Smashing Boxes is proud to present Next Matters Most, an interview style podcast and content series hosted by Smashing Boxes CEO Nick Jordan , featuring a diverse set of guests that hail from a variety of backgrounds, industries, and company stages.
Conversations are focused on topics such as the personal and entrepreneurial journey, getting a product from zero to MVP, design thinking, business model innovation, and much more. These topics are all near and dear to us at Smashing Boxes as they help us build empathy for our clients on a daily basis, as well as develop the principles and practices we strive to perfect.
The Triangle region of North Carolina is made up of the cities Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. Also known as the Research Triangle, it’s long been a hotbed of innovation, research, and science due to the close proximity of the three cities AND their three well known universities. UNC Chapel Hill is one of the top 3 public universities in the nation and home to a major research hospital system. Duke University is known as the “Ivy League” school of the south and is a perennial top 5 private university which also comes equipped with a major hospital system for research and development. NC State University is our state's flagship engineering school and one with a long history in advancement in important industries such as agriculture and textiles.
All within a 25 minute drive of each other, this has driven billions of dollars in research funds annually to the area. It has established many corporate campuses located close to the talent hotbeds and developed dedicated commercial real estate to support the outputs of this cluster of innovation such as the Research Triangle Park, the Durham Innovation District, and more.
As tech entrepreneurs, however, the university system seemed to have become outdated. Twenty years ago it was hard to enroll in a computer science class, much less a major. Ten years ago, there were less than 1,000 students in computer science majors across the three universities from close to 50,000 undergraduate students. In this industry of the future, universities were falling behind.
Furthermore, the resources for entrepreneurs were even more scarce. Entrepreneurship was not even a CLASS twenty years ago. Then, we started to slowly see the introduction of a class or two. Now, entrepreneurship is getting the recognition it deserves as a career path and a proper trade.
Fortunately for the university systems, tech and entrepreneurship are not fads, and so the slow moving behemoths were not down and out forever. Quite the contrary actually, as now they are becoming quite valuable resources to their students and to the ecosystems that they operate within.