Updated Apr. 5, 2007 at 7:58 a.m.

Premium Lock Business 2.0 Brings ‘Disruptive Technologies’ to Chapel Hill

Published: 2007-04-05 07:58:00
Updated: 2007-04-05 07:58:40

Tags: Red Hat, Cree

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – The Disruptors are coming to Chapel Hill this evening, and they aren’t anti-war protestors.

Rather, Business 2.0 magazine will be gathering a specially selected audience of executives that represent technology that threatens to revolutionize – or at least shake up – various industries ranging from publishing to airlines.

The magazine is launching its “Disruptive Technologies” tour with a forum discussion among the select executives at the Kenan-Flagler Business School. The two hours of give-and-take, which will be filmed by CNN, will be followed by a reception at the Dean Smith Center.

Among the disrupters expected to attend is Bob Young, who is trying to disrupt the publishing industry with startup Lulu in Raleigh just as he did the software industry by co-founding Red Hat. Representatives from Cree, which could change how we use light bulbs in our homes and businesses with light-emitting diode technology, are also expected. Atlanta-based ViTrue, a startup taking on conventional advertising agencies with consumer-based commercials and promotions, also is expected to be represented.

Josh Quittner, editor of the magazine, and Erick Schonfeld, editor-at-large, will moderate the program.

“We will have a wide group of august entrepreneurs who are ready to shake things up,” Schonfeld told WRAL Local Tech Wire. “By getting people from different industries, you get a higher level of discussion.”

The event is based on “The Next Disruptors,” the cover story in the October 2006 issue of the magazine. Other regional events will take place in Boston and Los Angeles.

Schonfeld said Business 2.0 chose UNC as the site to launch the tour because of the innovation and “cool startups” that can be found around the Research Triangle and the southeast.

“We wanted to have a place in the southeast because you have all these cool startups and people in RTP like those at Red Hat and in the open source community,” Schonfeld said by cell phone as he toured the UNC campus on Wednesday. “We’ve got people coming from Atlanta, Florida and the Washington area as well.

“It’s a good place to come to,” he added of Chapel Hill and RTP. “It’s a type of community that seems to be fostering a lot of these innovations. There are not too many communities in the country where you can see these activities taking place.

“RTP has been a place on our radar,” he added. “We like to get out of the coasts (California, New York) where we are always doing things.”

In a disruptive approach to traditional business forums, executives will be encouraged to participate in a free-wheeling discussion rather than sit through speeches or panel presentations. Business 2.0 put together a similar program last fall, and Schonfeld said it was so successful the magazine decided to launch a tour. The program will be videotaped, and segments will be included on the magazine’s Web site.

“The New Disruptors,” a video series based on the discussions, is also in the works.

“We’re going to talk about how you go about disrupting a technology, how you tackle incumbent giants who have been ruling for so long,” Schonfeld said.

Sounds like this will be one very interesting discussion....

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