Source: WRALTechWire.com | Laura Baverman | March 17, 2016
For Doug Speight, winning a CODE2040 entrepreneur-in-residency is much more than $40,000 and support from a leading national organization supporting minority entrepreneurs.
It’s a chance to come back home and contribute to the city where his family’s businesses have flourished for nearly eight decades.
Speight’s startup Cathedral Leasing—a B2B online marketplace for equipment leasing—will be the latest in a string of Speight family companies to operate in Durham since the 1930s. Starting April 1, it’ll be housed at American Underground, where Speight will also be responsible for increasing minority representation in the startup community and continuing the legacy of Talib Graves-Manns, the first EIR to hold the position in Durham.
Speight is part of an expanded CODE2040 EIR program in 2016. The San Francisco nonprofit organization launched the program a year ago in three pilot cities—Durham, Chicago and Austin. It was so successful, that seven cities will host EIRs this year, helping to boost diversity and inclusion efforts around the nation.
Speight says he was drawn to the position because of his family’s legacy in Durham and the variety of experiences he’s accumulated since graduating from North Carolina A&T University in 1995. He’s worked in tech transfer at universities, in federal labs for NASA and the Department of Energy and in startups. He also earned an MBA from UNC Chapel Hill, and he’s spent recent years mentoring young companies.
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