The latest Friday Noonerfeatured guest co-host Lauren Ohnesorge of TBJ/Triangle Inno fame and guest Ashwin Machanavajjhala, a Duke professor and the Chief Scientist at GrepBeat Startups To Watch honoreeTumult Labs. See what you missed here, and whet your appetite with this 21-second clip of Joe and Pete recoiling in horror when Lauren merely mentions “life sciences”—aka the “L Word.”
Some like to call data the “new oil." But what if you have plenty of the old oil, but not enough physical and digital infrastructure to collect and analyze the right kind of data to best take advantage of said oil while mitigating its environmental impact? That’s the case in many rural and relatively impoverished regions in Africa. Enter Raleigh-based startup Datos, which is developing a distributed data ecosystem (DDE) to increase data collection and analysis capabilities in areas that are rich in natural resources but lack broadband access.
Datos is participating in the current cohort of the RIoT Accelerator Program (RAP) and will welcome a visit on Friday from South Africa’s Consul General in New York, Dr. Motumisi Tawana. Dr. Tawana will also check out the Triangle’s “innovation cluster” and explore ways to further partnerships between the Triangle and South Africa. Read our full story on Datos here.
Durham-based ReverbNation, a music marketing platform that serves more than 5 million artists worldwide, has been acquired by Singapore-based BandLab, a social music-creation platform hosting 40 million creators. ReverbNation was launched in 2006 by Mike Doernberg, the first of three separate software platforms under the parent company he created, eMinor Inc. (Get it?) One of those companies became Adwerx, an adtech startup that spun out of eMinor in 2014 and is led by Jed Carlson.
Red Hat has announced the acquisition of Phlyt, a Canadian-based cloud consulting firm with a pronunciation that I can only guess at. (Flight? Felt? Phyllo dough?) Terms weren’t disclosed, natch. It’s Red Hat’s second acquisition of the year after StackRox back in January, which is also its second overall since Red Hat was acquired by IBM in 2019 for $34B. See TBJ for more details, though sadly not many more were available.
Durham-based AI startup TeraRecon is merging with Boston-based ConcertAI, a SaaS healthtech that has raised more than $150M from investors. TeraRecon is an “advanced visualization and solution provider” that uses AI to improve medical imaging, which puts it on the very edge of GrepBeat’s coverage field, if not quite the (mock) horror of pure life sciences. TechWire has more details, if you dare.
While Joe and I did kinda freak out when poor Lauren Ohnesorge innocently brought up life sciences in the latest Friday Nooner—to be fair, life sciences is among her assigned professional beats—we wholeheartedly applaud everything she does to highlight Triangle tech startups. Here are three Lauren stories from the past week, along with earlier GrepBeat features on the same startups: 1) the Greppys-winning Flux Hybrids, which converts gas-powered cars into hybrids (the Triangle Inno story, and GrepBeat’s story); 2) Without a Trace Foods, founded by a former Wall Street finance pro and mom to make allergen-free snacks (Triangle Inno; GrepBeat); 3) Reflekt Me, which helps people of all races and sizes see themselves—literally and virtually—while buying clothes online (Triangle Inno; GrepBeat).
Also from the recent Lauren archive is this story on Cary-based Atom Computing, an already booming (36 employees and rapidly growing) quantum computing startup. CEO Rob Hays, a former Lenovo exec, has been reeling in experienced execs for his management team, including Denise Ruffner (formerly of IonQ and IBM) as chief business officer and Justin Ging (ex-Honeywell) as chief product officer.
News Never Ends
One thing that tech companies must deal with after going public is the need to release quarterly results and—egad!—actually discuss them with Wall Street research analysts and the media. Bandwidth and ChannelAdvisor did their duty yesterday, and we’ve linked to stories about each of those earnings releases. Bandwidth's includes a dramatic reenactment from CEO David Morken of the recent ransomware attack that the company fought off.
Speaking of public companies, one that you’ve heard of—Meta, or The Company Formerly Known As Facebook—partnered with RTP-based tech nonprofit MCNC to expand broadband in western North Carolina. MCNC piggybacked off the infrastructure that Meta built to connect its data center in Forest City, N.C., to another of its locations in Georgia via high-capacity fiber. Among those with newly souped-up connections are 76 schools, including the new North Carolina School of Science and Math location in Morganton. And one more note on the nonprofit front: industry trade association CompTIA will launch its first Triangle location in Raleigh to offer its signature IT certification program.
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We mentioned recently that NC State Entrepreneurship Czar Lewis Sheats—that’s not his real title, but maybe it should have been—is leaving the Wolfpack in January. Now we know his destination: St. Louis University, which wisely wants Lewis to lead its own entrepreneurship efforts. We’re sure the GrepBeat mug that Lewis won in “Where’s Pete?” despite being held back by his bringing-little-to-the-table teammate Jesse Jones (Fourscore Law) will occupy a place of honor on his desk amongst the Billikens. TechWire has some more info.
Guess where Pete is and (maybe) win a GrepBeat mug!
This time, I noticed that the name of the coffee house was on the order board behind my head. Though rather than cut it out entirely I've tried to carefully crop it to give a solid hint, but not literally spell it out. We'll see how I did. Send your guesses here!