Eastern NC Entrepreneurship Summit

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Entrepreneurship plays a crucial role in rebounding from an economic recession. In fact, tough economic times serve as a motivation for many to consider starting a new business. “We often find that challenging times spur entrepreneurship as people look for different ways to get out and make money or create a position for themselves in the business community when, for instance, companies merge and people get forced out,” said John Chaffee, President & CEO of North Carolina’s Eastern Region.

Entrepreneurship plays a crucial role in rebounding from an economic recession. In fact, tough economic times serve as a motivation for many to consider starting a new business. “We often find that challenging times spur entrepreneurship as people look for different ways to get out and make money or create a position for themselves in the business community when, for instance, companies merge and people get forced out,” said John Chaffee, President & CEO of North Carolina’s Eastern Region. 

Eastern NC understands entrepreneurship is key to long term economic vitality. That’s why likeminded partners came together in Greenville this past Tuesday, October 2nd to present the Eastern NC Entrepreneurship Summit. ECU’s Entrepreneurial Initiative with support from the Colleges of Business and Technology & Computer Science and North Carolina’s Eastern Region Economic Development Partnership hosted the event. Event sponsors included the Small Business Technology Development Center, the Eastern Office of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Greenville Utilities Commission, Pitt County Economic Development Commission, the City of Greenville, North Carolina’s Northeast Economic Development Partnership, Business Link North Carolina and McDonnel Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff, LLP.  

Over 100 attended the event which was highlighted by Dr. Randy Goldsmith. Dr. Goldsmith brought an extensive history of success in entrepreneurship. Most notably Dr. Goldsmith aided innovation-led and technology-based economic development, commercialization and capital formation efforts. He has directly assisted more than 1,000 entrepreneurs in their efforts to launch new companies. He has also participated in the creation and management of five investment funds totaling $20 million for startup ventures. His business principles are grounded in more than twenty years of corporate and small business experience as a founding entrepreneur and CEO in multiple settings. Entrepreneurial support organizations in the U.S. and throughout the world have adopted his venture coaching methods.

The event included tracks for both entrepreneurs and community and economic developers. Topics ranged from, “Accelerating Your Go to Market Strategy,” to “Money Saving Ideas and Lessons Learned.” Bill Whitley, the founder of three successful startups and author of “The Rainmaker” along with a panel of local entrepreneurs were among other speakers. The event, which received rave reviews from those in attendance, served the purpose of building a stronger local and regional economy by connecting resources to entrepreneurs and beginning what stakeholders hope will be a culture of excitement and optimism regarding local start-ups.