Apex Friendship High teacher Dan Jackson likes to think of himself as a doorman. (Trust us, it makes sense when he explains it.) While he’d be too modest to say it himself, he’s also making a big difference in the lives of his students in the school’s Applied Synergies Partnership (ASaP) honors entrepreneurship program, which gives them hands-on learning in the Triangle’s startup ecosystem. Don’t just take it from us; Jackson's former student Jessica Hong will tell you all about in our feature story on ASaP here.
As promised on Tuesday, today we’re running our full preview of next Thursday’s second annual Startup Summit, a full-day event that will be held at RTP’s Conference Center. It’ll feature boldface names like Red Hat founder Bob Young, Cofounders Capital General Partner David Gardner, HireNetworks CEO Craig Stone and Walk West CEO Donald Thompson. Click here for our preview, and here for special GrepBeat access to a 30% discount on tickets.
On A Roll
In physics, momentum is defined as mass times velocity. In Durham, Momentum is defined as a coding school for career changers that just landed a $2.75M Series A from the investment arm of Durham’s Clarkston Consulting, which works with consumer products and life sciences companies. Those clients—like many (most?) companies these days—need developers. That’s where Momentum comes in.
Jessica Mitsch, the Co-Founder and CEO of Momentum, says the funding will help Momentum grow its student base and also hire for its own staff, including the company’s first full-time marketing specialist. Here are more details from WRAL TechWire, and look out for GrepBeat’s feature story on Momentum in the coming weeks.
Back On Top
Roobrik CEO Nate O’Keefe has had a roller-coaster week. On Tuesday he correctly guessed the coffee shop pictured in Where’s Pete?, but a day later he was dealt the crushing news that his entry did not emerge victorious from the infamous random number generator. Fortunately he’s landed a decent consolation prize—Roobrik closed an additional $300K in funding to top off its most recent round at $1.72M.
The Durham-based startup (it actually shares the Southbank building with GrepBeat World HQ) is a consumer-decision-support platform that helps older adults and families make better healthcare and senior living decisions. It will use the funds to support its growth—currently 5-10% month-over-month—through profitability and also support its 2020 product initiatives. The cash infusion is both from new investors such as sector-specific Third Act Ventures plus follow-on funding from the likes of Carolina Angel Network and The Launch Place.
The local tentech sector continues to thrive. We mean “tennis tech,” of course. Raleigh-based startup TopCourt just raised $195K in equity on top of $140K from July to prep for its launch of an online platform for tennis instruction, especially for “Hollywood-level content” from world-class pros. The launch is expected later this year; TechWire has full details.
You might also recall we wrote about Raleigh’s Tennisbloc in June. Does that make it 30-love, or 15-all? And why won’t anyone just come out and say how absurd tennis’ scoring system is?
Raleigh’s Pureport is getting it done in the cloud. The startup founded by two familiar names in the Triangle tech community has been named an AWS (Amazon Web Services) Service Delivery Partner and a member of the AWS Partner Network, opening up powerful delivery channels for its hybrid cloud software platform. Pureport was founded last year by Rich Lee, who purchased Hosted Solutions in 2001 and later sold it (twice) to private equity; and Matt Berry, who co-founded Digitalsmiths and sold it to TiVo in 2014. (Though TechWire says Berry is no longer involved with the company.)
Shake It Up
Chapel Hill’s Terra Dotta, which makes software to support study abroad programs, has shuffled its executive suite. Longtime CEO and Co-Founder Brandon Lee is moving upstairs to be chairman of the board, while veteran tech and higher-ed exec Anthony Rotoli is coming aboard as the new CEO. TechWire has Q&As with both Lee and Rotoli, while TBJ is all over this story as well.
WeWork’s recent high-profile stumbles aside, coworking is clearly here to stay and local spaces increasingly find themselves competing alongside new branches of international behemoths like, say, WeWork (now with two Durham locations and one in Raleigh). That’s surely part of the context surrounding the creation of the Triangle Coworking Alliance, which will link Loading Dock Raleigh’s three locations with Durham’s Provident1898 and ReCity Network. (We featured Provident when it opened in April.) An Alliance “passport” will enable members to use any of the five combined spaces. We especially applaud the cross-Triangle collaboration.
North Carolina saw a new member added to the Forbes billionaires list as Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney made his first appearance on the chart at No. 150 with an estimated $4.5B net worth. That’ll buy you a lot of Fortnite skins. Also on the list: SAS Co-Founders Jim Goodnight (No. 77, $7.2B) and John Sall (No. 225, $3.6B).