Jim Roberts
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Jim Roberts






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Jim Roberts Jim Roberts Presentation Transcript

  • Entrepreneurship as part of Economic Development Jim Roberts Executive Director Blue Ridge Entrepreneurial Council Blue Ridge Angel Investors Network Part of AdvantageWest
  • Western North Carolina faces unique challenges
    • BRAIN DRAIN since the Great Depression
      • Asheville was a GREAT, GREAT place in the 30’s
    • Declining Manufacturing economy
      • Transylvania County lost three largest employers in the same year
    • Lack a business profile in WNC in business friendly state
      • Seen as a place to visit or retire, not a place to do business
  • North Carolina is a leader
    • North Carolina is the home to five entrepreneur councils .
      • BREC is the youngest
      • Part of AdvantageWest, ARC funding
    • Council for Entrepreneurial Development
        • Helped Raleigh area become a top 5 US economy!
      • Educate entrepreneurs
      • Create networking and mentoring events
      • Communications (media, web site, newsletter)
      • Capital formation
  • Educating entrepreneurs
    • Many entrepreneurs are VERY good at what they know and don’t like to admit what they don’t know.
    • Good technical/product knowledge
      • Most tech guys are geeks, not social, love computers not people. Need to learn skills or hire them
    • Need help with :
      • Business plan
      • Marketing skills
      • Sales techniques
      • Investor presentation skills
  • Unique challenge for WNC
    • People move to Asheville and western North Carolina without a job and just figure they will find a job.
      • “ Cuz it would be cool to live in the mountains”
    • Little industry experience, no Rolodex
    • Don’t find a job, start a company
      • Reluctant entrepreneurs
    • Cash poor in personal and business
      • With little cash to start, lack sales skills and industry contacts
    • Company lasts about three months and they move away
  • Successful Example
    • eGlobalDesign
      • Husband and wife team
      • Email marketing firm moved from Florida
    • Technical knowledge, but ended partnership with sales channel partner
    • Lacked sales experience
    • After attending two sales seminars, landed a new $90,000 contract with largest employer in Asheville
    • Now have 10 full time employees
  • Networking events
    • 50% of winning is showing up!
      • 18 months after moving to Charlotte, I was listed by Charlotte Observer as a top three networker
    • BREC has monthly events on the third Tuesday of every month
    • Speed Dating for Business
      • 75 people attended
      • 25 people X 3 biz tips= 75 ways to improve biz next day
  • Successful examples
    • Top Floor Studios
      • VERY young guys started a new web design firm
    • Attended and networked our Carolina Connect Entrepreneurship and Capital Conference
    • -Met an executive with Targacept who was speaking about research grants
    • Landed a $15,000+ contract to create a web based front end.
    • Contract will grow in 2006 as Targacept goes public next week.
  • Capital formation and preparation
    • In 2002, 0 (yes 0) dollars were reported in early stage investing in western NC!
    • In 2003, the Blue Ridge Angel Investor Network was created by AWNC and ARC
      • Company raised $1.25m
    • In 2004, $2 million raised by BUILDERadius
    • In 2005, $4.35 million was raised by several companies
    • (In 2004, the whole state of SC raised $4m)
  • Successful examples
    • BUILDERadius
      • Raised over $5 million, 1/3 staff are local college graduates
    • Navigational Sciences
      • RFID company that tracks shipping containers
      • Now expanding from Charleston
      • Raised $800k in first round from WNC
    • Immaculate Baking
      • An upscale, fresh ingredient cookie company
      • Participated in a one on one coaching session
      • Raised $600k from WNC angels
      • JUST LANDED 1 ST EVER VC investment of $2 million
    • Sylvan Sport
      • Just selected for angel event at CED Venture 2006
  • Sylvan Sport
  • Qualified Business Venture Tax Credit
    • North Carolina income tax credit
    • An incentive for high net worth individuals to invest in startup companies in NC
    • 25% on next year’s taxes
    • Example
      • Invest $100,000 in NC based startup
      • Can receive a $25,000 tax credit in 2007
      • Limit of $24 m statewide, $6 million in tax credits
      • Must be renewed every year
  • Summary
    • Entrepreneurship should be encouraged
      • Even BofA was started by someone
    • Startups can only hire if they have money
      • Research grants, client revenues and investors
    • Qualified Business Venture Tax Credit
      • 25% credit
    • The mountains aren’t just for weekends!!!
      • Quality of place plus better paying jobs
    • Thank you for wanting to lead our state!!!
  • Contact
    • Jim Roberts
    • [email_address]
    • 828-273-9862
    • www.ncmtns.biz
    • www.awnc.org