We are pleased to attend the launch of the Gig East Exchange in Wilson, NC on June 15th. (RSVP here). The Gig East Exchange is a hub for everyday entrepreneurs, tech startups, remote workers, and anyone who values innovation in action. Located in the technological hub of Eastern North Carolina, Gig East and surrounding services will help entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurially-minded work their idea from inception to launch and beyond.
Entrepreneurial Opportunity Abounds
Ideas know no bounds. Over the last several decades startup activity has spread from Silicon Valley to other well-known areas to across the globe. Access to ideas, talent, and capital is widespread, creating entrepreneurial opportunity in big towns and small. The societal changes brought by COVID are accelerating the public acceptance of distributed models and provide a reason for many to ask for quality of life and cost of living to go together with access to technology and opportunity.
Gig East believes the time is right for Eastern North Carolina to accelerate the ideas of area residents. Given the nexus of public and private groups, funders, and a cross-section of industry like manufacturing, electronics, agriculture, big data, artificial intelligence, and Government & Military, the next billion-dollar idea might just be founded in Wilson.
For many years there has been a migration of talent and resources out of Eastern NC. The notion was that if you wanted to have access to tech, good jobs, etc. you had to move “somewhere else.” For economic development in Eastern NC to flourish, that talent needs access to great tech resources and start-up support, without having to move “somewhere else”. This last year helped prove that work and business can be conducted almost anywhere. Broadband access and strategic partnerships, rather than physical location, have become and will continue to drive business success. As the only city in North Carolina with its own broadband internet infrastructure, RIoT recognizes the City of Wilson is poised to be the epicenter for economic development in eastern NC. – Frank Dees – Wilson Community Lead – RIoT
Wilson, NC – The Technological Gateway to Eastern North Carolina
Wilson North Carolina is known as a very forward-looking, innovative, and action-oriented city. The city government continues to make aggressive technology and opportunity investments on behalf of their residents.
For example, did you know Wilson, NC owns one of the only municipal fiber broadband providers in the country? Frustrated with the slow pace of high-speed networking rollouts in Eastern Carolina and recognizing the community need high speed access, the city of Wilson built their own high-speed network. They offer service to area residents and make service available for free in the downtown area. Wilson also has an interest in IoT solutions–for both municipal usage and entrepreneurial foundations–and fosters relationships with public and private organizations to grow opportunity.
RIoT and Wilson
The Raleigh Internet of Things (RIoT) organization, coupled with support from Wilson, NC, has launched 4 accelerator programs designed to jumpstart IoT entrepreneurial programming in Eastern North Carolina. The launch of the Gig East Exchange facility means entrepreneurs and start-ups can get the support they need to operate their business with quality access to mentors and subject matter experts without having to gain expertise in facilities, leases, and other non-core functions as they start and grow their businesses.
Creativity on Display – The Whirly Gig Park
Wilson is a bold, creative city packed with inspiration. One of the unique attractions in Wilson is the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park located in the center of the city. This free park showcases the folk art of local artist Vollis Simpson who gained international recognition for his delightful, kinetic, and larger than life sculptures. Some of the sculptures are over 50 feet tall! It is easy to imagine Wilson’s entrepreneurs taking a walk downtown and pulling a bit of inspiration and creativity while walking among these unique and delightful sculptures.
Come to Wilson, NC on June 15th at 4PM and celebrate the launch of the Gig East Exchange with us. We are pleased to be able to support such a worthy and ambitious venture and learn from the many expert groups involved in the project.