If Carbon (formerly Carbon3D) co-founder and CEO Joe DeSimone’s observations are just, then innovations like those formed in his chemistry lab at the University of North Carolina and funded with more than $220 million in Silicon Valley venture capital could be fewer and further between in North Carolina.
September 15, 2016
DeSimone’s Silicon Valley 3D Manufacturing Startup Carbon Plans NC Expansion, But Not if HB2 Persists
A startup born at UNC now with $220M in Silicon Valley funds is mulling an East Coast operation in NC. Only HB2 could prevent it from happening.
Before a crowd of hundreds gathered for his presentation and conversation with investor Steve Nelson at the annual CED Tech Venture Conference in Raleigh, DeSimone expressed concern over lost momentum in a state that always felt like “its future was still in front of us.”
“It sort of doesn’t feel that way sometimes right now,” DeSimone told the crowd. “We need to get back to that and be the beacon of driving things forward aggressively and in a very inclusive way.”
Still, DeSimone is loyal to North Carolina—the strength of its universities and the collaboration between them, along with close proximity to industrial centers like Greensboro and Wilmington (which he said ought to be like San Diego), are draws. His commitment to the state means he won’t pass it over when it comes time to expand east—that is unless the notorious “bathroom bill”, now riled in federal lawsuits, stays intact.
Carbon will eventually build factories all over the world, DeSimone said, though specifically helping to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. A new and strategic round of funding, announced today, will start those plans. And according to DeSimone at the conference, one of those better be in North Carolina.
“Nobody is a bigger fan of RTP than me,” DeSimone said. “The opportunities here are really fantastic.”