When Adam Klein thinks about the last year of his work in Durham, one comment sticks out.
It came from celebrity investor Steve Case during his stop in Durham on the much-publicized Rise Of The Rest Tour. Rather than charge startup community leaders with things to change and work on, Case said “I don’t know why I’m in Durham. This city has clearly risen.”
That comment has shaped Klein’s thinking about his mission as chief strategist at American Underground (ExitEvent’s parent company). Rather than following the lead of other more-established startup hubs, it’s time for Durham to start taking the lead on new initiatives and dreams.
“As the region becomes more popular, the ability to get relatively low cost real estate is diminished,” he says. “We’re weighing how close and proximate do locations need to be? You have to create a campus model that allows people to move around pretty effortlessly in order to take advantage of the resources there.”
Space might seem a challenge, but expansion has happened each of the last three years. With that track record, and Klein’s drive to exceed every goal set for the startup hub, expect 2016 to be a year of figuring it out.