Online Map Connects Entrepreneurs with Research Triangle Park Talent

Jan. 7, 2010
The RTP Product Development Guild and N.C. Product Design & Prototyping Co-Op have launched a new interactive map to connect out-of-state business professionals with Research Triangle Park-area manufacturing design and production talent.

The RTP Design & Prototyping Resources Map, accessible at, enables visitors to click on business locations highlighted on a visual map of the Research Triangle Park (RTP) area or filter product design resources by 34 categories. The results include details on each participating business specialty, physical location, contact information and URL.

RTP is one of those unique tech-heavy areas throughout the U.S. where you can literally get off a plane, rent a car and in five minutes be at the front door of any number of companies to support the development, manufacturing and marketing of a new innovative product, said Montie Roland, president of the RTP Product Development Guild.

According to Roland, the impetus for the map comes from the queries he has been receiving over the past year from entrepreneurs and innovators looking to tap into the RTP areas workforce and business development resources.

People contact the co-op and the guild looking for info on professionals who might be able to support their product development needs, but they don't know who is here and whereabouts they are located, he said. When they find out how many are located within a stones throw of RDU airport it blows them away.

"The physical representation of the sheer number of sought-after companies on the map helps drive that point home for those unfamiliar with the area. It also shows seasoned engineers where they can find vendors that are often right down the street.

According to Roland, the map is the only one if its kind in North Carolina.

Launched in late December 2009, the RTP Product Design Resources Map currently has 63 companies listed, representing industry sectors such as product design, rapid prototyping and manufacturers providing parts for products designed by startups. Members of the guild and co-op can get listed for free; non-members can submit listings for a fee of $49 per year.

Founded in 2007, the RTP Product Development Guild is a community of designers, engineers, entrepreneurs, inventors and other professionals devoted to helping the RTP regional economy, clients, members and businesses prosper through technological product innovation.

About the Author

Josh Cable | Former Senior Editor

Former Senior Editor Josh Cable covered innovation issues -- including trends and best practices in R&D, process improvement and product development. He also reported on the best practices of the most successful companies and executives in the world of transportation manufacturing, which encompasses the aerospace, automotive, rail and shipbuilding sectors. 

Josh also led the IndustryWeek Manufacturing Hall of Fame, IW’s annual tribute to the most influential executives and thought leaders in U.S. manufacturing history.

Before joining IndustryWeek, Josh was the editor-in-chief of Penton Media’s Government Product News and Government Procurement. He also was an award-winning beat reporter for several small newspapers in Northeast Ohio.

Josh received his BFA in creative writing from Bowling Green University, and continued his professional development through course-work at Ohio University and Cuyahoga Community College.

A lifelong resident of the Buckeye State, Josh currently lives in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland. When the weather cooperates, you’ll find him riding his bike to work, exercising his green thumb in the backyard or playing ultimate Frisbee.  

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