Blackstone NC Executive Director Bob Creeden Moderates Coastal Connect Conference Panel

WILMINGTON & DURHAM, N.C. -- Bob Creeden, executive director of The Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network of North Carolina (Blackstone NC), moderated the panel “Who Are the Statewide North Carolina Leaders in Life Sciences?” at the recent Coastal Connect Entrepreneur and Capital Conference in Wilmington. The hugely successful event, hosted by the UNC-Wilmington’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), was one of several influential conferences involving Blackstone NC in September.

“Blackstone NC is building bridges to regional partners like the CIE as well as area universities, advocacy groups, business leaders, and the innovation community at large as well as local and out-of-state capital sources,” Creeden said, adding, “It’s part of a team approach to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Creeden was asked to serve as moderator by Jim Roberts, Executive Director of the CIE, after Blackstone NC reached out to the Center in search of additional resources and potential new Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIRs) for the organization’s portfolio companies. The interactive panel discussion featured Drew Applefield of the NC Biotech Center; Roger Cubicciotti of NanoMedica; Neal Curran of GlaxoSmithKline; and Ginger Rothrock of RTI International.

In addition to Coastal Connect, Blackstone NC has recently participated in the Triangle Health Startup Weekend; Duke Challenge Grand Finale; NC State Springboard Innovation Series; Innovate Raleigh; Second Annual NC Datapalooza, and the 30th Annual CED Tech Venture Conference. Later in the month, the organization will be sponsoring the Second Annual Raleigh Internet of Things (RIoT) Meetup at HQ Raleigh hosted by StepLeader and the Wireless Research Center of North Carolina.

Blackstone NC had seven portfolio companies who were showcased and demoed at the CED Tech Venture Conference: K4 Connect, Stealz, Tethis, WedPics, Intelligent Campus Solutions, Bright Wolf and GEMAtouch.

“As we continue to facilitate the development of a network of serial entrepreneurial leaders It’s essential that we remain active in a wide variety of events in the technology community, whether they’re intimate group discussions featuring up-and-coming innovators or large cornerstone experiences like CED’s Tech Venture with its “Who’s Who” of industry leaders in addition to hundreds of attendees and investors from across the country,” Creeden explained.

Its history of community involvement over the past three years has helped Blackstone NC make quality connections between promising young technology companies and experienced, successful professionals. The organization’s goal is to create a dense network of dealmakers who grow high-potential startups into the next generation of great companies.

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About the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network of North Carolina
The Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network of North Carolina (Blackstone NC) makes quality connections between promising young technology companies and experienced, successful professionals in an effort to grow opportunity and strengthen economic development. Launched in 2011 with a gift from The Blackstone Charitable Foundation, Blackstone NC is an important business cultivator in the state, with portfolio companies making over 700 connections and raising $48.8M in 2013. The organization helps entrepreneurs find their roles and works with them to understand what specific actions are necessary to lead to an investment, then connects those entrepreneurs with individuals and resources to successfully commercialize their products. Blackstone NC focuses on a team approach to strengthening the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, partnering with area universities, advocacy groups, business leaders, investors, and the innovation community at large to provide unparalleled access to sought-after resources. Through its unique Entrepreneurs-in-Residence and Blackstone Fellows programs, the organization provides participating companies with tactical and strategic guidance, connections to investment and invaluable insight. Learn more online at