Friday Nooner: Raleigh-Durham Startup Week’s Chris Heivly Recaps Event

Raleigh-Durham Startup Week co-chair Chris Heivly dropped in on this week’s episode of the Friday Nooner to talk RDSW with co-hosts Pete, Joe and Chantal. You may also know Heivly from some of his previous gigs in the Triangle—co-founding The Startup Factory and launching Big Top—and beyond, spending a decade with Techstars helping to build startup communities around the world.

His Techstars experience inspired Raleigh-Durham Startup Week, which consists of a series of free events in downtown Durham running from Tuesday through later today. Earlier in the week, Pete and Joe each spoke at separate panels—“Why Us?” and “Is Bootstrapping Your Startup Still An Option?,” respectively. GrepBeat also coordinated its Happy Hour last night with RDSW, which was a big success. (See pics on our Twitter and LinkedIn for evidence.)

Here are some highlights from the show:

  • While last night’s Happy Hour brought out the greatest turnout in GrepBeat history, Pete was severely disappointed in the crowd’s distressing ignorance of mid-19th century U.S. history during trivia. Even after Pete spotted them one of the two U.S. Presidents who literally died in the White House—William Henry Harrison in 1841—it took many painful minutes for anyone to guess the second, despite a series of excellent and very specific hints. (BTW it’s Zachary Taylor in 1850, who like Harrison was both a Whig and a former general.) This conversation revealed Pete’s parody presidential Twitter account for one of the most obscure presidents in US history: Martin Van Buren. [Editor’s Note: Pete strongly disputes that MVB is “obscure” but concedes that he does own and operate the account.]
  • The Pete, Joe and Chantal trio discussed the announced shutdown of CNN+  and the overarching decline in streaming services. Two days ago, Netflix reported it was down 200,000 subscribers since January, which indicates we might be past the peak streaming golden age, according to Pete. Ultimately, Joe said, the platforms got a boost from Covid-19 but as people come back out of their houses, people are leaving their streaming services behind.
  • When today’s featured guest Heivly came to the screen, he shared the multi-year story arc that finally brought Raleigh Durham Startup Week to fruition after the pandemic initially derailed his plans. The Friday Nooner gang also discussed what needs to be done to take the Triangle tech ecosystem to the next level. According to Heivly, in order to avoid a plateau, there needs to be tighter integration within the entire Triangle. As he says, “The whole is much bigger than the sum of the parts” when it comes to tech in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and the entire extended area.

Thanks to our sponsor for this quarter, which is our upcoming GrepBeat tech conference Grep-a-palooza. The one-day conference will be held June 9 at the Durham Convention Center. Get your tickets here.

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About Suzanne Blake 308 Articles
Suzanne profiles startups and innovation for GrepBeat. Before working at GrepBeat, Suzanne attended UNC Chapel Hill, obtaining a degree in journalism and political science. Previously, she wrote for CNBC, QSR Magazine, FSR Magazine and The Daily Tar Heel.