Each month, more than 100,000 growth-minded CEOs turn to SmartCEO magazine and SmartCEO.com to find ideas and inspiration to help them grow their businesses. SmartCEO recently interviewed AvidXchange CEO Michael Praeger about why Charlotte is a great place to start a business.
Born and raised in Wisconsin, Praeger left the Midwest after high school to embark on a career that led him to Washington D.C., Boston, and Charlotte. Studying finance and meeting his wife, Cindy, (also a startup software CEO) at Georgetown University, Praeger moved to Boston in the early ’90s and worked for Summit Partners, a private-equity firm. While in Boston, he also worked on a master’s degree at MIT. He went on to serve as CEO for one of Summit’s portfolio software companies and then relocated to the Queen City to build a software company.
“We’d never been to Charlotte other than the airport. So Labor Day weekend of 1996, we said we’re just going to go for a weekend to check it out,” said Praeger. “We just fell in love with it. We didn’t know a single person. But one of the things we really liked about the city was, it has this can-do attitude and pro-business culture. The existing business leaders in the city are very open to supporting the entrepreneurial community and fostering growing businesses in the city — it’s a very supportive environment.”
About Michael Praeger
Michael Praeger co-founded AvidXchange, Inc. in 2000 and serves as its Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Praeger Co-Founded PlanetResume.com that successfully completed its merger with CareerShop.com and CareerTV.net in November of 1999. He spent the last 20 years starting, managing, merging, and selling technology and web services-related companies. Mr. Praeger Founded and served as Chief Executive Officer of InfoLink Partners and InfoVentures, LP.
AvidXchange revolutionizes the way companies pay their bills. Serving more than 5,500 clients throughout North America, AvidXchange is an industry leader in automating invoice and payment processes for midmarket companies spanning multiple industries including Real Estate, Financial Services, Energy, and Construction. AvidXchange has been recognized as one of the 50 fastest-growing private companies in the Charlotte area for four consecutive years, ranked among Deloitte’s Fast 500 this past year, and recently was named of the top 100 technology companies in North America by Red Herring. In the midst of record growth, AvidXchange has remained true to its most valued competitive advantage—its people. AvidXchange has been recognized as one of the Best Places to Work in Charlotte for seven consecutive years.