Today, on stage in Kansas City, John Austin who runs the Groundworks Labs new business accelerator program in Durham, announced that the Triangle beat out more than a dozen other cities to win the bid to host the 2015 UP America Summit, bringing nearly 200 entrepreneurs from the Americas to the Triangle.

“We are pleased and exited to invite you to our community in the Triangle,” said  Austin at the 2014 UP summit in Kansas City, “we’ve got a great story to share with you.”

The UP America Summit gathers organizers from entrepreneurial communities across North America, providing opportunities for organizers, entrepreneurs, and leaders to learn from one another. The Triangle will host the organization’s third event, held annually. It’s part of the UP Global international effort to boost entrepreneurship, which is supported by The Kauffman Foundation, Google for Entrepreneurs, The Case Foundation, Coca-Cola and others.

“The Triangle is a perfect fit for the UP America Summit,” Ari Kern, Southeast Regional Manager of UP Global, “I’ve been very impressed with how cohesive and collaborative the community is, especially given the geographic diversity across multiple cities.

 “The Triangle has a lot of incredibly strong entrepreneurial leaders, and new people continue to step up and take ownership over the community’s programs, initiatives and events.”

 Here in Kansas City, there’s a buzz in the room about visiting the Triangle next year.

 “It is wonderful to see how the Triangle region is able to provide all the ingredients for a vibrant startup ecosystem – a perfect fit for next year’s UP Global Summit, ”said Roman Kern, Director of Systems and Operations at MassChallenge, a Boston-based accelerator. “I am pumped to be part of it, and look forward to great sessions and discussions with inspiring local entrepreneurs and community leaders.”

Triangle Impact

 What’s this mean for the Triangle?

 It’s another opportunity to showcase the impressive growth of the entrepreneurial communities across the region. Organizers are enthusiastic about sharing the incredible entrepreneurial communities in the Triangle, which might include:

  • Downtown Durham, from American Tobacco Campus and the American Underground through Central Park to the Fullsteam corridor;
  • Raleigh’s Warehouse District, including HQ Raleigh, the newly announced Citrix Accelerator, ThinkHouse, and NC State’s Centennial Campus;
  • Chapel Hill’s incubators and coworking spaces along Rosemary and Franklin Streets; and
  • Research Triangle Park, including First Flight Venture Center, RTP Headquarters, and the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

 “The Triangle is also uniquely positioned as a city to model,” said Kern, “the collaboration between government, universities, businesses, and the startup community is ideal and perfectly aligned to our vision of a thriving entrepreneurial community.

 UP Global supports entrepreneurial communities through developing the human capital infrastructure required to plan, organize, and execute community events within the region, most notably, Triangle Startup Weekend. Recently, Groundwork Labs also announced a working agreement with Startup Next, another UP Global initiative.

The Back Story

The first Triangle Startup Weekend held in the Triangle was in 2007 in Carrboro. A second occurred the following year. After a three-year gap, the program restarted in 2011 by an organizing team that included Mital Patel and a team of other volunteer organizers from within the entrepreneurial community.

 “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the growth of the Triangle’s entrepreneurial community is similar to the growth of Startup Weekends,” said Patel.

Since 2011, the organizing team has grown to more than two dozen volunteers that run between four and six Startup Weekends across four verticals (Education, Health, Maker, Women). More than 1,000 people have participated in a Triangle Startup Weekend, said Patel, and that number will continue to increase as the organizing team grows, expands, and networks the networks within the Triangle.

 Patel was instrumental in winning the bid to host the UP Summit, along with John Austin and Adam Klein, who oversees the American Underground entrepreneurial project. Organizers were notified 10 days ago, and the Triangle has six folks participating and learning at the 2014 UP America Summit in Kansas City.

 One of the major themes for each summit is the showcasing of the region to the Summit’s attendees.

 “We’ll be bringing nearly 200 organizers of entrepreneurial communities to the Triangle,” said Patel, “where we can showcase the best of the Triangle: our startups, our government and business leaders, our universities, and our culture.”

 Specific dates of the UP America Summit have yet to be announced. For more information on the Summit, visit this year’s event page at: