American Underground@Raleigh: New Startup Hub Launches Downtown, Expanding Triangle’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

(Raleigh/Durham) - August 7, 2013 -- The American Underground, a network of startup hubs that has already transformed Durham, will open a new location this fall at 213 Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh. Startups help spark the innovation that creates new markets and new jobs; the American Underground helps startups connect with the resources they need to succeed.

@Raleigh will feature up to 25+ companies as well as Bandwidth Labs, the incubator arm of Bandwidth, the world-leading Raleigh-based innovator that recently shook up the smartphone market with the introduction of Republic Wireless.

@Raleigh will also feature a 'regional coworking desk,’ allowing startups in the Underground to work in any Underground location. This means a startup based in Raleigh can easily take meetings in the two Durham-based Undergrounds, plop down in the Durham coworking space, and not miss a beat -- and visa versa.

Nor will startups miss out on social time, a not-to-be-dismissed lubricant of success. @Raleigh is situated directly above popular watering hole, Foundation. Networking and learning events, as seen in Durham and other national hot spots, will be a staple of the new hub.  

Density Key to Success

Density, experts say, is key to a successful entrepreneurial economy. A critical mass of startups, funders etc. allows for productive interaction and increases the odds of success.

The new @Raleigh site will strengthen a Triangle-wide ecosystem that the original Underground -- located at Durham’s American Tobacco Campus -- helped to kick-off in 2010. There are now 100+ startups in Durham, more than half of them working in the collaborative, inter-connected spaces at American Underground hubs at the campus and at its just-opened downtown Durham site.

“The Triangle as a whole is now alive to the idea that we can be an international hub of the kind of innovation that leads to new companies and jobs,” says Underground Chief Strategist Adam Klein. “We have the universities, we have the talented, dedicated visionaries.  @Raleigh represents an opportunity for us to better link our regional assets and make it possible for startups to work across the Triangle easily and seamlessly. We look forward to collaborating with others who share this vision for regional success.”

Adds Bandwidth CEO David Morken: “Bandwidth’s incredible growth over the last several years is due to hard work and relentless innovation, items we expect will be hallmarks of the American Underground@Raleigh. Locating Bandwidth Labs in the Underground allows us both to help build our community and to continually expose some of our brightest minds to new and challenging ideas.”     

Says Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane: “I am thrilled to welcome The American Underground@Raleigh to our bustling downtown and vibrant entrepreneurial eco-system.  The Underground’s regional approach combined with the international scope of Bandwidth Labs makes the project a perfect fit for North Carolina's capital city. The more connectivity we achieve between entrepreneurs, investors, universities and major corporations, the more our startup eco-system will grow and thrive.”  

Jean Pauwels, owner of the building since 2006, has previously partnered with Foundation and a theater group. He carefully vetted his next project. “A big part of my decision to work with the American Underground is my desire to collaborate with people who think outside the box. The Underground team truly wants to put together something special. It will be a great addition to downtown Raleigh.”

Paul Singh, venture partner in the international 500 Startups has observed, “I’ve rarely seen an entrepreneurial ecosystem as thoughtfully developed or successfully executed as the American Underground.”

About American Underground

The American Underground helps ascendant startups connect with the resources they need to succeed. Undergrounds are located at the American Tobacco Campus in Durham, on Main Street in downtown Durham and on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh -- each with distinct personalities and exceptional capabilities to foster collaboration and connectivity. The Underground is owned by Capitol Broadcasting Company (CBC). Underground visitors include John Biggs (TechCrunch), Joe Klein (TIME), Alexis Madrigal and the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, including G.E’s Jeff Immelt and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg.  

About Bandwidth
Bandwidth is among the nation's largest and fastest-growing communication technology companies. The company operates four divisions – inetwork, Phonebooth, Broadband and republic wireless – that all share a mission of transforming the communications industry. Across the four divisions, Bandwidth provides a full range of communications services, including wholesale voice origination and termination, a full suite of 9-1-1 services, hosted VoIP and internet connectivity service for SMBs, and a consumer wireless business. Founded in 1999, and a certified CLEC in 49 states, Bandwidth is a profitable company headquartered in Cary, NC with a large remote office in Denver, CO and field offices in eight other cities. For more information, please visit www.bandwidth.com.

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