Happy Tuesday!

RIP to the great Stan Lee, who created pretty much every superhero except for Micro Mobility. Now to the news:

Shocking News!

Our long national nightmare is finally over. Yes, Amazon officially announced this morning that it’s splitting its supposed second headquarters—the infamous HQ2—between Long Island City (a NYC suburb) and Crystal City, Va. (a D.C. suburb). Which totally leaked in its entirety last week. To briefly recap: 1) Last September, Amazon asked every city/region in the nation to prostrate itself in hopes of landing HQ2 and its supposedly 50K new jobs; 2) Amazon officials toured more extensively than Phish, and amongst a similarly rabid and mind-altered fanbase of public officials seeing dollar signs; 3) After collecting reams of valuable data from the 20 finalists, not to mention the 218 other bidders, Amazon decides to split HQ2 between the nation’s largest city and its political capital. Way to spread the wealth, Bezos!

Good riddance, Amazon—we never wanted you anyway. (Yes, we’re being mature about this.)

Next, Please!

Let’s talk Apple! Maybe you missed this take from Dropsource CEO Ben Saren on what it might mean to the region if Apple builds a second headquarters here (iHQ2?). But is Apple really coming? Your faithful correspondent has heard from multiple people going back to the early summer—often second- or third-hand and/or off the record, but still—that it was basically a “done deal.” But the longer the deal goes without being literally done, the more likely that it falls apart. There was scuttlebutt that Apple wanted to see what would happen with the election, especially for the North Carolina legislature. But now that the election is over, the Triangle turns its lonely eyes to Cupertino.


Then again, it’s not like the Triangle’s startup community is just sitting around waiting on Apple in hopes it will swoop in as a savior. Rather, community leaders like Doug Speight—the Executive Director of Durham’s American Underground startup hub—are out there tirelessly chewing gum and not drinking coffee to help entrepreneurs. To be clear: the gum-chewing (Trident’s tropical twist flavor, natch) and non-coffee-drinking are specific to Doug. You can learn that and much more about him in the latest edition of The Download Q&A by Brooks Malone of Hughes Pittman.

Hurricane Force

Wade Minter has spent nearly two decades working as a software developer and engineering manager at tech companies, and is currently the CTO of Custom Communications Inc. in Garner. But we have a feeling that his distinguished career as a tech team leader isn’t the first thing he’s asked about at cocktail parties. Or the second, or the third. Just two spoilers: Wade moonlights as the P.A. announcer for the Carolina Hurricanes and is a 20-year veteran of performing improv. Discover much more in our Q&A.

NET Gains

Whatever your view on global warming... scratch that, there’s really only one fact-based view: the earth’s climate is becoming warmer and the burning of fossil fuels is a major contributor to said warming. That’s why the tech behind Durham’s NET Power—which just received new investment of an undisclosed amount from an Occidental Petroleum VC arm on top of $150M in previous investment—is so exciting.

Rather than renewables, the tech that’s being tested at NET Power’s Texas plant is a new way to use natural gas to generate electricity with zero atmospheric emissions. The science is fairly involved (read all about it here) but the potential is clear—and potentially massive.

Help for Helpers

Here’s GrepBeat’s hierarchy of interest: 1) truly homegrown tech companies that were both founded and operate in the Triangle; 2) tech companies founded elsewhere but that moved their HQ here; 3) tech companies HQ’d elsewhere that have established a presence here. And our interest drops off dramatically by category.

Nevertheless, the IT service-desk software company Samanage, which was founded in Israel but is now HQ’d in Cary, lands squarely in the second category. Samanage closed $30M in funding last week from Morgan Stanly Expansion Capital, which was on top of a $20M funding last year and brings the company’s total capital raised to about $74M. That’ll buy plenty of meals at Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen.
Because too much news is never enough
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Credit (or blame) Managing Editor Pete McEntegart.

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