Updated Aug. 8, 2017 at 12:21 p.m.

Innovate Raleigh, Greater Raleigh Chamber partner in effort to boost startups

Published: 2017-08-08 11:31:00
Updated: 2017-08-08 12:21:58

Innovate Raleigh Innovate Raleigh

The startup community in Raleigh is about to get a boost from a new partnership announced Tuesday between Innovate Raleigh and the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.

An executive director will be hired to lead the new effort when the alliance formally launches on Oct. 1.

The alliance will keep the Innovate Raleigh name, a Chamber spokesperson told WRAL TechWire.

“The objective is to fill gaps in the innovation ecosystem and address the needs of entrepreneurs,” said Terri Lomax, who is co-founder and chair of the Innovate Raleigh Executive Committee.

The alliance will be "led by its board of directors and advisory board and managed by an executive director who will be hired by the Chamber with the assistance of a search committee.," the spokesperson added.

Funding comes from charitable donations and events, according to the Chamber.

Lomax, a former executive at N.C. State, left the university to join RTI International. She helped conceive and launch Innovate Raleigh in 2011.

“It’s a win-win for the Chamber and Innovate Raleigh,” said Chamber CEO Adrienne Cole. “We’re excited to work together. Our mission to build a thriving economy is a great complement to Innovate Raleigh’s goal to foster entrepreneurial growth.”

Cole, recently named the Chamber's CEO, has been deeply involved in economic development efforts through her previous post at Wake Economic Development.

The partnership will offer "new initiatives and support services," the Chamber and Innovate Raleigh said in the announcement.

Loxmax said the idea for the new effort came during a recent organizational assessment.

Entrepreneurs said they need help in three areas:

  • Funding
  • Talent acquisition
  • Advocacy with state and local elected officials

The partners will put on the sixth annual Innovate Raleigh Summit on Nov. 9.

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