A couple of weeks ago I emerged from my development trance and decided to venture back out into the wilds of the Triangle entrepreneurial scene. The timing worked out so that I could trek out to Raleigh earlier this month to attend the inaugural Protosprout Community Program Meeting.
Protosprout ( http://protosprout.com ) is a NC-based company founded by Justis Peters that is looking to bring local entrepreneurs together and foster an energized, start-up community. I think it was a successful first meeting. Justis pulled folks together and lead some interesting and informal discussions including how the community could work together to provide support and value to one another. Ideas included things like skill and service bartering, community forums, general networking, official Protosprout mentorship and startup programs. A local skill bartering system would be great for a lot of startups ( ala programmer meets designer ) as would a tighter knit community for bouncing ideas off of or even testing your prototypes.
Part of the evening included time for pitching your startups and Q&A. Even Wayne Sutton got up and pitched an idea. I’ll take a moment to mention one really cool company that pitched: Durham TechShop ( http://www.durham.techshop.ws )
The TechShop will be a a DIY workshop with a slew of tools and machines for any number of tasks ( electronics, woodworking, plastics, machining, welding, 3d printing, even blacksmithing! ). They’ll offer classes so that you can get certified to use the various tools and then you’re off to create whatever you want. I am really excited to see this in action, so all you folks with checkbooks contact Scott Saxon over at the TechShop and get this puppy funded!
I met a lot of interesting people that night and look forward to attending the next Protosprout meeting. You should check it out over at http://protosprout.com . I think Justis is doing a great job getting this organized.
You can also follow Protosprout on Twitter ( http://twitter.com/protosprout )