Gig East is Wilson's home for technology and innovation. We bring eastern North Carolina and the Triangle together to explore emerging technology, expand entrepreneurship in the region, and encourage conversation around Wilson's innovation economy.
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March 2020 Newsletter

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Feb. Meetup: Here is What You Missed

On February 25th we had our quarterly Gig East Meetup, with a full slate of folks to discuss creative funding ideas for startups and entrepreneurs. We started the evening with the RIot Cohort presenting their elevator pitches to the audience. This was good practice for the seven startup companies and informative to the community of the diverse businesses represented in the Wilson RIoT accelerator program (RAP). The RAP Wilson program made its official start on the 24th and they are excited to be in Wilson and appreciative of the support the city has shown to them thus far.

We then had the STEM team from Sallie B. Howard School for the Arts and Education do a product presentation to demonstrate their solution to address the issue of childhood drownings. The team has been selected as a finalist in the Samsung Electronics America “Solve for Tomorrow” contest.

The rest of the evening was dedicated to our panel discussing alternate funding opportunities other than a loan from a bank. Our three panelist, Jim Roberts, Mark Wdowik and William McGuire touched on angel investing as well as crowdfunding resources.

  • Jim Roberts, Founder of Wilmington Angels for Local Entrepreneurs
  • Mark Wdowik, President & CEO of East Carolina Angels
  • William McGuire, Chief Crowdfunding Officer of Crowd Fund NC
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Eastern North Carolina's Innovation Hub

If you live in Wilson, you’re no doubt familiar with the term Gig East. The Wilson-specific coinage refers to the town’s set of programming, community events, and networking that are focused on economic development, technology and innovation. Gig East is comprised of 3 main components – Gig East Exchange, Programs/Meetups, and Gig East Summit.

Gig East Quotation Mark

The word “Coworking” won’t be a word in the future, it will probably be the way we work.

- Rahul Prakash, Partner at Hatch Today

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RIoT Accelerator Program (RAP) Has Launched

Raleigh-based Internet of Things organization (RIoT), the North Carolina-based economic development nonprofit, has accepted seven early stage startups into their fourth cohort of the RIoT Accelerator Program (RAP) in Wilson, NC. The program launched at the end of February and is currently in its 5th week of the 12-week program. We have been excited to have them in Wilson and they appreciated the support from the City and Gig East. Since COVID-19 has changed how we all work, the program has moved to virtual for the foreseeable future.

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“StartupVille” Video

Take 3 min to watch this video to really understand how startup ecosystems are built.

Watch Now »

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Exchange Construction Update

The pace of construction at The Exchange has picked up significantly. All the office suites, conference rooms and event spaces are framed, and sheetrock is being installed as we speak. Upon completion, there will be 16 office suites, two huddle rooms, two conference rooms and two open event/co-working areas. The elevator structure has been completed and the elevator itself will be installed in May. Color selections for walls, ceilings, countertops and offices have been selected and prep work has started. Exposed brick, wood beams and hardwood floors are being sealed, preserving their 100-year-old character and feel.

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In times like these, community means we look out for one another!

We want you to know Gig East is a community at its core. A community that not only supports entrepreneurship but brings people together to find success. As a community we want to ensure the health and wellbeing of everyone. Therefore, we will not be hosting any meetups for the foreseeable future. Instead we will be conducting virtual tours of our Gig East Exchange space and continuing the conversation on our Twitter account. We welcome any questions/conversations around entrepreneurship and startup’s in this gigabit world - simply tag us @GigEast, visit www.gigeast.com or you can contact our Exchange manager, Darren Smith, directly at 919-608-0871.

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