Mapping the Future of Tech in Charlotte
When you think of Tech and Charlotte what comes to mind? A few larger success stories like ours (MapAnything lands $33M - TechCrunch), Red Ventures, AvidXchange or Passport? The work that Dan and Sara Roselli have done from Packard place, The Skookum Tech Talks, or the handful of other tech focused co-working spaces popping up in the city?
Those are a handful of Charlotte’s burgeoning tech successes, but there are many more. The 2017 State of Technology Industry Report from the NCTA paints an optimistic outlook for tech in North Carolina with the state ranking 1st for IT employment growth. We wanted to take a closer look at the makeup of the vibrant tech community in Charlotte, to see how it stacks up to other tech hubs.
To do so, we leveraged our own platform to build detailed drill-down maps. We found 872 businesses in Charlotte using the NAICS code classification for Technology related industries. To further hone in on tech companies, we focused on the sub-industries such as Software development, Data Centers, IT Services & Development, and others.
We found some interesting, if not wholly surprising insights.
- You see a concentration of companies in, or around the 485 corridor.
- There’s a pretty even breakdown of newer and more established business
- The largest concentration of new tech business is Uptown/south Charlotte.
For comparison's sake, when we looked at Austin, TX as a benchmark (given the demographic similarities per Charlotte Agenda) and found some geo and demographic similarities like:
- A strong concentration in the downtown or urban centers
- Similar amount of VC funding going into Start-ups ( Charlotte see 21 firms raising $380M through June of 2017)
Our Tech Future: The Power of Community
The Charlotte tech community is vibrant, but barriers to success still exist. Tech Entrepreneurship is still difficult for many, with only 7% of women and less than 1% of black founders receiving VC funding. We believe the city’s tech community is at a unique inflection point, where we can decide to import talent and investment from others, or we can invest in ourselves.
We’re choosing to invest in our community, so we can continue to grow this local ecosystem while ensuring it has the greatest economic impact.
At MapAnything, we’re committed to helping create economic opportunities for our investors, our employees and the community as a whole. To that end, this year we’ve decided to focus on four areas that we feel will have the greatest net impact.
- Youth Employment & Apprenticeship (MYEP)
- Diversity (Share diversity stats, MIT)
- Economic Opportunity (Charlotte Housing Authority training programs & incubator)
- Education (teaching salesforce and coding to CMS students & CHA residents)
In the coming weeks, we’ll discuss each of these topics in greater detail. These are just a few of the ways we plan to invest in the Charlotte tech community, working hand in hand with our local talent and community leaders.
By: John Stewart
CEO at MapAnything