Haley Huie is the Director of the NC State Entrepreneurship Clinic, where she works with partner organizations to create projects to provide hands-on opportunities for students to apply entrepreneurial skills to create value for the NC State community through the courses that she teaches. In the summer, she runs the Andrews Launch Accelerator and spends the majority of her time in the community in order to support the local innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem through mentorship, venture coaching, service work and program delivery. (Huie was also a guest on the Friday Nooner in September.)
1. What is in your pockets?
I’ll admit I don’t always have pockets but when I do, I can’t leave the house without a hair tie and my phone.
2. What exciting thing has happened recently for you or your organization?
It’s really hard to distill this down to only a couple of exciting things because there are 100 awesome stories that we could chat about, but I do think the major themes are that there’s a ton of exciting growth in the program that I lead on campus in the Clinic.
The Clinic is a program that allows students, through the framework of classes at NC State, to go out into the community and create real value to increase the wealth in North Carolina across all industries.
I am also excited about the many pockets of really exciting things happening at NC State. As a large research university, there’s so much technology to be commercialized and there are so many interesting concepts that can grow if given some fertile soil and the right resources. Our chancellor has done an excellent job of embracing the idea that entrepreneurship is for every student on campus. I continue to be really encouraged that there’s both the effort and the awareness, and meaningful resources put behind making those things happen.
We moved into a new space at Raleigh Founded this year, which allowed us to partner physically with RIoT and with groups that run accelerators. We’re helping grow early-stage ventures and we’re introducing people to entrepreneurship. Having the physical space for people to work alongside each other has done a lot to activate our spaces in a way that really struggled during Covid.
Also, we run the Accelerator in the summer, which is an incredible program. We’ve seen so much success not only with early milestones and early traction, but also the longer-range success of those ventures with fundraising, with growing revenue, with growing teams and concepts.
3. What is your favorite coffee spot?
I take a coffee meeting every day, maybe multiple in fact. I have a couple of standards. We have a great coffee scene in Raleigh and Durham, but you can most often find me at the Optimist or over at Black and White Coffee at the Videri Chocolate Factory, which happens to be right around the corner from the Clinic.
4. What keeps you up at night?
We have a huge diversity across campus with the founders of the concepts, their interests, and their needs. We are seeing the resources that we have to develop. So the things that really give me heartburn or keep me up nights are making sure that we are working ahead, whenever possible, and working really hard to meet the needs so that our students, our companies, our founders, our mentors, our alumni are all getting access to the resources that they need.
I think startup packages are a way to do that, and I think a lot of our work also includes network development. I am uniquely bothered by all of the exciting opportunities that we have to make sure that we connect the right people at the right time.
5. What is your favorite restaurant or happy hour?
I have a 3-year-old so I don’t get out as much as I would like to or have in the past. But my husband and I really love Fiction Kitchen and St. Roch for oysters and seafood. If my parents are in town, we hit Sam Jones Barbecue. But in addition to coffee, I’m also meeting people for a drink or just to catch up and hear what’s going on in their lives. It is part of this network development. So my happy hour spots are typically Vita Vite, downtown or in North Hills, and I also really love Whiskey Kitchen.
We’re really lucky Raleigh is such a wonderful food and beverage city. I moved from the Bay Area, and my biggest concern was how can I possibly leave San Francisco. But Raleigh has a wonderful food scene and I have never looked back. We have so many exciting concepts happening and opening all the time.
6. What is next for you or your organization?
We have so much positive momentum so we have to constantly be looking towards the future.
We’re a huge talent pipeline to local companies and organizations. I think if we focused both on high-growth individuals and high-growth concepts, that is the path for us. And I think expanding it regionally. I’m lucky to work with a team who is planning the next Raleigh-Durham Startup Week and that’s going to be held April 18-20. I think that’s huge. This is our second year doing it. Being able to bring all of these people who should absolutely meet and learn from one another together in a space that is focused on innovation and entrepreneurship is amazing.
This region is growing, people are moving here every single day to take advantage of what we have. That’s really exciting for all of us as part of this community. Now we have to chart what it should look like from a work and quality-of-life balance, but we’re ripe with opportunity and that gives me a lot of confidence.