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Happy Tuesday!

Joe and Pete were in rare form on the latest Friday Nooner, and by “rare” I mean they were just as good as they are every Friday afternoon for a half-hour. So check it out.

For Starters

When we at GrepBeat looked to expand our podcast offerings, Robbie Allen was the first name on our list—and we don’t just mean alphabetically. (Though that is also true.) The serial entrepreneur and recent winner of the Readers’ Choice award for Most Impactful Individual in the inaugural Greppy Awards, Robbie is now hosting For Starters, the newest podcast under the GrepBeat banner. We’re releasing the premiere show of the 10-episode season today, with new shows dropping every other Tuesday.
For Starters focuses on the do’s and don’ts of launching a new business. Robbie is an especially fitting guide on the topic as the current CEO of Startomatic, a platform that helps you do just that (we wrote about Startomatic last June). Today’s first episode addresses the eternal question: What makes an entrepreneur? Robbie welcomes three great guests: former Download subjects Chris Heivly and Robbie Hardy (who was also a Pete Meets... guest) and Geraud Staton of Durham’s Helius Foundation. Read highlights of the show here, and then listen (and subscribe!) here.


Global ==> Local

The startup community both nationally and locally is cheering a Biden administration plan to fully implement the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER), which was proposed late in the Obama administration but was put in deep freeze by the Trump admin. In short, the rule allows foreign-born entrepreneurs to remain in the U.S. to grow their startup for up to five years so long as the startups hit benchmarks such as raising at least $250K in capital or hiring 10 employees. Many of the biggest U.S. tech companies were started by immigrants, and the hope is that this rule will help add to that number.
TBJ spoke to some local boldface names (like the aforementioned Chris Heivly, Cofounders Capital’s David Gardner and IDEA Fund PartnersLister Delgado) for its story, and TechWire also has more details.


Coming Soon

Apple apparently isn’t wasting any time in ramping up its Triangle presence. TBJ is reporting that the tech giant is focusing on the more than 200K square feet available for sublease in the MetLife Building 3 in Cary as a temporary home until it can develop its own campus. Apple reportedly wants to move quickly and hire as many as 1K employees “within a short time.” MetLife Building 3 opened in 2019, but MetLife has consolidated its own employees in its first two buildings, so the entire Building 3 is currently available for sublease.


Battle Royale

We feel like Apple and Cary's Epic Games could have resolved their differences much more cheaply on a GrepBeat-sponsored livestream in which both sides made their case, and then GrepBeat readers voted on a legally enforceable verdict. But no, it seems that both sides are insistent on going forward with the current case in a federal court in California. The Associated Press feels like Apple is winning so far. CNN also has coverage.


Measuring Up

You should all know who David Gardner is by now—especially since I mentioned him just three items ago. He wrote an interesting piece in yesterday’s TechWire in which he got very granular on how Cofounders gives feedback to its portfolio CEOs. The piece lays out 14 categories, with detailed descriptions, in which the CEOs are assessed a score from 1-5. It’s always useful for entrepreneurs to know how investors evaluate their performance.


Duke Changes

Duke is restructuring its tech transfer operations in an effort to accelerate the process of commercializing the research done on its campus while simultaneously spurring additional economic opportunity in the Triangle. Hey, we think this is a great step toward replacing the local revenue foregone given that the Duke men’s hoops team hasn’t played in an NCAA Tournament since 2019. (Too soon?) Here’s more info from TechWire and TBJ.


Caffeine Up

Raleigh-based Slingshot Coffee is looking to raise $1M, TBJ reports, to help power its ecommerce efforts as well as support retail expansion. Slingshot is led by CEO Jenny Bonchak.



We wrote about Durham-based Corevist last April, not long after GrepBeat’s sorta-sibling Jurassic Capital made a $2.8M investment in the B2B SaaS ecommerce platform for manufacturers on software giant SAP. Yesterday Corevist released its newest product, New Corevist Commerce. Because CEO Sam Bayer also commuted more than an hour each way to his New York City high school—he at Bronx Science, me at Regis—I said he could have three sentences to announce it. Here’s what he came up with:
“With 13 years of experience of processing millions of orders valued in the billions of dollars for companies like Merck, Crayola and Axalta (duPont spinoff), and over two years of engineering investment, Corevist today proudly announces the release of New Corevist Commerce (NCC). NCC is Corevist’s next generation B2B eCommerce platform that enables Corevist to better respond to the post-Covid surge in demand by manufacturers on SAP by offering them a quicker to implement, hyper-personalized, and updated Amazon-like experience for their B2B customers. We launched Corevist in the middle of the 2008 recession and we’re launching our next-gen platform in the middle of a pandemic. We firmly believe, as did Winston Churchill, that ‘one should never let a good crisis go to waste.’” Eagle-eyed readers will note that's four sentences, but fortunately for Sam I’m a sucker for Winston Churchill quotes.


Build Better

Dualboot Partners is a software development firm that helps ventures at all stages build great software and great companies. Founded by serial entrepreneurs, Dualboot Partners comes to each project with deep expertise in technology and business, as well as a commitment to supporting its clients well beyond the development process. The team offers advice and perspective—built over the course of hundreds of projects—and leverages its vast network to connect clients with investors, future hires and other resources critical in turning a concept into a successful venture. Intrigued? Email them here!


Extra Bit

We’re not saying it’s For Starters or anything, but IBM’s Jim Whitehurst—the former CEO of Raleigh’s Red Hat—was the guest on the premiere episode of a new podcast called Smarter Markets hosted by Michelle Dennedy, the former Chief Privacy Officer of Cisco and Intel. You can find it here, or read about it here.


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