By Rick Smith, Editor of WRAL TechWire
A new initiative approved by the Raleigh City Council this week calls for a variety of incentives�from funding to grants and more�in its attempt to lure and to grow startup businesses.
A key point of emphasis is on new ventures related to technology - for good reasons, says James Sauls, who heads up economic development efforts for the City of Raleigh.
"Technology is a sweet spot for us as we have the talent, companies and university infrastructure to support it," Sauls tells WRAL TechWire in an exclusive interview.
The City will be backing the program with cash in the form of grants and other funds with a first-year allotment of $100,000.
"[A] grants program is one of several programs that are being considered," Sauls said. "The City has committed $100,000 for the 2015 budget year."
Guidelines for how grants and other funding will be provided are still to be determined, Sauls explained.
Just who will direct the program also remains to be worked out.
"However we do see a public/private partnership developing to assist with the programs," Sauls said.
Downtown is already home to the headquarters for Linux software leader Red Hat, and Citrix Sharefile is building a new headquarters in the warehouse district. Other tech firms are also growing their presence downtown.
The Triangle's universities are seen by corporate recruiters as lucrative spots to find new talent. For example, just last week executives from networking giant Cisco said they hired more engineering graduates from N.C. State than any other university.
The campaign would seek to augment startup-focused entrepreneurial hubs in Raleigh such as HQ Raleigh and the Underground@Raleigh, which is owned by Capitol Broadcasting (WRAL TechWire's parent company).
Read the rest on WRAL TechWire