For startup founder Karl Rectanus, investor calls have had a different tone since March 23 when Governor Pat McCrory signed the controversial “Bathroom Bill”.
April 5, 2016
North Carolina Startups Organize Against HB2
ExitEvent publishes HB2 survey results; startups launch website, petition against HB2
The above image is a screenshot of Startups-against-HB2.com, a site launched yesterday by members of the state’s startup community.
Rather than 30 minutes to share updates or pitch his education technology startup Lea(R)n, Rectanus spends at least the first 10 of each call fielding questions about the impact of the bill on his ability to recruit talented young people and achieve the growth he’s promised as he’s raised $1 million from mostly out-of-state investors over the last year.
The goal of the startups against HB2 site, created over the weekend by a handful of local founders and a developer, is to give founders and startup community supporters a place to voice their concerns about the bill alongside others who feel the same way. Mingos hopes it becomes to clear to national investors and startups that HB2 does not represent North Carolina’s startup community.
Though the pressure national players are putting on the legislature is helpful, Mingos and others don’t agree with the boycotts. No one stopped making investments in California during its five-year, same-sex marriage ban, he points out.
Mingos says the site is bipartisan and won’t endorse any candidates in the upcoming election. It will, however, encourage startups across the state to think about their businesses’ future.
“If you look at the Triangle adding a million residents in the next 10-15 years, most of those jobs will be created by startups and small businesses,” Mingos says. “This is also about building the future of North Carolina.”
“I would encourage startups, even if they don’t feel they are impacted directly right now, to think about the community and state we are shaping over the next 10 years and how they want that to look.”