First of all, I just wanted to say Happy New Year, as this is our first entry of 2008!
In the first few days of this year, lots of people in the U.S. will be focusing their attention to Iowa, watching with great interest what will happen in Thursday’s caucuses. But today, I’m thinking more about Idaho. And North Carolina of course.
According to the Idaho Statesman (“Idaho’s #1 website for news and information”), Boise has had a hard time attracting businesses to the area because of what one businessman called “the lack of entrepreneurial culture” there. In this particular piece, the author says that Boise needs some entrepreneurial spark in order to attract new business and stimulate the economy.
So why am I talking about it here? Well, the author gives a shout out to Durham, Shoeboxed’s home base.
What does it take to build the culture? Look a the Stanford/Silicon Valley connection or Highway 128 around Boston and Harvard University. The Research Triangle in Raleigh/Durham near Duke University has that intangible culture… “It” is a combination of a strong university, either engineering or management oriented; an incubator area for new technical ideas to develop economically; and venture capital to fund it. You also need like-minded, competitive, risk-taking individuals who want to do their own thing and who are willing to share experiences and knowledge.
Durham is an awesome place to start up a company, and we’re happy to be a part of the “it.”
It’s been about a week and a half since most of us left Berlin, and we have finally settled down in Durham, NC. We spent the first week trying to find a new Shoeboxed office (that doesn’t double as an apartment, like our last two have), and expanding our team.
Our new office is located in Brightleaf Square, one of the coolest areas in Durham. When I first enrolled at Duke as a freshman, this area was kind of dead, but since then, it’s been revitalized into a vibrant and popular (not to mention beautiful) destination. There are at least 10 restaurants within 100 meters of us, and it’s cool to have all the people, entertainment, and, well, food that come along with them. Two blocks from Duke’s East Campus, it’s also very convenient for the current students working with us.
We spent the whole day yesterday getting all our new furniture set up, and now we are enjoying our fully-functional and lively workspace. Needless to say, we are very happy to be in Brightleaf, and to be located in Durham! We look forward to being actively involved in both communities.
The office we have now is larger than the last apartment we were working out of (even though 12 people lived there…) so we figured we should have more people on the team. Well, okay, that’s not the only reason we brought them on. We are excited to have this new group of talented, smart, and extremely motivated people working on everything from marketing to server administration. It’s really exciting to see the team growing so quickly!
Shoeboxed.com. We’re looking to change the Duke start-up scene in a big way. Although we are currently in Berlin, Germany focusing on our launch, we will be moving to Durham in the fall – and there’s so much to be excited about. Soon we will offer a free service to help people automatically organize their purchase histories online. We know that people deserve a website that automatically makes their lives simpler. We also know that Duke University deserves a start-up that can unite the community and bring The Triangle Area the positive national attention that it deserves. Shoeboxed.com will be looking for talented members of the Duke and Raleigh-Durham community who are interested in getting involved. If you feel like you have what it takes, email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us why you’re awesome. Shoeboxed.com isn’t your ordinary company – we work hard and have fun doing it.
Duke’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization (CERC). The purpose of the center is to “bring knowledge and technology into the service of society”. CERC does it’s best to help bring ideas to the market. By helping to organize teams of talented individuals from diverse backgrounds and by providing these groups with resources from Duke and beyond, CERC has created strong and successful networks of entrepreneurs.
Fuqua Research Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The mission of the center is to advance the scholarship, teaching, and practice of entrepreneurship and innovation. It was created to expand the focus of the Fuqua School of Business so that it would include entrepreneurship and innovation. Focusing on research in these fields, the center looks to contribute to both the knowledge and practice of pioneering business. Even though the center is still new to the Duke community, it plans to leverage the position of the university and the interest of its students and faculty to establish a world-class research program. Continue reading “Entrepreneurship at Duke University”