The inaugural Orange County Economic Development Summit took place on October 17, with Orange County commissioners and business leaders joining WCHL’s Aaron Keck to discuss the local economy and how it impacts tourism, the arts and workforce creation. Listen to all eight parts of the inaugural summit on the Chapelboro On Demand page.

On the first segment of the Orange County Economic Development Summit, Aaron Keck was joined by Penny Rich (Orange County Commissioner), Judith Cone (Vice Chancellor for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, UNC-Chapel Hill), Amy Linnane (Launch Chapel Hill) and Paul Pritchard (Raw Health) to discuss the entrepreneurial economy in Orange County.

“What we’ve found is that net new jobs, they come from startups, not from the big companies, because big companies lay people off, they rehire, so they’re not the ones that are really driving the job growth. Also what we find is that a lot of innovative ideas are coming from the entrepreneurial sector. If you look at what big companies are doing, they’re watching the little companies get started and then they buy them. That’s how they’re getting their innovation. So it’s not only just jobs and economic growth, its this innovative ideas that fuel the future, they come from startups.” – Judith Cone

“Launch is, first of all, it’s a great partnership between Orange County, the Town of Chapel Hill and UNC. So we’re all working together to help small businesses. So twice a year we have cohorts that go through, one’s January to June and the other is July through December. We pick eight to twelve small businesses that we think we can help scale, sometimes those are MBA students, sometimes they’re undergrads, and plenty of community members. I think that’s something we want to impress upon. There are plenty of community members that are involved and other companies that have gone through the program.” – Amy Linnane