Editor’s note: David Jones, a venture capitalist at in Raleigh, is blogging for Local Tech Wire from the

PINEHURST, N.C. – The first day ended Wednesday with a great line-up of company presentations – eight life sciences and eight technology/clean tech.

Most of the companies on the tech track had completed products and were selling into the market.


The second-day started with serial entrepreneur, Dick Williams speaking directly to the entrepreneurs and investors with advice and thoughts. Dick is the president and CEO of Webroot based in Boulder, CO.


Dick asked the crowd “what is the most difficult problem in business?” His answer, FOCUS. He claimed, there is always a lot of excitement and pull for revenue, but you have to force yourself to narrow your FOCUS to a market you can dominate and own first.


He has come in to software companies in a turnaround role several times and gets asked a lot, “what was the one thing that enabled you to succeed?” His remark – it’s never one thing, but always a million little things that add up to success.


He told the crowd to STAND OUT. You, as an entrepreneur and investor must STAND OUT and be different from the crowd.


In working with his sales team over the years, he always has them assume that their competitor is already installed in the potential customer, and he has to win it over.


The last keynote of the day was a great one by the Chairman, President, and CEO of Duke Energy, Jim Rogers. After that Janet Cowell, the NC Treasurer gave some remarks about the Innovation Fund where NC will earmark $230 million dollars to be invested into NC companies over 3-5 years. She had the Credit Suisse team, whom she selected to manage the program, present and available to answer questions.

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