Since 2010, Maryann Feldman and Nichola Lowe have built a database that provides a fifty-year perspective on technology-intensive entrepreneurial activity in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Region. This database, named PLatform for Advancing Community Economies (PLACE), provides a unique resource for studying the temporal dynamics of a regional economy by combining a firm-centric analytical framework with a consideration of the institutional richness of the regional support system.  Our methodological approach is to study the development of a regional entrepreneurial economy by providing a comprehensive analysis of its constituent organizations and institutions over time. Our study region is defined as the spatial configuration of firms in the 13-county Research Triangle region. This region contains large multinational and multi-jurisdictional firms that were initially recruited to the Research Triangle Park (RTP), beginning in 1962. As a result of mergers, acquisitions and other start-up activity, thousands of technology-intensive entrepreneurial firms have populated the adjacent area overtime. To capture the entrepreneurial development of this region, our database draws on over 30 distinct data sources and includes details on company founders, annual firm employment, and engagement with the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The result is a unique data-driven platform that provides a resource that’s useful to state and local policymakers, entrepreneurial support agencies, and local business media.



Maryann Feldman

Nichola Lowe



Paige Clayton, PhD Candidate, Public Policy



Emily Nwakpuda, PhD Candidate, Public Policy

Amber Pace, Master’s Student, Business Administration

Gayathri Raghavendra, Undergraduate, Public Policy & Computer Science

Keagan Sacripanti, Master’s Student, City and Regional Planning

Tyler Ording, Undergraduate, Business Administration & Computer Science

Siddharth Vashist, Master’s Student, Business Administration



Laney Smith, Undergraduate, Public Policy and Geography (2013)

Zachary Smith, Undergraduate, Economics and Public Policy (2013)

Dana Royal, Undergraduate Mathematical Decision Sciences (2013)

Jonathan Stupak, Undergraduate, Public Policy and Political Science (2014)

Teddie Hadjimichael, Master’s Student, City and Regional Planning (2014)

Wil Heflin, Master’s Student, City and Regional Planning (2014)

Chester Wells, Master’s Student, Information and Library Science (2014)

Khadijah Diaz, Undergraduate, Public Policy (2014)

Jasmine Kreig, Undergraduate, Mathematics (2014)

Carolyn Fryberger, Master’s Student, City and Regional Planning (2014)

Lauren Lanahan, PhD Student, Public Policy (2015)

Zekun Yu, Master’s Student, Information Science (2015)

Daniel Fleck, Undergraduate, Public Policy (2015)

Patrick French, Undergraduate, Public Policy (2015)

Cara Wittkind, Master’s Student, City and Regional Planning (2015)

Rui Chen, Masters Student, City and Regional Planning (2016)

Jongmin Choi, Doctoral Student, Public Policy (2016)

Mary Donegan, Doctoral Student, City and Regional Planning (2016)

Enrique Lambrano, Undergraduate, Public Policy (2016)

Katherine Manweiler, Undergraduate, Business and Economics (2016)

Elizabeth Yamall, Masters Student, City and Regional Planning (2016)

Allison Forbes, Doctoral Student, City and Regional Planning, Project Manager (2017)

Grayson Berger, Undergraduate, Public Policy and Business Administration (2017)

Joon Lee, Undergraduate, Computer Science (2017)

Svetak Sundhar, Undergraduate, Computer Science (2017)

Simrann Wadhwa, Undergraduate, Public Policy (2017)

Ryan Wallace, Undergraduate, Public Policy (2018)

Charlotte Burnett, Master’s Student, Business Administration (2018)

Ryan Goodwin, Undergraduate, Business Administration (2018)

Alexander Leedom, Master’s Student, Business Administration (2018)

Nicholas Loukellis, Master’s Student, Business Administration (2018)

Connor Murphy, Undergraduate, Public Policy (2018)

Hidy Akila, Undergraduate, Business Administration (2019)

Justin Schmitt, Undergraduate, Business Administration & Computer Science (2019)





Feldman, M.P. and N. Lowe. (2015). Triangulating Regional Economies: Realizing the Promise of Digital Data. Research Policy, 44 (9): 1785-1793

Lowe, N. and M.P. Feldman. (2014). Breaking the Waves: Innovation at the Intersections of Economic Development Policy. Working paper. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina.

Feldman, M.P. and T. D. Zoller (2012). Dealmakers in Place: Social Capital Connections in Regional Entrepreneurial EconomiesRegional Studies. 46(1): 23-37.

Feldman, M.P. and N. Lowe. (2011). Restructuring for ResilienceInnovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization, 6 (1): 129-146.



  • Unit of Analysis: Establishment
  • Coverage: Universe of entrepreneurial starts-up and establishments in technology-intensive industries (e.g., life sciences, information and communication technology, gaming, cleantech and business services) in the 13-county North Carolina Research Triangle Park region from 1962 to the present
  • Size: More than 3,900 establishments
  • Form: Database
  • Geographic Details: 13-county Research Triangle region as designated by the Research Triangle Regional Partnership e
  • Key Data Elements:
    • Year of incorporation for startups
    • Year ofrelocation for established firms formed outside the region
    • Sector, subsector & technology
    • Complete address
    • Corporate affiliations, if applicable
    • Annual Employment
    • Annual Sales
    • Annual Patent filings
    • Participation in business development programs and initiatives
    • Key financial milestones, such as: Venture capital infusion; Federal small business assistance financing; State grants & awards
    • Liquidity events, such as: IPO; Acquisitions; Mergers; Bankruptcy
    • Educational attainment and career history of founders (for startups)
  • Timeframe: Annual from 1962 to the present
  • Frequency: Collected continuously & still under development
  • Data Collection Method: Original data collection & synthesis
  • Access: Currently available upon request
  • Uses for Regional Analysis: The database allows for an in-depth understanding of the complexity of the process of regional economic change and the role of constituent organizations over time. The underlying data collection methodology and database structure may be replicated in other places.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email