Moore Forward Initiative Kicks Off Tuesday Evening
An aggressive effort to boost economic development in Moore County gets a big kick off Tuesday evening.
Moore County Partners in Progress are hosting a "launch" party for Moore Forward at the Fair Barn in Pinehurst starting at 6 p.m..
The launch party is intended to showcase space that has been created in the former Razook's building in downtown Pinehurst to establish a business incubator for small, start-up companies targeting the wellness, technology and military industries.
Partners is hoping during the launch party to start raising $200,000 needed to operate Moore Forward in the first year.
"This is the culmination of everything we've done to date," said Pat Corso, executive director for Partners in Progress. "We hope to get 200, 300, maybe 400 people. At the end of the night, we're going to know who's interested, and we'll have their contact information."
Partners will set up mock office space at the Fair Barn and show a video that includes testimonials from entrepreneurs in similar settings in Durham and Raleigh.
Susan Purser, who chairs the Moore Forward board of advisers, said research conducted for the initiative suggests that sharing office space encourages mutual support.
"Because you're in it together," said Purser, who retired as superintendent of Moore County Schools earlier this year. "We want to introduce the notion of building a real community around people who have innovative ideas."
Matt West, CEO of Intangibles, in Pinehurst, presented Moore Forward last month to a well-heeled group of professionals in the Triangle.
"It was a gathering of folks I felt was very appropriate to hear the message. The interest level in what we're doing was significant," said West, who lived in the Triangle from 1992 to 2010 and is the former vice president of business operations for the Carolina Hurricanes.
West said most of the 50 executives present "had never given a great deal of thought" to Moore County as a business development opportunity.
"Obviously, there's a lot of warm feelings from many Triangle business leaders about Moore County, especially Southern Pines and Pinehurst because of the U.S. Opens," West said. "Now, there's an awareness of what's happening in Moore County from a business development standpoint that they may have an interest in.
Moore County business leaders will be pushing hard this coming year to attract more young professionals to start businesses in the area. Leaders are expected to start internal discussions in the coming days on putting together a recruiting effort for 20- and 30-something entrepreneurs.
More like this story