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Triangle, Triad and Charlotte competting with Boston and Silicon Valley?

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He has an interesting take. I think t could happen but I'm skeptical about if t will happen. I wonder what "infrastructure" will be in place.

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I think it could happen if UNCC, UNCG, and NC A&T got the same love from the state as NCSU and UNCCH, and if there was a truly concerted effort to increase the R&D profile of URP and PTRP in the same vein as RTP half a century ago. Until those things happen, no I don't think it's possible. I think the Triangle is still able to compete with Boston and SV on the tech/R&D front though.

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I agree about funding the universities, but that will not change in the coming decades.  There are too many UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State alums among our friends at the capital who make those calls.  UNC-Charlotte is now the second largest institution in the state but lacks any significant graduate level programs (comparatively speaking) due simply to the lack of alumni support.  It will get there, but it's going to take some time.  Support on the state level will never be the same though; that's simply because of geography and greed.  UNC-Greensboro and NC A&T are destined to be step children for the remainder of their programs lives unless they do a strong push for growth like Charlotte did in the last decade.

 

That said, the state is outfitted with one of the best fiber networks in the nation.  When that finally gets pushed out, NC will become a very attractive place for tech companies to expand, especially those in the cloud business.  The "Urban Crescent" has two well recognized bookends that may hinder the Triad's growth in the tech field.  Unless the state throws some very aggressive incentives towards tech companies, I don't foresee the Triad growing at the same rate as its neighbors in this regard.  Also, and I'm not bashing the Triad, the Triangle and Charlotte show up on "top places in the US for X" lists for so many categories that it will be much harder for the Triad to be considered initially.  Not saying it's impossible, it's just a much longer road.

 

NC does a surprisingly good job at luring tech companies into the state in general though; so we may be surprised at what this area can generate over the next decade.  The state may need to look into better support of entrepreneurs in the tech and energy sectors in order for NC to ever become the "home" to any true innovation in those fields.  Being the North American HQ for a European/Chinese company or the East-coast operations of a California/Washington state company will only get us so far.  We need to drive our own innovations to really ever be put on the technology map.  Coddling existing big names won't get us there on it's own.

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If that's what the governor meant, then I hope that he's not trying to mislead the folks of NC. It takes much more than a few tech companies here and there in order to seriously be considered a technology corridor. There also must exist a mindset and  culture geared towards technology. That doesn't happen overnight. Cities like Austin, Salt Lake City, and Seattle are considered high tech areas, but are in no way near being able to compete with Silicon Valley and Boston in terms of technology status.

 

It takes many years and a lot of hard work for an area to develop this sort of technology pedigree, not to mention high caliber research and technology focused universities capable of producing graduates with the skills needed to be competitive. I'd say yes to the Triangle, but no to the Triad and Charlotte.

Edited by RALNATIVE

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The short answer is never. More political mumbo jumbo from McCorny. I would say that NC has an antagonistic view towards real intellectualism that drives innovation, especially with McCorny's constant reference to a cultural elite at every turn. While the Triangle is a top 5 tech center, the drop off from the Bay area and Boston is significant. Brain drain from the best universities also factors in-the best and brightest generally don't stick around. Those that do stay, stay for convenience like the cheap cost of raising a family. Of the 8 people that matriculated in my PhD program at Duke, 0 are still in the Triangle/NC.  

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The short answer is never. More political mumbo jumbo from McCorny. I would say that NC has an antagonistic view towards real intellectualism that drives innovation, especially with McCorny's constant reference to a cultural elite at every turn. While the Triangle is a top 5 tech center, the drop off from the Bay area and Boston is significant. Brain drain from the best universities also factors in-the best and brightest generally don't stick around. Those that do stay, stay for convenience like the cheap cost of raising a family. Of the 8 people that matriculated in my PhD program at Duke, 0 are still in the Triangle/NC.  

 

I'm 100% with you on this. Let's face it, most of NC has a history and culture based on making and growing things. To make the kind of cultural, educational, and economic shift that the govenor is talking about is like pushing a large boulder up a very large mountain. I'm not saying that it can't happen, but it is highly unlikey to happen anytime soon. I went to UPENN up north for grad school and then Berkeley in the Bay area for additional grad work. Not many of my academic colleagues from those areas would even consider moving to NC, and if they did it would only be to the Triangle.

Edited by RALNATIVE

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Another vote for Triangle, yes; Charlotte/Triad-no. These three regions are led by:

 

Triangle- Education/Medicine/Technology
Triad- Logistics, A little bit of aerospace

Charlotte- Banking

 

I'm greatly oversimplifying, but states don't compete with metro areas (Silicon Valley/San Fran; Boston), metro areas do.  The Triangle has the right ingredients but lacks the infrastructure pieces.  Organizations like American underground and others, however, are quickly moving to assemble them.  What I hear consistently is the need to grow the venture capital footprint in the Triangle.  Charlotte could perhaps play a role by leveraging its banking expertise into the VC area, but I don't know enough about the Charlotte banking sector to know if they are well geared for that kind of role shift.

 

The Triad, well the stuff going on with PTRP and Wake Forest Baptist Medical center (see Anthony Atala's research lab) in Winston are all positive steps, but I'm not sure about where GSO is on this stuff and if there's a deep bench.  The Triad's best early success in this area lit out for Charleston, SC for a bundle of incentives.

 

Tech companies are making active moves (Citrix, Red Hat, Durham.ID) to the Triangle, and I don't think that those moves are occurring in the other metros in the same way.

 

Getting back to what this board discusses, Charlotte and the Triangle are far ahead of the Triad in urban quality of life issues compared to the continued sprawl in the Triad.  It will be hard for the Triad to attract those firms when they underperform on the infrastructure that many of those workers are seeking.

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As someone that works in IT and lives in Charlotte I kind of scratched my head on this one as well... There is some worthwhile IT workforce presence here but it's not competing with Boston or Silicon Valley. The Triangle does obviously. I will add that in addition to banking Charlotte is well known for manufacturing, energy, auto sports and to some degree television media (FOX Sports, ESPNU, SEC/ACC Network, etc are all based here or have some significant presence)

Edited by wend28

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What I hear consistently is the need to grow the venture capital footprint in the Triangle. 

 

VC activity in the Triangle has picked up significantly over the last few years. Outside investors are steadily providing sead capital to some of the startups. Some of the more innovative startups have attracted the attention of people like Mark Cuban.

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And no NC metro is anywhere on that list. I suppose that McCrory thinks that Raleigh-Greensboro-Charlotte will move into 2nd place on that list in just a matter of a few years?

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Another reason why NC will never be Silicon Valley or Boston. Other than the high concentration of brain power focused in the Triangle, the state as a whole lacks this power.

http://www.online-phd-programs.org/50-u-s-cities-with-the-most-doctoral-degree-holders/

Ugh... annoying list. Beautiful representative pictures for other cities but instead of duke campus or downtown durham, we get a picture of a dull office park in RTP. I guess that's the outsider view of what we have here.

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^Yea I think that's the EPA building-its actually pretty nice though. 

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Another vote for Triangle, yes; Charlotte/Triad-no. These three regions are led by:

 

Triangle- Education/Medicine/Technology

Triad- Logistics, A little bit of aerospace

Charlotte- Banking

 

I'm greatly oversimplifying, but states don't compete with metro areas (Silicon Valley/San Fran; Boston), metro areas do.  The Triangle has the right ingredients but lacks the infrastructure pieces.  Organizations like American underground and others, however, are quickly moving to assemble them.  What I hear consistently is the need to grow the venture capital footprint in the Triangle.  Charlotte could perhaps play a role by leveraging its banking expertise into the VC area, but I don't know enough about the Charlotte banking sector to know if they are well geared for that kind of role shift.

 

The Triad, well the stuff going on with PTRP and Wake Forest Baptist Medical center (see Anthony Atala's research lab) in Winston are all positive steps, but I'm not sure about where GSO is on this stuff and if there's a deep bench.  The Triad's best early success in this area lit out for Charleston, SC for a bundle of incentives.

 

Tech companies are making active moves (Citrix, Red Hat, Durham.ID) to the Triangle, and I don't think that those moves are occurring in the other metros in the same way.

 

Getting back to what this board discusses, Charlotte and the Triangle are far ahead of the Triad in urban quality of life issues compared to the continued sprawl in the Triad.  It will be hard for the Triad to attract those firms when they underperform on the infrastructure that many of those workers are seeking.

 

Like Winston-Salem there is research and technology going on in Greensboro with Gateway University Research Park but I think Greensboro is much stronger in logistics, aviation/aerospace and high tech manufacturing. I think Charlotte, the Triangle and the Triad will all compliment one another when it comes to recruiting industry to the state. Each region has their own unique strengths.

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While it may seem unrealistic now, it is possible that NC becomes a bigger player in the tech world over time. I mean nobody thought the south could attract or provide the type of employees to attract auto manufacturers 30 plus years ago & we know how that turned out.

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