Editor’s note: Adam Klein is the Chief Strategist for the American Underground. He is responsible for running the day-to-day operations of the Underground including marketing, programming, and leasing. Prior to that he was with the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce where he launched the Bull City Startup Stampede and The Smoffice initiatives. He’ll be blogging for WRAL News about the launch of non-stop flight service to Silicon valley from RTP and meetings with investors as well as entrepreneurs in technology’s cradle.
DURHAM, N.C. – Wednesday morning I’m leaving RDU early to check out the inaugural direct flight to San Francisco that was announced a few months ago. It’s a great step forward for our region—one that’s helping us make moves on the national radar as a hub for entrepreneurs.
Now you’re one flight from investors, talent, and major startups on the West Coast. And it’s a symbolic move.
Kudos to Governor Bev Perdue and her staff along with Michael Landguth of the Airport Authority and many others for moving the needle on this. The flight will have a delegation of economic developers from the Governor’s office, including Governor Perdue, along with leaders from NC Commerce, Raleigh, and Durham for a three day sprint through the Bay Area.
It’s my first trip to the Valley and I’m excited to see how the premier hub for entrepreneurs works. I’ve been building out my itinerary over the past few weeks and asking for help from people in my network here to meet with investors and others there.
My schedule is now a mixture of meetings with investors, a reception the Governor is hosting Thursday night, and time immersing myself in the startup ecosystem.
I was tipped off to a service called Loosecubes by Taylor Mingos, CEO of Shoeboxed, that is essentially an office sharing network allowing you to take over space in cities you might be visiting. The offices are in sweet locations swimming with entrepreneurs so my first stop is at a place called NextSpace SF on Thursday. I’ll drop my laptop for part of the day alongside a bunch of other entrepreneurs and just take in the scene. I chose to go this way as a chance to hear straight from the entrepreneurs what they love about the Bay Area and what they don’t, and what we could learn from the work they are doing there.
I wish I could lay out all the outcomes that might come of this but I’m a big believer in the power of networks and relationships and think this could lead to some great connections. Plus I’ll get to wear jeans and a t-shirt to work.
Friday morning I am working at Rickshaw Bagworks and am hoping to also look at some spaces like Power and Coffee, a cool concept that blends a coffee shop (with a ton of outlets) and a coworking space for entrepreneurs. I may also swing by the Parisoma Innovation Loft too.
Being at the American Underground now, I’m interested to see how other cities are creating places for entrepreneurs and what kind of support they are providing budding startups. I’m also interested to see what kind of partnerships exist between the various communities in the Valley to see what we could apply here in the Triangle. Lots to see and do!
Stay tuned for more—I’ll blog a few more times and try to snap some photos of the trip. And please leave some comments below if there are some places you’d recommend I check out.