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Happy Thursday!

Tune in for another Friday Nooner tomorrow (at noon, of course) on Facebook Live or Youtube Live, or afterward on those same platforms. Joe and Pete will break down the week in tech in the Triangle and beyond and welcome guest Lister Delgado of IDEA Fund Partners.

The Greppys

The competition has already been fierce for the top honors in the inaugural Greppy Awards, which are sponsored by Dualboot Partners. More than 725 people have already cast ballots. Here’s what we encourage you to do: 1) Read our capsules on all the nominees so you can be an educated voter; 2) Go vote; 3) Register to attend the virtual event, which will be next Friday, April 23, at 12 Noon ET for one hour. (The Greppys will pre-empt The Friday Nooner next week because Joe and Pete can only occupy one virtual space at a time.)
Voting will continue until next Thursday, April 22, at 5pm ET. The Readers Choice winner in each category will be honored alongside the judges’ choice. Right at the moment, those winners are the same in two of the five categories, but it’s a very fluid situation on the voting side. Hey, have we mentioned that you should vote? Once you’re schooled on the nominees, natch? And you should also register to attend? Thanks!



The pandemic has meant that more and more companies are shipping more and more goods to consumers. That’s also meant more and more bizarrely long and indecipherable invoices that those companies receive from FedEx and UPS (think CVS receipts, but much worse). That’s where Raleigh-based startup Shipmint comes in. Shipmint helps ecommerce companies aggregate and analyze their shipping invoices to better understand and manage their shipping costs. Shipmint is a semifinalist for one of NC IDEA’s $50K SEED grants. Read our full story on Shipmint here.


Early Days

The current bassinets used at hospitals are for new mothers and their infants, so why aren’t they designed with their needs in mind? That’s what Dr. Kristin Tully and Stacie McEntyre are trying to change. Dr. Kristin—a UNC medical researcher—is the Founder and Stacie the CEO of Couplet Care, which is another semifinalist for NC IDEA’s SEED grants.

Couplet Care is on its third-generation prototype for a new bassinet, with the help of NC State’s graduate school of design. The bassinet design currently in use is wheeled aside a new mother in her bed, forcing her to awkwardly lunge and twist to reach her baby—which is especially difficult for moms who gave birth via Caesarean section. Read our full story on Couplet Care here.


Raising Ca$h

Talking about fundraising is likely the evergreen-iest of evergreen topics in a startup ecosystem. So it’s no surprise that both TechWire and TBJ ran a pair of stories on the subject over the past few days. (TechWire: 2021 shaping up as another record year for venture capital; 37 deals in NC net nearly $390M; Cash continues to flow to venture capital funds – but early-stage money remains a challenge; TBJ: Triangle financiers thrive in hot, hot market for pharma, tech; Epic Games raises another $1 billion. Why that's good – and not so good – for Triangle.)
The tl:dr version is that these are generally good times for both VCs and startups seeking funding, though that’s especially true for bigger and more established VCs/startups (think: Epic Games) who are further along the maturity scale. But it’s still hard for very early stage startups to raise funds and trickier for VCs to raise money to invest in those same early stage startups. Those two things are likely always going to be true, at least relatively speaking, because super early-stage startups are far riskier, and the check sizes can only be so big even if they’re very promising.


Cary Founded?

I’m still getting used to calling Raleigh Founded “Raleigh Founded” rather than HQ Raleigh, but I won’t have that problem if there’s a new Cary Founded. TBJ reports that Raleigh Founded is indeed in talks with the developer Chatham Street Commercial to potentially launch a new coworking hub in Cary’s growing downtown district, though nothing is signed yet. If it does happen, we hope the new Cary Founded—that’s the name being considered—will have reciprocal agreements not just with its parent but also with Durham’s American Underground, like AU and Raleigh Founded recently announced.


Build Better

Dualboot Partners is a software development firm that helps ventures at all stages build great software and great companies. Founded by serial entrepreneurs, Dualboot Partners comes to each project with deep expertise in technology and business, as well as a commitment to supporting its clients well beyond the development process. The team offers advice and perspective—built over the course of hundreds of projects—and leverages its vast network to connect clients with investors, future hires and other resources critical in turning a concept into a successful venture. Intrigued? Email them here!


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

Brandon Jordan is the winner of this week’s contest after correctly identifying the location as Istanbul Restaurant in Cary. Brandon has worked at Dude Solutions for seven years and “loves learning about and is excited about being a part of the Triangle Tech Scene.” Brandon would have sent a celebratory pic but he's in the midst of moving and says it would only show him "laying in my bed," so he "figured I'd spare everyone." Hey, we think that sounds like a great way to celebrate. You do you, Brandon!

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