Today on the Charlotte Angel Connection, we welcome Thom Ruhe – the CEO and President of NC IDEA for the first of a two part interview. Thom has been at NC IDEA since February 2016 and has already made great strides into continuing to develop and enhance entrepreneurship in North Carolina.
Many in Charlotte see a favoritism to the Triangle from NC IDEA so I wanted to talk with Thom to figure out who he was, what NC IDEA is doing and how it impacts Charlotte. What ended up happening was a great discussion on all things start in North Carolina and Charlotte in a very open and candid conversation.
Thom wants to see success here in Charlotte’s startup scene – I have no question about that. Thom also believes NC IDEA can help in several ways. Today’s discussion dove into the following questions:
1) What are the four programs currently offered by NC IDEA and what do they do?
2) What did Thom bring from the Kauffman Foundation to NC IDEA?
3) What has best equipped Thom over the years as an entrepreneur, investor, mentor, advisor and volunteer to lead NC IDEA?
4) Can NC IDEA effectively support the entire state of NC?
5) Charlotte doesn’t have the benefit of a large research institution, medical school or other attributes typical for many startup areas. What is the future of startups in Charlotte?
Listen to Part I and then wait for Part II where we dig deeper into what Thom thinks can make Charlotte more successful in the startup scene, Charlotte’s perception of being slighted by NC IDEA and the state, Amazon HQ2, and Greg’s Brown welcoming to the NC IDEA Board.