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Happy Tuesday!

Just two more days until Thursday’s GrepBeat Happy Hour at Durham’s Bull McCabe’s, sponsored by Hutchison. While we’re eager to see any and all of you there, we especially hope to see past winners of the “Where’s Pete?” contest who haven’t yet received your mugs, so we can make the handoff in person. See more on that below. Oh, and register now!

Easing Ecommerce

WRAL TechWire has a story this morning about a new report from the research firm Juniper finding that online retail sales are projected to surge 54 percent to $6 trillion by 2024. The study estimates that people will be spending an average of $1,000 online annually, which actually strikes me as low. (As just one example, does buying airline tickets online count, or no?)
Quibbles aside, the point is that ecommerce is already huge, and only getting huger. Thus the opportunity for startups such as Chapel Hill’s FeedStation, which helps sellers better integrate with online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and Walmart. FeedStation is the brainchild of Founder and CEO Michael Linane—who confesses that he’s “frequently referred to as Mr. Amy Linanne,” given that his wife Amy is the Program Director of Launch Chapel Hill—was profitable from Day One, and has received a $50K grant from NC IDEA. Read our full story here.


Venture Atlanta

Six Triangle-based startups have been selected to participate in Venture Atlanta, the Southeast’s largest tech investment conference, on Oct. 16-17. Three will be among the 36 companies presenting—Durham’s Spiffy and ProcessMaker, and RTP’s Zaloni. We’ve written frequently about Scot Wingo’s Spiffy and previously featured ProcessMaker CEO Brian Reale, though Zaloni hasn’t yet graced our virtual pages, which we resolve to change this fall. Three more startups that have each been featured in GrepBeat—Raleigh’s Coworks and Allstacks, and Chapel Hill’s—have been tabbed as “Startup Showcase” companies that will exhibit in a special area. Congrats and best of luck to all!


Local Flavor

Of course, you don’t need to go all the way to Atlanta for a worthwhile tech investment conference. (Though if you do book a flight to Atlanta online, does that qualify as an “online retail sale”? I must know!) We’ve previously mentioned Bull City Venture Partners’ “Entrepreneurship Series 2019: Venture Outlook” event on Tuesday, Oct. 22, from 12:45-5 p.m. at Durham’s Carolina Theater. The keynote speakers will be Scott Kupoor, managing partner at VC kingpin Andreesen Horowitz; and John Somorjai, the Exec VP of Corporate Development and Salesforce Ventures at Salesforce.

But here’s something new: You can use the discount code PETE20 to save 20 percent off tickets. Aren’t you glad you know me? No, that's not rhetorical; please tell me.


Women's PitchFest

TiE Carolinas and RIoT are shining a spotlight on women founders tomorrow night at the first annual (hopefully) PitchFest in RTP. The event will feature six women founders from Triangle startups ranging from IoT to biotech to mobile apps. WRAL TechWire has full details on the event, which is being spearheaded by GrepBeat correspondent Tricia Lucas, who is a TiE Executive Board member and the founder of the Alliance of Women in Tech Leadership in addition to her day job running her recruiting firm Lucas Select. (As Tricia confessed this week, she's still learning how to say no.)

We’ll also have a full report in Thursday morning’s GrepBeat. And if you’re attending, be sure to say hi to me and our new interns, who as usual will be doing all the work.


Now Hear This

If you have ears, you’ve almost certainly heard about podcasts, and the odds are you’ve likely listened to one. Well, there are going to be more Triangle-based podcasts pretty soon if Earfluence has anything to say about it. The Raleigh-based company officially launched earlier this month, providing full-service podcast production with a side of digital marketing. It’s already working with DPAC, A Southern Soiree (a wedding planner) and Renaissance Funeral Home (yes, a funeral home podcast).
It also produces the Hustle Unlimited Podcast hosted by Walk West CEO Don Thompson, which I will be a guest on in an episode that will be recorded this very afternoon. Season 2 of the Hustle Unlimited Podcast starts dropping next week, and Don (and Earfluence) have already recorded episodes with luminaries including Heather Chandler (former senior producer of Fortnite, now owner of Whole Brain scape), Tim McLoughlin (Partner at Cofounders Capital and beloved GrepBeat contributor) and John Luckett (Raleigh Rescue Mission) before slumming it with yours truly.

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

You know how this works: send your guesses here.

Also, we're hereby calling the following past winners of "Where's Pete?" to report to Thursday's GrepBeat Happy Hour to receive their mug: Doug Speight, Emily or Greg Behr, Christopher Poe, Patricia Polizzi (aka The Watercat), Tim Weaver, Julie Paul, Cory Quammen, Shannon Harris and Ed Holloway. If you can't make it, we'll mail it to you, but don't you want to be feted in person?


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