Groundworkk – How $5 Can Empower the Arts Community

By Amy Saltmarsh

There is a new method in the  Triangle to raise money for your creative idea. groundworkk is a monthly social event that connects local entrepreneurs, artists, and (for the evening) venture capitalists. On the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, a crowd pays a $5 door fee and gathers at a pre-selected venue (Raleigh’s Longview Center, the HUB Raleigh, Tir Na Nog, and Durham’s Mercury Studios, to name a few). From 6:30 to 8:30pm the crowd enjoy presentations, networking, and a light cocktail hour. Presentations start at 7:00 and presenters are given four minutes to pitch their creative ideas and projects to the audience. Each presentation is followed by six minutes of audience led Q&A. After the pitches, attendees enjoy food prepared by a local chef and then, it’s time to vote! At 8:30pm votes are tallied and the winner is announced. The winner is awarded the evening’s earnings via the ever symbolic mason jar. 

groundworkk founder Matt Konar, with first grounworkk "winner" Whitney Robinson.

groundworkk operates through Raleigh and Durham Executive Committees. Each committee is charged with selecting and mentoring presenters and assisting with event logistics. groundworkk Raleigh’s Executive Committee is comprised of Victor Lytvinenko of Raleigh Denim, Carolyn Jackson of Raleigh Charter High School, Matt Tomasulo of City Fabric, and Daniel Whittaker of Green Planet Catering. Durham’s Executive Committee is comprised of Katie DeConto of Mercury Studio,  Laura Ritchie of The Carrack Modern Art, and Krista Anne Nordgren of The Makery.

How to become a presenter.

Triangle entrepreneurs and artists submit their ideas to groundworkk via groundworkk.com. With the input of the Executive Committees, up to four presenters are selected each month. Leading up the the groundworkk event, presenters are assigned a mentor who assists them with the planning, conceptualization, and logistics required for their presentations. 

To date, groundworkk winners include: Whitney Robinson of Freshly Given, a leather accessory line; Chris Tonelli and Charles Wilkes of So and So Books, an up and coming downtown Raleigh bookstore; Aaron Gerry of Startup and Play; Owen Jordan of Resqd; and Chef Kabui of Organics and Sound, an all organic catering company in Durham. 

Upcoming events include:

DURHAM: Tuesday, 22 January 2013 at Mercury Studio
RALEIGH: Tuesday, 12 February 2013 at the Visual Art Exchange

For regular updates visit www.groundworkk.com/subscribe.html.  

Amy is the Manager of the Midtown Farmers’ Market in North Hills and the Sales Manager for Green Planet Catering.  She’s also the behind the scenes charge for groundworkk and has a love of all things locally grown and created. 

 

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