This Triangle Business Journal story about creative business ideas and products that are being developed locally serves as a wonderful example of free markets and innovation at work. And it’s entrepreneur Mark Cuban who points this out to the TBJ writer as he reacts to a local idea to use nail polish to detect date rape drugs. The writer frames the nail polish idea as “social entrepreneurship.”

With so many social entrepreneurship ventures coming out of Triangle innovators – I asked Cuban if there’s anything extra that investors have to consider with these kinds of ventures. After all, it’s not just profits they’re after, but social change.

“That is not about being a social entrepreneur,” he tells me. “That is about being smart. Coming up with unique solutions. Solutions that are original, which is exactly what I love.”

And it’s that “smart” concept that will hook an investor, not just the philanthropic reasoning behind the product.

“So many people try to be the Uber of this or the Facebook of that,” he says. “The fact that they used nail polish to solve a serious problem is brilliant. Have them get in touch with me with some research that proves it works and I will consider an investment.”

Today’s ideas are tomorrow’s products and services, and today’s fledging entrepreneurs are tomorrow’s Mark Cubans. We must hold these folks up as role models to be emulated. Sadly, today’s culture has tagged these types of innovators and investors as the evil one-percenters who somehow don’t deserve their success.