We have a special announcement for this Thursday’s GrepBeat Happy Hour: all attendees will receive an exclusive one-day-only discount code for Grep-a-palooza, our inaugural full-day conference on June 9. You need to show up in person at this week’s Happy Hour to access the deal. But Grep-a-palooza or not, your first round will be courtesy of our sponsor, real estate kingpins Davis Moore Advisors. Thursday’s Happy Hour is also part of this week’s Raleigh-Durham Startup Week, which kicks off today and runs through Friday. (See more on RDSW below.) Please register for the Happy Hour so we can get a handle on numbers, and we’ll see you at Bull McCabe’s at 5pm on Thursday!
The latest Friday Noonerfeatured Bill Spruill, the CEP (Chief Executive Pirate) of Raleigh-based Global Data Consortium, which you assuredly know by now is in the process of being acquired by UK-based London Stock Exchange Group for several hundred million dollars. You wouldn’t be scratching your head about the pirate reference if you’d just watch or listen to the episode. Thank us later.
The subject of this week’s Download Q&A is Mike Tindall, the Co-Founder and Chief Architect at Raleigh-based Commio, aka The Company Formerly Known As ThinQ. Mike founded ThinQ with Aaron Leon as a communication-platform-as-a-service startup, which has the Easter egg-friendly acronym CPaaS. ThinQ made two acquisitions last year, the second being Texas-based Commio, and decided to rebrand the combined company as Commio. (I guess “Socialisto” was taken?) Read the full Q&A for more on Commio as well as Mike’s coffee shop and restaurant picks. (Hint: think North Raleigh.)
One way to stay on the good side of our coming robot overlords—and make no mistake, they’re coming—is to build them yourself. OK, if Hollywood movies and 82 percent of science fiction are to be believed, it’s not a foolproof plan. Nevertheless, the Eastbots robotics team from East Chapel Hill High School is off to a great start. But the Eastbots need your help!
The Eastbots are headed to Houston this week to compete in the FIRST Championship, the world championships for robotics teams that will be held from Wednesday through Saturday, April 20-23. (FIRST is an acronym of For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.) But the trip is sending the program into debt, which is why Durham-based software dev shop Eloquentix is matching the first $1K of donations to the team’s fund. Eloquentix CEO Radu Rosu has a younger brother on the Eastbots squad.
Read our full story about the team here. If you’d like to make a donation, click here.
Just Read It
I didn’t think I’d be writing about pantyhose today, but here we are. In Episode 3 of our Tech Culture Club podcast sponsored by Vaco—which we dropped today—host Melissa Phillippi and guest Kelli Dragovich coin the phrase “death to pantyhose” to describe a broader overall shift in how employees view workplace culture. Kelli is the Chief People Officer at Raleigh-based unicorn Pendo, which has been one of the Triangle’s biggest hirers of new talent the past year-plus, so she knows whereof she speaks.
I’d explain what “death to pantyhose” means, but then you’d be less likely to read our story recapping some episode highlights. Once you read that, you should listen—and subscribe!—to the podcast here.
NC State eGames
Our Suzanne Blake was at NC State last night to cover its annual eGames pitch competition for Wolfpack startups, which awarded $100K across a variety of categories. You know what, you should just read the story.
GrepBeat readers have been—perhaps unwittingly—on the forefront of the Web3 revolution since at least last April, when we auctioned off the “Pete” NFT. (Our friend Steve Klein was the winning bidder but we retained the right to make “Pete” fridge magnets, coasters and life-size canvas reproductions, and if you think I’m kidding about any of this you’re probably new here.) But Raleigh-based Kaleido is really putting a marker down in the Web3 world by launching Hyperledger FireFly, the “first open-source SuperNode.” Hyperledger FireFly includes more than 200,000 lines of enterprise-ready code to help companies tap into Web3 applications like NFTs, digital assets and smart contracts.
Kaleido Co-Founder and COO Sophia Lopez believes the open-source platform can help Kaleido become to Web3 what Red Hat was to the Web 2.0 world. You can read all about it in this TechWire feature by Friday Noonerco-host Chantal Allam.
Move over, Web3—let’s talk metaverse! There can be some overlap, of course, as these umbrella terms can be awfully broad depending on who’s throwing them around. Sarah Glova (another upcoming Friday Nooner co-host, we hear) takes a deep dive into the metaverse for today’s TechWire, with the main story here and a sidebar on what it might mean for jobs. Sarah’s primary takeaway as I see it: the metaverse is going to be big, though probably not as all-encompassing as soon as its most ardent backers think.
Home $weet Home
It’s not news that the housing market in the Triangle has gotten kooky. But like with any major trend, that sound you hear is opportunity knocking for any startup savvy enough to answer the door. Triangle Inno’s Lauren Ohnesorgeprofiles four such Triangle startups, all of which we’ve also written about: HomeCloud, Exhale, Second Nature and Tiny Earth Toys. The first helps simplify one part of the purchase process, while the other three are more about making our current homes more livable because it’s too expensive to move now so we all better make the best of what we have.
We don’t have no time for transitions: 1) Raleigh-based allergen-free snack food startup Without a Trace, which we profiled last February, took second place (and $1,500) at this week’s Launch Greensboro event. 2) Bay Area-based edtech Clever, which is valued somewhere near a half-billion dollars, has named Trish Sparks as its CEO. Trish herself is based in Chapel Hill and once upon a time was a teacher at East Wake Middle School. TBJ has the full scoop. 3) Raleigh-based “responsible supplement” startup Vital Plan has raised nearly $250K in equity according to an SEC filing.
Build Great Software
Founded by serial entrepreneurs, Dualboot is a business and software 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 at least 10 years 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.
As mentioned at the top, Raleigh-Durham Startup Week kicks off today and continues through Friday with (free) events scattered throughout downtown Durham. Here is our preview of the event, along with ones from TechWire and Triangle Inno. Here is the full event schedule. Note that Pete is speaking on Wednesday at 2 p.m., GrepBeat Godfather Joe Colopy is speaking (with Levitate’s Jes Lipson) on Thursday at 4 p.m., and Thursday’s festivities are capped by the GrepBeat Happy Hour from 5-7 p.m. at Bull McCabe’s. (Register now!)
And be sure to look out for Campbell Business School professor Scott Kelly, who’s planning to drive a van full of students to RDSW events every day the rest of the week. Campbell’s newly appointed Director of Entrepreneurship, Scott even penned an open letter to his colleagues at business schools across the Triangle to excuse students from class this week to attend RDSW events.
BREAKING: We just learned that Bandwidth CEO David Morken has come aboard as another keynote speaker for Grep-a-palpooza. Just another reason you won't want to miss it!