Friday Nooner: Women Empower X’s Alexa Carlin Inspires; Joe’s Vespa Gang

This week’s episode of the Friday Nooner had it all: an inspiring story of turning obstacles into opportunities, a discussion of how the Triangle benefits from the global shift to remote work and a continued plea by Joe for others to join his “Bull City Vesparados” gang of Vespa drivers. (Yes, you read that right.)

The guest today was Women Empower X CEO and Founder Alexa Carlin, who is also a public speaker, influencer and author in her own right. Carlin was featured earlier this week in a GrepBeat profile.

Here are some highlights from the show:

  • Joe, Pete, and Jackie discussed the trend of tech CEOs moving to the Triangle during the pandemic. It happened with recent story subject HomePace CEO Joe Cianciolo as well as Instant Teams CEO Liza Rodewald, and those are just two stories featured this week. Joe said the challenge now is getting these entrepreneurs connected and bringing them into the fold. According to Joe, it looks like the Triangle will be the beneficiary of decisions by major companies like Airbnb to maintain remote workforces.
  • Based on a comment from Global Data Consortium’s Dan London, the trio discussed why Chapel Hill seems to be a little left out of some startup and tech entrepreneurship discussions lately. A few decades earlier, Joe said, Chapel Hill was the place to be for young professionals and college students alike. But with Durham’s increasing urban revitalization and Chapel Hill’s high rents and continued close ties to UNC, Durham ultimately surged ahead in the tech space. 
  • Perhaps one of the most motivational guests in Friday Nooner history, Carlin shared her story as someone who started as a 17-year old entrepreneur, began a national campaign on redefining perfection while in college, and then had her life completely altered when she fell into a coma at age 21. Carlin said after the experience, upon developing an autoimmune disease, she was waiting and waiting to feel better. Then she had an epiphany: she had to stop waiting and decide to change her life that day. Carlin’s journey has led her to the Triangle, where she is now making Women Empower X’s headquarters and planning a global annual event set for 2023.
  • Last but not least, Carlin provided Joe some brilliant advice on growing his Vespa gang empire. It involves a slow-mo video with rap music, and if Jackie has anything to say about it, the video will be forthcoming this afternoon.

Thanks to the 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 362 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.