Start getting pumped for next Thursday’s (Nov. 17) GrepBeat Happy Hour, which will be held from 5-7 p.m. at Bull McCabe’s in downtown Durham. Your first round will be covered by our sponsor, Qodeo, which matches 7,000 VC/PE investors globally with diverse entrepreneurs. Bonus: all entrepreneur attendees will get 50% off Qodeo’s Concierge service, and one lucky trivia winner will score a free year of Concierge (saving $99-$240). Please register here so we can get a handle on numbers.
The latest Friday Nooner featured the exceptionally well-lit Chris Romeo, the Co-Founder and (until recently) CEO of the Raleigh-based cybersecurity training platform Security Journey, which was acquired by Pittsburgh-based HackEDU in May. Honest question: Have you never watched/listened to a Friday Nooner? There’s no better time to remedy that than the present!
The early part of the pandemic’s forced adoption of school-by-Zoom wreaked havoc not only on kids’ educations but on the sanity of their parents. That was the background that inspired the creation of Carrboro-based Silverquicken, an edtech startup founded by two Duke Fuqua MBAs with years of experience in the edtech space. Silverquicken makes mail-order puzzle kits for middle-schoolers on a subscription basis based on a novel series of the same name. Now that in-person school is back, the startup also offers “Silverquicken Afterschool”programs at 14 schools across the nation, including in Carrboro. The startup was a semifinalist for NC IDEA’s $50K SEED grants.
We’re sticking in the edtech space with this week’s Exit Stories episode, in which host Kevin Mosley (Jurassic Capital) welcomes guest Christine Nicodemus, the co-founder of Charlotte-based Ascend Goals. Ascend was launched in 2019 to gamify students’ goals by allowing parents and mentors to provide them support in a digital community. It boomed during the pandemic, which helped lead to its acquisition in 2021 by Aperture Education, which was in turn acquired by Riverside Insights this May.
Read some highlights of the episode here, then listen (and subscribe to!) the episode here. We’ll be back next Tuesday with the 10th and final episode of Season 3.
Morrisville-based cybersecurity startup-with-a-rocket JupiterOne has been named by CNBC to its first-ever “Top Startups for the Enterprise” list. It’s the only one of the 25 selections that hails from North Carolina. We can only assume that someone at CNBC is a GrepBeat reader and learned about JupiterOne when it was named to our 2021 Startups To Watch list, or when we first profiled the company in 2020, or when we dove deep on CEO Erkang Zheng this July after the startup zoomed into unicorn status in less than two years after launching.
Durham-based fantasy sports startup FANDEX has been granted a patent for its fantasy sports stock exchange platform. FANDEX is the brainchild of Ed Tiryakian, a Duke associate professor and sports-business veteran. We first profiled the startup last September. Essentially, players on the app can pick teams as if they’re stocks, which can then be traded with other users in a live secondary market. Users don’t pay a fee, but can win cash prizes. (I wish I'd picked LSU the morning after it lost its season opener to Florida State.) See TechWire for more info.
Are you a startup founder who’d like to raise funding? Is there any other kind? (Kidding! Mostly.) You could have picked up some tips yesterday at Durham’s American Underground when Bull City Venture Partners’ Jason Caplain hosted a fireside chat with Tige Sanders, who co-founded Revolution Ventures alongside former AOL chief Steve Case. (For our younger readers who don’t know what AOL was, that’s what Google is for.) I was there alongside GrepBeat’s Jackie, but to nobody’s surprise I was not as intrepid as TBJ’s Lauren Ohnesorge, who wrote about the session for Triangle Inno.
Speaking of raising money, today’s TBJ includes a roundup of science-y startups who have closed on funding recently. The list skews toward the life sciences and biotech—i.e. not our hit zone—but does include a trio of GrepBeat story subjects. They include 2022 GrepBeat Startups To Watch honoree Pattern Health (we actually wrote about their $3.3M fundraise in September); $3M for Carrboro-based LabVoice; and $500K for Raleigh-based AgEye Technologies.
You might recall Durham-based apartment rental platform Alcove from our 2021 Startups To Watch list or from when we first profiled the startup in January of 2020. If you do, you’ll know that the company was founded by three Duke grads, including CEO Colin Tai. To refresh your memory and hear the latest about what Alcove is up to, check out TBJ’s recent feature as part of its Earth + Equity series.
RTP-based publicly traded tech company Avaya is continuing to shake up its C-suite amid ongoing struggles. Kieran McGrath is retiring as CFO and will be replaced on an interim basis by Becky Roof, a managing director at global consulting firm AlixPartners. See TechWire for more.
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