By Joe Procopio
Tonight (Oct. 17) at 7:00 p.m., Argyle Social founder and CEO Eric Boggs will present Startup Movie Night at Motorco in Durham. The film, Durham: A Self-Portrait, is a documentary by Emmy-winning filmmaker Steven Channing and covers over 100 years of Durham History, from the birth of the tobacco era and “Black Wall Street,” right up to the Duke Lacrosse case.
Channing will also provide remarks.
The film ends its story a few years ago, and that’s right about the time Durham began its evolution into an up-and-coming and much-hyped startup hub. So it makes sense that over 100 people from in and around the entrepreneurial community here have already signed up for tonight’s screening.
But why a movie night?
Well. You’ve got to know the guy. It’s not just a movie for entrepreneurs anywhere. It’s this movie, for these entrepreneurs, in this city.
Right around ten years ago when I was at startup number eight, someone in HR there got the wacky idea to take everyone out on a field trip to see Startup.com, the independent film that chronicled the rise and subsequent spectacular fall of new media company govWorks.
HR never talked to me about things like this. I pushed out the product, they did the teambuilding. But having already seen Startup.com, I made the case that this was probably not a good idea. In fact, it was an awful idea. It was akin to showing Pop-Warner football players 90 minutes of The NFL’s Most Horrible Injuries Hosted by Joe Theisman.
Needless to say, at the end of 90-minutes, morale at that startup hit an all time low.
This is not that.
Boggs is all about Durham, and he’s also about documentaries. He sits on the board of the Southern Documentary Fund, which provides financing, workshops, feedback, and distribution to independent filmmakers in the region. Much like an incubator.
A little while ago, he screened Durham: A Self-Portrait for his Argyle employees and investors. The response was so positive (and motivating) that he decided to do it again and expand.
The result was the organization of Startup Movie Night, sponsored by The Southern Documentary Fund, American Underground, Triangle Tech Talk, Synergy Commercial Advisors, BoostSuite, Argyle Social, Appia, PMC Commercial Interiors, and Haworth Office Furniture.
Knowing Boggs’ appreciation for docs and Durham, the film is somewhat an obvious choice, but it’s also the right film for the audience. The vibe that permeates startup culture is the same one that has built the name for Durham over the last several years. So in charting where you’re going, it helps to know where you came from, and this film, for these people, does just that.
That’s the plan, anyway.
If you’re not already registered, you can RSVP via the Eventbrite.
For a review of Startup.com by TechJournal editor Allan Maurer see:
Joe Procopio (@jproco) is a serial entrepreneur who currently heads up product engineering for startup Automated Insights, which is also StatSheet. He also founded and runs startup network ExitEvent. You can read him at http://joeprocopio.com.