BAI Attended Charlotte Innovation Week in May 2023

BAI’s board member and staff were invited to attend Charlotte Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Summit on May 18th 2023 organized by Innovate Charlotte during Charlotte’s Innovation Week. Ben Redding, the CFO from NC IDEA Foundation, introduced their grants and programs to entrepreneurs and ecosystem players within NC. NC IDEA is an independent private, 501(c)(3) foundation whose vision is to help North Carolinians achieve their entrepreneurial ambition to start and grow high potential companies. NC IDEA fosters sustainable economic development with competitive grants and programs for entrepreneurs and funding to strengthen the North Carolina entrepreneurial ecosystem. NC IDEA offers grant funding and support on the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

Nate Hogan, the president of the Charlotte Alliance Foundation, also announced their 5-levels programs to help innovators from the proof of business concept to solution scaling.  The Charlotte Alliance Foundation aims to empower underrepresented small businesses, entrepreneurs, and business leaders in the Charlotte Region to grow and thrive.  They believe access to resources, information, professional development, and networking opportunities are crucial to breaking down barriers and bridging the divide to create a more inclusive and vibrant economy.

One of the primary focuses of this summit is to foster the growth of Entrepreneurial Support Organizations (ESOs), which are recognized as invaluable assets for North Carolina’s innovative startup ecosystem. In 2022, NC IDEA provided grants to NGOs such as Hurt Hub@Davison, LaunchCLT, and First Turn Innovations to aid in their efforts of connecting resources and cultivating a thriving and sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem. May Pang, an advisor at BAI, also elaborated on BAI’s role as an ESO in creating a positive impact in the Web3 and Blockchain industry. This involves linking innovators with ESG investors and leveraging the United Nations’ platform to scale technological solutions. During the networking session, numerous ESOs and startups from North Carolina expressed their interest in forming partnerships with BAI, approaching their staff to explore potential collaborations.