We hope to see you tonight at the GrepBeat Happy Hour from 5-7 p.m. at Bull McCabe’s in downtown Durham. Your first round will be courtesy of our great sponsor, the startup-focused Hutchison law firm. Please register so we can get a sense of numbers.
Sarah Glova (WRAL TechWire, among other hats) will join Pete and Joe as a co-host on tomorrow’s Friday Nooner. They’ll be joined by guest Scott Moody, the CEO of Raleigh-based K4Connect. (Scott has previously been a Download Q&A subject and was the first guest on the Pete Meets... podcast.) You can watch live at noon on LinkedIn, Facebook or YouTube, or catch afterwards on those platforms or in its podcast form.
Last but certainly not least, the Early-Bird pricing for June 9's Grep-a-palooza ends tomorrow (Friday) at 11:59 p.m., so get thee to the Eventbrite now!
It’s already been a scatological week in the tech world after Elon Musk responded to a reasonable and detailed Tweet from Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal with a poop emoji. Today we bring you a far more principled poo purpose with our story on Durham-based smart toilet startup Coprata. The startup’s toilet—which will soon be commercially available—can tell all sorts of things about your health by automatically monitoring your stool. That’s of major value to the 10-15% of Americans who suffer from IBS, for starters. It’s also very important to those of us who enjoy engaging in crappy wordplay and bad puns. (Suggested Coprata tagline: “No. 2 in your toilet, No. 1 in your heart.”)
Coprata builds on the work of two Duke scientists, and now Duke alum and soon-to-be Harvard MBA Chase Moyle—he actually graduates a week from today from that “school outside Boston”—has come aboard as CEO to help lead the startup’s go-to-market strategy. Read our full story here.
By Any Name
We’re featuring another 2022 grad in this item, but an even younger one—Sophia Retchin earned her undergrad degree from UNC only this month. But she’s already founded a startup of her own, which last month received a $10K MICRO grant from NC IDEA.
While she’d rather not reveal today exactly what the startup’s first products will be—or even the company’s name—we can tell you that it’s in the alternative protein (aka “alt protein”) space. We tell you a lot more than that in our full story, including Sophia’s deep involvement at a young age in plant-based meat alternatives. She even launched an alt-protein class at UNC this past semester, finding the professors herself after asking more than 500. We have a feeling you’ll be hearing more about Sophia’s startup these summer, but here’s 1,000 well-chosen words to tide you over.
NC IDEA also awarded a MICRO grant to another startup led by 2022 grads, this time from NC State new alums Mary Grace Wilder and Sabrina Martin. anyBODY Clothing was inspired by the challenges that Mary Grace’s grandmother has in finding stylish clothing that is also easy to put on given her Parkinson’s disease. The pair originally conceived of their line of functional yet fashionable clothes for people living with disabilities for their fashion studio course as seniors, but they’ve gone further to turn it into a full-fledged startup. Read our full story—and see some of the fashions—here.
RTP-based Device Solutions has received an SBIR grant (Small Business Innovation Research) grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to test a prototype paging system that could be used by first responders statewide and beyond. The project includes the Wake Forest-based Wireless Research Center—which was the driving force behind establishing RIoT—PBS North Carolina and the North Carolina Department of Information Technology. You can see TechWire for more info.
40 Under 40
TBJ is this week unveiling its 2022 40 Under 40 Awards. Two batches of 10 had been released by press time (here and here), and one name jumped out at us: Jess Porta, the Executive Director of Raleigh Founded. Also making the list are former GrepBeat story subject Caleb Smith of Triangle Esports Academy and The Diversity Movement’s Jamie Ousterout. Congrats to all the honorees!
Our old “friend” Greg Lindberg is back in the news. The former head of Durham-based Eli Global is serving a seven-year sentence in federal prison after he was convicted of bribing the NC Insurance Commissioner. Yesterday, a federal judge ruled that Lindberg had also committed fraud in failing to abide by a 2019 agreement with the state over control of his companies. Under the ruling, the bulk of his private empire will now be put under control of a special board that would have the power to sell companies or take other steps to repay insurers the money they are owed by Lindberg’s companies. See these stories by TBJ and the Wall Street Journal for more.
And if you’re wondering why the Journal continues to follow the Lindberg case in such depth, here’s one clue from the end of the story: Lindberg sued the paper over previous stories, notably two juicy deep-dives from 2019 here and here. A federal judge dismissed the suit, though Lindberg is asking for “reconsideration.” Yeah, good luck with that.
Build Great Software
Founded by serial entrepreneurs, Dualboot is a business and software development company. Their clients include tech and non-tech founders as well as Fortune 500 companies, so they can start small or scale fast depending on what you need. Every client is assigned a U.S.-based Product Director with at least 10 years experience bringing products to market, and they can manage the entire development process. They focus on how the software fits into your company to drive revenue and build the business. At Dualboot, they don’t just write your software—they help you grow your business. Intrigued? Email them here.
Hey early-stage tech startups, if you'd like to be one of the three companies to pitch at GrepTank (our twist on Shark Tank) as part of Grep-a-palooza, apply here by Friday, May 27. Good luck!
Guess where Pete is and (maybe) win a GrepBeat mug!*
This week's winner is two-time champ Carolyn Sparano, who correctly identified my location as Durham's The Oak House. After getting it off her chest that she feels it "definitely appears" that I am "getting lazy" by choosing a location just 0.2 mile from GrepBeat's World HQ, she took a well-deserved (if begrudgingly given) victory lap: "I'm proud to be a GrepBeat winner AGAIN and look forward to my pint glass to build out my GrepBeat collection. I will celebrate this amazing achievement with Watson, my handsome Airedale, who also is a fan of Pete's wanderings." Hey, at least Watson is on my side.
As for Carolyn, "I work with a great team of people at Corevist, an eCommerce platform for B2B manufacturers who are on SAP." Loyal readers will recall that we've previously written about Corevist and that the GrepBeat Godfather's Jurassic Capital is an investor. Carolyn is also a former Bronto-er. Congrats to you and Watson!