ICYMI: the latest Friday Noonerfeatured guest co-host Chantal Allam (TechWire) and guest Eva Doss, the CEO of The Launch Place. And here’s something I’m glad that I won’t miss: tomorrow night’s NC TECH Awards Gala. Tickets are sold out, I’m told, but Wyrick Robbins—which sponsors NC TECH’s Startups To Watch category—has graciously invited me as their guest. If you'll be there, please say hi.
Video games are still relatively new in historical terms, but more than old enough to inspire nostalgia in pretty much everyone 55 and younger. That nostalgia is what fuels Apex-based Limited Run Games and its CEO Josh Fairhurst, who is the subject of the latest Download Q&A by Brooks Malone. Limited Run Games makes limited-run “Collectors’ Editions”—thus the name—of physical copies of older video games reconfigured for newer game systems like the Switch. Josh might also be the least picky eater and coffee-drinker that we’ve ever featured. See what I mean by reading the full Q&A here.
The Triangle has been establishing itself as a hub for drone technology for several years now, so it’s a perfect place for Raleigh-based SPOTR Industries to set up shop. Led by former Marine Chris Lewis, SPOTR will use drones and offer drone software to aid with disaster relief. SPOTR is participating in the ninth cohort of the RIoT Accelerator Program (RAP). Read our full story on SPOTR here.
Say It Ain't So!
It will soon be the end of an era for NC State’s entrepreneurship efforts when Lewis Sheats, the Executive Director of the Wolfpack’s Entrepreneurship Clinic, steps away from NC State in January. That will be exactly 20 years after he accepted a request to co-teach an entrepreneurship class at NC State’s Poole College of Management. Hundreds (thousands?) of impacted students, tens (hundreds?) of thriving startups and one “Where’s Pete?” victory (shared with Fourscore’s Jesse Jones) later, Lewis certainly made his presence felt.
Here’s his LinkedIn post announcing the news, where you can pass along your thanks for his service and best wishes for the future. When Lewis is ready to say what his next steps will be, we’ll be excited to share them. We certainly hope he will remain a major contributor to the Triangle startup ecosystem.
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: insightsoftware has made another acquisition. I guess if you’ve actually stopped me, skip down to the next item. For those still here, it was the Raleigh-based software company’s 20th acquisition in the three years since it was formed by PE firm TA Associates rolling up two acquisitions of its own. This deal, for Austin-based Magnitude, is the biggest one yet for insightsoftware, which raised $800M+ earlier this year at a valuation of $4B. Here are more details from TechWire and TBJ.
Last week, TBJ unveiled the order of its Fast 50 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the Triangle. Here is the tech representation, with its number on the list: 2) Spoonflower; 4) Crossrope; 11) Pendo; 18) Sift Media; 21) insightsoftware; 23) Dude Solutions; 27) Terra Dotta; 29) MyComputerCareer; 33) FM:Systems; 38) Prometheus Group; 46) Adwerx; 48) Validic; 49) Spreedly. Congrats to all the honorees!
You can also vote in the WRAL Voter Choice Awards in the category of Most Innovative Local Corporation. The finalists are Epic Games, Pendo, Red Hat, SAS and Syncfusion.
We’ve been following Chantal Allam’s “Tomorrow’s Unicorns” series for TechWire even before she became October’s guest co-host on The Friday Nooner. Now that the six-part series is over, Chantal shares some key takeaways. You can also look back through the stories on the six Raleigh-based startups that the series picked as potential unicorns—Global Data Consortium, Diveplane, Pryon, EDJX, Kaleido and JupiterOne.
It was great to see so many familiar faces—and some new ones—at last Friday’s Innovate Raleigh Summit, which was the event’s 10th Anniversary. TechWire has some coverage of the event here, plus a Q&A with Innovate Raleigh’s interim director, Clark Rinehart.
And this past weekend, Duke’s Fuqua School hosted the Southeast Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition (SEETA) Conference. “Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition,” or ETA, describes getting into entrepreneurship by buying and running an already existing business rather than launching a new one from scratch. Here’s a story on five lessons learned from the conference.
Here’s some great news for lovers of both coffee and equity/inclusion: Pendo and 321 Coffee have announced a partnership for 321 Coffee to open a shop in Pendo’s still-under-construction new HQ in downtown Raleigh. 321 Coffee creates jobs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities—and also makes great coffee.
Build Great Software
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Richmond-based crowdsourced software company Covintus is opening applications for its Winter 2022 (virtual) Tech Tank Accelerator. It’s a 10-week program that ends in a pitch competition, which in the Summer 2021 Cohort was won by Chapel Hill-based LiRA. (We profiled LiRA, which also recently won top honors in The Launch Place's Big Launch Challenge, in May.) Covintus will host three info session leading up to the Dec. 10 application deadline: on Nov. 11, Nov. 16 and Dec. 3. Find more info here.