Smarter Connection Day at IBM

What a great way to start off this conference than to see Kate Cooley, Ed Burgard, and Felicia Dozier, all Morrisville small businesses and entrepreneurs!

I enjoyed a great conference on entrepreneurship at IBM, and was again impressed with Secretary Decker’s vision for how we can provide ,more support for small business and entrepreneurship.

She also did cite that we have much work to do, in commercializing technology from the unversities and that we must do a much better job in linking the unversities to small businesses and capital, similar to what Boston and the bay area are doing so much better than us!

The conference was attended by entrepreneurs from around the region and other speakers included Joan Seifert Rose from CED, Bob Geolas, from RTP and other start up successes.    Secretary Decker and I shared ideas on how we can increase more venture capital and she did like my idea on how we can leverage the increasing immigrant communities in the Triangle to market the RTP as a global hub of innovation.

IBM Emerging Technologies Group presented on how they work to identify new techologies, and work with entrepreneurs to test and validate these technologies, citing a number of examples in the areas of open data, and cloud computing, where emerging technologies resulted from their work with entrepreneurs.

I am meeting with Craig Spence, from this team, to explore how we can leverage companies like IBM to mentor entrepreneneurs in our Morrisville programs, since we have so many companies in the area, where innovation is ciritical to their growth as companies.

Bob Geolas, CEO of RTP, identified that the RTP, under its new plan and vision, is focused on investing more in entrepreneurship, and wants to make sure that we invest in smaller, more nimble companies, and create an environment for similar to the Bay area or Boston.   The paradigm has shifited from recruiting larger companies to growing jobs through faster growing companies, resulting from innovation and ideas.    One key part of the plan is to have more of a Tobacco Campus environment, with shops, recreation, and a stronger sense of community.

Thanks to IBM, TIE and CED and all of the participants and I do look forward to continued discussion on these topics and was glad to represent Morrisville and Wake County at this event!

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