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Happy Tuesday!

Don't despair if you missed Friday’s Coffee & Conversation on the pros/cons of using offshore developers, which was sponsored by TriNet. Here’s the video, and here’s a teaser story that captures a few highlights to whet your appetite for the main course. There was lots of wisdom dropped by guests Sam Bayer (Corevist CEO), Brian Reale (ProcessMaker CEO) and Nicole Woods (True Influence VP/Product).

Pete Meets...

If there was a Mount Rushmore of startup lawyers in the Triangle, three of the figures would be no-doubters: Merrill Mason, Fred Hutchison and Larry Robbins. (Feel free to nominate a fourth.) Merrill is this week’s guest on Pete Meets... (sponsored by TriNet) and shared his wisdom gained from three decades of startup lawyering. That includes founding Hutchison + Mason with Fred in 1996 before leaving for Smith Anderson in 2006, where he is still going strong. We also talk a little Premier League football (aka soccer). You can read our teaser story here, listen (and subscribe!) to the podcast here, and you visual learners can see the video here.


Big Test

Even with yesterday’s excellent news on the early results from Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine, the novel coronavirus is going to be with us for quite a while—including what’s shaping up to be a harsh winter. That makes a robust testing strategy more important than ever, which means that labs will continue to be swamped with Covid tests. That’s where Raleigh-based Dendi comes in with its SaaS solutions to help labs scale their services and increase productivity and efficiency. Dendi is one of the dozen finalists for NC IDEA’s $50K SEED grants. Read our full story on Dendi here.


We're No. 3!

The annual “Tech Town” rankings from CompTIA are out, and Raleigh checks in at No. 3. That’s actually one slot lower than last year, and guess who’s at No. 1? That’s right: Austin, for the second year in a row. But I think Raleigh should simply refuse to accept the results while making vague accusations of “fraud.” (Too soon for 2020 Election jokes?) The Durham-Chapel Hill MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) ranked lucky No. 13, exactly where it was last year, while Charlotte jumped up a spot to No. 5. TechWire has more details on the Raleigh and Durham-Chapel Hill rankings.


Catching Up

Speaking of TechWire, it has two updates on recent news items worth checking out. First, yesterday’s “Startup Spotlight” was on the Triangle’s newest tech VC firm, Raleigh’s Oval Park Capital. Founder Justin Wright-Eakes is out from stealth mode after banking $4.5M in the firm's hoped-for $25M first fund. Oval Park has already made two investments and has several others in the pipeline. Next, Raleigh-based edge computing startup EDJX talks about what it plans to do with the $6.4M it recently raised. Apparently the good folks at EDJX are “drinking through a firehose,” which frankly sounds pretty dangerous, so best of luck and stay safe!


Safe Snacks

Without A Trace isn’t just a former middling CBS procedural drama anymore. No, it’s also a Raleigh food startup that’s officially launching next week and just raised $188K. Without A Trace offers snacks that are free of the “big 8 allergens,” plus sesame-free for good measure. CEO Brooke Navarro has dealt with food allergies all her life, and she hopes that solving her problem will also lead to a big business. TechWire has more details.


Catching Up II

Our friendly local media outlets also have updates on two startups that we wrote about this summer: Raleigh’s Medicom and Durham’s NALA Systems. Medicom, which helps doctors share medical information more easily to make life easier and safer for patients, was actually introduced to GrepBeat by Justin Wright-Eakes from Oval Park Capital (Item No. 4 above). It’s now in the process of trying to raise $3M, and has closed on some $1.25M. TechWire has more details. Meanwhile TBJ has the scoop on the grandmother-mother-son startup NALA Systems—it’s the “mom,” Sue Mecham, who’s the CEO—and its groundbreaking work in water purification. Long live the NALA matriarchy!


Home Base

No matter when a vaccine is widely distributed, the pandemic is forever going to impact the way we work. That’s why our October Coffee & Conversation was on what the “Post-Covid Office” will look like. And it’s why TBJ talked to several Triangle tech startups that are thinking about making work from home (or, if you must, “WFH”) a permanent option—and maybe the default. It’s not an easy or one-size-fits all decision, so it’s worth seeing the take of folks like Adwerx CEO Jed Carlson and Hip eCommerce CEO Mark Rosenberg.

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