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The State of Entrepreneurship

Broadcast Live from Gibson Mill on October 13, 2020

Watch the Event Replay

Watch a full replay of “The State of Entrepreneurship – Priorities for 2020” featuring NC IDEA President and CEO Thom Ruhe and introductions to our partners at the NC Food Innovation Lab and RCCC Small Business Center.

Event Lineup

  • Update on the Gibson Mill Development

    Thomas Moore, Gibson Mill
  • About the Cabarrus Center

    Page Castrodale, Cabarrus Economic Development
  • About Flywheel™ Memberships and Programs

    Danielle Kuhn, Flywheel™
  • Keynote | “The State of Entrepreneurship in NC –Priorities for 2021”

    Thom Ruhe, NC IDEA Foundation
  • About the NC Food Innovation Lab

    Bill Aimutis, NC Food Innovation Lab
  • About the Small Business Center

    Megan Smit, RCCC Small Business Center


Page Castrodale

Page Castrodale

Cabarrus Economic Development

Page is currently serving as the Interim Executive Director at Cabarrus Economic Development. She has been with the organization for almost two years, where she supports new business recruitment activity, oversees entrepreneurial development efforts and works closely with local companies to connect them to the resources they need to continue to be successful in Cabarrus County. Prior to her role at Cabarrus EDC, Page spent over 10 years in marketing, communications and business development roles. She is a North Carolina native, a graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, and spent seven years living up and down the east coast while her husband, Andrew, served in the Navy. They now call Concord home and live just outside downtown with their four – yes, four – children.

Peter Marsh

Peter Marsh

Flywheel Coworking

Peter Marsh is a Cofounder of Flywheel. The company designs and operates a growing network of innovation centers for entrepreneurs and start-ups. Peter is an active entrepreneur and investor in startup companies through Flywheel New Ventures and developed Flywheel’s community building formula for ideation, structured development resources and capital access for entrepreneurs. Peter Marsh is also a Partner and co-owner of Workplace Architecture + Design. Based in Winston-Salem, NC, the firm has planned, designed, and managed the construction of all Flywheel locations and over 10 million square feet of commercial and institutional real estate with over 500 completed projects nationwide, ranging from Miami to Seattle.

Thom Ruhe

Thom Ruhe

NC Idea Foundation

Thom Ruhe is President and CEO of NC IDEA, a private foundation committed to helping people in North Carolina realize their full entrepreneurial potential. He is an entrepreneur, investor, mentor, philanthropist and works with entrepreneurs, governments, universities, and NGOs around the world to embrace the entrepreneurial mindset needed to grow vibrant economies.

Thom spent the first 20 years of his professional life in a variety of startups and growth companies, and the last 15 years helping others do likewise. During his seven-year tenure at the Kauffman Foundation, he directed the Foundation’s programs addressing entrepreneurial education, mentoring, access to capital and fostering entrepreneurial ecosystems – core priorities in his current capacity at NC IDEA.

He has served on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council for Entrepreneurship, and currently serves on the board of Advisors for the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at the University of North Carolina and on the Governor’s Entrepreneurship Council.

Megan Smit

Megan Smit

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College

Megan is the new director at the Small Business Center at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. She’s served her local community for the past 9 years through roles in county government and workforce development. Megan holds a master’s degree from University of South Dakota in administration with a double specialty in organizational leadership & HR management. When she’s off the clock, Megan is most commonly found chasing down her lovely (and surprisingly fast) two-year-old son, Connor.

Bill Aimutis

Bill Aimutis

North Carolina Food Innovation Lab

Bill Aimutis is currently Executive Director for the North Carolina Food Innovation Lab managed by North Carolina State University on the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis. Bill’s team works with entrepreneurial and multi-national companies on plant-based food product development and scale-up in a pilot plant operating under cGMP standards. Bill has held several research and operations leadership and management positions in his career. He is a Certified Food Scientist, Fellow of the American Dairy Science Association, and a Distinguished Agricultural Alumnus from both Purdue University and Virginia Tech. Prior to his current position, Aimutis was a Research Fellow and Global Director of External Innovation for Cargill, Inc. where he developed the External Innovation program for Cargill’s core businesses, including interaction with global venture capital groups. Bill retired from Cargill in September, 2018.

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