The Great Recession hit America hard but as a financial town, it hit Charlotte really hard. There where deep questions about Charlotte’s future and its path forward and if the growth and vibrancy that had been Charlotte’s past would be Charlotte’s future.
That was the background for one the boldest moves in the entrepreneurial history of Charlotte. In December of 2010, Dan Roselli and Sara Garces Roselli made a decision to bet on Charlotte and its potential as an entrepreneurial community. In the middle of the Great Recession and while our economy was still frozen and locked up, Dan & Sara choose to be bold visionaries and build while others waited.
Their decision to buy an old uptown office building that was almost completely empty and planned to be torn down, and turned into Charlotte’s entrepreneurship hub changed the path of Charlotte’s future.
Packard Place was originally built by James Ward Packard in 1928 as the showroom for his Packard automobiles. Packard was one of the great entrepreneurs who would change the World with his innovations. Windshield wipers, spark plugs oil temperature gauges and the list of his innovations still in your car today go on and on. He was the Steve Jobs of his time but he just did it on the emerging technology he had, horseless carriages. The spirit of entrepreneurial DNA that built our building in 1928 resides in it still today. Packard Place and members of the community have changed the path of Charlotte forever.
Now Packard Place has housed hundreds of Charlottes start-up companies and thousands of start-up events. It is there heart and soul of the entrepreneurial community in Charlotte. In 2010 it was one of the first major entrepreneurial complexes outside of NYC and SF and today it is still one of the ten largest tech and entrepreneurship centers in the Country.
Packard Places’ mission has always been to “Put Charlotte First” and is one of the most successful social entrepreneurship projects in Charlotte’s history. The nonprofit mission of the Garage at Packard Place has allowed our entrepreneurial community to blossom and grow since 2010. We have partnered with dozens of community groups to weave our community together and directly helped launch many of the companies that are now the pillars of our growing community.
Hundreds of founders have helped move the community mission of Packard Place move forward since 2010. By joining our community and spending their rent dollars here, those dollars have funded the nonprofit mission of the Garage at Packard Place where community events, mentorship sessions, and free startup Founder space has flourished. You can be part of that positive, virtuous cycle of building Charlotte by joining our Community.
Building a center that was Founded by Charlotte entrepreneurs for fellow entrepreneurs is a large part of why Packard Place’s community vision works. Most of Packard Place’s efforts have come idea soured by the Community, or as Dan’s says “Packard Place is just a really large Community crowd sourced project”. Dan and Sara have been listed as one of the power couples of Charlotte and have served on dozens of organizational boards building Charlotte.
We believe the Packard Place’s future and the future of Charlotte’s entrepreneurial community is held in the hands of the members of Our Community.