The fifth NorthState Tech Lab at HQ Greensboro concluded with a virtual wrap-up event on August 26th when participants and leaders shared thoughts and experiences about this summer’s six-week Tech Lab. HQ Greensboro Executive Director Kaitlin Conover kicked off the event by reminding participants that the summer 2020 Tech Lab truly lived up to its name by being a virtual event that heavily leaned on technology.
Kaitlin also thanked NorthState for its support to make the fifth Tech Lab possible, noting that the program since its inception 2018 has helped nearly 20 entrepreneurs and other organizations. NorthState’s Director of Marketing Communications, Karen Hoch, thanked the participants and noted her appreciation for the one-on-one time she spent with them as a mentor this summer. Next up was Monica Doss, who oversees the program’s curriculum.
Monica acknowledged the evolution of the NorthState Tech Lab from its beginning as only for start-up companies to this summer’s cohort, which expanded to include companies that are two years old and ones that were founded decades ago! “Particularly because of the full range of entrepreneurial experiences, they learned a tremendous amount from each other,” Monica said. “What all these participants had in common was that they were on the edge of change.”
Each of the summer 2020 NorthState Tech Lab participants shared a learning summary during the virtual event about the Tech Lab experience. Participants that presented during the August 26th event included:
- Popi Makris, Founder and CEO of After School Brilliance, who attended the Tech Lab to hone her skills for After School Brilliance but moreover to help her grow a newly founded nonprofit organization called “Teach. Create. Grow,” a makerspace to support growth of families and youth. More at afterschoolbrilliance.com.
- Meghan Labean and Brittany Peters of Deep Roots Market, a food co-op founded in 1976, said the NorthState Tech Lab helped them learn how to pivot and evolve during the COVID-19 pandemic to focus more on online orders and curbside pickup. More at deeprootsmarket.com.
- Tyson Glover, Founder and CEO of Food Drivers, an entrepreneurial program that links student drivers to the delivery of food to those in need, said the NorthState Tech Lab helped him with the thing he needed the most: networking with community stakeholders. More at fooddrivers.org.
- Stephanie Williams and Bill Johnson, Co-founders of the Life Design Institute said their organization helps students gain clarity, direction, and purpose. The NorthState Tech Lab helped the group enhance its online platform to reach students during the pandemic. More at lifedesigninstitute.org.
- Anitra Fulton, Executive Director and Owner of Swim Fanatics, a leader in swim safety and instruction, could not attend the finale event because she was—as one might anticipate on a summer evening—teaching swimming lessons. Anitra used her Tech Lab experience to help with the creation of the Swim Fanatics Foundation, which will provide swim instruction to anyone, regardless of personal resources. More at swimfanatics.com.
HQ Greensboro Executive Director Kaitlin Conover summed up her feelings about the summer 2020 NorthState Tech Lab: “We are thrilled to see the successful completion of the fifth edition of the NorthState Tech Lab. The companies from this recent cohort are doing incredible work, addressing community needs in innovative ways. We can’t wait to see what they achieve in the future with the skills they gained from the program.”