Today, Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise leaders visited the American Underground to explore a potential partnership to promote entrepreneurship.
Led by Judith Cone, Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Innovation & Entrepreneurship and a Kenan Institute fellow, the group which included Joseph DeSimone, Mary Napier, and Ted Zoller, met with Michael Goodmon and Adam Klein.
Goodmon is Vice-President of Real Estate for Capitol Broadcasting Company, the TV and radio broadcast company that owns the American Tobacco Campus. Klein, who got his Masters from UNC, is Chief Strategist for the American Underground and in charge of day-to-day operations including programming, marketing, expansion & leasing.
Since 2010 the American Underground has served as a business accelerator and incubator by providing local startups and budding entrepreneurs with access to flexible office and work space, networking opportunities, and other resources through its two Durham locations.
Several companies with national recognition have ties to American Underground; iContact co-founder and UNC alum, Aaron Houghton, has used space to launch his next startup BoostSuite. Other rising companies include Jaargon, Albright Digital and Sustainable Industrial Solutions. In addition to housing startups, American Underground also houses two accelerators, Triangle Startup Factory and Groundworks Labs.
The Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise is emerging from a strategic planning process with the mission of partnering with other around innovative entrepreneurship. A partnership with the American Underground would be valuable in building bridges to the entrepreneurial activities in the region.