When a new grant program kicks off in the coming months to help Raleigh startups and small businesses upfit their offices, it’ll be a special win for the city’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Manager Derrick Minor.

Through his role in the Office of Economic Development, it’s Minor’s job to connect entrepreneurs to resources both in and outside of the government, and to help city leaders understand how they can support entrepreneurs without getting in the way of their success. He plays one of the most important roles in Raleigh’s plan to become a top city for innovation and entrepreneurship nationally.

Critical to his success over the past four years is his ability to operate in the world of entrepreneurs rather than government officials. Though Minor’s formal office is located on the seventh floor of One Exchange Plaza in downtown Raleigh, he spends much of his time in what he calls “the field,” working from various spaces throughout the city like HQ Raleigh, The Nest and Loading Dock, and even talking about his job before crowds at the June VergeNC event.

Upheld by an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” kind of philosophy, Minor’s daily practice of immersing himself in the local startup scene has reaped rewards. Since undertaking the position nearly four years ago, he has connected hundreds of early stage startups to the resources they need. He engaged with 170 companies just last year.

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