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Industry Clusters

Durham enjoys a vibrant, diverse, and healthy economy. Talent is one of the reasons Durham excels. We have a remarkable, well-educated, and innovative workforce that support a strong collaborative environment between education, industry, and government. We believe this presents a distinct competitive advantage for all industries. And while many industries are represented in Durham County, the most notable ones are: 

Life Sciences 

The Research Triangle Region is home to more than 500 Life Science companies and Durham County lies at the heart of the cluster. The following sectors have seen significant growth in recent years:

A few of our most recent announcements include: Biogen, GRAIL and Beam Therapeutics. Collectively, these companies will combine to invest approximately $400 million in our community.

Advanced Manufacturing 

Nonwoven textiles, automotive components, jet engines, and biopharmaceuticals are just some of the products that are made in Durham County. Manufacturing has been a big part of the local economy for as long as anyone can remember, and Advanced Manufacturing — which we define as those manufacturing processes that require technology to succeed — are especially well-suited to continue to thrive in Durham County. A driving force behind the community’s success is Durham Technical Community College and the customized training programs it can provide.


Known as the City of Medicine, Durham is home to Duke University and its world-renowned hospital and medical programs. The importance of this institution and its facilities cannot be overstated. 

Duke University’s School of Medicine alone has a tremendous positive impact on Durham’s economy. Consider the following facts:


There are so many people and so many companies that continue to drive and build Durham’s world-famous tech hub.

This is just one slice of how the Durham Chamber played a role and some of the successful marketing programs that helped to create opportunities for tech entrepreneurs.

Since 2013, Google for Entrepreneurs has partnered with American Underground in Durham after recognizing the organization and the city as one of the key tech hubs in the United States.

Start-up Accelerators

First Flight Venture Center
BD Bioventure Center, BD Technologies Business Development
Groundwork Labs

There are a variety of meet-ups in the Triangle that give entrepreneurs a chance to gather and talk shop.

Co-Working and Office Space

Depending upon the stage of your company and desired amenities, there are a number of office space options for entrepreneurs in Durham. For downtown office space, visit and select “Find your space”.

American Underground, with two downtown Durham locations, is a great option, providing both co-working and office space in the heart of Durham’s funky downtown. Plus a slide, games, and superfast wi-fi!

Wework provides space, from desks to offices and entire headquarters, creating environments for productivity, innovation, and connection. There are two locations in downtown Durham alone.

In the heart of Research Triangle Park, The Frontier campus offers creative work spaces for nearly 100 businesses and 500 employees. From 100 square-foot offices to 100,000+ square-foot office buildings, there is something for everyone at The Frontier.

Finally, there are many other incubators in the community including First Flight Venture Center that offer a great place to start. Visit for more information. And don’t forget the dozens of outstanding coffee shops and bars that are great places to meet!

In Durham, entrepreneurship extends far beyond the tech industry. We’ve cultivated social entrepreneurship by offering opportunities to start and grow organizations or to partner with existing organizations with a social mission.

From education and poverty to sustainability, Durham’s fearless social entrepreneurs are improving lives both in Durham and worldwide. For more info, visit the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) at Duke.