NC State Institute for Nonprofits partnered with the NC State Office of Outreach and Engagement and the Southeast Raleigh Innovation Challenge to host this fall’s COMx event, which occurred on Thursday November 2nd.The theme of this event was “Finding Partners to Launch or Scale Your Venture.” For this COMx installation, we sought to highlight the work of the participants and finalists of the Southeast Raleigh Innovation Challenge. The Challenge was designed to connect community residents, small businesses, nonprofits, faith-based groups, youth and other organizations to identify solutions to community challenges in southeast Raleigh that are innovative yet practical.
One of the goals of COMx is to facilitate creative collisions. As usual, it began and ended with networking over appetizers and drinks, the attendees settled in for the panel discussion in between.
The panel discussion was moderated by Dr. Kwesi Brookins, Faculty Fellow for the Office for Outreach and Engagement at NC State University. COMx panelists included: Barbara Jessie-Black, the Executive Director of the PTA Thrift Shop for the nonprofit organization YouthWorx on the Main, and Jackie Parker, the Director of Community Relations for the nonprofit organization Inmates to Entrepreneurs. Barbara Jessie-Black focused her remarks on the issue of maintaining individual identity when collaborating with other nonprofit organizations. Jackie Parker contributed her expertise in the area of funding for nonprofit organizations. After their presentations, both panelists answered questions from an attentive audience.
It was clear from the enthusiastic conversations before, during and after the presentations that the social innovation challenge participants and other guests left with new knowledge about finding partners and resources to launch their ventures.