The American Underground is a space for startup companies in the Triangle area of North Carolina and a community of innovative entrepreneurs. Spread out between multiple locations in both Durham and Raleigh, the AU provides a variety of helpful resources to over 150 new companies, which helps facilitate their growth and sustainability. The AU is also one of 10 Google Tech Hubs in North America. Through this partnership, the AU has access to experienced entrepreneurs, Google partner events, and seasoned technology experts. Additionally, the companies within the AU are allowed to pitch their ideas at the Google Demo Day. Many companies, such as Shoeboxed and Runaway, have been extremely successful by working within the AU.
Launched in 2010, the American Underground was originally located in the Strickland Building, which is a part of the American Tobacco Campus. This area used to be the home to the American Tobacco company and has been renovated to make space for the thriving entrepreneurial community in Durham. In the six years since it was launched, the AU has expanded to four separate locations:
- @ATC is located at the Strickland Building within the American Tobacco Campus, and it is a suitable space for companies with 10 to 15 people. This location is home to the Startup Factory and Groundwork Labs, which are accelerator programs built to help entrepreneurs build their idea into functioning companies.
- @Main Street is located at 201 W. Main St. in an old bank building. This location is home to companies of varying sizes and provides office spaces to all their members. It also has eclectic amenities such as a slide and a massive whiteboard.
- @Raleigh, located on Fayetteville Street, is the only of the four campus in Raleigh. It is also home to Raleigh's Iron Yard Code Academy, which is an educational resource for learning how to code.
- @Market, located at 212 W. Main St., is the newest addition to the AU family. This location is home to the more established companies within the AU community.
There are many benefits to working within the American Underground. In addition to the office spaces, which can hold anywhere from one to 30 people, members of the AU have free access to a variety of conference rooms, call rooms, and coworking spaces. Every month, the AU hosts a number of educational events and networking socials so entrepreneurs in the community can become more connected. Each company also has access to a free coffee bar.