Start-Ups

AOL founder Steve Case
Robert Scoble / Wikimedia Commons

Nearly two-thirds of the nation's venture capital goes to three states: New York, Massachusetts and California. 

But innovative ideas are not limited to these areas. Start-ups across the country are developing new solutions and a competition called Rise of the Rest seeks to reward these entrepreneurs. Local businesses compete for $100,000 today at the Carolina Theater in Durham at 3 p.m. 

Host Frank Stasio talks with venture capitalist, AOL co-founder and Rise of the Rest leader Steve Case.

The 'Old Well' UNC-Chapel HIll
Caroline Culler / Wikipedia

The UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees has moved forward with plans to create its own venture fund for start-ups.

The Carolina Research Venture Fund will begin with $5 million, from investment earnings on non-state funds.

UNC-Chapel Hill Trustee Sallie Shuping-Russell says they had to step up because the industry is not flowing with dollars right now.

Downtown Raleigh Skyline
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tsolson / flickr

Tech start-ups in the Triangle received welcome news this week. Durham-based Bull City Venture Partners plans to invest some $26 million in projects throughout the mid-Atlantic.

The group began raising funds more than a year ago and has already invested in one Raleigh-based digital media initiative. Co-founder David Jones says the mid-Atlantic is an area ripe with innovation, but investors often need convincing.

The Soar logo
Soar

A new program in Durham is seeking to help female entrepreneurs close the gender gap in securing startup money.

Google is putting up $15,000 to fund the new organization called Soar, which will help women-led start-ups connect with venture capitalists and similar businesses that have gotten funding.

The non-profit Kauffman Foundation says only 5 percent of all venture capital goes to fund women-led start-ups, even though companies with female leaders are found to be more efficient and bring in bigger returns.

An architect's rendering of American Underground's offices planned for Raleigh.
Alliance Architecture

A new hub for startup businesses in Raleigh is set to open this fall. 

Durham-based American Underground says it's opening space enough for 25 startups on Fayetteville St. in downtown Raleigh.  The company sells affordable commercial space to Durham entrepreneurs in exchange for connecting them with investors and providing other support.

Collegiate entrepreneurs from schools like Pitt, Florida State, Clemson and NC State gathered in Raleigh Wednesday for a different kind of ‘March Madness.’  These business-minded students were not on a basketball court.  Instead, they were bouncing around a working prototype in hopes of winning a big check and a foot in the start-up world. 

It's hard to start a business, but a model of support has emerged to help entrepreneurs get their foot in the door. Business incubators give fledgling start-ups the resources and infrastructure they need to get off the ground. Host Frank Stasio talks about giving new businesses what they need to succeed with JT Vaughn, the founder of a green technology incubator called The Cherokee Challenge, and Adam Klein, chief strategist for the American Underground.

Tom Giedgowd
Leoneda Inge

It’s March Madness for college basketball fans.  But teams of student entrepreneurs gathered in Durham this week for Start-up Madness.

Niki Kohari:  Can you guys feel the March Madness in the air!

The city of Raleigh, NC State University, and private companies are holding a one-day Innovation Summit today. Their goal is to enhance the capitol city’s reputation as a place for tech startups.