CHARLOTTE, NC--(Marketwire - Aug 21, 2012) - In the shadows of tall, corporate-filled towers in downtown Charlotte, ideas are planted, sleeves are rolled up and companies are growing. This is not new, yet it is one of Charlotte's least known attributes, being home to a growing entrepreneurial community. Startups are popping up in the energy sector, in the technology sector and in other sectors.

Packard Place serves as a hub for innovation, entrepreneurship and community in Uptown Charlotte that provides startups with a professional space and community for collaboration. Built in 1929, the 90,000 SF building has been saved and retrofitted through the vision of co-owner Dan Roselli and is now LEED certified, with solar panels and wind turbines providing energy to fuel the visions of the entrepreneurs housed inside.

CLT Joules and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte's Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC) are two programs helping to train, support and grow the emerging energy sector in Charlotte. CLT Joules, housed in Packard Place, is a business community for energy innovators and entrepreneurs that support early stage energy companies with a community where they can learn, accelerate growth, and connect to the energy ecosystem of Charlotte.

"People inherently discount and don't realize that Bank of America, for example, that's headquartered here, actually has more technologists working for them than all of Microsoft. This is such a family-friendly environment, we've had people moving from Silicon Valley and coming here," said Igor Jablokov, former CEO, Yap. "I think this is a place where you set up shop if you feel your company is meant to survive."

The entrepreneurial ecosystem of Charlotte helped brothers Igor and Victor Jablokov create YAP, a voice-to-text technology that has gained international prominence as a leading interface technology. YAP technology catapulted to success after winning the Charlotte Venture Challenge (a local venture capital competition) and then being named a national TechCrunch competition finalist in 2007.

About Charlotte

Charlotte is a world-class city that will host the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Yet there is much more to this city. Charlotte is home to a great quality of life and is an amazing place to live, work, play and visit. From sports to the arts, from outdoor adventures to culinary delights, this progressive city is home to an excellent airport, phenomenal weather and a can-do attitude. To learn more about aspects of Charlotte, visit

More Information

For more information on UNC Charlotte's EPIC, visit

For more information on the CLT Joules program, visit

For more information on YAP, visit:

For more of the Carolina Stories Series, visit

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Winn Maddrey