Entrepreneurs Helping Other Entrepreneurs Is Goal of RTP 2.0
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Fred Stutzman, an entrepreneur who helped organize the "Bar Camp", or technology "unconference" last summer in RTP, is forming an organization for Triangle area entrepreneurs along the new-wave theme of Web 2.0.
The group is called RTP 2.0.
"The purpose of RTP 2.0 is to create a place for RTP-based tech entrepreneurs to meet each other, share ideas and strategy, and to build bridges for collaboration and innovation," Stutzman told WRAL Local Tech Wire. "With the democratization of access to technology (Open Source, cheap hosting, etc.), a whole new set of technology entrepreneurs are creating the tools of the future. It is RTP's 2.0's goal to bring them together, get them talking and sharing, and most importantly, having fun."
Stutzman, a PhD student in information science at UNC Chapel Hill, is an entrepreneur, having helped launch a startup called ClaimID.com. He's also working on hosting another Bar Camp this year.
"As a small entrepreneur, I like events like BarCamp and RTP 2.0 because they are an effective way to meet others in the area who are working on interesting projects," he said. "I like to see interesting people talking to each other."
The RTP 2.0 group is not for dreamers, however. It's for people who have a dream and are already seeking to make it a reality.
"Local entrepreneurs who are currently working on projects in the RTP area," Stutzman said when asked who should be interested in the group. "The projects need not be established, of course, but it is limited to people actively working on ventures.
"Why? Well, the idea is that when you bring people together and get them talking, good things will happen. A support network will emerge. Contacts will be established. And who know, perhaps new businesses will be spawned."
The specifics of the organization are still being worked out – other than one certain fact: Events will be free.
"At this point, we want to get people working on projects in a room together so they can meet each other," Stutzman explained. "We'll likely hold this meeting once a quarter, so people can update each other on progress, meet new entrepreneurs, etc. We'll also be holding social functions such as dinners or open bars. Of course all of this will be free."
The Bar Camp last July, for example, landed sponsorship from Red Hat, which acted as host, along with The Aurora Funds, Lulu and others. Attendees also brought along equipment to set up on-site networks.
Asked what RTP 2.0 would offer entrepreneurs what other groups such as the Council for Entrepreneurial Development do not, Stutzman said he doesn't see a rivalry.
"Well, I'd like to think that something like RTP 2.0 and CED go hand and hand," he said. "RTP 2.0 is an ad-hoc networking group built in the Bar Camp model, so we're a little less structured. However, I could easily see RTP 2.0 and CED working together on events. It is a very natural fit."
The initial RTP 2.0 event recently took place at Aurora Fund's offices in Durham. Jan Bouten, one of Aurora's senior associates, helped host the event and gets credit for the RTP 2.0 term, according to Stutzman.
For more information, contact Stutzman at: email@example.com