Innovate Raleigh Summit 2018 Recap (Part 3/3)

This is part 3 of our recap of Innovate Raleigh Summit 2018. The Summit brings together a lot of creative and innovative minds to discuss the future of the Triangle with regard to entrepreneurship and inclusion.

We attended a few sessions and wanted to share a few things that we learned:

Growing a City

We had the chance to listen to two great presentations about city growth in Raleigh: one by Kate Pearce at Dorothea Dix Park for the City of Raleigh, and other by Leah Burton, Director at NC State University Centennial Campus Partnership Office & Industry Alliances.

Power of Place and Dorothea Dix Park

It was exciting to hear Kate Pearce from the City of Raleigh communicate the vision of Dix Park as the next great park on the national stage.

The central theme of Kate’s presentation was the power of a place like Dix Park to attract people, including entrepreneurs, to a city like Raleigh. The presentation was full of ideas for the development of Dix Park, and their capacity to create connections and attract people to Raleigh.

One of the most interesting things to me about Kate’s presentation was the processes that go into planning Dix Park, and how much a park like Dix can impact a city.

When you’re building a company like ours, you frequently think about the processes that make up a big picture. So, it was enlightening to learn about the things that went into building Dix Park thus far, such as securing the space as a park, and pursuing city council adoption for the park.

We also spend a lot of time at Rustbrook thinking about how to measure the success of a venture. So, hearing mention of the measurement of foot traffic and social media impressions with regard to a new park installation was an unexpected gem during Kate’s presentation.

You can learn more about the plans for Dix Park at

Power of Place and Centennial Campus as an Innovation District

The second presentation that we saw during this session, by Leah Burton at the NC State University Centennial Campus Partnership Office, focused on the power of a place like Centennial Campus to impact the economic growth of Raleigh.

Leah introduced us to the concept of an Innovation District, and the role of an innovation district in catalyzing economic growth in a city. She showed us how Centennial Campus at NC State University can function as an innovation district, and what that means for Raleigh.

I think that the most striking fact presented during Leah’s presentation was that NC State University adds about $6.5 billion of income to North Carolina’s economy, and well over $1 billion of that comes from startups originating from the University. That fact hit home for me as an alum who has always been impressed by NC State’s commitment to innovation.


Innovate Raleigh Summit 2018 was informative and exciting. We’re already thinking of ways to use what we learned to benefit our company, our clients, our partners and our city. Learn more about Innovate Raleigh and the Summit at

In case you missed it, check out the first two parts of our Innovate Raleigh Summit 2018 Recap: