DURHAM – It’s no secret that the Triangle and RTP are packed with innovative companies that are using technology, communication and even compassion to change the world. These careers – and the individuals who make them possible – were celebrated at Big Top’s networking bash at the American Tobacco Campus on Monday evening.

“When we hire people, we don’t call them employees – we call them advocates,” said Mindie Stanford., a representative from K4 Connect, a Cary-based company that empowers older adults and people with disabilities to live their best lives.

The Automated Insights group

K4, one of the six companies represented at the event, is using cutting-edge technology to directly affect the lives of a population in need.

Representatives and engineers work with people in-home and in nursing homes and care facilities to make everyday tasks like getting out of bed, getting dressed and staying in touch with loved ones easier.

“We’re empowering the resident to send pictures, to video chat,” said Mindie. “It’s mostly things that we take for granted that we’re helping others to accomplish. Our ultimate goal is to help people live in their own homes.”

Mindie went on to say that, often, senior citizens in nursing homes are made to feel like patients, and K4 technology can help them live more proactive lives. Of course, behind the technology is a need for engineers and developers that will help K4 better serve the community. “We have 50 people currently and plan to double by the end of this year,” said Mindie.

Also represented at the Big Top Bash was Automated Insights, which uses clear, natural language to make sense of the world’s data, and Pendo, a start-up based in downtown Raleigh whose mission is to improve society’s experience with software. Both companies emphasized their desire for growth and their drive to improve clients’ lives.

“We are trying to grow from 60 people to 160 people,” said a representative from Automated Insights, which is based in an office overlooking the Durham Bulls baseball field. “We first and foremost focus on our culture and our people.”

“We’re here for you,” said the Sales Manager at Pendo, who said when it comes to growth the company is a “rocket ship.”

Two representatives from the Pendo team

Each company did more than pitch their success and results – they emphasized compassionate, modern approaches to the workplace, reflected in how they treat their employees and how their products better the community.

Irene Serrano Alvarado came to familiarize herself with tech companies, big and small, in the area, and to her, the goodness of the start-ups didn’t go unnoticed.

“These companies reflect a lot of the hardcore values of our Durham community,” she said. “I am proud to live here.”

Another modern company at the event was Bee Downtown, which was started by Leigh-Kathryn Bonner, a graduate of North Carolina State University.

Bee Downtown installs beehives in cities to help rebuild a healthy honeybee population — they now host 120 hives in North Carolina. Bee Downtown is currently looking for a Director of Operations to join the team of activists who promote sustainability and health in urban communities.

Last to speak were representatives from SugarCRMwhich works to create a simple user interface and industry-leading customer experience, and TeamWorks, which provides collaboration software for athletic organizations.

“Sugar is a California-based company, but we have been in North Carolina for over six years,” said a representative from the company, which has an office in RTP. “We’re hiring software engineers and product managers, and we help our customers help their customers. We win because of our people.”

Big Top Director Molly Demarest braves the cold to talk to event attendees and start-ups

Durham-based Teamworks has doubled in both revenue and people for four years in a row and was founded by a former Duke football player.

The goal of the event, according to Big Top Director Molly Demarest, was to help companies better tell their stories and provide job seekers with quality, trustworthy and thriving career opportunities in comfortable environment. To learn more, visit BigTop.jobs, a source to stay up-to-date with Big Top happenings, create a skill set profile and search for jobs.