Entrepreneurship Summit to be Held in Greenville

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Entrepreneurship plays a vital role in developing strong regional economies, especially when rebounding from an economic recession, which is why likeminded partners are coming together to host the 2nd annual Eastern NC Entrepreneurship Summit in Greenville on October 29, 2014.

Entrepreneurship plays a vital role in developing strong regional economies, especially when rebounding from an economic recession, which is why likeminded partners are coming together to host the 2nd annual Eastern NC Entrepreneurship Summit in Greenville on October 29, 2014. 

“We often find that challenging times spur entrepreneurship as people look for different ways to make money or create a position for themselves in the business community when companies downsize or merge and people get forced out,” said John Chaffee, President & CEO of North Carolina’s Eastern Region. 

Building upon the success of the inaugural event in 2012, this year’s Entrepreneurship Summit boasts a stellar lineup of speakers and panels. 

David Berkus of Arcadia, CA (San Diego) will be the keynote speaker.  Berkus, chairman emeritus and member of Tech Coast Angels, has invested in 68 small technology companies since 1993, earning an internal rate of return (IRR) of 97 percent.  He served on the boards of 40 of these companies and was chairman of 12.  Berkus is currently a board member of 10 private companies, chairman of six, and an active member of four non-profit boards.  He is co-author of Better Than Money and Extending the Runway (available at www.berkus.com with author royalties donated to charity).   His latest book is Berkonomics.

Addressing those in attendance will also be Phil Hodges, President of Metrics Inc. based in Greenville, NC. Hodges is responsible for guiding the strategic direction and growth of the company.  Since cofounding Metrics in 1994, Hodges has overseen its transition from a start-up analytical laboratory with four employees to one of the Southeast’s premier pharmaceutical development laboratories with more than 200 employees. Throughout his tenure, Metrics has experienced double-digit annual revenue growth.

Additionally, the event will feature panels on: 1) funding for entrepreneurs (VC, Angels, Crowdfunding, SBIR’s), 2) social media strategies; 3) building the best team; 4) social media panel on effective practices and; 5) risk management and liability for tourism entrepreneurs.

According to Marty Hackney, Director of ECU’s Entrepreneurial Initiative, the Entrepreneurship Summit has important content for ALL small business owners from startups and beyond, especially if an owner or manager wants more direction on improving sales, finding money and building a team.  “Our speakers are some of the best in the country and we included topics on tourism. If you like business, you don’t want to miss this event!  There will be many opportunities to network with investors and different entrepreneur support systems. Eastern NC is building a wonderful startup and small business culture that will be an important foundation to business and job growth ahead,” said Ms. Hackney.

The event is possible due to a host of sponsors:  ECU’s Office of Innovation and Economic Development and the Division of Research and Graduate Studies, North Carolina’s Eastern Region Economic Development Partnership, Hilton – Greenville, ECU College Technology & Computer Science (CITE), the Frank Hawkins Institute for Private Enterprise, the Pitt County Economic Development Commission, McDonnel Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff, LLP, the Eastern Office of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Greenville Utilities Commission, the City of Greenville, North Carolina’s Northeast Economic Development Partnership, Business Link North Carolina, the Small Business Technology Development Center, the Eastern Carolina Councils of Government, the Upper Coastal Plain Councils of Government and the Pitt Community College Small Business Center.

The Summit will take place on Tuesday, October 29 at the Hilton Greenville from 8:30 am – 3:00 pm.  Registration is required at www.nceast.org/2013esummit. Early registration will end on October 17th with registration remaining open until the day before the event. Members of the media are welcome to attend.  For more information, contact: (252) 737-2256.

North Carolina’s Eastern Region is a regional economic development agency serving 13 counties from I-95 to the coast.  For information visit North Carolina’s Eastern Region website (www.nceast.org).