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Youth Leadership Cary - Bonus from Technology Tank

Are Business Cards Dead?

Cary, NC – On Friday of last week, I had the opportunity to see the end of the Cary Chamber of Commerce ‘Youth Leadership Cary’ graduation at The Cary. 40 exceptional young men and women had successfully completed the program and had obviously impressed the adults leading this course.

The leader of the event encouraged the students to use this experience as the start of their professional network. My question during the social after the program was “So do all the students now have Linked-In profiles?” Questions had to be asked of the students to see if they knew about Linked-In and if they had profiles, and the answer was ‘no’…

If you are mentoring a Junior or Senior in high school or any college student, they all should have Linked-In profiles now!

Here is the Technology Tank / Cary Innovation Center ‘bonus session’ for the students who were in the Youth Leadership Cary program. I sent this through the chamber to the high school counselors for these 40 students, but many, many more need this advice so please pass it along.

Make Your Linked-In Profile Now!

Linked-In is an invaluable professional networking and contact management tool. Build your profile now and keep adding to it as you progress in your careers.

This is your professional persona, so think school picture, not those fun beach pictures. You are young, so update your picture every few years so that people are not surprised when they meet you (you are still aging quickly). Don’t post jokes, what you ate for lunch or stray thoughts – FaceBook is the place for all that stuff.

Build your resume and keep it current with all of your accomplishments and work history. Ask for recommendations as you go (you don’t have to make them public if you don’t want to…) People search Linked-In all the time and you may be presented with opportunities you never would know about otherwise.

Link to all of the people you have met in this program and keep building your network as you go. Business cards are very important, but by the time you are out of school, there is a high likelihood that most of the people you have met are now working for a different company and so that card is obsolete.

When you make a connection request, always remind the person how you met. No blank connection requests!

Create your Linked-In profile now and make sure you keep your profile up to date. Use the smoke detector battery rule at a minimum, ie. update your profile when the hour changes.

What Do You Think?

We are always interested in best-in-class Technology advice. Please let us know if you think I’m off base or if there is a newer and better way. Cheers!


Disclosure: Linked-In profile of the writer.

Featured image Public Domain from the Town of Cary

Triangle Startup Weekend and Triangle Open Data Day - Feb 20-22

Winter Won’t Stop Busy Tech Weekend

Raleigh, NC – Winter may have put a hold on school events around the Triangle this week, but it will not put a stop to the upcoming busy Tech Weekend. So shake off the winter ice and come out to the events.

The 2 major events are going on just a few buildings away from each other on the NCSU Centennial Campus:

  • Triangle Startup Weekend EDU – Hunt Library – Friday, February 20, 2015 at 6:30 PM – Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 9:30 PM (EST)
  • Triangle Open Data Day – Engineering Building II – Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 9:00 AM – Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 6:00 PM (EST)
ODI Registered Trainer Mark

Registered ODI Trainer in NC

Cary, NC – There is now an Open Data Institute (ODI) registered trainer in North Carolina. Ian Henshaw from The Open Data Institute of North Carolina (ODI-NC) was recently recognized and provided with the ODI Registered Trainer mark.

About ODI Training

The ODI offers the most comprehensive open data training in the world. Our interactive and practical courses are delivered by experts with significant experience working with open data.

Most of the ODI training classes are held in London, but the ODI-NC is building a training program to support the US market with courses that have been adapted to suit the legal and practical issues in America.

About the ODI

The ODI was cofounded by the creator of the Web and overall Director of the W3C, Tim Berners-Lee. Sir Tim has stated that “Open data and a change of mindset is the next step in the internet revolution.”

The Open Data Institute is catalysing the evolution of open data culture to create economic, environmental, and social value. It helps unlock supply, generates demand, creates and disseminates knowledge to address local and global issues.

We convene world-class experts to collaborate, incubate, nurture and mentor new ideas, and promote innovation. We enable anyone to learn and engage with open data, and empower our teams to help others through professional coaching and mentoring.

ODI Registered Trainer - Ian Henshaw

BetaBox at CAM Raleigh

BetaBox at CAM Raleigh

Raleigh, NC – the first ever public open house of the BetaBox mobile prototyping lab will be held outside CAM Raleigh on Tuesday, January 20, 2015 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM (EST).

Michael Hobgood, Director of Operations at BetaVersity, will be demonstrating their technology and having a conversation with the community on innovative ways to merge art and technology into our schools.

What is BetaBox?

BetaBox is a custom prototyping lab built inside of a shipping container. Whether you’re a K-12 school, a university, or a company, BetaBox is the perfect rapid prototyping solution for classes, events, conferences, and community outreach.

BetaBox by BetaVersityEvery pod comes with rapid prototyping equipment like 3D printers, laser cutters, 3D scanners, and speed of thought materials. But it’s not just about having the latest rapid prototyping equipment; it’s about creating a culture of creativity and entrepreneurial thinking on your campus. This is what Betaversity excels at.

BetaBox at CAM Event Details

  • What: BetaBox @ CAM Raleigh
  • Where: CAM Raleigh, 409 West Martin Street, Raleigh, NC 27603
  • When: Tuesday, January 20, 2015 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM (EST)
  • Why: Tour BetaBox and join a conversation on innovative ways to merge art and technology into our schools.
  • BetaBox at CAM Registration Site

Previous Articles on BetaBox or BetaVersity


Top picture from Gregory Wilson. Picture in article courtesy of BetaVersity.

Town of Cary Technology Task Force Report

Cary Technology Task Force Recommends

Cary, NC – In July of 2012, the Town of Cary commissioned the Technology Task Force (TTF) to study technology and engagement for the town. Over a four month period, the nine members of the original task force studied a wide scope of questions including municipal websites, mobile applications, social media, open data, video, Cary as a community tech hub, legal issues and sustainability.

The final report for the TTF was delivered in December of 2012. The report is no longer found on the Town Website, so we thought it beneficial to list the summary recommendations and then ask the reader if these recommendations are still valid.

TTF Overarching Policy Recommendations

  1. The Town should give the same care and attention to planning and implementation of our virtual properties as the Town spends on its physical properties.
  2. Adopt an Open Data and a Public API Policy
    • Critical to support “Cary is a Community Technology Hub”
    • Will allow for independent Mobile application development
  3. Make Cary a “Community Driven” Technology Hub
  4. [Vision:] Cary actively supports Technology User Groups, Hack-a-Thons, School Technology Partnerships, Code for America Brigades, etc.

    • Make Cary a location of choice for people moving into the Triangle area who are taking technology positions.
    • Will attract highly-skilled technology professionals
      • More affluent and active demographic
      • Could help balance the aging population demographic trend
    • User Groups can provide the Town advice on Technology implementation and sustainability.
    • Will have a positive influence on the development of mobile and other apps in the Town.
    • Will support Economic Development in the Town
    • Will support and promote Technology Education in the Town
  5. Promote Citizen Engagement
    • 2-Way Communication Policy
    • More people involved in the community
    • Town gains an on-going feedback mechanism
    • Claim the Town’s social media properties
  6. Develop Generation 6 Website (or Websites)
    • CaryNC.gov
    • Integrate with Social Media Channels
    • Incorporate open data and mobile responsiveness
  7. Develop an official, simple mobile application to gain experience developing and deploying mobile applications
  8. Re-envision the Video Production Department
  9. Provide Leadership for Technology Related Legislative Issues
    • Protect our citizens from new age threats to their privacy and security.
    • Use Technology to enhance citizen participation in the decision-making process.
    • Allow us communication methods with our youth that are not public record.
  10. Encourage Partners to Adopt Parking Lot Items
    • Technology Education
    • Economic Development
Wake Robotics Forging the Forge Downtown

Forging The Forge Downtown

Cary, NC – Here is a great opportunity to bring a maker community to the Triangle.

Wake Robotics is undertaking a Kickstarter campaign to bring the Forge Downtown. Wake Robotics is looking to:

Create a collaborative space to excite and engage families in our community in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math).

$75,000 Raised, Need $40,000

Wake Robotics has already raised $75,000 towards The Forge Downtown. The $40,000 target of this Kickstarter will close the deal. It will get Wake Robotics into the building for The Forge Downtown. Anything raised beyond the target, will be used towards movable whiteboards, maker supplies and additional tools.

Wake Robotics May 24, 2012

Forging The Forge Downtown Details

Wake Robotics May 24, 2012

Echos of the TTF

in 2012, The Technology Task Force (TTF) advised Cary on how the Town should use Technology to engage with citizens. The TTF final report was rather long, but “Forging The Forge Downtown” would help fulfill 2 of the major TTF recommendations:

  • Make Cary a Community Driven Technology Hub
  • Encourage Partners to Adopt Parking Lot Items: Technology Education

Lets help ‘Forging The Forge Downtown’ to get funded. The ‘Sorrell building’ could get a nice makeover and downtown Cary will get a lot of families coming downtown if this happens. The Val Fox mural might even need to have a robot added…


Pictures and graphics courtesy of Wake Robotics.

Sunshine Center of the NC Open Government Coalition image

Sunshine Day 2014

Burlington, NC – Monday, March 17, 2014 is Sunshine Day in North Carolina (in addition to St. Patrick’s Day). The Sunshine Center of the North Carolina Open Government Coalition will host the Sunshine Day event at Elon College from Noon to 4:00 PM (EDT).

This year, Open Data is highlighted at Sunshine Day with the keynote address by Waldo Jaquith, Director of the U.S. Open Data Institute and a panel discussion: ‘Open Data in North Carolina’ with Ryan Thornburg, Founder, Open N.C. & Professor at UNC School of Journalism and Jason Hare, Founder, North Carolina Open Data Institute.

What is Sunshine Day?

“Open government is good government”. Join us in a nationwide discussion about the importance of access to public information and what it means for you and your community.

Sunshine Day celebrates Sunshine Week, March 16-22, 2014

Sunshine Day Details

  • What: Sunshine Day 2014
  • When: Monday, March 17, 2014 from Noon to 4:00 PM (EDT)
  • Where: Lakeside Hall at the Moseley Center on the Elon University campus.
  • Registration Site
Dart Language Logo

Dart Flight School in the Triangle

Research Triangle, NC – Local developer Luke Dary and the Google Developer Group in Research Triangle (GDG Research Triangle) are working with the American Underground to bring the Dart Flight School to the Triangle. On February 8, There will be simultaneous classes at the Main and new Raleigh locations of the American Underground.

What is Dart?

The Dart Language is a new class-based and object-oriented platform for scalable web app engineering. Dart is an open-source project with contributors from Google and elsewhere and includes many tools and libraries to help with the development process. Compiling using Angular Java Script will produce Dart web apps that will run in all modern browsers.

What is Dart Flight School?

Dart Flight Schools are community events run by Google Developer Groups to help developers learn Dart and Angular. Dart Flight Schools can be different in each location based on the organizers, local skill sets and interests. There can be tech talks, code labs or even mini-hackathons. As we get closer to the date, we will see what GDG Research Triangle has finalized as an agenda for the Triangle Dart Flight School.

Dart Flight School Details

  • When: Saturday, February 8, 2014 from 1-5pm
  • Durham: American Underground @ Main, 201 W Main St., Durham, NC 27701 // Durham Registration
  • Raleigh: American Underground @ Raleigh, 213 Fayetteville St. , Raleigh, NC 27601 // Raleigh Registration

Learn Dart and Angular, Get Your Web Development Wings

Sign up for only one of the sessions. The Raleigh location can hold ~20-30 people and the Durham facility can hold ~80 people. Resources for the Dart Flight School can be found on the Dart Website.  Also the GDG Research Triangle will be publishing more details and may conduct some preliminary activities at their normal meet-ups.

If you attend, please let us know what you think of Dart, Angular and the Dart Flight School.

NEXT logo

NEXT Starts September 11

Durham, NC – The Startup Weekend Organization is bringing NEXT to the Triangle starting September 11th, 2013. You may know of the successful Triangle Startup Weekends in March and July, and NEXT is another Startup Weekend program.

What is NEXT?

NEXT is a product of UP Global which helps startup founders become better prepared to build successful startups. It is a five-week “pre-accelerator” program rooted in Steve Blank’s Customer Development methodology, driven by mentors and unique video content. The NEXT program helps founders gain a crucial base of entrepreneurial skills and knowledge.

What You Will Learn?

  • How to generate assumptions to validate about your assumed customer’s wants/needs, motivations and behaviors.
  • How to find and reach out to people for interviews that match your assumed customer segments.
  • How to define experiments that validate or invalidate assumptions you have about your business model.
  • How to develop your own customer discovery interview plan.
  • How to conduct effective customer discovery interviews.
  • How to turn customer feedback into real insight.

How do I register for NEXT?

Registration is easy through the EventBrite Registration Page. An Early Bird pricing of $149 is still available which is a very reasonable charge to entrepreneurs to be able to gain this knowledge.

Disclosure: I have signed up for the class and am not receiving any benefits for promoting the class. Sign up soon and join me for what looks to be a fun time! Warning, there may be a lot of work involved… At least I hope so.

Cary Open Data Day: Survey Results

Cary, N.C. – Thanks to everyone who participated in Cary Open Data Day on February 23, 2013! We surveyed attendees after the event and here are the results.  Read more