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Happy Thursday!

Register now for next Friday morning’s (Aug. 7, 9-10 a.m.) Coffee & Conversation web panel on Hiring Software Engineers, thanks to our sponsor HireNetworks. We’ll be joined by tech recruiters extraordinaire Melissa Crosby (Kaleido) and Kristina Vanover (Onna) plus a third guest to be named later. Click here to register.

Also: be sure to scroll to the bottom to see several new sections, including this week’s News Quiz!

Meet... Todd

If the pandemic has you feeling a little sluggish and worn-down, you should read the latest edition of Tricia LucasMeet... Q&A series, because her subject has enough evident energy to inspire anyone to get off the couch. Todd Buelow is one of the Co-Founders of booming dev shop Dualboot Partners, which is based in Charlotte but recently opened a second HQ in Raleigh. (Full disclosure: Dualboot is also a GrepBeat Supporter.) But it’s out in the community that Todd really distinguishes himself. Seriously, this guy does it all, and you can read all about it here.



On a similar mission-driven path, CloudFactory employs some 5,400 people on four continents—many of them in Africa—to help generate and scrub large-quantity, high-quality datasets that its customers can use to train AI algorithms. It all began with what Founder and CEO Mark Sears intended as a two-week trip to Nepal, which turned into a six-year stay and a rapidly growing company. CloudFactory came to Durham in 2013 when it raised a $700K seed round led by Henry Kaestner, a Co-Founder of Bandwidth, who sold Mark on the Bull City as a great spot for its U.S. HQ. Now CloudFactory houses its main sales and product-marketing efforts out of American Underground. Read our full story on CloudFactory here.


Success Story

Thanks to a tip from longtime Triangle tech player Don Mullen, here’s a relatively under-the-radar Durham success story with some big news. Stuart Halloway and Justin Gehtland are two Duke grads who, back in 2003, formed a tech company in Durham called Relevance. In 2013, it merged with the company of New York-based tech innovator Rich Hickey—who created the programming language Clojure—to form Cognitect. Stu and Rich also created the database Datomic. Clojure and Datomic may not be household names, but some very large companies like Walmart and Apple use them at scale. They were also used by Latin American fintech power Nubank, which has just acquired Cognitect.

Here’s more from the deal from Cognitect and from Nubank. Congrats to Stu and Justin—and to Don, who had made them his first two hires back at his first company a quarter-century ago.


Making The Cut

Hot off the presses: Durham-based fintech Loanwell has been selected out of hundreds of applicants nationwide to participate in the first cohort of the Google For Startups Accelerator: Black Founders. We wrote about Loanwell in June—about how its platform was powering the state’s Rapid Recovery Loan Program—and also last February.


New Grants

While we’ve reported that most Triangle startups didn’t end up going down the road of trying to land a PPP grant/loan, we know that in the broader local business community there were some companies that did but unfortunately came up empty. Well, the NC Department of Commerce has rolled out a new program called the Job Retention Grant that could provide up to $250K. Non-profits can also potentially qualify. Applications close Sept. 1. TechWire and TBJ have more info.


Legal Eagles

Legal tech startups, get your applications ready for the fifth cohort of the LexisNexis Legal Tech Accelerator, which LexisNexis (which has a big Raleigh presence) runs in concert with Silicon Valley-based Lex Machina. (Full disclosure: Lex Machina’s chairman, Josh Becker, is a good friend of mine from college. That’s not a conflict of interest, I just like to name-drop.) The accelerator will run from September through November and will be completely virtual this year because, well, you know why. The application deadline is Aug. 14.

Guess where Pete is and (maybe) win a GrepBeat mug!

Persistence paid off for loyal participant Mark Durrett when he correctly identified this week’s location as Lantern in Chapel Hill and then finally defeated the random number generator. As you can see, he’s very excited. I asked Mark to describe himself to our readers, and here’s what he came up with: “Mark Durrett is a startup veteran and passionate fractional marketing executive who helps early stage technology companies develop and execute go-to-market programs that drive new business. You can read more about Mark’s business here.” Congrats, Mark!

Study up—there's a GrepBeat pint glass at stake!

This week's News Quiz is here. To wit:

1. How does Raleigh's The Produce Box deliver its boxes of local produce to customers?
A. Drones
C. An army of moms
D. It doesn't offer delivery

Answer this and the rest of the questions here!


Because too much news is never enough

You know you want to watch!

Season 1, Episode 1: Scott Moody, CEO of K4Connect
Season 1, Episode 2: Bill Spruill, CEO of Global Data Consortium

Thanks to TriNet, which is the title sponsor of Season 1 of Pete Meets..., with the exception of Episode 1 (Wyrick Robbins)

  • Momentum is hosting a free coding webinar on JavaScript from 7-8 p.m. tonight.
  • Next Wednesday at noon, UNC’s Entrepreneurship Center and Launch Chapel Hill will launch the first in its series of Fireside Chats with the Duke-UNC team of Kasper Kubica and David Spratte, the Co-Founders of sweat-preventers Carpe.


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