If you missed last Thursday’s GrepBeat Happy Hour—here are some pics—don’t fret. We have another one on the way on Thursday, Dec. 8, sponsored by Fourscore Business Law. This time we’ll be coming to Raleigh, though we’re still locking down the specific location. Mark those calendars!
There won’t be a Friday Nooner this week due to the Thanksgiving break, which gives you more time to soak up last week’s show featuring guest Amy Gardinier, the Co-Founder of Holly Springs-based Givefinity.
When Belgium-based cybersecurity startup Spotit was looking for a home for a new North American HQ, it was Colin Kiser who gave Spotit execs a tour of the Triangle as the head of European business development for the Economic Development Partnership of N.C. Obviously, Colin impressed Spotit, because not only did they pick Raleigh as their new home in the States, they hired him to lead the office.
Cybersecurity threats never sleep, which is another reason Spotit wants to take its services global. Though we’d like to offer this unsolicited tip to Spotit’s Raleigh office: be on high alert tomorrow starting at 2pm ET since Spotit’s Belgium-based staff will likely be distracted by Belgium’s World Cup opener vs. Canada.
While VC valuations have come down at the top, unicornish end of the market, checks are still getting written. (Here’s a TechWire story on that very topic: Is another ‘dot com’ bust on the way as economy slows? NC investors say …) Since VCs are still plowing ahead, that means the TAM (total addressable market) of Morrisville-based Tactyc remains robust. Surely that’s one reason that the startup founded in 2019 by Anubhav Srivastava just raised $1.5M in seed funding. Tactyc has built a SaaS platform for VC funds to manage and forecast their portfolios. See TechWire for more.
The Triangle tech scene saw a slew of events last week to mark Global Entrepreneurship Week. One such gathering was The Launch Place’s annual Big Launch Challenge, in which the VC firm with offices in RTP and Danville, Va., combined with Triangle-based xElle Ventures to award $20K in prizes to a field of pitching startups hailing from around the Southeast.
First prize and $10K went to Raleigh-based FemHealth Insights, co-founded and led by CEO Brittany Barreto. FemHealth Insights provides market research on the FemTech industry to business leaders, investors and innovators. Last month we wrote about Brittany and her other project, FemTech Focus, a Triangle-based non-profit that looks to raise awareness for FemTech and provide resources for innovators in the space.
Cary-based Epic Games continues to do more than its part to prop up the legal industry by generating yet another court filing last week that is the latest salvo in its legal war against Google, part of a two-front battle royale against Google and Apple over their app stores. This time, Epic Games alleged that Google paid video game companies such as Activision hundreds of millions of dollars to not develop app stores that could compete with the Google Play app store. See TechWire for more, or just wait for the next legal filing.
Epic Games also invested as part of a $11M venture round for L.A.-based startup Arcturus Studio, which empowers creators with the ability to edit live-action 3D performances and stream those files to any screen. It’s part of the rapidly growing “volumetric video” industry. We’re also pretty confident that some lawyers got paid somewhere in the deal.
Women In STEM
MetLife’s annual Triangle Tech X report shows that women in STEM leadership ranks fell 14 percent over the past year. The company issued the report in advance of its fourth annual Triangle Tech X conference, which will be held virtually on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 (next Wednesday and Thursday). The conference will include leaders from firms like SAS, IBM, Microsoft, Dell and Cisco to discuss the role women in STEM play in building solutions to current problems. See Triangle Inno for more info.
TBJ’s Lauren Ohnesorge is, as always, on top of the Greg Lindberg beat. Today she has a story on Wake County Superior Court Judge Graham Shirley ruling yesterday that two insurance companies owned by Durham-based Global Growth (formerly Eli Global) are officially insolvent. That means that the companies will be liquidated and policyholders can start seeing at least some of their funds, which had been tied up for the last three years in legal wrangling after Lindberg was charged for allegedly bribing North Carolina’s insurance commissioner. (He was convicted, but the conviction was tossed out on appeal; he faces a second criminal trial in 2023.)
The ruling is especially important for policyholders who had purchased annuities that they planned to live on during retirement or leave to their heirs. All payouts had been frozen, but now they can soon start flowing.
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