Looking to strengthen ties across the state’s startup ecosystem, the CEO of Durham-based Adzerk is growing a a better-connected community through the collaboration tool known as Slack. And in just a matter of days, more than 400 people have signed on.

“On a mission to make your working life simpler, more pleasant and more productive,” is how Slack describes its mission.

And James Avery, who also is founder of Adzerk, is a believer.

“I have a couple goals with this slack community, but first to answer the question ‘Why Slack?'”.

“Slack is a much higher bandwidth mode of communication than any of the other community style apps before it,” Avery explains in response to a series of questions.

“A group of Facebook might have a handful of posts a week, a mailing list maybe a couple a day, a good slack community will have thousands of messages a day. That’s possible because people can self organize in to channels of what they find interesting. We have successful developer and designer focused slacks in the Triangle, but we don’t have a startup focused one.”

Serial entrepreneur and investor Chris Heivly supports what Avery is doing.

“I love this entrepreneur-led type of activity and frankly it is the type of activity we need to see more of,” he says.

Slack is free to download, by the way.

Avery is so impressed with Slack that he os casting his eyes for community beyond RTP.

“My goal was not to just create a Triangle community, but a NC wide community,” he says.

“I often run in to founders from other cities and I wonder why I didn’t know them earlier.

“This Slack can become a hub for startup activity all over the state, and it isn’t separated like the current AU [American Underground] or Hub Slacks, anyone involved in startups can join it.”

Big ambitions

And Avery is aiming high for participantion.

“I think if this is successful we will have hundreds if not thousands of people organizing in to groups of CEOs, product managers, sizes of companies, people looking to raise money [and more],” he points out.

“This could be a huge boon to the community and also help bring NC companies together – and it’s totally free and doesn’t need any funding from vendors.”

Heivly also sees a lot of potential in the effort.

“Founders, future-founders are all encouraged to join in and as it develops, sub-channels will emerge to address various issues of interest,” Heivly says..

“This is a state-wide effort and feel free to pass this on to others in your network.”

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