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Happy Thursday!

The next GrepBeat Happy Hour is just a week away—Thursday, Nov. 14, from 5-7 p.m. at Durham’s Bull McCabe’s. Our sponsor Colopy Ventures will cover your first round. Register now!


Triad Talk

We’re back with another edition of the “Postcard From...” series that gives us a from-the-horse’s-mouth report from startup ecosystems across the state. Today we hear from Winston-Salem, Greensboro and the rest of the Triad thanks to Adrian Smith and Karen Barnes from Winston-Salem and Greensboro’s Jennifer Hensel. (The previous Postcards were from Wilmington and Charlotte.)
 
It turns out that there’s quite a lot indeed going on in the Triad’s startup community. In fact any objective observer would have to concede that the Triad ranks ahead of the Triangle. Of course, I’m only speaking alphabetically. See what I did there! Now please read the Postcard From The Triad.

 


Rocking Out

Even a true rock-and-roller needs to deal with drudgery sometimes. Ben Wingrove played in bands while at UNC-Chapel Hill, launched his own record label, and later co-owned a rock club in Richmond, Va. It was while running that club with his wife that they faced the headache of scheduling 82 employees who forever wanted to swap shifts even after the schedule was finally done.
 
That’s what inspired Wingrove—a member of the initial team at Morrisville’s Etix back in 2001—to eventually launch his Raleigh-based startup SchedulePop, which makes scheduling easier for establishments ranging from music venues and restaurants to country clubs and nursing homes. SchedulePop also now has a partnership with (and investment from) Durham’s LCI, one of the nation’s largest employers of the blind, to help create and staff tech jobs for the visually impaired in the Triangle and beyond. See our full feature story on SchedulePop here.

 


A.I. Invasion

You’ve surely been hearing a lot about A.I. lately. Well, according to some sage tech voices, you ain’t heard nothing yet. Former Cisco CEO John Chambers told the NC CEO Forum in Raleigh on Thursday that A.I. is coming fast and that the transition will be “brutal,” predicting that 50% of the companies in the room won’t exist in a decade. Ouch!

He also said that the Triangle and North Carolina in general needs more VC dollars (hey, we know) and that competing for big projects like Amazon’s HQ2 won’t get it done nearly as well as homegrown innovation. Here’s more from TechWire and TBJ on Chambers’ talk, plus a TechWire story on the presentation by Dallas Mavericks CEO Cynthia Marshall at the same event.
 
SAS Co-Founder and CEO Jim Goodnight is also all-in on A.I., giving this interview on the topic to CNBC, which dubs him the “Godfather of A.I..” Cool title, though it’s no “GrepBeat Godfather.”

 


Lei$ure Time

For many, golf and tennis are fun, albeit not inexpensive, pastimes. (Not me; I stink at both and would rather do burpees.) One person’s expenditure, of course, is another person’s revenue. Data point 1: Triangle Racquet Sports has raised $1.35M and hopes to get to $5M to help build a massive “tennis, technology, sports medicine and social complex” in Brier Creek. Data Point 2: Raleigh’s Global Value Commerce (aka Global Golf) has raised $1.4M in debt to fund its ecommerce platform for both new and pre-owned golf equipment and gear.

 


Droning On

I feel like I may have already used that cutesy subhead before, but in my defense, the Triangle churns out a lot of drone news. Last Friday, UPS and CVS teamed up in Cary for the first-ever delivery of prescription drugs to a customer’s home. The drone reportedly hovered 20 feet over the home “before lowering the package by a cable to the ground.” Come on, they couldn’t use one of those absurdly long CVS receipts?

 


Fast 50

So TBJ has “unlocked” the full list of its 2019 Fast 50 Awards winners, which honor the 50 fastest-growing private companies in the Triangle. While you can now see the full group, the specific rankings won’t be revealed until the Fast 50 Awards dinner on Nov. 20. At a quickish glance, here are some of the tech-y names I recognized: Insightsoftware, Adwerx, Prometheus Group, Sift Media, MyComputerCareer, FM:Systems, Pendo and Dude Solutions. Congrats to all!

 

Extra Bit

It’s likely that I’m the only person on Earth who is wildly excited about both of these back-to-back college football games this Saturday: Williams-Amherst at Noon and LSU-Alabama at 3:30. But here’s a Where’s Pete? tip: I’ll be at The Pickled Onion 2 for Williams-BadGuys1 and then at nearby Sharkys for LSU-BadGuys2. (Hey, if Sharkys—the official LSU bar—got NESN, I’d go there for both games to save the commute, but I had to improvise.)
 
If you attend both games and cheer hard for the right teams, there’s a GrepBeat mug in it for you. Wait, that's not enough?! You think I’m nuts?! Nevertheless: Go Ephs, and Geaux Tigers!

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


Today’s winner is Leslie McDow (below), who correctly deduced that I was pseudo-sipping at American Underground’s Main Street location in Durham. Here’s what she has to say for herself: “Leslie is psyched she finally won the coveted red mug!  She's been in Durham for the last 17 years (does that make her officially from Durham?). Leslie's loves: her family, craft coffee, good wine, rescue dog Ocra, running, and strong collaborative visionary teams! She's a GrepBeat devotee and you'll see her at many of our happy hours meeting other GrepBeat fans.”
 
Here are some things that Leslie didn't tell you: 1) When I first saw her name on the sign-up sheet as I checked her in at a GrepBeat Happy Hour, I remarked that it was eerily similar to that of Leslie McCrae Dowless, the shady (and male) political operative from NC’s 9th District. I can’t say she was pleased by the comparison. 2) Leslie was a very early babysitter for the GrepBeat Godfather’s oldest daughter, Ximena, who is now a senior at the North Carolina School of Science and Math and old enough to have entered Where’s Pete? on several occasions, even though as a Colopy she’s totally not eligible to win. Small world!

 

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