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The Triangle is home to over 30 startup coworking spaces and incubators of various niches, as well as five venture capital and angel groups, representing a nationwide trend on the rise. Like many up-and-coming metropolitan regions, our tech scene seems like it suffers no shortage of resources for getting a business off the ground.

Even with so many resources in our backyard, many entrepreneurs have difficulty gaining access to capital to launch their business.

WRAL TechWire Live: Fueling Your Startup features four entrepreneurs talking about the opportunities and challenges they faced when starting and growing their business. Each has a different experience on their journey to success, and a unique perspective about what it takes to succeed.

Our event is free, but advanced registration is required and limited seating is available.

More on our speakers 

Heather Maxwell Chandler has a 23-year career in game development and programming, including three years as the senior producer for Fortnite. Heather’s expertise has taken her to team leadership at Epic Games, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft and Activision. She is both an experienced lecturer and the author of books and articles on game production. In 2019, she and her husband founded Whole Brain Escape, an escape room in Apex, after she graduated from the inaugural class of LaunchAPEX. After only eight months of operations, Heather is proud to report Whole Brain Escape is showing a monthly profit.

Jenny Bonchak is the founder and CEO of Slingshot Coffee Co. in Raleigh, NC, a pioneering company she established in 2012 to bring ultra-premium ready-to-drink cold brew, cold brew concentrate, and cascara teas and coffee sodas. She’s a two-time national award-winning barista, Southern Living’s 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year, and a Fellow for the 2018-19 class of Coca-Cola’s Founders Forum. Slingshot can be found in Whole Foods, The Fresh Market, Earth Fare, Publix, Harris Teeter, Erewhon and select retailers nationwide.

Megan George is the creative designer, shop owner and author behind the ZEN Succulent, a modern terrarium and plant craft line founded in 2012. Megan has sold her plant designs, along with unique indoor greenery and handcrafted gifts from emerging makers, in downtown Durham since 2016. Since opening her doors, she has been featured in Our State Magazine, The Washingtonian, Etsy and countless other publications and blogs, in addition to working with Madewell, West Elm, Anthropologie and on-air appearances for HGTV. Her second location opened in downtown Raleigh in May 2018.

With a past career on Wall Street as a Vice President of Communications and Change Management, Em Sexton brings her “win-them-over” know-how, delightful enthusiasm and every day wit to encourage women to use their influence for good. From Wall Street to the streets with no name, you can now find Em traveling in developing nations to find gorgeous new goods for her downtown Raleigh boutique and online shop, The Flourish Market. Membership spots for The Locality, a co-working space and community for 60 female entrepreneurs that Em built, sold out before construction on the space even began.