The AU Story

The American Underground launched in 2010 on the historic American Tobacco Campus. Today, it supports 275+ startups across four locations and has been dubbed the “Startup Capital of the South” by CNBC. Inspired by Durham, North Carolina’s century-old entrepreneurial legacy, American Underground is building the counter-story to Silicon Valley– a diverse startup scene rich in innovative ideas and deep city engagement. As one of twelve Google for Entrepreneurs tech hubs in North America, AU offers its startups a global network of thinkers and resources. Its proximity to renowned universities and the world-famous Research Triangle Park makes it the perfect place to launch a company. Durham is for doers and innovators. It’s for music lovers, foodies, and sports fans. But most importantly, it’s for everyone. And so is the AU.

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Trusted Partners

“Durham is a fascinating example of what happens when a community bands together to try to attract entrepreneurs.”

- The Atlantic

“The old tobacco town of Durham is ablaze with tech know-how, home to companies large and small. Many are part of ­American ­Underground. . . .”

- Fortune

“If you want to see the future of American innovation, take a trip to Durham, North Carolina.”

- Curbed

“American Underground is one of the most diverse business incubators in the country. . . .”

- WUNC

From October 2016 - September 2017

$39.4 M raised by AU headquartered companies

608 new jobs created by AU companies

48% of companies are female or minority-led

AU Headquartered companies were featured in national news 179 times

$1,973,992 spent by members at local businesses within 2 miles

54% of AU headquartered companies acquired customers through the AU

“Being a part of the AU has been instrumental in the ability for me as a founder and a CEO to nurture the talent that’s on my team….When you onboard new employees, you’re onboarding them not only to a team, but also to a community.”

- Isa Watson, CEO & Founder of Envested

“Everything from fundraising to making connections, to recruiting — a lot of that has been facilitated by the AU.”

- Ivonna Dumanyan, CEO & Co-Founder of Fathom AI

“The caliber of resources and programs we’ve been able to access at American Underground, and the connections to national investors and media have greatly contributed to the growth and opportunities our company has seen.”

- David Rose, Co-Founder & CEO of PRSONAS

“They’ve created a beautiful place to work that allows us to bring people in, and they’re a little bit shocked and impressed that a startup can have an office that looks that cool and that nice.”

- Tatiana Birgisson, CEO & Founder of MATI Energy
What Press is Saying

“Durham is a fascinating example of what happens when a community bands together to try to attract entrepreneurs.”

- The Atlantic

“The old tobacco town of Durham is ablaze with tech know-how, home to companies large and small. Many are part of ­American ­Underground. . . .”

- Fortune

“If you want to see the future of American innovation, take a trip to Durham, North Carolina.”

- Curbed

“American Underground is one of the most diverse business incubators in the country. . . .”

- WUNC
What Our Numbers Say

From October 2016 - September 2017

$39.4 M raised by AU headquartered companies

608 new jobs created by AU companies

48% of companies are female or minority-led

AU Headquartered companies were featured in national news 179 times

$1,973,992 spent by members at local businesses within 2 miles

54% of AU headquartered companies acquired customers through the AU

What Our Members Say

“Being a part of the AU has been instrumental in the ability for me as a founder and a CEO to nurture the talent that’s on my team….When you onboard new employees, you’re onboarding them not only to a team, but also to a community.”

- Isa Watson, CEO & Founder of Envested

“Everything from fundraising to making connections, to recruiting — a lot of that has been facilitated by the AU.”

- Ivonna Dumanyan, CEO & Co-Founder of Fathom AI

“The caliber of resources and programs we’ve been able to access at American Underground, and the connections to national investors and media have greatly contributed to the growth and opportunities our company has seen.”

- David Rose, Co-Founder & CEO of PRSONAS

“They’ve created a beautiful place to work that allows us to bring people in, and they’re a little bit shocked and impressed that a startup can have an office that looks that cool and that nice.”

- Tatiana Birgisson, CEO & Founder of MATI Energy

Want to Learn More?

Come check out the American Underground in person.

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