American Underground

In Quest for Tech Talent, Durham Innovates to Get A Leg Up

In Quest for Tech Talent, Durham Innovates to Get A Leg Up

Tech Hub, Media Company & Career Placement Platform Team to Help Fill Demand, Reinforce Regional Standing

(DURHAM, NC) – May 30, 2017 – Ready access to skilled staff can make or break an innovation community. To ensure that Durham and the Research Triangle not only remain competitive but lead the way on talent, a renowned tech hub is joining forces with a media company and a career placement platform.

The American Underground — a Google for Entrepreneurs tech hub — has acquired Big Top,  the umbrella brand for a Triangle-based career management platform founded in 2011 that includes a popular series of colorful career events and a robust online resource for jobs and talent recruitment.

ExitEvent, a statewide startup and tech-focused media company (owned by American Underground), will manage Big Top’s portfolio of services and expand its offerings, working closely with Big Top founder Chris Heivly.

All three parties share the same vision: in order for the region to effectively compete nationally and internationally, it must work harder and smarter to ensure that tech companies have ready access to top talent.

“Talent is Mission Critical”

“Big Top is a key part of our strategy to move the Triangle startup ecosystem to the next level. We know to get there, efficiently matching talent with fast growing startups is critical–and ensures founders know they will find the best talent for open roles. Talent is mission critical,” says Adam Klein, chief strategist, American Underground (which is home to 250+ startups).

Durham and North Carolina are booming. The Tarheel state added the third most technology jobs of all 50 states in 2016 and continues to be a top five state for job growth, ranking second in a CompTIA report with a 5.9 percent increase in available tech jobs last year. Continuing to facilitate and fuel that growth is a priority for Klein and his team.

In addition to events, Big Top has accumulated a massive database of more than 4,000 local job seekers that they line up — via a proprietary digital job placement platform — to more than 80 companies in the Triangle. As of this writing, 300 jobs were open on the site. This service will become a part of ExitEvent’s digital offerings, but remain under the Big Top brand for the foreseeable future.

In addition to producing more Big Top events, ExitEvent will put compelling stories and information about growing companies in front of jobseekers. Robust journalism will benefit job seekers, founders, executives and those looking at the region for the first time.

“We’re excited to build up the collective ExitEvent-Big Top digital platform to serve even more individuals and companies,” adds Baverman, “and to add more storytelling around career opportunities.”

“One Stop Shop”

Since its founding by Heivly, Big Top has earned a glowing reputation, in large part due to the creativity and energy of its events, many of which employ a circus concept. Big Top has so far hosted 15 events in the region. Heivly will remain involved in the evolution of Big Top’s portfolio.

“Talent and the acquisition of talent is one of the key pieces of what makes a thriving community and, to that end, we need the kind of products and services that help us and our companies acquire that talent as easily as possible,” says Heivly. “ExitEvent, Big Top and American Underground will provide a one stop shop for entrepreneurs and job seekers in our community to keep their operations running strong.”

The next Big Top is slated for July 6, 6-8 p.m. at The Frontier at Research Triangle Park. More information at ExitEvent.com.

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