Forward Impact’s Aim for Social Impact

Posted By Frank Vinluan


The Research Triangle is brimming with innovation. Christopher Gergen is working to make sure that those innovative ideas stay here and help build this region into one of the top entrepreneurial markets in the country. As the CEO of Forward Impact, an organization that supports entrepreneurial efforts throughout North Carolina, Gergen emphasizes social entrepreneurship. He believes that entrepreneurship will play a key role in solving social and educational problems in the community. “I don’t think we can spend our way out of this,” he said. “We need to innovate our way out of this.”

Gergen is building what he calls an innovation ecosystem. The Triangle’s universities have long made this region a magnet for bright people who come here for education. But for years, people left upon graduation, taking their ideas with them, he said. That’s changing now as entrepreneurs recognize the advantages and support they can find in this market. What they have a hard time finding is capital, a shortcoming Gergen recognized. But he added that each step this market takes toward building an entrepreneurial ecosystem helps make the Triangle more attractive for investors.

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