And in other news: today is Election Day! If you've voted via mail, please go double-check that your ballot was counted on the state's BallotTrax. If you haven’t already voted, get yourself to the polls by 7:30 p.m. Find your polling location and more information at iwillvote.com.
Mike Capps is much more than just the guy with arguably the coolest Twitter handle (@solidfog) in the Triangle tech community. The former President of Epic Games is now the Co-Founder and CEO of Raleigh-based AI startup Diveplane—and the subject of today’s Download Q&A by our own Brooks Malone. You’ll learn everything from how Diveplane’s innovative GEMENAI data-twin generator works to Mike’s favorite hole-in-the-wall whiskey place. Read the full Q&A here.
Ben Weinberger launched Digitalsmiths when he was a student at Southern Illinois University as a better way to discover video content on cable, satellite and (eventually) digital streaming platforms. Ben moved himself and the company to Raleigh in 2007 and, in 2014, sold Digitalsmiths to TiVo for a cool $135M. That makes him a great fit as the latest guest on Kevin Mosley’s Exit Stories podcast, sponsored by Dualboot Partners. You can read our teaser story on the episode here, find the podcast (and subscribe!) here, or you visual learners can find the video here.
Rownd And Rownd
If a pivot can also be likened to turning the wheel of a car, then Durham-based Rowndtook the metaphor pretty literally. Robert Thelen launched the company so that drivers of “smart cars” could control how, and with whom, the data their cars generated was shared. It turned out that the potential customers that Rownd talked to weren’t that worried about the smart car issue, but were definitely concerned about data privacy in general. So Rownd steered to its current solution for small- and medium-sized businesses to allow their users to control their own data on their sites—and keep themselves on the right side of expanding data-privacy laws and regulations.
Rownd is now one of the 12 finalists for one of NC IDEA’s $50K SEED grants. You can read our full story on Rownd here.
Triangle Tech X
MetLife sponsored the second annual Triangle Tech Xconference last Wednesday-Friday to address especially the issues facing women in technology. While the pandemic forced the event online instead of IRL, it drew a number of speakers from top female execs at the likes of Cisco, IBM, Microsoft, SAS, Workday and MetLife, plus a message from NC Governor Roy Cooper. WRAL TechWire wrapped up the event with a Q&A with one of the event’s organizers, MetLife SVP of Global Services & Operations Maureen McQueen. And here’s a fresh data point on some of the issues women face: so far 2020 is the worst year since 2017 for female founders landing VC funding, according to PitchBook. Not good.
Last week we mentioned RIoT’s upcoming Demo Night a week from today, Nov. 10 (4-7 p.m.). TechWire has a deeper dive on the event, which typically packs the Raleigh Convention Center but is—you guessed it—moving online this year. The theme is the latest in sports tech, which will include a digitally friendly, live esports competition between the college varsity teams (yes, that’s a real thing) from NC State and Wilson’s Barton College. Speakers will include the first female coach in NFL history, Jen Welter, and former NBA coach Keith Smart, who is best known for hitting the game-winning shot for Indiana in an NCAA championship game in 1987. OK, that makes me feel old.
Another week, another news-making missive from Raleigh’s Bandwidth. The company announced five new senior executives yesterday, four of whom were promoted from within the company and the fifth who comes from Voxbone, the Belgium-based company that Bandwidth just acquired to juice its international growth. Three of the five are women: President Marina Carreker, SVP/Operations Michelle Flynn and Amaya Lantero, Voxbone’s former Chief Revenue Officer who will be the GM of Bandwidth’s international division. See TechWire and TBJ for more details.
We’ve written about a number of startups who have participated in Launch Chapel Hill’s accelerator over the years. (Wow, has it been years already? Gulp.) Now here’s some news for them: LCH has established a new “microgrant” program that will award grants of up to $1K for alums of the accelerator. Applications are due by Monday, Nov. 23 at 5 p.m. You can find all the information here.
Guess where Pete is and (maybe) win a GrepBeat mug!