Daniel Robinson, a recent graduate of the MBA program at Wake Forest University, is the new director of business development at the Council for Entrepreneurial Development.

Robinson, who just recently started his duties, is started at CED at a busy time. The group’s Entrepreneur 04 Conference is set for Saturday, and as of Thursday night more than 450 people had signed up to attend. Robinson attended the North Carolina Biotech Center’s 20th anniversary celebration on Thursday night.

Robinson, a native of Tennessee, also starts his job just as area entrepreneurs seem to be more excited about starting new businesses, according to a new CED survey.

The findingss were released in time to help spark more interest in Entrepreneur 04, a daylong conference at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.

CED surveyed some 500 people, 100 of whom responded, and results were compared to a January 2003 survey. Of the respondents, one-third considered themselves as prospective entrepreneurs.

Findings including:

  • 64 percent said prospects of building or growing a business in North Carolina were good or excellent. That compares to 36 percent in the 2003 survey.

  • 51 percent said chances were good or excellent for building a business outside the state, up from 35 percent in 2003.

  • Most survey respondents said financing based on revenue was the best option for companies seeking money over strategic partnerships, venture capital and grants.

  • Maintaining a strong customer base is the top challenge facing startups, followed by closing the new sale and seeking new or alternative sales and marketing channels. In 2003, making the sale ranked highest.
  • CED: www.cednc.org