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Happy Thursday!

Fresh off being honored with a 2021 Women in Business Award from TBJ, Momentum Learning CEO Jessica Mitsch is the guest on tomorrow’s edition of The Friday Nooner. You can watch on Facebook Live or Youtube Live.

Family Affair

Not that you asked, but six mornings a week I drink a breakfast smoothie that includes a plant-based protein powder. (Also: mixed greens, half a banana, frozen fruit, flaxseed and almond milk.) Today we feature a new plant-based protein mix that I might sample, from Apex-based Plantnrgy. The startup is currently a family affair led by Sumita Kumar, who has put all four of her family members to work; her 13-year-old son designed the ecommerce site. Plantnrgy recently won a MICRO grant from NC IDEA, so look for some non-Kumars on staff soon. Read our full story here.


Zone Press

NC State has received rezoning approval for 975 acres of its Centennial Campus, just in time for the influx of big tech companies such as Apple and Google that will be looking for new homes. The plan breaks up the campus into nine sections and could include buildings as tall as 28 stories and add nearly 2 million square foot of space. The overall intent is to help merge the university and academia with private industry, with a “live, learn, work, play” vision. Well, OK then. Startups will certainly be welcome, and Raleigh Founded already has a Centennial location. Here’s more coverage from TechWire here and here (the latter an interview with Alicia Knight, NCSU’s head of real estate and development); and from TBJ.


Coming To America

Publicly traded UK-based SaaS company Crimson Tide is expanding into the North America market—and planting its flag in Raleigh to do so. The new branch will operate under the name mpro5 North America; mpro5 is the name of the company’s primary product, a workflow and IoT platform. In the near term, mpro5 will be hiring for 5-6 roles in the Triangle, with the plans to add more as the business grows.
Crimson Tide has tapped Mark Self as President & CEO of mpro5. GrepBeat readers might recognize Mark as the CEO of Raleigh-based Vector Textiles, which we profiled in March; he’ll stick with Vector on a fractional basis (i.e. a “side hustle”) with mpro5 now his fulltime gig. I can also attest that Mark is a frequent guesser in Where’s Pete?, which helped me overcome my natural distaste as an LSU fan in writing about a company named “Crimson Tide.” Blech!


Winning Pitch

We mentioned in January that Durham-based Boostopia, a startup we profiled last March that provides software to help customer-support and help-desk managers, was accepted into Cohort 21 of the prestigious Launch Accelerator, which was founded by angel investor/entrepreneur Jason Calacanis. Well, the program ended last Thursday with a Demo Day, and Boostopia won top honors in its cohort. Our source (OK, it’s Boostopia CEO Justin Winter) also tells us that the startup is actively raising its seed round, so you might want to get out that checkbook.


Riding High

Raleigh’s Pendo announced some first-quarter highlights today. They include a record number of bookings and hiring 120 new employees, ahead of its ambitious 2021 goal of 400 new employees. Curiously Pendo didn’t call out its Judges’ Choice Greppy Award for Best Large Startup, but we’re sure that was a mere oversight. TechWire has more details.


Rolling Out

There will soon be some new e-scooters in Raleigh. Lime, which previously bum-rushed the Oak City in 2019 like renegades before getting tossed by the city, is now coming back after having agreed to play by the rules. Lime will roll out 250 scooters, which will share the city with scooters from Spin and Bolt. All of them will soon be able to be stashed in new “parking corrals,” which will hopefully keep downtown sidewalks clear—a big issue back in 2019. TBJ has more details.



OK, so Cary’s SAS doesn’t call its annual Global Forum “SASapalooza,” though it totally should. (BTW, the real Lollapalooza is back after skipping 2020 due to Covid.) Nevertheless, SAS held its annual event on Tuesday, going virtual for the second year in a row. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was among the speakers, as he touted the SAS-Microsoft partnership. As a private company SAS is traditionally pretty stingy with info on the specifics of their business, but they sorta confirmed that revenue was up 7% in the first quarter after being largely flat for the past five years or so. TechWire has more info here, here and here, while you can find TBJ’s coverage here.


Cook Cometh

Apple CEO Tim Cook is expected to testify tomorrow in the trial between Apple and Cary’s Epic Games. And though the story doesn’t mention it, I can only presume that the trial will go into a half-hour recess at 12pm ET so they can all watch The Friday Nooner.


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!


Extra Bit

Some cool news for our friends in Wilmington: the ninth season of the Emmy-nominated docuseries Start Up will highlight entrepreneurs from Wilmington, Savannah, Ga., and Charleston, S.C. TechWire has more details here. Just tell us when Jim Roberts will be on screen so we can set the DVR.


Because too much news is never enough.


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

Cary resident Katie Dunn was the only reader who correctly guessed that I was at the Mayton Inn in Cary. Here’s what she has to say for herself: “I'm the Director of Career Development at Momentum where we are educating software developers to feed the Triangle's growing appetite for tech talent. If you're hiring, we should definitely talk so I can connect you to some of our amazing grads! I'm happy to cross ‘win the GrepBeat mug’ off my bucket list after trying for a few years!” Along with Jessica Mitsch’s sure-to-be star turn on tomorrow’s The Friday Nooner, what a great week it has been for both Momentum and GrepBeat!

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