Former Cisco Staffers Invited to Start Something at ‘Landing Spot’

“Supporting talented individuals is core to building a strong economy …” 

american_underground_logo.pngLayoffs are an unfortunate inevitability in business; but such developments can lead to new opportunities.

In that spirit, the Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina and the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce are teaming up with the American Underground and its programming partners to establish Landing Spot, a new initiative inviting laid off tech staff to apply for free coworking space, top-shelf mentoring and coaching in order to develop a new product idea or business venture.

The program —  kicking off with an application period running now through Nov. 14, and the actual program beginning on Dec. 15  — will be structured as follows:

  • The American Underground’s three locations (two in Durham, one in Raleigh) will reserve a total of ten free spaces at their coworking facilities.
  • Interested staffers will be asked to complete a brief Google Form explaining what they intend to work on.
  • The first 50 people to apply will be eligible. A team of startup veterans and the American Underground’s programming partners will review the applications and accept ten.
  • Each of the ten spots will operate on a three month cycle. After three months, each person will have the opportunity to re-up (at a special rate) or exit.

Selected entrepreneurs will receive direct connections and programming opportunities from C.E.D., Groundwork Labs, NC IDEA, and The Startup Factory, all key programming partners driving the Triangle’s rise as an entrepreneurial hub.

“Talent is the most valuable asset we have in the Triangle,” says Mason Ailstock, VP of Business Development for the Research Triangle Foundation. “We are excited to partner on a creative approach that provides new opportunities for people to pursue their dreams and continue to call North Carolina home.”

Added Casey Steinbacher, president & CEO of the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce:

“Supporting talented individuals is core to building a strong economy. We believe that everyone deserves an opportunity to build their dream company, and this program is exactly the type of activity we need in the Triangle.”

“We have seen some of our best and brightest startup founders come from seasoned corporate roles,” said Adam Klein, chief strategist, American Underground. “In many ways, the strength of Triangle startups is an exceptional talent pool of people well-trained by our universities and larger companies. Our goal is to continually add more smart people into the startup ecosystem and give them the support to take an idea to market.”

Thanks to ATC’s Valerie Ward for this capcom story.

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