View in browser

Sponsored by

Happy Thursday!

Tomorrow’s Friday Nooner will welcome guest Matt Williamson, the serial entrepreneur who is back in the mix with Plum, a platform for the co-ownership of vacation homes that we profiled in March. You can watch live at noon tomorrow on LinkedIn, Facebook or YouTube, or catch afterwards on those same platforms or in its podcast form.
We’re exactly one week away from the next GrepBeat Happy Hour on Thursday, May 19, from 5-7 p.m. at Bull McCabe’s in Durham. Your first round will be courtesy of our sponsor, the startup-focused Hutchison law firm. Please register so we can get a sense of numbers.

AI Recruiter

It’s not too late to jump online and catch the virtual feed of NC TECH’s annual State of Tech Conference, which is going on today at the Raleigh Convention Center. The event includes a Startup Showcase in which six startups will pitch. We’re giving you a sneak peek of one of them—Cary-based MapRecruit. (The other Triangle pitch-ee is MuukTest, which we first profiled in 2019.)
MapRecruit uses AI to sort through, track and filter job applicants, then helps companies engage with them directly. Read our full feature story here.


Energy Savers

NC State alum Jason Massey took a roundabout route to launching Raleigh-based ndustrial, including stints as a self-proclaimed “stock jockey” on Wall Street and eight years in the VC world in Silicon Valley. But it was helping some Belgian friends who ran a foam extrusion manufacturing facility in Zebulon that sent him down the path to ndustrial, which offers energy management software and services to manufacturers so they can use energy more efficiently to save money and advance sustainability.
The startup raised a $6M Series A last year and has even bigger plans going forward. Read our full feature story here.


Love (Your) Seat

Last month NC IDEA named the 15 recipients statewide of its $10K MICRO grants to help kick-start early-stage startups. We’re going to bring you feature stories on the seven that hail from the Triangle, starting with two today.

First up is Calico Sol. We’re guessing that Founder Doug Williams likely learned about flexibility and making quick decisions from his 11 years in the military. Exhibit A: in the Raleigh-based startup’s brief history (since 2020) it’s already made a dramatic pivot from a better litter box for cats to a sustainable furniture startup that’s launching its first product this summer: a recyclable couch.
Oh, and did we mention that Doug is 10 days away from graduating with an MBA from Wharton? You can read all about it in our full story here.


In The Sauce

Abena Antwi has been a chemist by trade, mixing ingredients together to create cosmetics for the likes of Burt’s Bees and Loreal. But it turns out that her gifts translate to edible creations as well. During the pandemic, Abena began to grow tomatoes in her backyard garden and used them to make her grandmother’s Jollof rice recipe, a popular dish in West Africa. That’s led to Ashanti Styles, Abena’s food startup that recently earned one of NC IDEA’s $10K MICRO grants. The best seller is the Queen’s Jollof Sauce.
Read our full story here.


SEED Winners

Speaking of NC IDEA, today the organization unveiled the nine new winners of its $50K SEED grants. Only one of the nine are from the Triangle. (Recount, anyone???) That grantee is Holly Springs-based Nurtured Nest, which we first profiled last October when it was named a SEED semifinalist. Nurtured Nest provides on-demand virtual perinatal classes to new parents through partnerships with hospitals, including one that’s kicking off with UNC Rex in July.
For more on all the winners, check out NC IDEA’s site and WRAL TechWire.


Web3 Fund

Recent-ish Triangle transplant Ryan Bethencourt continues to dive in the Triangle’s entrepreneurial ecosystem with both feet. His newest initiative is Layer 1 Ventures, a $3M micro-fund to invest in Web3 and crypto startups. That follows Sustainable Food Ventures, the micro-fund he earlier launched with his wife Mariliis Holm to back startups in the food space, especially alternative proteins created in the lab. They’ve already backed five local food startups.
Ryan is a scientist by background and came here from Silicon Valley, bringing along with him his startup Wild Earth, a vegan dog food company that appeared on Shark Tank. See Triangle Inno for more. And if history is any guide, look for him at next week's GrepBeat Happy Hour.


All Grown Up

While we at GrepBeat focus first and foremost on early-stage startups, we always make time for the granddaddies of the Triangle tech startup scene: Red Hat and SAS. The former is holding its annual Red Hat Summit this week. That’s generated news such as the company's partnership with GM to bring more software to cars. Here are stories from TechWire and TBJ on that partnership, while here are the more general stories on the Summit from TechWire and TBJ.
Meanwhile SAS wants everyone to know that they’re still moving toward “IPO readiness,” even if I’m personally not convinced that Jim Goodnight really wants to go public. Of course, he didn’t ask me. But you can read what his lieutenants said in TechWire and TBJ and decide for yourself.


Coming And Going

Bertelsmann Education Group—a subsidiary of German media giant Bertelsmann and the parent company of Cary-based healthcare tech company Relias—has picked RTP as a new divisional headquarters. Now Bertelsmann Education Group will have three primary locations: Berlin, New York City, and RTP. Kay Krafft, who took over as Relias CEO in April, 2020, founded the Bertelsmann Education Group in 2015. So obviously he’s been impressed with the Triangle ecosystem. You can find more info here.
Meanwhile, construction software startup Prescient has had much worse luck in the Triangle. Prescient moved its HQ from Denver to Durham in 2017, but its Duke Street offices were destroyed in the deadly explosion in April, 2019. That led the company to move its corporate HQ to Charlotte, but it maintained a manufacturing facility in Mebane. Now the Mebane facility is closing too. See TechWire and 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.


Extra Bit

Hey tech companies: if you want to meet some bright young talent, check out Cary Academy’s eight-day Work Experience Program. The program matches graduating seniors with companies from May 23-June 2. One of this year’s corporate participants is SaaS company mpro5, led by former Where’s Pete? winner Mark Self. Here’s where some of the participants ended up last year. If your company is interested, please contact Michael McElreath at Cary Academy.


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!*

Lauren Walker is this week’s winner for correctly identifying my location as Durham’s Cocoa Cinnamon. Pictured below is the moment that she told her dog Arrow that she won. (We’re confident he’ll be more excited once he awakens from a surely well-deserved nap.) More from Lauren: “I’m CMO of Coworks, a coworking software company. So I spend a lot of time drinking coffee and exploring coworking spaces. Arrow particularly enjoys dog-friendly spots.” Congrats to both Lauren and Arrow!

Any news we should know? Hit "reply" or send it to

Love what you see? Forward this to a friend.

Wait, a friend just forwarded this to you? Then subscribe!
Oh yeah, and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

This thing doesn’t write itself.
Credit (or blame) Managing Editor Pete McEntegart.

It also doesn't pay for itself. See our sponsorship opportunities here, then
write us at to become a sponsor!

This email was sent to <<Email address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
GrepBeat · 121 East Parrish Street · Durham, NC 27701 · USA