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Happy Tuesday!

You won’t want to miss Friday morning’s Coffee & Conversation web panel, brought to you by our sponsor Hutchison. We’re welcoming three great guests to discuss “Angel Investing in the Triangle”: Jan Davis (Founder of Davis Growth Partners and an active angel), Mark Friedman (President of RTP Capital and Portfolio Manager of The Launch Place) and Randy Myer (Managing Director of the Carolina Angel Network). Register now!


The Download

Ray Carey is the CEO of Durham’s ArchiveSocial, a former NCAA champion and Olympic swimmer, and—most impressively—this week’s subject of Brooks Malone’s The Download Q&A. Last May private equity firm Level Equity invested $53M for a majority stake in ArchiveSocial—which helps public agencies archive their social media posts as required by law—and in October Carey was brought in to take over the day-to-day operations for Founder Anil Chawla, who became Executive Chairman. Now Ray is leading the company through a pandemic, which apparently includes Wild West-themed virtual happy hours (picture included). Read the full Q&A here.

 


Going First

It’s always a significant milestone when a software startup lands its first customer. Well, serial entrepreneur, former GrepBeat story subject and Triangle Trivia Tournament-suggester Robbie Allen figured out a neat loophole: be your own early adopter. Today, Robbie and Co-Founder Andrew Fisher are launching Startomatic, a software and services platform to help automate the quick creation of a new startup—from forming a new legal entity to launching a website to whipping up a logo. Once launched, new companies can stick with Startomatic via a monthly subscription to help get everything off the ground going forward. And in a meta twist, Startomatic is using Startomatic to launch itself. Read our full story on Startomatic here.

 


Cash Money

Two more featured-in-GrepBeat startups have landed new funding. Raleigh’s Global Data Consortium—which provides customer identity verification services for ecommerce, financial services, online gaming and other verticals—raised about $3.5M in equity and options. Global Data Consortium CEO Bill Spruill was a Download Q&A subject last March.

Meanwhile Durham-based VADE, a parking startup launched in 2017 by two UNC students and a third from NC State, raised about $425K in equity. Our feature story on VADE from November, 2018, is the fourth most-read story in GrepBeat history. Click today to help it crack the top three!

 


Awards Season

Two Durham startups recently won prestigious awards, and we’re totally here for any and all good news right about now. ProcessMaker (we previously ran a Q&A with CEO Brian Reale here) won the 2020 CODiE Award for Best Digital Process Automation Project, beating Raleigh giant Red Hat in the finals of the international award after what Brian called a “grueling process” with multiple peer interviews and judges. Adds Brian: “Pretty exciting for us, and interesting that a Raleigh firm and a Durham firm were in the finals.”

Elsewhere in the Bull City, DaVinci Education (which still went by LCMS Plus when we profiled them last January) was named EdTech Digest’s Best Higher Education Solution for 2020. DaVinci, led by CEO Allison Wood, offers a software platform for healthcare education institutions such as medical schools.

 


Fresh Ink

You might recall our story on Durham’s GrowPath and its founder Eric Sanchez, who gets tattoos of each of the legal tech startup’s patents on his forearm. Well, Eric better roll up his sleeves because GrowPath has landed a new patent, this one for a lead-scoring tool to enable law firms to better land and intake new clients. One more plus about getting “10,656,794” (the patent number) inked on your body: nobody else is likely to have the same tattoo, which can be so embarrassing at parties. TechWire has some more details.

 


TP Finder?

Do you wish you knew if your local Harris Teeter had, say, toilet paper in stock before driving there and masking up to find out? Asking for a friend. Though now you and my friend can both look on shelfCheck, a new app released last week by a quintet of college students—a duo each from Duke and UNC and a fifth from Rice.

The former high school buddies have whipped up the app during the pandemic; it uses crowdsourcing to provide real-time data on in-demand consumer items in (for now) Cary, Morrisville and Raleigh. Like any crowdsourced app, the more users shelfCheck can nab, the more useful and accurate the service becomes. But seriously, does my Harris Teeter have toilet paper or not?

 


Secure Trace

Raleigh-based AI startup Diveplane thinks it has the solution for how to use technology for contact tracing during (and after) the pandemic while still protecting privacy. The key is Diveplane creates a synthetic “twin” dataset that removes PII—personally identifiable information—and other private information while still providing health officials with invaluable data on the spread of the disease. Alan Cross, Diveplane’s Chief Commercial Officer, explains it all in a Q&A with TechWire.

 


New Normal

TechWire ran two more installments yesterday in its multi-part series on the “new normal” for the Triangle’s startup and entrepreneurial ecosystem. The pieces focus on suburban Wake County and RTP, respectively, with particular focus on coworking hubs.
 

 

Extra Bit

Loyal readers know that GrepBeat isn’t life science-y by nature, but we have to mention a cool initiative by Biogen and MIT. They’re joining forces for the Biogen-MIT Biotech in Action Virtual Summer Lab, a free program that will target 200 Triangle high schoolers who are from low-income households and other groups who are historically underrepresented in STEM. TechWire has all the details.

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