Technology provides new ways to monetize game and television content

This article about a company that was born in the NCSU Tech Incubator shows how game development and simulation can generate innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities.

The Wake Tech Simulation and Game Development program helps fuel this industry in the Triangle by providing high quality, highly skilled employees to the over 40 local game development companies.  But many of our students also have entrepreneurial aspirations.  Those who transfer to 4-year colleges could immediately connect into their student entrepreneurship programs and incubators.

One day, we may actually see a Wake Tech SGD alum in the Triangle Business Journal touting their cutting edge idea.

Scot Wingo’s guide to the Triangle Startup Ecosystem Omits Community Colleges

Scot Wingo, Channel Advisor Founder and Chairman, created a chart to illustrate the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Triangle.  He included the universities in his diagram but he omitted the Community Colleges, the Small Business Centers and our Wake Tech/Wells Fargo Center for Entrepreneurship, a unique entity in the Triangle.

I had something to say about his diagram.  What do you think?


Good Communication Skills Are Critical for Entrepreneurs

Rise of the RestRecently, I had the opportunity to see a high-end startup pitch contest, something similar to what you might see on Shark Tank.  Eight startups had four minutes each to present their business to a panel of judges.  Then they answered questions for three minutes.  At the end of the evening, one startup had an extra $100,000 in the bank.

I was struck by the following:

  • These entrepreneurs were comfortable speaking in front of an audience.  Or they did an excelllent job of faking it.
  • They has obviously pitched their businesses many times because they were able to cover all of the points important to an investor in four minutes.
  • All remained unphased during the three minutes of questioning by the judges.  They had obviously been grilled many time before.
  • Each entrepreneur had assembled a team of skilled professionals to work in and support their businesses.
  • There were very few women and minorities among the contestants.
  • Most were graduates, or current members, of one of the local incubators or accelerators.

The pitch contest, called The Rise of the Rest,  was sponsored by Steve Case, founder of AOL.    RTP was just one stop on this tour.

As we look at how Wake Tech would create an incubator or accelerator or build runways from our entrepreneurs into existing ones, this experienced reinforced my belief that communication is a key leadership skill for the successful entrepreneur, especially if they plan to court investors or major strategic partners.


Farmers Need Business Plans, Too.


Food Shuttle Logo

It is easy to underestimate the complexity of farming as a profession. But it is one of the more challenging entrepreneurial ventures.  After all, farmers are at the mercy of the weather, any number of pests and the fickleness of pricing in a global economy.

In spite of the Farm-to-Fork movement, farmers are still not hot targets for angel and venture investors.  However, to anyone who wants to support local businesses, know where their food comes from and eat more organically, farming is very important.  And, with the right planning, farming can still support a family.

That is why I was so happy to accept the invitation from the Interfaith Food Shuttle’s Farm Stand Coordinator, Beth Dobosy to speak with some of their beginning farmers about the importance of business planning.   This was actually my second time speaking to a group like this.

If they invite me again, I may have to schedule a special business planning course just for people in artisan foods or farming.

Farming is still a family affair.   In the audience were two husband/wife teams and an aunt/niece team.  It was obvous that, in spite of the challenges, these entrepreneurs had a passion for their businesses and were proud of their products.

I explained the contents of a standard business plan and the importance of actually having a written plan.

Like most small businesses, what a farmer needs most is customers.  So, we spent most of our time discussing costing, pricing, marketing strategies and customer retention strategies.  Since what they sell is consumable, they have an opportunity to create repeat customers.  In fact, the survival of their business depends on it.

These entrepreneurs can use technology and social media to expand their reach and stay in touch with their customers.  The successful farmer and artisan foods entrepreneur of the future must also develop deep skills in information techology tools and social media.

This is where high-tech meets high-touch.   It is the best of both worlds.





Welcome to StartUp@WakeTech, the central source for news and information about entrepreneurship and startup activites among and for Wake Tech students, faculty, staff and clients.

Included in our coverage will be:

  • The latest news from the Wake Tech/Wells Fargo Center for Entrepreneurship
  • Businesses started by Wake Tech students, faculty and staff.
  • Wake Tech participation in local startup activities like pitch contests and networking events.
  • Recommended and Wake Tech-sponsored events.
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