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Happy Thursday!

Don’t miss tomorrow morning’s Coffee & Conversation on Hiring Software Engineers, thanks to our sponsor HireNetworks. We’ve got three great guests lined up: tech recruiters extraordinaire Melissa Crosby (Kaleido) and Kristina Vanover (Onna), plus David Rogers (Grove Collaborative) to share the viewpoint of someone who manages said engineers. Register now for the Zoom credentials and be “there” at 9 a.m.!

One more programming note: I will be on vacation next week and thus GrepBeat will go mostly dark. The next newsletter will hit your inbox on Tuesday, Aug. 18. Don’t miss me too much.

HBD To Us!

GrepBeat sprang into the world exactly two years ago tomorrow on Aug. 7, 2018, with the publication of the first newsletter and the public unveiling of And we want you to join our birthday celebration! I’ve put together this wildly entertaining quiz on all things GrepBeat. At 9 p.m. tonight, I will select the top scorer. That reader will not only win bragging rights for life, but I am baking and decorating a birthday cake that I will deliver in-person to you tomorrow. Yes, I’m serious.

Sample question: According to GrepBeat, what city/region is the Triangle’s archenemy?
– Silicon Valley
– Austin
– Charlotte
– New York

Answer that question and plenty more where that came from here. Good luck, and please save room for cake!


Diversity Series

Our summer writer, UNC rising junior Elizabeth Moore, is finishing her time at GrepBeat tomorrow, but she won’t be leaving GrepBeat readers empty-handed. She has been working hard on a four-part series on diversity issues in the Triangle tech ecosystem, especially racial diversity. Today we’re publishing her “Roadmap” to the full series, laying out the broader issues and introducing what the four specific stories will cover. The four upcoming parts—which will run after our dark week due to my vacation—will be on Access to Capital (Aug. 18), Recruiting Practices and Hiring Pipelines (Aug. 20), DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) in the Workplace (Aug. 25) and What The Triangle Is Doing About It (Aug. 27).

Read the Roadmap here.


Found In Translation

Remember when people used to travel to foreign countries? Or, for that matter, when foreign countries used to actually allow germy Americans to enter? Well, someday soon-ish—these fingers are crossed for mid-2021—those days will return, and the Sol app developed by 2020 NC State grad Jeyashree Haridoss will be there to help those tourists (and others) make themselves understood. Sol connects users to human interpreters, who are much better able to understand slang and context than machine-based translators.

Haridoss and Sol have spent the summer at NC State’s Andrews Launch Accelerator program and she’s busily interviewing and onboarding more than 100 interpreters. Read our full story on Sol here.


Moving In

Oregon-based startup FleetNurse, which currently operates primarily in Southeast Texas, is now expanding into the Triangle and Charlotte markets. FleetNurse enables hospitals and other healthcare facilities to fill extra shifts with medical professionals, especially registered nurses (RNs) and certified nurse assistants (CNAs). Founder Israel Angeles, a native of Charlotte-area exurb Kings Mountain and an ECU grad, spent about 15 years in the medical device industry before getting an MBA at the University of Oregon. That’s where he launched FleetNurse, which went live last February and hit the Houston market last May, where it is now up and running in 40 medical facilities and has expanded to San Antonio and Austin.

The pandemic has significantly increased demand and FleetNurse now has a monthly revenue run route in the $150K-$200K neighborhood, accelerating its expansion plans. Given Israel’s ties to the state, NC seemed like a natural next step. FleetNurse recently landed its first account, a senior living center in Henderson, and is busily trying to add both nurses and medical facilities in the Triangle to the platform.


Feel The Bern

It’s possible that I’m writing this item primarily to use that headline, but nevertheless, here’s a quick update on Ellie, the Raleigh-based chatbot startup we wrote about in April. Raleigh digital marketing firm BluePrint Communications, founded by a 2017 UNC grad, is using Ellie to help power its remake of the official website of New Bern, NC. New Bern is the state’s first capital and also the birthplace of Pepsi, which some people in Georgia probably still call “Pepsi Coke” because to them every soft drink is “Coke.” TechWire has more details.


Giving Back

It’s been a tough year or so for WeWork, but the coworking giant is still trying to give back to the communities where it operates. This week WeWork awarded grants worth $10K each to two Black-owned businesses that work out of WeWork’s Raleigh branch, plus five more Black-owned businesses from Charlotte. The two from the Oak City are Premiere Wellness, a homeopathic health business founded by former professional ballerina Susan Lovelle; and STATProg, which provides statistical programming and data analysis to help its clients manage their R&D projects. TechWire has more details.


Bolt Upright

Bolt Mobility, the electric scooter company backed by Olympic gold medalist sprinter Usain Bolt, officially hits the streets of Durham today with 80 scooters. TBJ reports that Bolt has obtained a permit from the City of Durham through July of 2021, unlike some scooter companies that like to drop from the sky bandit-style like we saw in Raleigh in 2018-2019. I’ll be honest, I still haven’t ridden one of these scooters. Maybe during GrepBeat’s Year Three, which starts on Saturday.

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

For those of you who have been repeatedly foiled by the random number generator, you might want to turn away on this one: Jenn Roche somehow beat it on her very first attempt. Jenn correctly guessed that I was at Boricua Soul at the American Tobacco Campus in Durham. Sayeth Jenn: “SO excited to replace my dorky ‘Mom’ mug :)” Then when asked to describe herself in the third person, she helpfully obliged: “Jenn is a former New Yorker now happily living in the Triangle with her husband and 2 boys. #MomMug She's a long-time sales leader with a strong passion for diversity, equity & inclusion which lead her to her current {read: amazing} role at InHerSight.” Congrats, Jenn, and here's to beginner’s luck!


Because too much news is never enough


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