleigh our permanent home.
What is the best part about running your business in your community?
We’re currently located in NC State’s Centennial Campus. Aside from my ties to NC State as an alumnus of the university, I’ve really enjoyed calling NC State home. It’s a short walk to Hunt Library and the energy and community of Centennial Campus helps make it a wonderful place to work.
What do you believe your North Carolina community has that other startup hubs can’t offer?
The allure of North Carolina is very real. Having grown up in the state, I didn’t fully appreciate it until I left and returned. When we’re recruiting our next generation of professionals, there’s one thing I almost never have to actively sell: geography. We’ve successfully recruited individuals from Los Angeles, to the Great Lakes, to New York City. The cost of living is a huge selling point for North Carolina. We can competitively recruit against any of the other hotspots in a city that’s widely regarded as up and coming.
In 3 words, how would you describe the entrepreneurial culture in NC?
Vibrant • Contagious • Noteworthy