Friday Nooner: Jamie Jones On Keeping Entrepreneurial Dukies In Triangle

Some reoccurring themes start this week’s Friday Nooner, including GrepBeat’s new(ish) merch store ForeverGrep and the ongoing chronicles of Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover, including the company’s possible financial woes as analysts (well, Pete and Joe) claim Musk has decreased advertising revenue while increasing expenses due to added debt to fund his acquisition. Is Twitter acting like a 20-person startup because it may soon be a 20-person startup?

Pete and Joe also teamed up to bully GrepBeat’s youngest writer (hint: it’s this writer) about her lack of 1980s film knowledge as Joe reveals GrepBeat’s newest employee: the mighty animatronic fortune-teller Zoltar. (Zoltar “appeared” in the 1988 film Big; Joe purchased a replica five years ago and moved it from his home to GrepBeat World HQ this week.)

Pete reveals that next month’s GrepBeat Happy Hour will be on Dec. 8 in Raleigh—but don’t miss next Thursday’s (Nov. 17) Happy Hour at our old faithful, Bull McCabe’s in Durham. You can register here.

This week’s guest is Dr. Jamie Jones, Director of Duke’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship program. Here are some show highlights:

  • Jones talks about her experience at Duke I&E introducing and immersing students in the entrepreneurial mindset. Joe notes that many Duke grads have been founders of unicorns, and Jones reveals that Duke’s class of 2008 has produced over $75 billion in market cap. Kudos to the class of ’08 for getting entrepreneurial wins despite graduating into a financial crisis!
  • Jones talks about Duke’s “VCs in the Hot Seat” event coming up next Wednesday as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, where Duke I&E will turn the tables on local venture capitalists as they pitch to students and local ecosystem members. This event is open to the public, but to get in at this time you will have to get on a waitlist, which you can find here. If you’re not one of the lucky few, don’t fret! Pete will be there to report back on the event. [Editor’s Note: Pete has promised no such thing.]
  • Joe asks Jamie a big question: how can more entrepreneurial-minded Duke grads be convinced to stick around in the Triangle rather than build their unicorns in Silicon Valley or Boston or New York? Uplifting the Triangle ecosystem, Jamie said, is one good step towards retention as it creates an environment where Duke students coming from out of state are excited to stay in the Triangle. Duke is working on another step—Duke Entrepreneurial Leaders Network (ELN), a program that attracts Duke graduates with high startup potential back to Durham to start the second (or third, or fourth) chapter of their career. Joe has some hopeful words on the changing ecosystem: “The more we recapture that value, and that investment, the more it helps the area. And I do think things are changing.”

You can find the full episode on LinkedIn here or Facebook here.

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