Editor’s note: Charlotte Beat is a regular feature on Thursdays.Terry Thorson, executive director of the Metrolina Entrepreneurial Council says the MEC will co-host a reception at Exchange City in uptown Charlotte Thursday with the Young Entrepreneurs Organization, the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), and Charlotte Junior Achievement.

“The four of us are trying to form an alliance to further promote entrepreneurial growth in Charlotte,” says Thorson. Going from the youth oriented groups to the mature ACG is a sort of “cradle to grave” approach, Thorson says. “It’s mostly a reception to educate people about Exchange City.”

Philip Volponi, president and CEO of Junior Achievement Carolinas, tells Local Tech Wire that the simulated city opened last year to give fourth and fifth graders a taste of the real world. “We bring them to a replicated city for a full day,” he explains. Last year 10,000 students from Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools spent a day doing a job as mayor, policeman, banker, one of many other jobs or as an entrepreneur with a business plan.

He says the meeting Thursday is aimed at filling in the gaps between a program such as Exchange City to “nurture them until they really do start a business.”

Volponi says 1,400 students “stepped up and said they want to run a business someday.” They got to try out their business plan at Exchange City last year. “The general public sometimes tends to forget that our way of life is fueled through entrepreneurs,” he says.

Womble Carlyle luncheons

Michael Horne from the Revere Group speaks on tools and tactics for managing cost and complexity in IT portfolios at the WombleTech luncheon at the Westin Hotel today (Wednesday) at 11:30 AM. The program, which includes lunch and a networking period, runs until 1 PM.

One of our Charlotte sources tells us that the regular WombleTech lunch and learn programs are “a good place to network and offer good presentations.” They’re $20 at the door, $15 in advance.

Ted Claypoole, a technology attorney with Womble Carlyle, tells LTW, “I started this about two years ago because the Internet bubble kidnapped serious discussion of information technology in Charlotte. A lot of the talk buzzing around tech related events focused on how to raise money, how to get a first round, second round, and so on.

“There are tens of thousands of people in technology in Charlotte who don’t care about raising money because they work for large companies. I wanted to hit the kinds of technology issues people are hiring consultants to hear about.”

Claypoole says the next quarterly meeting in November focuses on “how to survive an IT outsourcing — as a company and personally.” The February meeting considers mobile technology. He says the events so far draw about 80 people.

Send email to Natalie Newell for more information: nnewell@wcrr.com.

New product from Decision Support

Decision Support Inc. of Matthews says it has released a new version of its URSA infoSuite for Unisys mainframes. It works with the company’s data integration tool, DQbroker.

The company describes URSA infoSuite as a low-cost option for clients to integrate data from other, non-mainframe databases.

Page Winchester, president of Decision Support says, “enhancement of this core product gives our clients the ability to provide enterprise information to management that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars if purchased outright as new applications from other vendors.”

Decision Support Inc. provides cross-platform data integration and reporting tools and services to a worldwide customer base including manufacturers, banks and credit unions, healthcare providers, and government agencies.

Innovative opens Boston office

Charlotte-based Innovative Software Solutions Inc. has opened a Boston office.

The new office markets the company’s point-of-sale e-business and administrative technology along with application development, data integration and Web design and hosting.

Innovative Software Solutions is a software-development company.

Metrolina Entrepreneurial Council:www.mec.org

Virtual Tour of Exchange City: www.jacarolinas.org/ectour

Decision Support:www.decisionsupport.com