Editor’s note: Charlotte’s startup ecosystem is being given a boost by a young organization, StartCharlotte, which has as its mission to be “a voice” for the community. WRAL TechWire’s Jason Parker takes a look at the group as part of WTW’s continuing State of Startup series.

CHARLOTTE – StartCharlotte offers community resources to connect and celebrate as the group certainly did at a boisterous 2017 celebration last week during which the group handed out awards.

“Our hope is to be a voice for the Charlotte startup community,” said Juan Garzón, the executive director of StartCharlotte. “When someone moves to Charlotte or just wants to get plugged into the startup community and they ask where they should go, we want the answer to always be StartCharlotte.”

This year’s event was the second annual edition of StartCharlotte LIVE! The event—and the organization—began in 2016 after community, business, and governmental leaders participated in a design sprint focused on growing the startup economy in the Queen City.

Garzón and others noted the lack of a cohesive, entrepreneurial brand and a significant gap of media coverage of startups across the city. He set out to change this—and to celebrate the entire region’s entrepreneurial ventures, not just pockets of activity across the region.

At the event, the organization announced the pending release of its first digital report on startups that have participated in local accelerator programs.

“We think StartCharlotte has the opportunity to be that unifying brand the community needs,” said Garzón in a blog post articulating the reason for the LIVE! annual celebration.

Since inception, Garzón and his team share a story about a startup and their founder each week through an email newsletter that also aggregates news on startup in Charlotte and upcoming events in the community.

The organization launched the StartCharlotte Guide to the Charlotte Community, a digital resource for anyone interested in starting to research startups in Charlotte, in August 2017, and continues to profile startups and their founders each week in their newsletter and on their blog.

State of Startups: The Series

WRAL TechWire’s series to date:

  • Startup enthusiasm impresses investor/entrepreneur Scot Wingo
  • What’s happening in Winston-Salem
  • What’s happening in Greensboro
  • Across the Triad, growth is promising
  • Our goals: Covering startups, coast to mountains