First in Future: tekMountain Director Sean Ahlum

Summary: One of the signs of a vibrant economy is one in which there’s a constant churn of “creative destruction”: A mix of one group of companies going out of business being replaced by new companies. Statewide, there’s a patchwork of incubators to nurture these new companies; these shared spaces bring together a variety of young firms into a common space to help fledgling companies share costs and benefit from the energy that comes from being around other startups. This week, we’re joined by Sean Ahlum, director at one such incubator, tekMountain in Wilmington, to talk about Wilmington, surfing, breweries, utility infielders, equity crowdfunding and innovation ecosystems.

Excerpt: “I think we should stop talking about ourselves as the next Silicon Valley. We should talk about ourselves as the next North Carolina.”

Book recommendation: The World is Flat, Thomas Friedman

Where in NC to spend his last day (surfing): Somewhere quiet, where the wind and the tide is right. (But with his dog and his wife by his side.)

Want more information on North Carolina’s incubation ecosystem? The North Carolina Small Business and Technology Development Center has graciously provided these unofficial documents on incubators and co-working spaces in North Carolina:

2017 Incubator Map | Incubator Spreadsheet | NC Business Incubators & Accelerators

Listen to the podcast: