Bryan Toney, left, associate vice chancellor for economic development at UNCG, and Justin Streuli, director of the N.C. Entrepreneurship Center at UNCG, stand in front of the house that will be renovated for ThinkHouseU. Photo by Julie Knight
Entrepreneurial support is poised to expand once again in Greensboro while taking a step closer to a nationally recognized entrepreneurial haven – the Triangle.
Starting in August 2015, UNC Greensboro will serve as a national pilot for a residential concept called ThinkHouseU. In a renovated house in the Glenwood neighborhood near campus, eight imaginative and determined undergrads with viable visions of new business startups will live together for nine months. They will not only share kitchen space and bathrooms, but swap ideas and encouragement as well.
Chris Gergen, a leader in the Triangle in entrepreneurial support, is behind the effort in Greensboro.
Joey Adams, 33, a Greensboro software developer, is co-founder of The Forge, a makerspace in downtown Greensboro.
As executive editor of the Triad Business Journal from 1998 to 2011, I wrote a weekly front-page column titled Triad Talk. After a three-year hiatus, Editor Mark Sutter agreed to my idea to return as a monthly columnist with a new name, Triad Next. The first column on the Triad’s growing support for young, creative professionals ran on Aug. 29, 2014. It’s behind a paywall for 30 days. But you can see it on Medium.com before then.
Excerpt: Take downtown apartments and ballparks, coffee shops, microbreweries, art hops,food trucks, live theater and bike paths. Add in idea slams, accelerator labs, collaborative office space, entrepreneurial meetups and business incubators. That’s when the perception shifts. That’s when you hear something like this: “I see no reason why I can’t build my company here,” says Chris Padgett, 26, founder of Fusion 3 Design, a 6-month-old 3D-printer manufacturer in east Greensboro. “It’s places like this that make me optimistic.”
In this business report on WFDD, I talk about the ongoing battle to attract and retain young professionals in the Triad, based on my August 2014 column in the Triad Business Journal. “The Triad has made a lot of progress over the last several years to the point of supporting the growth of the creative class, including those in design, technology, communication and the arts,” I told WFDD’s Keri Brown.
My first interview with Jim Melvin was in 1988 when I was a young reporter in Winston-Salem for the News & Record of Greensboro. I’ve interviewed him scores of times since. In this most recent interview, he discusses the biggest economic development project he’s ever chased, and — to the delight of advocates and the dismay of critics — makes it clear he has no intention of retiring any time soon.
Excerpt: Eighty years old. A bronze statue. His name long affixed to City Hall. A list of accomplishments, as well as legions of admirers and critics, that could fill his beloved ballpark. All this might suggest that the end of the road for Melvin as a community leader is in sight.
It’s not. He says he can’t imagine anything worse than getting up in the morning and not having something important to do. He says there is no succession plan at the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation. He says he has no immediate plans to retire.
“Like Mr. Bryan (who retired at 97), I’ll know when it’s time,” he says . Click here for the story.
Since first meeting Andy Zimmerman in 1999, I have chronicled his career as an inveterate entrepreneur, innovator and leading force within the paddlesports industry. Those columns and the dates they ran are listed here.