You know what’s great on a rainy Friday, like tomorrow will be? Curling up with The Friday Nooner! Pete and Joe will welcome guest Tim Scales, the Executive Director of Durham’s American Underground. You can watch live at noon on LinkedIn, YouTube or Facebook, or catch afterwards on those platforms on in podcast form.
Fortunately the rains are forecast to hold off for tonight (furiously knocking on wood) for our second annual invite-only Startups To Watch reveal event. Check grepbeat.com and our social media accounts tonight and tomorrow for the 10 new honorees on this year’s list.
Take It Offline
David Shaner started Offline Media a decade ago with the goal of getting people off their screens (i.e. "offline") and interacting with each other in person. At first it was a platform to facilitate face-to-face meetings and group events, but a market didn’t develop. So Offline morphed into a food and culture media site—a Thrillist for the Southeast—and attracted millions of readers, but the ad-supported business model had the company chasing clicks without enough revenue to show for it.
Iteration three is when product-market fit began to click. Offline’s current form is as a subscription-based service that sends two curated restaurant recommendations a month along with coupons ranging from $10-$25 for those establishments that expire at the end of the month. They’ve launched in Raleigh, Durham and Charlotte and a successful $2M+ crowdfunding campaign will bankroll 2023 expansion to Richmond, Nashville and Atlanta. Read our full story on Offline’s journey here.
Trust The Process
Spending (an undisclosed portion of) the $45M that Aldrich Capital Partners invested in it last February, Durham-based ProcessMaker has acquired Amsterdam-based Doculayer. (That’s the Amsterdam in the Netherlands, not the one in New York.) ProcessMaker is a business process management (BPM) and automation software company, while Doculayer focuses on the adjacent field of document processing. Specifically, Doculayer uses AI and machine learning to classify and extract data and meaning from documents as varied as structured forms and tables to unstructured images, emails or chat messages.
Two top SAS execs told reporters on Tuesday that the Cary-based tech stalwart is still on its previously announced path toward a potential IPO in 2024. That’s according to CIO Jay Upchurch and CFO Bryan Harris. Of course the public markets have darkened considerably since SAS kingpin Jim Goodnight said last July that the company would prepare to go public, but 2024 is still a while away. The SAS execs said that the company has even established an “office of IPO readiness” and made significant investments toward that end. (See TBJ and the N&O for more info.)
Personally, I’d be surprised if SAS actually does go public on Jim Goodnight’s watch since, from afar, he doesn’t seem like a guy who wants to have to answer to the public markets—or anyone else for that matter—after being the unquestioned master of his domain for so long. But hey, I’ve never even met him and the closest I’ve gotten to SAS’ HQ is when I watch LSU football games at RallyPoint Sports Grill in Cary, so what do I know. (And yes, I’m hoping that plug is worth a free beer on Saturday night.)
Many struggle with what to get for lunch each day because they feel overwhelmed by too many options. (Not me because I have a set schedule for each day, like a totally normal person. Monday/Wednesday/Friday is a salad with grilled chicken from Toast, Tuesday is a turkey sandwich from Ninth Street Bakery and Thursday is a poke bowl from Pokeworks. Exceptions can be made in life-threatening emergencies or if someone wants to buy me lunch somewhere else.)
Well if you work or live near Southpoint Mall, you now have a few more choices. Flytrex has started making food deliveries by drone, anything from a cheesesteak from Charleys Philly Steaks to pad thai from Basil Thai Kitchen. Personally I enjoy the walk to pick up my food, but I’m told it’s not all about me. TechWire has more info (about Flytrex’s drone deliveries, not the minutiae of my food peccadillos).
Since by law we can’t go a full week without mentioning Epic Games, here’s news about the Cary-based gaming giant partnering with Silicon Valley-based Autodesk to bring a suite of immersive real-time tools to the architecture, engineering and construction markets. The arrangement will make available some of the tools from Epic’s Unreal game engine and its visualization tool Twinmotion to Autodesk’s design customers.
Build Great Software
Founded by serial entrepreneurs, Dualboot is a software and business development company. Their clients include tech and non-tech founders as well as Fortune 500 companies, so they can start small or scale fast depending on what you need. Every client is assigned a U.S.-based Product Director with years of experience bringing products to market, and they can manage the entire development process. They focus on how the software fits into your company to drive revenue and build the business. At Dualboot, they don’t just write your software—they help you grow your business. Intrigued? Email them here.
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