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Happy Thursday!

Tomorrow’s Friday Nooner guest is Chris Romeo, the Co-Founder and (until recently) CEO of the Raleigh-based cybersecurity training platform Security Journey, which was successfully acquired by Pittsburgh-based HackEDU in May. Chris talked about that deal in the more sedate forum of our Exit Stories podcast last month, but now he’s diving into the unpredictable waters of the Friday Nooner. You can watch the mayhem live starting at noon tomorrow on LinkedIn, YouTube or Facebook, or catch afterward on those same platforms or in its podcast form.
Mark those calendars for another GrepBeat Happy Hour, this time two weeks from today—Thursday, Nov. 17—from 5-7 p.m. at Bull McCabe’s in downtown Durham. Our sponsor is Qodeo, which matches 7,000 VC/PE investors globally with diverse entrepreneurs. (More about them below.) Please thank them in person for buying your first round. Bonus: all entrepreneur attendees will get 50% off Qodeo Concierge, and one lucky trivia winner will score a free year of Concierge (saving $99-$240). Please register here so we can get a handle on numbers.

Avoiding Frogs

The “marriage” between entrepreneurs and investors lasts, on average, longer the typical IRL marriage. And in both types of relationships, there is often a lot of frog-kissing on the way to a good match. That’s where Qodeo and CEO Simon Glass come in. The startup’s platform matches entrepreneurs to investors who are a good fit, helping both sides accomplish their goals more efficiently and effectively while democratizing access to VC/PE investment.
In addition to its home bases in London and New York, Qodeo has also set up shop in Durham and is looking to grow its presence in the Triangle. As part of that effort, Qodeo is sponsoring the next GrepBeat Happy Hour on Nov. 17, though for the record we were already working on this story. (Our editorial decisions on which companies to profile are entirely separate from whether or not they choose to become a GrepBeat financial sponsor.) Read our full story on Qodeo here.


All Together Now

As we’ve discussed in this space, Raleigh’s Bandwidth is zigging—hard—while many other companies zag into more remote work and downplay the physical office as a daily requirement. CEO David Morken explained during his closing keynote at June’s Grep-a-palooza how he believes that being physically together on a daily basis is a key part of Bandwidth’s culture, views that echoed what Bandwidth’s Chief People Officer Rebecca Bottorff said when she was a guest on our Tech Culture Club podcast in May.
The company also walks the walk—they’re pouring millions into building a new Raleigh campus that will ultimately include a Montessori school, an athletic field and an amphitheater. So it was no surprise when Bandwidth recently decreed that all employees must return to the office five days a week. It’s also not a surprise that some investors in the publicly traded company might express skepticism at both the financial outlay and whether the office-only policy is the way to go given the battle for good employees is so fierce and that a material segment of workers say they want the flexibility to work from home frequently or even all the time. David fielded just such questions on an earnings call Tuesday that’s detailed in this TBJ story, and as you’d guess, he stuck to his guns.


Wider Funnel

Vickie Gibbs, the former head of UNC’s Entrepreneurship Center, should be a familiar name to GrepBeat readers as both a co-host and guest on the Friday Nooner, a Pete Meets… guest, and a Download Q&A subject. She’s now partnering with Monica Jenkins, who launched and ran the DTech program at Duke—which focused on keeping more women in STEM careers—to launch a new program called foundit.
The goal is to help improve diversity and inclusion in tech and entrepreneurship by addressing the top of the funnel, exposing the younger generation (ages 18-30 especially) to opportunities in tech and innovation, then connect them to resources and support orgs. The foundit program is based out of the Christensen Family Center for Innovation at Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering.
The program (see its website here) will kick off with a Virtual Pop-Up next Monday, Nov. 7, from 12-1:15 with a panel moderated by Monica that includes CliniSpan Health CEO Dezbee McDaniel, a recent GrepBeat Startups To Watch honoree. That will be followed a week later—Monday evening, Nov. 14—with a free event at Duke that will explore issues related to blockchain. The Nov. 14 event includes Sophia Lopez, the Co-Founder and COO of former GrepBeat story subject Kaleido, an enterprise blockchain startup. Here are the Eventbrite links for the Nov. 7 and Nov. 14 events.


Sharing Is Caring

In February we profiled CareYaya, a Raleigh-based startup with a tech platform that helps families find affordable elder care by tapping into an underutilized caregiver workforce of college and grad students. Now CareYaya is partnering with Triangle-based nonprofit District C, which provides students with novel internships. As part of the effort, a group of students from Research Triangle High School have been working on ways to help CareYaya improve health equity. They’ll present their findings at a pitch event next Monday.


Chief Twit

If you’re tired of hearing about Elon Musk and his acquisition of Twitter 1) I don’t blame you; 2) just skip to the next item. TBJ’s Lauren Ohnesorge localized the story by getting reactions from the likes of Spiffy CEO Scot Wingo and Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, though the latter came (naturally) on Twitter itself. Personally I don’t think it’s a great thing that one of Twitter’s bigger trolls now owns it and that just days after the acquisition he used his massive personal platform to actively spread disinformation, but hey, it’s his $44B. (Actually, he borrowed a sizable chunk of it so now Twitter has a lot of debt to service. OK, see, I’m being dragged into talking about something I’m already tired of talking about. I’m going to stop… now.)


Topsail Tempest

Pendo CEO Todd Olson is running into a bit of NIMBYism on Topsail Island, says TBJ, citing Wilmington’s Port City Daily. It seems that Todd is under contract to buy 150 acres, with plans to build multiple single-family dwellings, garages, swimming pools and more on 40 acres. Some residents are concerned that the development will unduly impact the mostly pristine area. For his part, Todd says he shares those concerns and that’s why he plans to preserve much of the property from being developed by anyone, including him. Hmm, this sounds like something we need to see in person to get to the bottom of, which would be a totally legitimate business expense.


Build Great Software

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