The winners of the 2015 N.C. Tech Awards

“Tech stars, new and established, from retired IBM site lead Bob Greenberg to Automated Insights CEO Robbie Allen, donned suits in downtown Raleigh on Thursday for the North Carolina Technology Awards. Greenberg and recently retired EMC site lead Bob Hawkins were honored with the “Outstanding Achievement” Award.

Greenberg, who says he hasn’t stepped foot on the IBM campus since he retired, caught up with former colleagues and mingled with the next generation of tech executives.

Winners from American Tobacco:

  •          Tech Exec of the Year – Automated Insights CEO Robbie Allen
  •          New Media/Digital Company – Bronto
  •          eCommerce – BCBSNC
  •          10 Startups to Watch – Adwerx

Finalists from American Tobacco:

  •          Avalara
  •          Red Hat/Ansible
  •          Ticketmaster Mobile Studio

Read more in Triangle Business Journal.


Durham is No. 6 on Bloomberg’s ’20 Richest Cities in America’

“Durham is No. 6 on a new list of the “20 Richest Cities in America” by Bloomberg.

The 100 largest metros in the U.S. are ranked based on gross metropolitan product (GMP) per resident from 2008 to 2014. GMP is a measurement of the total output of goods and services within a given metro, based on data from theU.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau. (Note: Data for 2014 were advance statistics and subject to future revision, notes Bloomberg.)”

Read more in Triangle Business Journal


Durham ranks 8th in Digital Cities Survey; Raleigh drops off the list “Durham ranks No. 8 in a tie with Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, in the 125,000-249,000

“Durham ranks No. 8 in a tie with Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, in the 125,000-249,000 population category of the annual Digital Cities Survey published by e.Republic’s Center for Digital Government and Digital Communities.

Raleigh, which ranked No. 5 in the over-250,000 category in 2014, did not make this year’s list.”

Read more in Triangle Business Journal



Technology project will result in 171 new direct and indirect jobs for greater New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS — Today, Governor Bobby Jindal and Smashing Boxes CEO Nick Jordan announced the digital product agency will launch new operations in New Orleans, where the company will create 85 new direct jobs averaging $75,000 per year, plus benefits. The company also will make a $500,000 capital investment. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in another 86 new indirect jobs, for a total of 171 new jobs in New Orleans and the surrounding regions.

Smashing Boxes specializes in the creation of innovative technology for brands and startups. The company’s strategists, designers and developers work in small collaborative teams to craft products and services spanning Web, mobile and connected devices. Founded in 2010, Smashing Boxes is headquartered in Durham, North Carolina, with an office in Montreal and clients across North America. The company plans to launch operations in New Orleans in early 2016.

Governor Jindal said, “Since 2008, Louisiana has pursued a highly successful strategy to attract software development, digital media and information technology employers across our state. The entrance of Smashing Boxes into the New Orleans market will add another chapter to the city’s growing success story as the No. 1 city in the U.S. for creative professionals. We wish Smashing Boxes well on this new chapter in their story, we know they will find success with the highly skilled and creative talent in New Orleans, and we’re proud that more families will benefit from our efforts to make Louisiana the best place in the world to live, work and raise a family.”

Smashing Boxes recently earned recognition as one of the Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America by Entrepreneur magazineThe company has developed a reputation for achieving rapid growth while embracing a balanced quality of life for its employees. When company leaders were introduced to New Orleans during New Orleans Entrepreneurship Week in May 2015, they were attracted to the creative spirit and set of values that the company shared with the city’s residents.

“I was struck by a like-mindedness with the local entrepreneurs and technologists,” said Jordan, the company CEO. “There’s a community-wide spirit of commitment that’s truly inspiring. Our ambition as a company is to shape the future of technology in New Orleans. We see a real opportunity to do just that – to help build a leading tech community.”

LED began discussing project possibilities with Smashing Boxes in May 2015. To secure the project, the State of Louisiana offered a competitive incentive package that includes the comprehensive solutions of LED FastStart®, the nation’s No. 1 state workforce development program. In addition, the company is expected to utilize Louisiana’s Digital Interactive Media and Software Development Incentive.

QUOTE from New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu

Since 2008, New Orleans has welcomed investments from a wide variety of digital interactive media and software development companies, including GE Capital, Gameloft, High Voltage Software, Performance Software, 4th Source, inXile and more. Smashing Boxes’ approach to integrated Web, mobile, and emerging technologies adds a new dimension to the New Orleans technology sector.

“This exciting software announcement comes as a result of direct work between GNO, Inc., New Orleans Business Alliance, and the Smashing Boxes team over the past nine months,” said Michael Hecht, President and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. “Smashing Boxes is an outstanding digital company that could have brought its 85 new jobs anywhere in the world, but they chose Greater New Orleans because of our attractive digital media incentive, world-class culture, and great overall business hospitality.”

“As more and more knowledge-based companies like Smashing Boxes invest in the New Orleans economy, they validate our city as a place to build high-growth companies,” said New Orleans Business Alliance President and CEO Quentin L. Messer, Jr. “We’re very excited that the months of collaboration among our economic development partners have yielded a new, committed addition to our business community. For more companies like Smashing Boxes, New Orleans represents the ideal intersection of quality of life and economic opportunity for digital media and software innovators.”

About Smashing Boxes

Smashing Boxes partners with forward-thinking brands and startups to solve problems through the creative application of technology. The company fuses strategy, design and development to create high-impact digital products and services. Founded in 2010, Smashing Boxes is headquartered in Durham, North Carolina, with offices in Montreal and, launching in early 2016, New Orleans. For more information, visit


New ‘Tree of Bikes,’ Annual Tower Lighting and Tree Challenge Headline ATC’s Biggest Ever Holiday Celebration

New ‘Tree of Bikes,’ Annual Tower Lighting and Tree Challenge Headline ATC’s Biggest Ever Holiday Celebration

Bike Donation Drive Kicks Off Festivities, Nov. 1-20, Tower Lighting Set for 12/4

(Durham, NC) – Oct. 28, 2015 – The holiday lights are getting bigger and brighter at American Tobacco in 2015, home of the Triangle’s largest holiday celebration. Joining perennial favorites like the American Tobacco Tower Lighting and Triangle Christmas Tree Challenge is a new tradition: a massive decoration with a purpose.

In addition to the historic water tower, American Tobacco will light their first ever Tree of Bikes at 7 p.m. on 12/4 on the patio in front of Burt’s Bees. The Tree of Bikes is a 25-feet tall sculpture made entirely of new children’s bicycles. Once the festivities conclude on Dec. 18, Happy Roots Entertainment will distribute the bikes to children living in affordable housing through the Cornwallis Road Housing Project.  While Happy Roots has been a Christmas tradition in the affordable housing community for the past 7 years, the 120 bikes from the Tree of Bikes will allow Happy Roots to provide bikes to ten times more children than in years past.

“The Tree of Bikes is one of the coolest things we’ve ever done at American Tobacco,” says Michael Goodmon, vice president of real estate, Capitol Broadcasting Company. “We’re building a unique holiday sculpture that will celebrate the season and put smiles on dozens of kids faces this year. It is a home run anyway you look at it.”

Members of the community can donate new, fully assembled bicycles between Nov. 1-20 at the ReStore of Durham and Orange Counties located at 5501 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd, Durham, NC 27707. More information can be found at

Old Favorites

For more than a decade, the American Tobacco Tower Lighting has marked the start to the season throughout the Triangle. This year, the festivities will take place on December 4 starting at 6 p.m. and will include exciting acts like the touring cast of the Sound of Music (DPAC Dec. 1-6). Area school choirs will also perform alongside Wool E. Bull and St. Nick himself.

Dozens of nonprofits will return to Diamond View Park to compete for the title of Top Tenenbaum in the 6th Annual Triangle Christmas Tree Challenge. Winning trees in different categories will walk away with thousands of dollars in donations as well as in kind support and prizes. Decoration day is Dec. 3 with the park opening for tours and voting after the Tower Lighting on Dec. 4.

In addition to the Tree of Bikes, American Tobacco also welcomes the community to donate new or gently used coats to WRAL’s Coats for Children Dec. 4 – Jan. 1. The Trosa Tree Lot will also sell Christmas Trees in Diamond View Park Nov. 25 – Dec. 22 to benefit the local charity.

Sponsors for the American Tobacco holiday celebrations include:, Fox 50 and Duke Energy.

About American Tobacco Campus

American Tobacco offers one million square feet of premium office space in a historic factory setting bustling with restaurants and businesses as well as the Durham Performing Arts Center and Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Featured in US News & World Report as the national model for urban revitalization, the campus serves as a bridge from Durham’s past as one of the Tobacco capitals of the world to its present and future as a knowledge, science and medical capital.

ATC owner Capitol Broadcasting Company, Inc. is a diversified communications company which owns and/or operates WRAL-TV, WRAL Digital, WRAZ-TV, WRAZ Digital, WRAL-FM, WRAL-HD2, WCMC-FM, WCMC-HD1, WDNC-AM, WCMC-HD2, WCMC-HD3, WCLY-AM, WCMC-HD4, Microspace, CBC New Media Group and Wolfpack Sports Properties (a joint venture with Learfield Sports) in Raleigh, NC; WILM-TV and Sunrise Broadcasting in Wilmington, NC and The Durham Bulls Baseball Club in Durham, NC.



Durham, N.C., October 26, 2015 — Smashing Boxes, a digital product agency headquartered in the American Tobacco Campus, was recently recognized as one of the “Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America” by Entrepreneur magazine’s Entrepreneur360™ Performance Index, a premier study delivering the most comprehensive analysis of private companies in America. Based on this study forged by Entrepreneur, Smashing Boxes is recognized as a company that exemplifies growth, not just in top and bottom line, but in sustainability and ability to achieve lasting success.

Since we founded Smashing Boxes in 2010, the company has grown from just two guys, Brian and myself,” said CEO Nick Jordan, “to nearly 70 strategists, designers, developers and support staff. One of our greatest challenges with such rapid growth has been maintaining and developing an entrepreneurial culture that encourages risk taking, change making and steady improvement. At every level, our team has risen to the occasion: the opportunity to make Smashing Boxes truly great.

“Those honored have identified a problem, come up with a unique solution, and bravely built their enterprises around it,” says Ryan Shea, president of Entrepreneur Media. “They’ve accomplished new ways of producing sustainable growth and are an inspiration to others who want to fulfill their own entrepreneurial goals.”

As an agency, we serve a wide range of business needs from mHealth to eCommerce to Internet of Things. Whether we’re working with FHI360, Daimler, EmployUs or Moogfest, our goal is to provide the best possible product and experience. We’ve found that the best way to do both is to break down organizational silos and form deeply collaborative relationships with our clients. Its an integrative approach that leverages high transparency, open feedback and short feedback loops that result in greater speed to market. It’s our promise to our clients and our team.

Through in-depth surveys, the team of editors and researchers behind the E360 Performance Index collected more than 250 pieces of data from hundreds of participating U.S. based companies, focusing on growth drivers and challenges, goal setting, resource allocations, and reward systems. The analysis uncovered a subset of companies including Smashing Boxes, whose continued success is largely based on superior value creation for their customers, building an adaptive learning culture, and aggressive geographic expansion—making them the most dynamic firms in America today.

According to research conducted by the Business Dynamics Research Consortium (BDRC), less than one percent of U.S. businesses expanded capacity three or more years out of the past five.  On average, they grew by 41% over the period whereas all other surviving companies lost an average of 4%. Based on the their analysis of 19.1 million for-profit US businesses, sustained growers are statistically more likely to survive and continue to grow over the next five years than any other group of businesses in the economy.

“The companies identified in the E360 Index are sustained growers, and based on our research, have proven adept at navigating the changing challenges of their marketplace to win new business and grow their output capacity year after year,” says Gary Kunkle, senior research fellow at the Business Dynamics Research Consortium and research partner of the E360 Performance Index.

For additional details on the E360 Performance Index and the companies recognized, visit:



Smashing Boxes partners with forward-thinking brands and startups to solve problems through the creative application of technology. We fuse strategy, design and development to create high-impact digital platforms, products and services. Visit for more information.


For nearly 40 years, Entrepreneur Media Inc. has been serving the entrepreneurial community providing comprehensive coverage of business and personal success through original content and events. Entrepreneur magazine,, and publishing imprint Entrepreneur Press provide solutions, information, inspiration and education read by millions of entrepreneurs and small business owners worldwide. To learn more, visit