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Happy Tuesday!

We don’t want to brag, but viewership (and listenership) of The Friday Nooner sponsored by Dualboot Partners continues to grow. If you haven’t joined the fun yet, you should check out the latest episode, in which Pete and Joe were joined by co-host Chantal Allam (WRAL TechWire) and guest Krista Covey, the President of First Flight Venture Center—though Pete almost failed to bring Krista on because he failed to see her in the virtual green room. In fairness, he was still thrown off because Chantal said that he reminded her of Toby from The Office. Ouch! You’ll also see a brief cameo from one of Chantal’s kids crawling through the door behind her.

The Download

Today’s subject of the Download Q&A from our own Brooks Malone is Rob Delaney, the CEO of RTP-based Infinia ML. Rob is also a Director at Carrick Capital Partners, a private equity firm that has invested in Infinia and put Rob in the top spot. Infinia is transitioning from more of a services business focused on AI and machine learning (the “ML” in the company name) to a platform business focused on what they call “data liquidity,” i.e. extracting valuable and actionable insights from complex documents.
Though I’ll confess I was most intrigued by the passing mention that Rob was the co-captain of the Lafayette College basketball team in 2011-2012, which sent me down a rabbit hole which included finding his 15-minute highlight film on YouTube and discovering that he played professionally in Denmark for the Aalborg Vikings. Come on, isn’t every team in Denmark called the Vikings?
[Fact check: false. In fact since Rob played there, the Vikings have been relegated from the 10-team Danish first division, the Basketligaen, which is now sadly Viking-free. Though it does have a Wolfpack and, curiously, two teams with “Bears” in their name from the same city (Aarhus)—the Bakken Bears and Bears Academy. Of course you likely know that the Bakken Bears are basically the Yankees or Celtics of the Basketligaen, winning a record 18 titles since the current league was created in 1998, including the last five and 11 of the last 14.]
Sorry, where was I? Oh, right, you should read the full Q&A here. Once you’re done watching his highlight film.


Fun Mom Band

Early in the pandemic, Naomi Kraut understandably began to feel overwhelmed from quarantining with her family and overseeing his kids’ Zoom classes. Naturally, she turned to singing, swearing puppets for relief. Kraut made a puppet musical that evolved into the Durham-based startup Fun Mom Band, which is moving into merchandise with a “Mom’s Fanny Pack” that includes all the essentials for getting through a tough day of motherhood—including a flask and pillbox. Fun Mom Band was awarded a $10K MICRO grant from NC in October.
Read our full story here. And you can see some of the puppet music videos—or buy merch—at the Fun Mom Band site.


Prometheus Unbound

Raleigh-based unicorn Prometheus Group has acquired Denver-based RiskPoynt, its seventh acquisition since Prometheus itself was majority-acquired by PE firm Genstar Capital in the deal that officially gave it that magic $1B+ valuation. Prometheus Group is a leading provider of asset management operations (think physical assets) and optimization software, while RiskPoynt helps customers—especially in the oil and gas industry—manage their operational risk. See the press release for more info.


Bright Lights

Any savvy Shark Tank observer knows that the potential of landing a deal with a Shark (or Sharks) is only one of the benefits of making it onto the air. The experience of Morrisville-based Dinesh Tadepalli and his edible spoon startup incrEDIBLE Eats is a good illustration of the Shark Tank rollercoaster. As recounted by Triangle Inno, Dinesh made a deal on the show with Lori Grenier for $500K in exchange for 15% of the company, but after the lights dimmed the deal fell apart—which isn’t all that unusual. But the exposure from being on national TV helped incrEDIBLE Eats land some key partnerships, including with Dippin’ Dots, and book 150,000 pre-orders for the edible, plant-based spoons designed to reduce waste.


Startup High

Registration is now open for Startup High, a summer entrepreneurial program designed for teens that will operate with a hybrid model in 2022 in 14 regions across the state. The regions include Durham, North Raleigh, Downtown Raleigh, Hillsborough and Fuquay-Varina. Startup High Co-Founder Scott Kelly, who is also an instructor at Campbell University’s School of Business, first launched the program in Durham in 2012. See TechWire for more details.


Health-y Step

Raleigh-based AI startup Diveplane has announced a new partnership with the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) to explore the potential for Diveplane’s platform to transform patient care. Anyone with up-close experience with the nation’s mental health system would likely tell you that any such innovation is badly needed. See TechWire for more info.


Free Money

Emerging tech companies can now apply for One NC Small Business Grants. The grants not only match any grants awarded by two key federal programs—Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)—but now can also fund efforts to prepare and submit the proposals to said programs. One NC Small Business is part of the state’s Department of Commerce. Find all the info on the One NC Small Business site, or in this TechWire story.



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.


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