This article was written for our sponsor, Gig East.

In the business world, it’s all about who you know.

For companies who are small but still carry name recognition, they’re able to get on the radar of big names like IBM or Red Hat. In doing so, they can form partnerships that boost valuation and customer bases on both ends.

For smaller startups without the same connections, getting established in the larger industry ecosystem can be a sometimes impossible challenge.

At North State Consulting, CEO Bill O’Boyle is using his experience at both big-name companies and small startups to help businesses make those crucial connections.

“I learned at Citrix that when technology companies partner, it can have a huge impact on both companies, particularly smaller companies like startups — but a lot of smaller, younger companies don’t necessarily know how to put all those pieces together or represent themselves well with larger companies,” said O’Boyle. “My original idea was just to be a consultant and help small tech companies partner with large tech companies, as well as help them strategically with building out their own sales, methodologies, and programs. But then companies started asking for help with more sales leads. I started doing that, and we ended up doing a million dollars in revenue in the first nine months.”

North State Consulting started in Raleigh, but O’Boyle had roots in Wilson County’s Elm City. Spurred by a lower cost of operating and the chance to expand into a larger space, O’Boyle made the move to Wilson, eventually landing in the Gig East Exchange.

By saving money on operating costs, North State Consulting is able to offer higher salaries to its employees, attracting better talent in turn.

“The cost of doing business is pennies compared to Raleigh. Here in Wilson, you can actually buy a building, renovate it and own your own asset. We’re able to attract more experienced people, and they’re able to stretch their paychecks a lot further, while also having this huge gateway into a future career,” said O’Boyle.  “A lot of those companies like IBM and Red Hat typically only look for people who have experience. Here, we give them that experience. I really wanted to bring tech jobs back to my hometown.”

With plenty of growth already behind them, North State remains committed to growing in Wilson. In fact, the company recently purchased a historic property in downtown Wilson that they’re in the middle of revitalizing. Built in 1855, the 2,965-square-foot building previously housed a drug store before sitting unoccupied for years. Now, O’Boyle hopes to turn it into a hub for first-class modern technology.

While North State Consulting is now in need of a bigger space, the Exchange was the perfect place for them to accelerate their growth.

“It’s perfect for us because a coworking space has very flexible terms. For somebody like us, that’s growing really quickly, Gig East can scale with us. Having something like that in Wilson is a huge asset, because you don’t have to sign in a three or five-year lease and predict how big your company is going to be — it can scale accordingly,” said O’Boyle. “It’s really great to work with other companies in the Exchange, as well. Actually, one of the clients we have now is in the Exchange, and we never would’ve gotten that client had we not been there.”

For O’Boyle, the collaborative nature of the Exchange was a key component in facilitating growth for North State Consulting. It allowed him the opportunity to test out growth and recruitment before putting down permanent roots with a building of his own.

In addition to the Exchange, O’Boyle also hopes to use more of Wilson’s unique resources as North State Consulting continues to grow.

“There are lots of programs, and the state has the building reuse grant, which we took advantage of. There’s the historic tax credit, which is huge. Then the city and county offer grants also to help offset building costs. The economic development team here in Wilson is very smart and committed, and they’re punching well above their weight,” said O’Boyle. “You’ve got great broadband and infrastructure to power a tech company, as well. It’s a fun place to do business, and it’s a fun place to grow a business.”

This article was written for our sponsor, Gig East.