Certainly, many people have suspected that Charlotte-area startups are making a positive influence on the region’s job market. But no one has found the exact startup impact before. Until now.
Thanks to a team led by Innovate Charlotte’s Interim Executive Director Keith Luedeman, now there is data.
“Everybody’s got a feeling that startups were having a big impact, but we weren’t able to put numbers around them,” Luedeman said.
Last week, Luedeman presented his findings on local startup jobs to the City of Charlotte’s Economic Development committee. He said that local startups are responsible for more than 13,000 jobs. That makes up more than 62 percent of all new jobs in the Charlotte Metropolitan Statistical Area in 2018.
Luedeman’s team included:
- City of Charlotte Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Manager Holly Eskridge
- Packard Place Cofounder Dan Roselli
- CLT City Councilman and Carolina Fintech Hub Founder Tariq Bokhari
They first collected data, which took some time. In a memo presented to the committee, Luedeman explained how the data was gathered.
Collecting the Data
“Through networking and knocking on many doors, we eventually found the data-keepers at the North Carolina Department of Commerce who would compile the data needed,” the memo read. “Our team used resources from NC IDEA, UNCC and CharlotteWorks to get to the right people and to convince them to create and distribute this data to us.”
In the memo, Luedeman detailed which data was gathered, including companies’ W-2 filings. They also looked at the same data for all area companies to see how startups compared to the entire job market.
Innovate Charlotte is a nonprofit organization founded in 2012. Its mission is to enhance, elevate, and accelerate entrepreneur success. Luedeman has been serving as Innovate Charlotte’s interim lead since last August.
“We’re hoping that as part of the budget process in early May, there’ll be some additional funding and focus on the startup community.”