The @bigfleet beat: March’s startup news & events | CLT Blog
photo: Garrett Crawfordphoto: Garrett Crawford

The @bigfleet beat: March’s startup news & events

Posted on 15 Mar 2012 by bigfleet

Each month, Jim Van Fleet distills the city’s startup community news and events into a single, easy-to-read digest. You can get this same information delivered directly to your inbox by signing up here.

March Madness!

There is too much to talk about in March for one issue. Expect the second installment of Charlotte Startup March Madness sometime soon. This part will talk about events happening in the future that I think you want to know about.

Hopefully you already know that today and tomorrow mark the beginning of the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament. I’d appreciate if you shared some of your March Madness with us at OtherScreen, powering the most interactive show on Charlotte television. This tournament is one of the crown jewels of modern sports, and our team shines during major sporting events. Our team and our community are covering the event completely– from the opening tipoff until the champion is crowned. Hope to see you there! New users can register at our website or via our iPhone app.

Charlotte Startup Weekend 4

Our fourth Startup Weekend will run from May 46 at Packard Place. This event will be my third as co-organizer. During that time I’ve learned that it’s probably not possible for me to tell the one story about Charlotte Startup Weekend. All our attendees will have their own story– that’s our goal as organizers. Startup Weekend is about starting businesses together, as a community. By sharing work, evaluating and critiquing ideas, and comparing skillsets, these 54 hours represent everyone’s own opportunity to meet others and participate in creating something satisfying.

Success doesn’t have to come from creating a business that goes on, like TagSeats has. Even if you are currently not thinking of making the plunge into entrepreneurship, many of our alumni talk about how inspiring it can be to create something meaningful in just a weekend– and they take that energy back to their teams on Monday.

We’re very proud of our alumni, who are involved with some startups covered in these pages. We’re inviting all of them, and a lot of new people, to register to attend Charlotte Startup Weekend 4. If you aren’t ready to register, please feel free to familiarize yourself with the format of Startup Weekend and then ask me questions.

I’m excited with our volunteer team that organizes the event. My own role is to help find the best partners in Charlotte to support and associate with promising professional men and women starting businesses. I’m always happy to find any potential sponsor a good fit with the event. If you think your organization fits the bill, please let me know in the comments, or tweet us at @StartupWkndCLT.


Ignite Charlotte

Tuesday, March 20, 2012. Icebreaker begins at 6:00 PM, Talks at 7:00 PM
Cost: Free
Venue: Neighborhood Theater (map)
Sponsors: My newsletter and many other sponsors keep the event free!

There’s not much in Charlotte like the energy at Ignite. The format of five minute talks with 20 auto-advancing slides gives the gift of the sublime to the best talks, and the gift of brevity to the worst. In addition to enjoying the talks, I’ll be there signing people up for this newsletter! I’ve seen so many friends take the stage at Ignite and this coming installment will add more to that list, including Raquel Velez, Dan Roselli, Addy Kapur, and Red Davies. RSVP now, as you’ll need tickets for entry.

Speaking of Raquel and Red, your friendly neighborhood Hackerspace is running the Icebreaker before the talks begin. It’s a top-secret project, but my sources indicate you’ll have a blast if you choose to participate. The grand reopening of the Hackerspace after their move to a new location is March 24 so plan on checking that out, too.

Richard Schneeman: The 12 Factor App

Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 7:00 PM
Cost: Free, pizza provided
Venue: Packard Place (map)
Host: Charlotte Ruby Group

I’m thrilled to welcome Richard Schneeman of Heroku to Charlotte to speak about The Twelve-Factor App. The twelve factors help ensure any software as a service offering has a strong level of operational health,
taking advantage of the substantial benefits possible in the cloud. This talk will be of interest to all web application developers, as none of the twelve factors are monopolized by any language or ecosystem. Heroku will be sponsoring pizza (up to a point!) so come down to Packard Place, have some pizza, listen, and ask good questions. If you don’t RSVP, I won’t be able to order pizza for you, so get with the program.


Wednesday, March 28 and Thursday, March 29, 2012
Cost: $199
Venue: Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center (map)
Host: it-oLogy

Need to split town and lay low for awhile? Columbia, SC is a fine place to hold a regional conference. They’ll be hosting POSSCON at the end of the month. I associate POSSCON with a great speaker lineup, a dynamite
organizer in Todd Lewis, and a fine city for a social engagement or three. You should consider registering.

BarCamp Charlotte

April 21st, 2012
Cost: Free
Venue and Host: Area 15 (map)

BarCamp 7 will be the first time that my wife and I have missed the most eclectic, and unpredictably delightful event in Charlotte. At past BarCamps, I learned that Paul Solitario can pick locks. I’ve seen the birth of CollaborateCLT and TechCLT. I’ve seen City Councilman Warren Cooksey talk Government 2.0 and Apple Design Award winner Jeremy Olson talk iPhone app design. I’ve seen so many great talks from software developers that I’ve lost track. I’ve seen balloon animals and maybe ever so slightly too much Social Media Terrorism. Who knows how many people I’ve met there!

At this unconference, no one knows who will speak ahead of time, and the attendees are in charge of what they want to see. It’s an event with heart, and there’s no reason not to drop by Area 15 if you’re in town. You can get a pretty good flavor at any time by just roaming around and going with the flow.

Bits and pieces

Coming Soon

Already March has been a big month for Charlotte startups, so we’ll recap their recent activities in a second post, coming up soon.


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