Somewhere between Hackathon and Happy Hour sits the first ever Durham Startup Movie Night, an inspiration from Argyle Social’s founder and CEO Eric Boggs. It’s community-building and motivational, like a hackathon, but without all the pressure of coding or coming up with good ideas. It’s fun and social like a Happy Hour, but there’s a bit more meat to it.
It’s this Wednesday, 10/17, at 7:00 p.m. at Motorco. The event is free but registration is required.
In addition to hitting revenue goals with Argyle, tending to his new(ish) family, and renovating a recently-purchased fixer upper in the heart of Durham, Boggs is also on the board of the Southern Documentary Fund, a non-profit that acts as somewhat of an incubator to documentary filmmakers in the region.
Docs are a passion of his since first seeing Hoop Dreams many years ago (also a favorite of mine), as he told me over beers at Tyler’s right before last week’s Tech Jobs Under the Big Top. Although we used Startup Movie Night as sort of an excuse to get together, we basically took the time to catch up over Dead Guys for me and “the hoppiest IPA you have from the most local brewery” for him.
And that’s pretty much a snapshot of Boggs, dedicated and loyal to Durham since he moved here years ago, and one of the city’s biggest cheerleaders in the entrepreneurial community. It comes out in our conversation — living here (I’m in East Chapel Hill right on the border of Durham), bringing up kids here, running a business here, growing the startup scene here, Durham is pretty much central to almost everything we talked about.
It’s also central to Startup Movie Night, as they’ll be screening Durham: A Self-Portrait from Emmy-winning filmmaker Steven Channing, who will also provide remarks before the film. The doc reviews over 100 years of Durham history, which Boggs hopes set the tone for the group gathered to help build its future.
“A lot of companies are here because it’s Durham,” he said. “The identity is taking shape locally — upward momentum with Durham synonymous with upward momentum with startups. Let’s learn the history, the past 100 years.”
Boggs first screened the film for Argyle employees and investors a while back, and the feedback was very positive, so he got the idea to screen it for the greater entrepreneurial community and put the resources together to make it happen.
Sponsors for the event include the American Underground, which is a monument to Durham history in its own right, Triangle Tech Talk, Synergy Commercial Advisors, BoostSuite (Aaron Houghton is also a huge proponent of Durham), and of course Argyle.
The Southern Documentary Fund provides financing, workshops, feedback, and distribution, and recently formed a partnership with IndieGogo, who is sort of the Kickstarter of independent film.
Boggs hopes to do Startup Movie Night again in the future. So far, with zero marketing, over 60 including myself have RSVPd. I’m actually really looking forward to it, mostly because of the angle.
Startups are indeed the future of Durham (and in my opinion, the future of pretty much everything, including the economy, the nation, and desert toppings). It makes sense that while we build out the future, we take a night to learn from the past.