A journey from the “Big Brother” to the “Little Sister”!

It’s hard to imagine that I have been at North Carolina State University for six weeks now.  I feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of OZ – “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore“, or in my case, we’re not in Boston anymore.

Besides the weather, it’s hard to pinpoint the difference in the atmosphere. Surprisingly, the traffic is bad in both areas and both have terrible, aggressive drivers.  Both the Triangle area and Boston are also huge innovation/entrepreneurship hubs.  Each have tremendous momentum around innovation across the local universities, incubators and start-ups.  The main difference seems that NC is the ‘younger sister‘ when it comes to innovation and entrepreneurship, whereas Boston is the ‘big brassy older brother‘.  Boston has MIT Media Lab, Microsoft Research New England, the Mass Challenge, and numerous other world-known programs.  Yet, NC State has POWER, the advanced manufacturing institute for energy, Duke Innovation Co-lab and the Research Triangle Park with cutting-edge technology firms.  I also see a greater interest in sustainability and social entrepreneurship in NC.  The Triangle’s hubs of technology and innovation currently may not be recognized world-wide, but that won’t be the case for long. Raleigh-Durham is up and coming – and quickly.  The energy here is contagious.

That little sister may soon be a leader of the pack.  I hope to make a difference in developing programs for our students that help to make that happen!

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