Sisters in business support each other - Quoddy Tides

Sisters in business support each other - Quoddy Tides


Sisters in business support each other - Quoddy Tides

Posted: 12 Mar 2021 12:00 AM PST

      "When you support a small business you are supporting a dream," sums up the attitudes of two Downeast sisters and business owners.
     The Bluebird Ranch Family Restaurant and Berry Vines in Machias are a few hundred steps away from one another on opposite sides of Route 1. Given a year like 2020 and the sense of foreboding that now awaits business, owners Bethany Foss and Debra Sternbergh are OK as long as they can get through it together.
     The Prout family has owned the Bluebird Ranch since 1996, and today Bethany Foss guides the business with the same edict since the beginning -- treat customers like family and provide home style meals to the community. "Meals and memories are made here," says Foss.
     Berry Vines began 14 years ago and is a full service florist and gift shop offering a variety of products from local crafters as well as men's formal wear rentals.
     For both sisters, 2020 is a year they do not want to repeat. The "unknown" was what kept many area business owners up at night, including Foss and Sternbergh. "This past year has taught us patience and kindness," says Foss.
     Business in 2020 at the Bluebird Ranch dropped 35%, and at Berry Vines it dropped significantly due to events such as weddings, proms and graduations being cancelled or postponed. Both sisters agree that visitors to the area during the summer and over the holidays were down significantly and noted a change in summer visitors. "We saw quite a few visitors from the New England area this summer where in previous years we saw folks from all over, " says Sternbergh.
     "We made it through 2020 for a number of reasons, but the most significant reason we are still here is because of the continued support from our customers and community," she says. "Towards the end of the year we saw more folks shopping small business and staying local, and we were very grateful for that."
     From a community that goes out of its way to support local business, to business owners collaborating and helping when needed, the year 2020, though costly, unexpected and frightening, seemed to bring out the best in people and area businesses, and Bluebird Ranch and Berry Vines credit their survival to residents being more committed to shopping locally.

PPP and sisterly support
     The Bluebird Ranch closed in March 2020 for one month while Berry Vines operated via curbside pickup and home delivery only. Both owners utilized the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). "We did lay off three employees," says Sternbergh. "But we were able to rehire once the PPP funding arrived during the second cycle it was being offered."
     Though she had no layoffs, Foss did lose some employees to other business opportunities. "We did cut our menu size, which resulted in less staff," says Foss. "Also due to school closings our student staff members could fill in when needed and work more hours."
     The thread that seems to run through many local businesses is family. The sisters value the business acumen they received growing up and the mutual support. "Our strong business background began with our parents owning a poultry farm and then a trucking company," says Sternbergh. "We learned a lot about how to run a successful business and the hard work it takes to make it successful. With that being said, it is nice to have someone with the same ethic to bounce ideas off of and share experiences."
     "Being right down the road from one another we rely on each other for certain products, wholesale sources and sometimes we even share an employee or two," says Foss, such as when Berry Vines needs a ready supply of baked goods for its gift baskets or lends a hand by filling in when asked. "With Debbie so close, she's never afraid to jump into action at the restaurant during a snowstorm or other emergency when another set of skilled hands is needed," she says.

Thoughts for future business owners
      "Beth and I are constantly swapping ideas to try and boost business and improve sales," says Sternbergh. The sisters agree that adapting, being ready for change and rethinking strategies are a must in any business environment. Both now have online ordering available and have seen an uptick in those orders.
     To those thinking about starting a business venture, the sisters offer this advice: "Anyone willing to work hard, put in long hours and who is truly committed to their business can be successful. It takes time and perseverance, and we believe that it is important to have a good business plan in place and to build strong relationships with your customers. Plus a sister nearby doesn't hurt."

 

 

30 Best Dropshipping Products in 2021 - Alibaba Blog - Alibaba News Channel

Posted: 15 Mar 2021 11:34 PM PDT

Dropshipping is a business practice that has become more popular in recent years. Its unique nature gives people the power to start a business without much initial investment or overhead.

In this post, we will talk about everything dropshippers need to know about choosing products for your dropshipping business. We'll discuss what dropshipping is before we go through a list of the most profitable eCommerce and dropshipping business ideas.

Table of Contents

How does dropshipping work?

Dropshipping is an innovative retail business model that involves selling products without holding any inventory of the product. In order to make this model a success, retailers must find wholesalers that are willing and able to handle distribution.

How dropshipping works is that a retailer sells the products on an online store, and the orders are fulfilled by a third-party wholesaler or dedicated distribution company. The retailer would brand and market the products the same way that they would if they were fulfilling the orders themselves.

This business model is so attractive because retailers don't have much overhead. Since you don't have to hold any inventory, an entrepreneur could start a dropshipping business with relatively low capital.

Keep in mind that you will have to pay the distributors a fee. But if you were to fulfill orders in-house, you'd have to pay for labor or invest your own time in fulfilling orders. Dropshippers need to research the costs associated with sourcing and fulfillment with their specific products to determine what sort of profit margins they can expect.

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How to choose the best items to sell

With so many different categories of products to choose from and possible markets to serve, choosing the best items to sell for dropshipping can seem overwhelming.

As a wholesaler, you will be selling to retailers who want to start a dropshipping business. In order to make it a success, you need to look at the bigger picture and choose products that consumers want or need.

Some entrepreneurs start businesses around a product or an industry that they are passionate about, which is a valid approach. However, most start businesses to make money.

There are a few ways that you can approach choosing an item to dropship. Let's take a look at the different ways to choose the best items to sell.

Solve a problem

The best products solve a problem. Identify a problem and do some product research to see what sort of solutions are currently available. Continue to do market research to see what sort of people you'd be selling to.

There is no need to reinvent the wheel, so choose one of these products, brand it, market it, and sell it.

Find a demand

Make sure that you choose a product that there is a high demand for. You can determine the demand for products by conducting industry-specific studies and analyzing the data. You can either hire a demand forecasting specialist to help you with this, or you can call on the help of digital tools.

Some of the best demand planning software options include Logility Demand, Infor Demand Planning, Oracle Demand, Kinaxis Rapid Response, and SAP Advanced planning.

Look at trends

Another way to determine whether a product is worth selling or not is to pay attention to trends.

Look at how long a product has been popular, and think about the future of that product.

There is money to be made in fad-related products. But choosing a product with a consistent demand will help you to ensure consistent, long-term results. Neither option is inherently right or wrong. It all comes down to what you prefer.

Consider the quality

You're going to want to make sure that you choose high-quality products to sell. Of course, not every item has to be luxury-quality, but you have to choose items that are worth what you are charging.

You can order samples of some different products to get a feel for their quality which will help you decide which direction to go.

30 profitable eCommerce and dropshipping business ideas

Now that you have an understanding of how to choose the best items to sell, it's time to take a look at different products for building a successful dropshipping business.

We've compiled a list of the trending products of 2021 with data from Amazon, Shopify, Salehoo, and Google Trends. Let's review the 30 most profitable eCommerce and dropshipping business ideas.

1. Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, personal protective equipment has become more and more important. Face masks have been mandatory in many parts of the world since March of last year.

At the start, people were desperate to get facial coverings so they took what they could get.

Now that masks are more readily available, consumers have their pick of mask styles, colors, materials, and more.

Masks and other personal protective equipment will likely be around as long as the pandemic persists, so there will be a demand for these items for a while.

2. Skincare products

Over the past couple of years, skincare has grown in popularity. More and more people have adopted regular skincare routines, and some certain products have become particularly popular.

Some of the top skincare products are jade rollers, acne patches, Vitamin C serums, and anti-aging cream.

3. Sleep aids

The past year has been stressful for many people. Stress can negatively affect sleep quality, which feeds into an exhausting cycle.

Sleep supplements, specifically sleep gummies, have been a hot item. These are something that consumers typically take long-term because once they become accustomed to a certain quality of sleep, they don't want to turn back.

Sleep eye masks have also been a popular purchase among people seeking more restful sleep.

4. Athleisure apparel and loungewear

With many jobs going remote and people spending more time at home, comfort has become key. Since many people stopped going out, their normal clothing spending went towards athleisure apparel and loungewear rather than "going out" clothes.

Sales of comfortable clothing, such as sweatsuits, sweatshirts, leggings, seamless underwear, and sports bras, have increased.

These items are all easy to brand. If you can find a dropship supplier that does customizations, you can add your logo or other stylistic elements to make the apparel your own.

dropshipping apparel

5. Watches

Watches are a popular accessory right now, especially smartwatches. Smartwatches connect to your phone and allow you to access different apps and programs. One popular feature of smartwatches is fitness tracking.

When it comes to fashion, wooden watches are in. Wooden watches retail anywhere from $30 to $300, so there is plenty of variety in what you can offer.

6. Small kitchen appliances

Since people have begun to eat in and cook more, small kitchen appliances have grown in popularity. Small blenders, electric kettles, wine fridges, and rice cookers are selling well.

Air Fryers have also been a hit, especially since Air Fryer recipes have been going viral on different platforms. This is a great example of how social media trends influence consumer behavior.

7. Tea tree oil

Over the past few years, tea tree oil has become a hot product among fans of natural beauty. Tea tree oil, which is an essential oil that comes from melaleuca trees, can be used for hair care and skincare. It's good moisturizing, but it is also known as a natural lice repellent.

8. Fitness gear

Fitness gear is another great dropshipping product for 2021. In addition to fitness apparel, like sports bras and leggings, fitness gear like yoga mats, fitness trackers, and resistance bands are popular, as well.

Fitness is not something that will go out of style, so selling fitness gear is definitely a business that is sustainable long-term.

dropshipping fitness gear

9. Bags

There has been an upward tick in sales of bags, especially backpacks and totes. Backpacks are both functional and fashion pieces. The backpack fashion trend may fade, but it will continue to serve a functional purpose.

10. Pet supplies

Pet supplies are another type of product that is suitable for building a sustainable business. Dog beds, in particular, have seen a rise in popularity as of recent.

Another interesting prudent that has been trending is dog toothbrushes. Dog toothbrushes are likely a trendy product that may not be popular for long, but dog beds are a safer bet.

11. Furniture

Since people have been spending more time at home, many people have shifted their spending to improve their spaces. Home office furniture has risen in popularity since more people work from home. Bedside lamps and LED lamps have also been hot buys.

Although this surge may not continue long-term, furniture style is always evolving which means that there will always be some demand in this industry.

12. Home decor

Home decor is another part of home improvement that has been booming. Blankets, throw pillows, curtains, doormats, and soap dishes are some of the hottest items. Muslin blankets have been particularly trendy.

The home decor trends will likely follow the same pattern as furniture sales.

13. Tea and matcha

With the virus spreading so widely, people have become more health-conscious. Teas and matcha are a couple of wellness products that have been selling well.

Tea is relatively cheap to buy in bulk, but when branded well, it can be sold at a much higher price. Matcha, on the other hand, is a bit more expensive but it is growing in popularity as a "superfood." Superfoods do well with a niche market.

In addition to different teas, tea infusers are also hot buys right now.

14. Car-Related products

There are a few car-related products that have been selling well lately. These include ceramic coating, socket wrenches, digital tire-pressure gauges, and portable power stations.

These products are a little different from the other ones we've mentioned because they would most likely be purchased by businesses. However, since these things don't necessarily need to be purchased in bulk, they should be able to be drop shipped with no issue.

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15. Headphones

Bluetooth headphones have become increasingly popular over the past year or so. After Apple launched their AirPods, dozens of companies have made dupes available for just a fraction of the price.

This product will likely continue to grow in popularity as more advanced alternatives continue to develop.

16. Beard care

Over the past year, lockdowns have given people the privacy to experiment with their looks. Many men who would usually remain clean-shaven have experimented with growing beards. Consequently, beard care products, specifically beard oils, have been on the rise.

17. Baby products

More babies are born every day which means that there are always new parents. For that reason, there will always be a demand for baby and kid products. The list of most popular baby products is constantly changing as products continue to evolve.

Baby carriers are currently a hot product. This is a great product to start a business around, especially since "babywearing" is a growing trend. Baby carriers are a great solution for the parents and caretakers that have to multi-task.

18. Phone accessories

There has been a rise in the popularity of smartphone accessories. In particular, sales of ring lights, portable greenscreens, tripods, phone lenses, and other accessories related to content creation have been booming. This coincides with the rise in content creation on social media apps like TikTok.

These tools are also useful for improving the quality of presentations on video chats and other work or school-related projects.

USB charging docks are also trending right now. These could be good products to sell for the next couple of years, but the current models will likely decline in popularity as USB-C becomes the standard.

19. Smoking equipment

eCigarettes and Vape rigs have become more popular as people become more aware of the harmfulness of smoking cigarettes. There is a lot of variety in these products, so you have a lot of options on what you could offer.

One thing to beware of is that some countries, including the United States, are putting restrictions on these products since they became trendy among underage users. However, if you have the means to meet these compliances, they are totally viable dropshipping options.

20. Gaming accessories

Video and computer gaming are popular hobbies around the world. Gaming-related equipment and accessories are selling very well right now. Some examples of these products include gaming monitors, gaming mouse pads, gaming headsets, and ergonomic chairs.

These are high-ticket items, so there is definitely money to be made.

21. Massagers

As we mentioned, times have been tough for many, so stress levels have been at an all-time high. Stress can lead to tension buildup in muscles that causes physical pain.

Massage guns are selling particularly well right now as a solution to this widespread issue. It is not clear whether this type of product is a current trend or if it will be around long term.

22. Printed socks

Printed socks are a novelty item that is quite popular. As a seller, this is a product with a ton of possibilities since there are so many styles to sell and markets to sell to.

You can buy pre-printed socks or you can customize your own. You can sell special socks to different fandoms and interest groups. Printed socks might go out of style eventually, but they are definitely popular right now.

23. Sunglasses

Sunglasses are a type of product that will likely be around forever. In some regions, sunglasses are a more seasonal item, but they are sure to sell every year when the sunny, summer months roll around.

Although this product has a long-term demand, sunglasses are both functional and fashionable. The fashionable nature of sunglasses causes the styles that are popular to constantly evolve. That regular evolution creates even more demand making it a great product to build an eCommerce business around.

24. Home hardware

Home hardware sales have been up to as people continue to work on home improvement. Ceiling fans and security systems have been two of the best sellers.

"Smart" hardware, including smart lights, smart plugs, and smart locks, are also pretty popular. These will likely continue to grow in popularity as people invest in more "smart" home systems to automate and digitalize things around their houses. That means that there will continue to be opportunities to sell "smart" hardware going forward.

25. Anti-dandruff shampoo

Dandruff can be embarrassing, and a lot of people struggle with it. This is a problem that you can sell a solution for.

Anti-dandruff shampoo is certainly a solution for people with those issues. You can buy an anti-dandruff product in bulk and have it packaged and distributed with your own branding. As long as you can find a reliable product, you should be able to find success with this type of product.

26. Calligraphy pens

Over the past year, people have picked up more unique hobbies. The increase in sales of calligraphy pens shows that calligraphy and penmanship are among these hobbies.

Due to the nature of this product, it is a safe assumption that calligraphy is a current trend that dropshippers could make a quick buck on. However, there is no telling what the longevity of this trend could be.

27. Ukuleles

Increased sales of ukuleles indicate that learning this instrument may be another hobby that was born of pandemic boredom. The sustainability of a business built around this product would be similar to that of calligraphy pens.

28. RFID wallets

RFID is short for "radio-frequency identification." It refers to the credit card function that makes it possible to pay by tapping the card on a reader.

Since credit cards can be used with a tap rather than a swipe or chip insertion, it is possible to charge the card through a wallet. RFID wallets were created to protect people against these crimes.

More people are getting credit cards with RFID payment capabilities, so the need for these wallets is growing.

29. Toothbrushes

Dental care is another trend this year. Bamboo toothbrushes, electric toothbrushes, and interdental toothbrush sales have all been up.

Bamboo toothbrushes have become a popular alternative to the plastic ones that most people use. Bamboo is much more eco-friendly than plastic is, so earth-conscious people are the target audience for this type of toothbrush.

Electric toothbrushes and interdental brushes, on the other hand, are options for deeper dental cleanings.

30. Artificial flowers

Artificial flowers are becoming more popular since they are a cheaper alternative than fresh flowers. People are buying them for home decor, events, art projects, and more.

There are a lot of varieties of artificial flowers that you can sell, so there are a lot of different ways you can go with your business.

Selling to dropshippers on Alibaba.com

Alibaba.com is a wholesale site, not a retail site. This means that sellers on Alibaba.com are looking to sell large quantities of products to other businesses rather than small quantities to consumers. That said, wholesalers can sell to dropshippers on Alibaba.com.

Some wholesalers on Alibaba.com handle order fulfillment for dropshippers. This means that as a wholesaler, you can hold stock for retailers and fulfill their orders from your warehouse.

Final thoughts

Dropshipping is a very innovative business model that presents a lot of opportunities for wholesalers and retailers alike.

If you're looking to enter this realm, you can do so by selling on Alibaba.com. You can use our platform to connect with retailers from around the world.

March headliners preview, part I: 57 events & webinars coming up in the Triangle - WRAL Tech Wire

Posted: 15 Mar 2021 04:32 AM PDT

WRAL TechWire keeps tabs on the latest and greatest meetups, panels, workshops, conferences, application deadlines and all things happening in the North Carolina startup/tech world. "The Headliners" is a multi-part weekly roundup of upcoming events to add to your calendar.

Following is a list of March events in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and the greater Triangle area. To find out what's happening this month in cities outside of the Triangle, check out part two of the "Headliners" column. Another post highlights events coming up in April.

If you'd like your event to be included, feel free to send me an email.

Also, check out a full range of events on TechWire's interactive calendar, along with our comprehensive resource guide for startups in the Triangle.

Note: The following list is our lineup of Triangle events through the end of March—most have been switched to a virtual format due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements. 

HackReality

March 12-19 (online)

This program is the first student-led XR-themed hackathon from UNC Chapel Hill. Attendees will participate in workshops, networking and project-building, connecting with leading XR researchers, professionals and enthusiasts in the field.

How to Effectively Manage a Team of Engineers

March 15, 1-4 p.m. (online)

Momentum is hosting a three-hour, virtual training session covering how to effectively manage a team of engineers.

Animal Health & Nutrition Forum

March 15, 4-5:30 p.m. (online)

This virtual presentation will highlight the research behind the development of lokivetmab, its performance in the field and how it has helped change the management of allergies and atopic dermatitis in dogs.

Raleigh Chamber Business After Hours

March 15, 4:30-5:30 p.m. (online)

In Raleigh Chamber's virtual Business After Hours event, members will join breakout groups to discuss ther current business operations and how they're finding success.

2021 Rural Summit

March 15-17 (online)

NC Rural Center's 2021 Rural Summit will cover the policy issues and priorities affecting North Carolina's rural communities, with a special focus on entrepreneurship and small business development.

Kenan-Flagler Dean's Speaker Series: Bobby Long & Louise Brady

March 16, 12-1 p.m. (online)

This webinar, hosted by UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Dean Doug Shackelford, will feature Bobby Long and Louise Brady of Piedmont Capital Partners, LLC.

Life Science Marketing Group: Thought Leadership Through Podcasting

March 16, 12-1 p.m. (online)

NCBiotech's Life Science Marketing Group is hosting a panel of podcast experts, who will share their tips on selecting a format and planning episodes, criteria for selecting the best guests for interviews, recording and editing equipment, podcast promotion and how to avoid common pitfalls.

How We Scaled This: A Glimpse Into CASE's Scaling Tools

March 16, 12-1 p.m. (online)

In this virtual event, Duke University's Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) will present three business resources: CASE Scaling Readiness Diagnostic, Scaling Pathways and CASE Smart Impact Capital.

NC State Alumni Entrepreneurs Network Speaker Series

March 16, 5:30-6:30 p.m. (online)

NC State's Alumni Entrepreneurs Network is hosting a virtual discussion about how to use analytics to make business decisions, featuring Jonathan Stephens of Audio Advice (moderator), JiNan Glasgow George of Magic Number and Neo IP, and DeShawn Brown of CoWorks.

Code for Durham: Civic Hacking Session

March 16, 5:30-8:30 p.m. (online)

Code for Durham brings together technologists, designers, developers, data scientists, map makers and activists to collaborate on civic technology projects. Meetings are held every two weeks on Tuesdays.

1 Million Cups RTP

March 17, 9-10 a.m. (online)

1 Million Cups, presented by Kauffman, is a weekly informal pitch event for the startup community. Join for free coffee and entrepreneurial support as local startups deliver their presentations.

Virtual Lunch & Learn: Fun with Flood Data

March 17, 1-2 p.m. (online)

This virtual lunch and learn session will cover how Green Stream customers are collecting and consuming environmental data to make their communities flood safe.

National AgTech Forum

March 17, 4-5:30 p.m. (online)

The North Carolina Biotechnology Center, together with AgLaunch and AgStart, is hosting a series of monthly events with experts sharing their perspectives on key agtech industry topics. This month's event will feature a discussion on soil health, data and carbon capture.

Introduction to VentureSouth

March 17, 4-6 p.m. (online)

In this webinar, VentureSouth will cover the basics of angel investing, why you should invest with an angel group and the post-pandemic investing environment.

Reinventing Yourself in 2021 w/ Deb Boulanger, Alphi Mullings-Aiken, Lisa Young

March 17, 6-7 p.m. (online)

This panel discussion will feature four women corporate leaders and business owners who have reinvented themselves and found new success.

CRO Career Conversations: Clinical Research Associate

March 17, 6-7 p.m. (online)

This series from NCBiotech covers key roles within the contract research organization industry, career pathways, day-to-day responsibilities and more from professionals in the field. This first event in the series will highlight the role of clinical research associates.

Women in Energy 2021

March 17, 6-8 p.m. (online)

This virtual event will feature a panel of energy professionals discussing what it's like to be a woman working in the energy industry, what both men and women executives can do to boost diversity, and what skills make young professionals prepared for an energy career.

WIB-RTP: How to Be Well in the Midst of a Pandemic

March 17, 6:30-8 p.m. (online)

Women in Bio-RTP's next webinar will focus on managing stress in times of uncertainty, exploring resilience-building strategies, helping others cope, and more.

2021 FREEDM Research Symposium

March 17-18 (online)

The FREEDM Systems Center is hosting its annual research symposium this month, featuring keynote speakers, updates on FREEDM research and programs, and networking opportunities.

Raleigh Chamber YPN Program: Intentionally Indispensable

March 18, 8:30-10 a.m. (online)

Raleigh Chamber's next YPN program will feature Lily Scott of ettain group and Christine Peterson of Protus3 sharing how they made opportunities for themselves.

NC Chamber 79th Annual Meeting

March 18, 8:30-11:30 a.m. (online)

NC Chamber's 79th annual meeting, held virtually, will feature a keynote speaker, live one-on-one and group networking, and a presentation of this year's Award for Distinguished Citizenship and Award for Distinguished Service.

Cary Chamber Business of Women

March 18, 12-1 p.m.

Cary Chamber's next Business of Women event will feature a conversation with Lynn Minges, president and CEO of NC Restaurant and Lodging Association.

Info Session: 2021 BAND-NC Broadband Grants

March 18, 1-2 p.m. (online)

Join this virtual info session to learn about the BAND-NC (Building a New Digital Economy in NC) grant program. Applications are due by April 30.

Connecting the Pieces Business Networking Event

March 18, 2-3 p.m. (online)

Durham County's MWBE Program and the City of Durham's Department of Equity and Inclusion are hosting a networking event to discuss the public contracting business landscape and more topics impacting small/minority/women business owners.

UNC Institute for the Environment Cleantech Corner

March 18, 2-3 p.m. (online)

UNC's Institute for the Environment is hosting a discussion on how climate events create economic shocks in social equity, featuring speakers from Bain, Charm Impact and UNC.

NC State Entrepreneurship's Mentorship Meetup

March 18, 6-7 p.m. (online)

NC State's Entrepreneurship Mentors Program is hosting a speed networking event for students interested in building their network, learning about mentorship and expanding their business ideas.

RTP180: UX

March 18, 6-7 p.m. (online)

Research Triangle Park's next RTP180 will focus on user experience, covering how users interact with a product, system or service, and how they perceive utility, ease of use and efficiency.

Duke MEDx Entrepreneurship Workshop Series

March 18, 7-10 p.m. (online)

Duke MEDx's free Entrepreneurship Workshop Series features interactive talks from local experts. Events will be held on select Tuesdays and Thursdays via Zoom.

Equity Matters Virtual Symposium

March 18-19 (online)

Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship, the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation and NC Central's School of Business are hosting a virtual symposium to discuss the challenges facing Black and underrepresented founders, and strategies for changing the investment landscape.

Idea Test Zone

March 19, 10-11 a.m. (online)

NC State Entrepreneurship's Idea Test Zone series provides an opportunity for students to meet with mentors to share their business ideas and discuss potential next steps.

Wake Tech Small Business Center Pre-Launch Series

March 19, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. (online)

Wake Tech's Small Business Center is hosting a three-part virtual workshop series on how to develop a strong business plan.

Playthrough Gaming Convention

March 19-21 (Raleigh, NC)

Playthrough, North Carolina's largest gaming convention, is returning to Raleigh this year.

Raleigh Chamber Coffee with Sam Ratto

March 23, 9-10 a.m. (online)

Raleigh Chamber is hosting a virtual conversation with Sam Ratto, co-founder of Raleigh's Videri Chocolate Factory.

Virtual Career Fair for Individuals with Disabilities

March 23, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (online)

North Carolina's Office of State Human Resources is hosting a virtual career fair to help individuals with disabilities find their next job or internship in the public sector. Job seekers can chat with state agency employers via text chat sessions. Registration is free for job seekers.

Secrets & Struggles of a Successful Product Launch

March 23, 12-1 p.m. (online)

This free virtual event, hosted by UNC's Entrepreneurship Center, will focus on factors that make a product launch successful, common pitfalls and the solutions for them, and more.

Venture Connect Online 2021

March 23-25 (online)

The Council for Entrepreneurial Development's Venture Connect Online event will feature an on-demand lineup of the region's most promising early-stage tech and life science companies. More TechWire coverage here.

Cary Chamber Eye Opener Series

March 24, 8 a.m. (online)

Cary Chamber of Commerce's next virtual Eye Opener Series event will feature U.S. Olympian Katie Zaferes.

1 Million Cups RTP

March 24, 9-10 a.m. (online)

1 Million Cups, presented by Kauffman, is a weekly informal pitch event for the startup community. Join for free coffee and entrepreneurial support as local startups deliver their presentations.

Virtual Lunch & Learn: Google Fiber Approach to Innovation

March 24, 1-2 p.m. (online)

This virtual lunch and learn will feature Joe Kunz and John Hogie of Google Inc., who will share Google Fiber's experience with hardscape trenching deployment across multiple metros.

NC TECH Diversity + Inclusion in Tech Summit

March 24-25 (online)

NC TECH's Diversity + Inclusion in Tech Summit will feature strategies companies can use to create an environment that drives innovation and improves their bottom line.

Grow With Google Series: Make Your Website Work for You

March 25, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. (online)

This webinar will cover the six characteristics of a great website and how businesses can implement search-friendly strategies into their websites.

Virtual NC HUB & NC DBE Certification Info Session

March 25, 2:30-4 p.m. (online)

The City of Raleigh is hosting monthly virtual workshops on the benefits of the HUB (Historically Underutilized Business) and DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) certification programs.

Innovate Carolina Seminar on Innovation for the Public Good

March 25, 5 p.m. (online)

Innovate Carolina's next Carolina Seminar will center around the topic "The Future of Social Impact and Innovation," featuring Sonal Shah of Georgetown University.

Jenkins MBA Innovative Women's Conference

March 26, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (online)

NC State's Jenkins MBA Women's Club is hosting its seventh annual Innovative Women's Conference, bringing together graduate students, entrepreneurs, corporate executives and other women in the Triangle area to discuss business, innovation, science, technology and entrepreneurship.

Triangle Tech Net

March 26, 11:30 a.m. (online)

This free bi-monthly event offers a space for local tech professionals to build connections and find potential job opportunities.

One Year Later: Vaccine Manufacturing & Research Panel Q&A

March 26, 12-1:30 p.m. (online)

This virtual panel discussion will feature speakers in different roles of the vaccine industry as they discuss how vaccine manufacturers have been affected, what it's like to develop and manufacture vaccines during this time, and how immunization professionals are going above and beyond.

NC State Poole College of Management Small Business Internship Fair

March 26, 1-4 p.m. (online)

This virtual event will connect business students to small businesses, startups and nonprofit organizations that are seeking talent for summer internships and projects.

Application Deadline: TriWiSTEM Launch Award

March 26

Triangle Women in STEM's new Launch Scholarship program will provide a one-time cash award of $2,500 to help a graduating college woman transition into her career at an RTP-based company or research institution.

Code for Durham: Civic Hacking Session

March 30, 5:30-8:30 p.m. (online)

Code for Durham brings together technologists, designers, developers, data scientists, map makers and activists to collaborate on civic technology projects. Meetings are held every two weeks on Tuesdays.

UNC Institute for the Environment Career Development Series

March 30, 6-7 p.m. (online)

UNC's Institute for the Environment is hosting a webinar covering diversity in clear energy and environmental economies, featuring Miles Braxton of Black Oak Collective.

Downtown Techies Happy Hours @Midtown

March 30, 7-9 p.m. @Fox and Hound

Bring your ideas and opinions to the next Midtown Techies meetup. Events are held on the last Tuesday of every month.

Open Source 101 2021

March 30 (online)

All Things Open's virtual Open Source 101 event will cover the processes and tools that are key to open source, open tech and open web applications.

1 Million Cups RTP

March 31, 9-10 a.m. (online)

1 Million Cups, presented by Kauffman, is a weekly informal pitch event for the startup community. Join for free coffee and entrepreneurial support as local startups deliver their presentations.

Wake Tech Virtual Business & Information Technology Career Fair

March 31, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. (online)

This virtual career fair will connect Wake Tech students with local companies that are hiring business and information technology professionals. (NOTE: This event is specifically for Wake Tech associates and college transfer students/alumni pursuing business and IT careers.)

Human Factors: Techniques to Translate Research into Tools for Practitioners

March 31, 2-3:30 p.m. (online)

Innovate Carolina is hosting a virtual workshop on how to translate research into accessible tools for end-users in government and industry. The session will be led by Dr. Kathryn Tippey of UNC's Connected Health Applications & Interventions Core.

Virtual Lunch & Learn: 20 Ways to Kill an Antenna

March 31, 1-2 p.m. (online)

This virtual lunch and learn will cover the most common antenna design mistakes that lead to suboptimal performance in wireless device applications.

Application Deadline: RIoT Your Reality Challenge

March 31

The new RIoT Your Reality AR Challenge calls all innovators, thinkers, entrepreneurs and other solution-builders to apply to win a cash prize and a spot in the next RIoT Accelerator Program cohort.

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