NC IDEA Newsletter – March 9, 2018

Last year the bipartisan public policy organization EIG (Economic Innovation Group) published some noteworthy research focusing on geographic economic inequality and the precipitous decline in entrepreneurship; respectively, the Distressed Communities Index (DCI) and Dynamism in Retreat reports.

The recent steep decline in business dynamism is alarming. Whereas the annual rate of business closures has remained fairly steady over that last several decades, the average number of new businesses starting each year has plummeted; falling by half since the late 1970s, and at an accelerated rate more recently. Other reports also show steep declines in several categories of entrepreneurship within North Carolina. Across the board, EIG reported, “from small mom and pop storefronts to high tech startups, new businesses are simply scarcer than ever.”

The 2017 DCI report finds that 17% of the U.S. population (52.3 million Americans) live in economically distressed communities. More alarming, in the state of North Carolina, 24.9% of our population is living in an economically distressed community. For those living in one of the more economically vibrant metro areas, some may be (blissfully) unaware to the fact that 1 in 4 fellow citizens lives with significant economic insecurity.

Considering these trends together, the proverbial canary in the coal mine isn’t looking so good; all of which begging the question, what should we do about this?

Fortuitously, the Foundation is currently working to reimagine our purpose; namely, a vision and mission for the foundation that may guide our priorities and programs. And we would appreciate your thoughts on the subject.

We created a brief survey, only four questions. Please take a moment to reflect on the information shared above, tempered by your own experience, and let us know what you think. 

If you are survey-phobic but still want to share thoughts, recommendations and/or links to other research we should be reading, please feel free to email me at Also, please consider spamming your friends, like-minded or otherwise, with the link for the survey.

Many thanks and entrepreneurially yours,

Thom Ruhe
President & CEO

Let Us Know What You Think

News and Events for Entrepreneurs 


1 Million Cups RTP
9am Every Wednesday at The Frontier in RTP 
Join 1 Million Cups every Wednesday to hear pitches from local entrepreneurs and engage with others in the entrepreneurial community. Based on the notion that entrepreneurs discover solutions and network over a million cups of coffee, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation developed 1 Million Cups in 2012—a free program designed to educate, engage and connect entrepreneurs with their communities. 1 Million Cups is now in more than 160 communities across the country. Learn more. 

RIoT Accelerator Program Now Accepting Applications
The RIoT Accelerator Program (RAP) facilitates entrepreneurship end-to-end from academic research and education through to rapid commercial growth. RAP increases the impact of traditional accelerator programming by partnering startups with an industry consortium of more than 60 companies across the IoT value chain. Industry seeds the accelerator with market-driven problems they are motivated to solve through entrepreneurial partnerships. Partners provide access to complimentary resources and seed investor capital necessary to launch new products and services to market. Learn more about eligibility for the program and apply here. Also, be sure to check out one of the upcoming information sessions.

LaunchBio Presents: The Sound of Science
Thursday, April 5th 2018

Larger Than Life Science is a free monthly event series open to everyone interested in building a strong support network for North Carolina’s life science and healthcare innovators.

Larger Than Life Science is held in the atrium level of the newly renovated Chesterfield Building in downtown Durham from 4-7 p.m. the first Thursday of each month. Join LaunchBio for an evening of unconventional conversation! Register here.


PT Wired is Hiring
PT Wired is looking for a talented software developer to maintain and enhance the
functional web application to improve the outcomes of physical therapy patients.Their
current product was built by a healthcare development company; you will be required to learn this existing code base. In the future, your position will grow to adding features, building EMR integrations (including working within Epic’s App Orchard), and perhaps even enhancing UX/UI and setting the technical direction of the company.The technical team is composed of high-level health-tech experts who can guide you in this role. This advising will lead you to develop deep experience within the healthcare technology space. Learn more about this position.