Jim Roberts


Published on

Published in: Economy & Finance, Business
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Jim Roberts

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