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NBA owner, dot-com billionaire praises Triangle's entrepreneurial energy

Posted August 12, 2010
Updated December 5, 2011

— Outspoken NBA team owner Mark Cuban and a panel of local technology leaders shared thoughts on free enterprise, business and entrepreneurship in Durham Thursday at an event at the American Tobacco Campus.

A morning panel discussion included:

  • Mitch Mumma of Durham-based venture capital firm Intersouth Partners
  • Rich Lee, CEO of Hosted Solutions, which provides web hosting and data management services
  • Aaron Houghton, co-founder of e-mail marketing firm iContact
  • Mike Doernberg, CEO of ReverbNation, which provides marketing and distribution support for musicians and performance venues
  • Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and HDNet, an independent, all-high-definition network of programming and movies.

Cuban addresses tech leaders in Durham Cuban speaks to busiesspeople in Durham

Cuban is an all-star in the fields of technology and investing. He made his first billions from the sale of his start-up, Broadcast.com, to Yahoo! in 1999. He started that venture to offer live streaming of audio and video of sporting events over the Internet.

The 250 attendees at Thursday’s event hoped to learn from the innovative successes of the members of the panel and take away ideas for the ever-elusive “next big thing.”

The panel agreed that it’s a great time to be an entrepreneur, and it takes focus and passion to create a successful business. The majority of the panelists see work force talent as the biggest obstacle.

Other points of interest during the discussion included the role of social media, the role of legislation in supporting the investor community.

The panelists also answered questions from the audience – some of them personal – about their use of technology and adoption of new gadgets.

The panel pointed to the expansion of networked living as the natural progression of consumer technology. They identified “smart” power grids and energy as areas of interest for investors. Cuban added mobile technology and personalized medicine as other items to keep an eye on.

In a keynote address after lunch, Cuban offered his typical a no-holds-barred approach to his work ethic and business approach. He said the No. 1 rule to running a successful business is sales. “Sales cures all,” he said.

"I picture him as the Richard Branson of America,” said Scott Kelly, vice president of investment banking at KeySource Bank.

Kelly and his colleagues attended Thursday’s event to tap into Cuban’s recipe for success.

"We want to learn how to do that. We want to learn how to grow companies,” he said.

They are in great position to do so, Cuban said. "Raleigh, Durham, Winston-Salem and the area really has that special kind of energy."

Noah Garrett contributed to this report.

9 Comments

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  • jrockman68 Aug 13, 2:51 p.m.

    RKBA
    "Raleigh has been surpassed in the Triangle by Durham as a city for progress and innovation. "

    Durham certainly leads in violence and shootings.
    ****

    why the hate on another city for progress....it seems enuff of it concererning durham....it must be a reason....LOL too funny..check ur feelings at the door...

  • monkeyboy Aug 13, 1:28 p.m.

    nice to see he didn't mention greensboro in his remarks, but winston salem was there.

    anyone else notice how there's been an article on this guy speaking everyday on wral for a week? think they might have some stake in this guy?

  • RKBA Aug 13, 11:15 a.m.

    "I didn't go, but I'm pretty sure you can sum it up as something like this:"

    Since you too have made a billion dollars, you know how it works, eh?

  • RKBA Aug 13, 11:11 a.m.

    "Raleigh has been surpassed in the Triangle by Durham as a city for progress and innovation. "

    Durham certainly leads in violence and shootings.

  • Equinox Bandingo Aug 13, 10:36 a.m.

    It's disappointing that Raleigh couldn't host this. Another indication that Raleigh has been surpassed in the Triangle by Durham as a city for progress and innovation. This is what you get when the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce holds its own events in Pinehurst and you have a Mayor that condones it.

  • Pseudonym Aug 13, 10:28 a.m.

    I didn't go, but I'm pretty sure you can sum it up as something like this:

    "You have to capitalize on the Web 2.0 social media data structure to create a synergistical environment conducive to growing your supply chain. In addition, you need to utilize common marketing and networking methods to drive business to you."

    You can hear the same claptrap at any barbecue hosted by an MLM firm.

    I'm pretty sure they didn't discuss treating their employees and customers like people, living their lives (personal and business) with honesty and integrity, reducing their debt so they can weather bad times (like when banks aren't loaning money), or the fact that business owners need to have a servant rather than a holier-than-thou mentality for true, lasting success.

  • unclegrits Aug 13, 9:14 a.m.

    Cuban- a perfect example of money not being able to buy class.

  • RKBA Aug 12, 7:54 p.m.

    "there would be a bunch of hot air in the Triangle today."

    Jealousy is not becoming to you.

  • dmccall Aug 12, 5:48 p.m.

    Well, Greg Fishel DID say there would be a bunch of hot air in the Triangle today.