Guest columnist

Column: November events celebrate startups

Guest columnistOctober 28, 2013 

Startup-event organizers in the Triangle are getting more creative with their scheduling, and November will mark the third time this year that two or more events will come together to celebrate entrepreneurship.

In June, Durham accelerator The Startup Factory brought in more than a dozen sponsors and turned its bi-annual Pitch Day into Paradoxos, a two-day startup festival complete with music, speaking events and a party that spilled out into the downtown Durham streets.

In September, Raleigh’s M.A.I.N event, a month-long series of 11 events held downtown, included Triangle Entrepreneurship Week and the CED Tech Venture Conference.

And in November, The Startup Factory’s fall “Showcase” and Startup Summit mini conference, which is part of Internet Summit, will bring entrepreneurs, potential entrepreneurs and investors to downtown Raleigh.

On the morning of Nov. 12, The Startup Factory’s Showcase, held at Fletcher Theater at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, will feature its fall 2013 graduating class of six startups. The event will also include speaker Bob Young, founder of Lulu and Red Hat.

The Showcase is a great place to network with entrepreneurs, investors and supporters from the Triangle and elsewhere. It’s also a chance to hear real, rehearsed pitches from six startups that have spent countless hours over the past three months focusing on their companies.

That same afternoon, the Startup Summit kicks off a few blocks away at the Raleigh Convention Center. Spun out of TechMedia’s long-running Internet Summit and now in its second year, the Startup Summit is a two-day series of panels, presentations, demos and keynotes featuring local, regional and national entrepreneurial talent.

Startup Summit continues the morning of Nov. 13 with speaker Doug Lebda, CEO and founder of Lending Tree.

Internet Summit, which calls itself the “Southeast’s largest digital gathering,”runs through Nov. 14. That event will have more than 100 speakers, including author and social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk, actor Kevin Pollak, Cheezburger founder Ben Huh and reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, who will delve into topics such as the technical and marketing sides of digital media, startups and emerging technologies.

It’s the first time in Raleigh for The Startup Factory, and managing partner Chris Heivly is looking forward to pairing with the Summits.

“We hope to make it easier for those coming from out of town to enjoy both events,” said Heivly. “I expect to engage more Raleigh-based people who may not have known, understood or felt connected to a Startup Factory Pitch Day.”

These events offer three-days of opportunities to learn, network – whether or not you’re already part of the Triangle entrepreneurial scene.

Joe Procopio is a serial entrepreneur, writer and speaker. Follow him on Twitter @jproco and online at

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