Interactive, Virtual Event to be Held November 16-17 During Global Entrepreneurship Week

DURHAM, NC – August 11, 2020 – NC IDEA, a private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic empowerment in North Carolina, announced today that the organization is hosting its second annual Ecosystem Summit with the ambition to rethink and reset economic development priorities through entrepreneurship for the state of North Carolina. The interactive, virtual event will be held November 16-17, 2020 as an official event of Global Entrepreneurship Week.

The Ecosystem Summit is the only statewide conference of its kind that uniquely brings together diverse leaders in the North Carolina entrepreneurial ecosystem and economic development professionals to address what is needed to support all entrepreneurs and create a shared vision of making North Carolina the best place to start a business. Over the two days, attendees will hear from national and local experts, leaders and entrepreneurs through keynote talks and breakout sessions weaved together in an informative and entertaining storytelling format. Discussions will challenge attendees to rethink priorities in the face of current economic challenges and reset the way of thinking in order to reach our goal of creating strong entrepreneurial ecosystems in North Carolina.

“Historically, entrepreneurs have led economic activity and recovery after seismic downturns in our economy; out of necessity,” said Thom Ruhe, President and CEO of NC IDEA. “Creating a united sense of community and expanding our capacity to help all North Carolinians realize their full entrepreneurial potential, is vital to accelerating our recovery and protecting our state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Ruhe concluded.

In 2019, NC IDEA hosted the first-ever North Carolina Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Summit with an unprecendented gathering of nearly 500 indiviuals and organizations who support, encourage and nourish North Carolina’s entrepreneurs. Attendees came together to share what is working; address issues and concerns; meet and network with those doing similar work in other communities; and celebrate and promote entrepreneurs and their successes across the state.

NC IDEA will begin announcing speaker and agenda updates in the coming weeks. The organization is also soliciting sponsors, as well as ideas from the community for speakers and topics that are of importance and interest. Learn more about the conference and share your input at Early bird registration will open in mid-September.

NC IDEA is an independent private foundation committed to empowering North Carolinians to achieve their entrepreneurial potential. Through our powerful combination of competitive grants and programs, and a network of strategic partners, we help entrepreneurs when they need it most. NC IDEA’s resources are highly competitive, enabling the foundation to support North Carolina’s most ambitious entrepreneurs. We believe entrepreneurs transform communities and view our work as a catalyst for positive change. Learn more at