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NC IDEA FOUNDATION Announces Inaugural Statewide Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Summit

The 2019 Summit Will Bring Together the People and Organizations Who Support NC’s Entrepreneurs

 DURHAM, NC – August 1, 2019 – NC IDEA, a private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic advancement in North Carolina, announced today that the organization is hosting the inaugural North Carolina Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Summit with the goal to catalyze entrepreneurship as an economic development strategy for the state of North Carolina. The Ecosystem Summit will be held November 18-19, 2019 at the Hilton Raleigh North Hills in Raleigh, NC in conjunction with the Governor’s Entrepreneurial Council (GEC) and coinciding with Global Entrepreneurship Week.

The Ecosystem Summit will uniquely bring together the people and organizations who support, encourage and nourish North Carolina’s entrepreneurs 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. Over the course of two days, attendees will hear from experts, leaders and the entrepreneurs themselves through keynote talks and breakout sessions weaved together in a storytelling format on topics involving policy, data, rural entrepreneurship, inclusive entrepreneurship and more. The Summit will encompass all sectors of entrepreneurial activity in the state, including textiles, agriculture, food and beverage, consumer products, technology and biotech.

“We look forward to convening a diverse group of leaders and constituents from throughout the state this coming November,” said Thom Ruhe, President and CEO of NC IDEA. “We recognize that there are considerable differences in how we can and should promote entrepreneurship within differing communities around the state. We cannot promote a one-size fits all approach that might work from Boone to Burlington to Buxton. It is important that all voices are heard as we work toward a common goal of helping North Carolinians realize their full entrepreneurial potential,” Ruhe concluded.

The Ecosystem Summit is the only statewide conference of its kind that brings together the people and organizations who support entrepreneurs. The conference is intended for entrepreneurial support organizations; economic development organizations; university and community college entrepreneur programs; SBTDCs, SBCs, and CDFIs; and state and local government officials. Entrepreneurs may participate and interact with other attendees to help us best understand their needs; however, the content is not directed toward entrepreneurs as with other startup-focused conferences.

NC IDEA will be sharing speaker announcements 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 on Friday, September 6th.

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