Innovation, North Carolina style—at last.
Ever since writing the original Xconomy business plan, I’ve been looking forward to the day when we began covering innovation in the Tar Heel state. Now, I am extremely happy to announce, that day has come. Xconomy Raleigh-Durham is officially off the ground, and with its launch we have grown our news network to 10 high-tech clusters around the United States.
It’s great to be in North Carolina, one of the seminal innovation clusters in the U.S., and it’s great to be in double digits. There is to my knowledge no other new-media news organization covering the business of technology with as many boots on the ground in as many different centers of innovation as Xconomy. The list now reads, in order of appearance:
In each region, Xconomy reporters deliver daily stories about the high-tech and life science startups, bigger companies, investors, and innovators driving growth in the economy. But we don’t just jump on any story: we try to find the local story with global impact. That is, the story all too often missing from wider press coverage, but that deserves more of the limelight. And that, we believe, is our secret sauce when opening a new bureau: we bring stories of that region to a fast-growing, highly sophisticated business audience not just around the U.S., but around the world (25 percent of our traffic is from outside the United States).
And so it will be with North Carolina. Xconomy editors from around the network have teamed up to begin our coverage—and we’ll be rolling out their stories over the next few weeks, along with guest posts from our North Carolina Xconomists, or informal editorial advisors. It all starts today with a story from our on-the-ground writer Frank Vinluan, who’s delivered his personal take on the North Carolina innovation scene as well as a profile of BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, a small biotech that is developing what it hopes will become the first treatment targeting the Ebola virus. Along with that, Xconomy contributing editor Wade Roush offers an in-depth piece on ThinkHouse, a Raleigh-based live-in startup accelerator. And Xconomist Christy Shaffer of Hatteras Ventures has posted her from the heart, personal recollection on Research Triangle Park.
In that short list lies a hint of the wide variety of coverage we plan to deliver going forward. Many think of innovation in North Carolina as Research Triangle Park and its world-class concentration of life science companies like GlaxoSmithKline, Syngenta, Biogen Idec, or Bayer CropScience—all of which have large operations in RTP—along with smaller companies and biotech startups. And while that is true, there is a lot more going on, not just in RTP—and not just in life sciences. IBM and Fidelity Investments, Cisco, NetApp, and EMC are big tech employers in RTP, as is Cree, the LED lighting technology company. Raleigh is home to Red Hat, the leading open source software company. Contract research organizations (CROs) abound, led by Quintiles. And all throughout the Raleigh-Durham area, and beyond, you can find innovative startups (and startup spaces), as well as some bigger companies, in everything from healthcare to advanced manufacturing to foodtech, cleantech, cloud software, and more. Frank Vinluan’s overview has more complete details, from the history of the bar code to alternative energy, regenerative medicine, and how the blueberry genome might yield clues to human health.
We plan to write about it all.
As we begin our coverage, I’d like to say a special thanks to those who have made our launch in Raleigh-Durham possible. First on the list is our National Partner, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, the largest and leading real estate investment trust uniquely focused on collaborative science and technology campuses in urban innovation clusters, and which has a dominant market presence in RTP. Our two other anchor supporters include Biogen Idec, which has been a charter underwriter since our launch in Boston seven years ago, and which has its Patient Services operation as well as some manufacturing facilities (and 1,200 total employees) in RTP—and longtime partner Fidelity Investments, which has several thousand employees in North Carolina working in technology, phones, operations and other areas. I’d also like to thank our launch supporter Square 1 Bank, which has also worked with us in other cities, and special partner, the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, or CED.
All are great supporters of the local innovation community: they believe it deserves great coverage and a wider audience, which is at least partly why they are also supporting Xconomy.
If you’d like to join the ranks of our supporters, just let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Equally as important, if you have great stories of innovation in North Carolina, contact us at email@example.com.
We’re excited to be in North Carolina and look forward to hearing from you.
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