Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Very Upscale Basement

I'm wearing my Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce cap for this post…

Big Business isn’t doing a very good job of job creation, so there’s a lot of attention on entrepreneurs and how to nurture start-up companies…for good reason:

2/3rds of new job creation comes from businesses less than five years old.
Christopher Gergen
Bull City Forward

Seven out of ten jobs in our state are created and sustained by small business.
Tom Campbell
NC Spin

Across the street at the American Tobacco campus they recently unveiled plans for a new workspace for entrepreneurs - the American Underground. It’s a clever and compelling use of basement real estate that allows for flex space and short-term leases…something that’s almost impossible to do with class A office space above ground. Also, the American Underground is designed for collaboration and shared services.

In my last post on Mark Cuban’s visit to Durham, I noted his advice to entrepreneurs: keep your costs low; live like a college student. American Underground meets that need, but it will definitely be a cut above dorm life…a very cool work environment.

The American Underground will open this fall. In the "how to nurture entrepreneurs" category, tenants already include the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, Joystick Labs (works with video game developers) and LaunchBox Digital. LaunchBox is what's known as a business accelerator. (I need one of those.)

Check out the American Underground web site: CLICK HERE.