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Happy Thursday!

On tomorrow’s Friday Nooner, the GrepBeat crew—Pete, Joe and Jackie—welcome guest Alexa Carlin, the CEO of Raleigh-based Women Empower X. Before you “meet” Alexa in person tomorrow, you can read all about her in our feature story about her today. (More on that in Item No. 1; she’s had quite a journey.) You can watch the Friday Nooner live at 12 noon ET tomorrow on LinkedIn, Facebook or YouTube, or catch it afterwards on those same platforms on in its podcast form.
And be sure to scroll down for some big Grep-a-palooza announcements!

Meet Alexa

Alexa Carlin started her first business at 17 and her second while in college. But it was a near-death experience when she was 21—she spent six days in a coma and was given a 1 percent chance to live—that sent her down a new path that led to becoming the Founder and CEO of Raleigh-based Women Empower X, which helps other women find their own path of entrepreneurship. Oh, and did we mention that she’s a guest on tomorrow’s Friday Nooner?
Alexa really has a remarkable story and you should read it. Then tune in to the TFN episode tomorrow or beyond.


Chalk It Up

For those of you keeping score at home of Triangle startup exits, check off another one. Yesterday, David Johnson—the Founder and CEO of Raleigh-based Atlas Certified—let us know that his startup was acquired by CLEAR, a publicly traded New York-based identify verification platform used primarily in airports and stadiums. We first wrote about Atlas Certified in November, 2020, detailing its pivot into a verification and monitoring platform for professional licenses in industry verticals like contracting or daycare providers. The deal closed officially on Dec. 30 and David is now CLEAR’s GM of Credentials.
Read the whole backstory on the deal here. The path to a successful closing is rarely a straight and easy line, and it wasn’t in this case either. Terms weren’t disclosed (hey, we asked) but let’s just say that David and his employees are happy.
And while you have your scorecard out, make a mark in an adjacent category for the acquisition of Raleigh-based product development and services company Webonise by New Yotk-based PE firm Pearl Street Equity. Triangle Inno has the full story.


Home $weet Home

Lately we’ve started to hear more and more cases of Triangle-based CEOs of tech startups that are HQ’d elsewhere, often because they’d relocated during the pandemic. Today we have such a story that also has what we in the biz call a “news peg”—real estate tech startup HomePace announced yesterday that it has raised a $7M Series A. HomePace is HQ’d in Salt Lake City, but CEO and Co-Founder Joe Cianciolo moved to Wake Forest last April, and the startup is going to use part of the cash to hire in the Triangle.

HomePace, which only launched in late 2020, is an innovative way for homeowners to tap into their home equity without taking on new debt or needing to make monthly payments. Essentially HomePace writes them a check in exchange for sharing a portion of the home’s future value.
Now HomePace is moving into the homebuying market too, which is why the venture arm of Lennar—the nation’s second-largest home builder—is leading the Series A. It's a big swing. Read our full story for all the details, including Joe's background and how and why he found himself in the Triangle.


Welcome Wagon

We’ve got another moving-to-the-Triangle story (or Triangle-adjacent, anyway). Liza Rodewald was already a former co-founder and leader of a tech company well before she became a military spouse. But it was the latter path that led her to launch Instant Teams in 2016, a two-sided marketplace to pair employers with military spouse employees.
Last year Liza’s husband became the ROTC instructor at Methodist University in Fayetteville, which brought the Instant Teams CEO to North Carolina. She and Instant Teams have been hitting the ground in a full sprint thanks to a $13M Series A round that they announced on March 9. Read our full story on Liza and Instant Teams here.



Two weeks back, we previewed the launch of the new RTP chapter of UPWARD, a global network that aims to accelerate the advancement of executive women which counts 8,000 members worldwide. Last night, our Suzanne Blake covered the launch event at the Loading Dock in Raleigh, which drew 200+ registered attendees. Read our full story on the event here.


National Pub

I was remiss in not mentioning this in Tuesday’s edition—feel free to request a full refund—but last Friday’s Wall Street Journal had a series of stories that plugged Raleigh’s growth. Raleigh got its star turn in this standalone story headlined How Raleigh Rallied From the Covid-19 Pandemic that doubled as a feature story on Pendo, which was great to see. That accompanied a larger package that ranked the top job markets in the nation, a list on which Raleigh came in at No. 3. (The top two were Austin and Nashville; Salt Lake City and Jacksonville, Fla., rounded out the top five).
A WSJ podcast also featured the writer of the Raleigh story (Bryan Mena) and includes a lot of details that he wasn’t able to get into the story, including plenty more from Pendo CEO Todd Olson. Hey, did we mention that Todd is the opening keynote speaker for Grep-a-palooza?


Local Pub

Friday Nooner co-host Chantal Allam wrote this feature for TechWire that highlights Clerdata CEO Meghan Corroon. We first wrote about Meghan and her startup (which then went by the name Lumen Insights) in November, 2020. But now we’ll forever remember her for her star turn on the March 11 Friday Nooner in which Meghan—who served in the Peace Corps in Cameroon—referred to GrepBeat Godfather Joe Colopy’s service in the tropical Seychelles as “Peace Corps Lite.” Ouch!


School Time

Here are two stories from the local universities that TechWire helpfully republished: New Duke Engineering dean: ‘Challenges … demand revolutionary approaches’; and Sustainable fashions: NCSU experts are stitching together a cleaner future with nanotech. But it’s not just the four-year schools that make a difference: a new report finds that community colleges Wake Tech and Durham Tech play a billion-dollar role in the Triangle economy. See TBJ for more.


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.



First, we’re excited to announce the first batch of sponsors for the inaugural Grep-a-palooza, our full-day conference focusing on early-stage tech startups that will be held on June 9 at the Durham Convention Center. We’d like to thank ExtensisHR, Robinson Bradshaw, Hughes Pittman and Wyrick Robbins for stepping up as Grep-a-palooza event sponsors, and also Michael Best & Friedrich as the sponsor of Grep-a-palooza’s After-Party. It’s not too late to join them in the fun—and get your brand in front of a focused entrepreneurial audience. See here for all the info.
We’re also hereby extending the Early Bird ticket rates through Friday, May 20, at 11:59 p.m. ET. That’s the day after our next GrepBeat Happy Hour (Thursday, May 19) at Bull McCabe’s in Durham, sponsored by Hutchison. Early Bird rates are $99 for founders/employees at startups and $199 for everyone else. On May 21, those rates will go up to $199 for startup team members and $299 for everyone else. So register today so you don’t miss out!


Because too much news is never enough.


Here's some helpful content from our partners.

You can find all our Partner Feeds here.


Here are some great jobs at Triangle startups.

To see all posted jobs, go to CronJobs. If you'd like your company to be listed, tell us at and we'll do our best.

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

This week's winner is Eric McAfee, who correctly noted that I was at the Caribou Coffee on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. Unfortunately I wasn't able to connect with Eric before press time, so you're stuck with another pic of me. Neverthless: congrats, Eric!

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