RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Each week, the exclusive WRAL TechWire Triangle Startup Guide is updated. Here are some of the latest updates and additions through the end of 2022 and entering 2023. These weekly updates are part of our Startup Monday lineup.
1.) We’ve updated the listing for Duke’s Office of Translation & Commercialization, which oversees the university’s tech transfer and commercialization activities. The updated description (with the latest data in bold) is below:
Check out this interactive infographic from Duke University’s Office of Translation and Commercialization, featuring stats about the university’s startup activity and impact. The data reflects the number of inventions, agreements and new startups coming out of Duke. The 2022 report shows 316 invention disclosures, 450 patent applications, 107 agreements, 116 issued patents, 14 new startups created and $95.7 million in total revenue.
Jes Averhart, a local entrepreneur and former executive director of Leadership Triangle, hosts the Reinvention Road Trip podcast. Launched in 2020, the program features women founders sharing their insights on a range of subjects, from burnout and imposter syndrome to leadership strategies and successful pivots.
Other recent changes, additions:
Durham-based Primordial launched in April 2023 to support pre-seed and seed-stage software ventures in the Triangle. The firm spun out of local VC investor Colopy Ventures, headed by serial tech entrepreneur Joe Colopy. Primordial targets business-to-business and business-to-consumer startups with recurring revenues under $500,000 per year. Less than a month after its creation, the firm announced two investments in local startups based in Durham and Raleigh.
Restaurants: This section covers zoning, special districts, the site plan review process, hiring licensed design professionals, building and sign permits, outdoor seating, curbside pickup zones, food service and alcohol regulations, city beer/wine licensing, and more.
+++We are in the process of making several changes to our interactive map listing incubators and coworking spaces. We’ve added a new site and updated several links to spaces in the Triangle.
Pull-Up at Provident is a free monthly event that brings together Durham’s bustling community of startup founders and small business owners to connect for networking and support. The program includes workshop sessions covering hot topics such as legal considerations, tax preparation, contracting certifications, budgeting, and tips for raising capital and landing grant funding. The series is held at Provident1898, a Durham-based coworking space home to a diverse and growing community of entrepreneurs and creators.
1.) I added Sarah Glova’s recent report on The Wright Village to the list of “Startup Hubs Series” stories.
In July 2022, TechWire launched a series of in-depth reports profiling the Triangle’s startup hubs—communities supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in the region. Read to get an inside look into how the local startup ecosystem operates:
2.) I also added NC IDEA’s customer discovery guide. Summary:
NC IDEA’s multimedia Customer Discovery Guide features several videos, bite-sized steps for customer interviews and additional guidance for startups interested in applying to the organization’s grant programs.
Calendar link for the deadline: https://wraltechwire.com/event/application-deadline-oak-city-biz-labs-grants/
2. We updated the existing listing for CED’s Venture Report on the inspiration/advice/more resources section. It now includes information on the latest report, published last week:
CED Venture Report
The Council for Entrepreneurial Development’s annual Venture Report provides an overview of North Carolina’s innovation economy, including the latest data on equity funding, deal flow and exits. The 2022 edition tracked $4.2 billion in capital raised by 246 companies across 269 funding events. The Triangle accounted for 84% of venture investments, followed by Charlotte, the Triad, and then the western and eastern sides of the state. Read more TechWire coverage here.
More recent updates:
This annual report, produced by the North Carolina Technology Association (NC TECH), is a comprehensive source of data and trends demonstrating the vibrancy of North Carolina’s tech sector. The latest edition (2023) reports on the workforce and economic trends permeating the state’s base of over 25,000 technology establishments. Read the report here and more TechWire coverage here.
Raleigh Founded’s Innovators’ Guide to Raleigh is packed with information about the Oak City’s growing startup scene, including a recap of the previous year’s developments, success stories, plans for the future, and more. Read the latest (2022–23) edition here.
The echoSystem training program is geared towards entrepreneurs with ideas for new products/services and existing businesses pursuing growth. Through a series of in-person classes, participants learn how to attract customers, conduct market research, devise marketing strategies and finance their businesses. The free program launched in 2023 from Durham-based echo, the product of a merger between local nonprofits Audacity Labs and Helius.
Established in 2022, Jemison Alexander is a Chapel Hill-based venture capital firm investing in early-stage startups that have at least one founder who identifies as female. With initial investments typically ranging from $250,000 to $500,000, the firm is open to companies of all sectors. However, it’s especially interested in ventures pursuing digital health, SaaS, enterprise, consumer, finance and climate solutions.
We’ve recently added TechWire’s latest Tweener Fund coverage and some new information to the existing listing in the VC and Angel Groups section of the guide. Updated description below (in bold):
The Triangle Tweener Fund is a sort of “index” targeting early-stage startups in the Triangle area. The fund mainly invests in companies featured on the Triangle Tweener List, an annual roundup of the region’s most promising tech startups compiled by local serial entrepreneur and investor Scot Wingo. The Tweener Fund launched in December 2021 with support from more than 20 Triangle-based entrepreneurs. By the end of 2022, it had grown to over 125 investors and deployed $2.8 million into 48 local startups.
Run by the Central Carolina Community College Small Business Center in Chatham County, this 10-week accelerator guides emerging entrepreneurs through the process of validating their business concepts using the lean startup strategy. Next Level participants will narrow down a target market, test and prove their ideas, and learn how to pitch to investors. Classes are free and located in Pittsboro.
1.) We’ve added Tom Snyder’s recent column about the Triangle’s tech scene:
Tom Snyder, a local tech leader and head of Raleigh-based RIoT, reviews the Triangle tech scene’s top accomplishments since the mid-1980s. The column offers a brief history of the leading organizations supporting local startups, from CED to NC IDEA to Raleigh Founded.
2.) We’ve added RTP’s newly released 2022 Community Impact Report, which recaps the RTP ecosystem’s growth last year:
Research Triangle Park’s annual Community Impact Report provides a look into the continued growth of the RTP ecosystem. It includes an overview of RTP’s newest projects, partnerships and initiatives, along with a list of accolades and recent announcements about companies expanding or relocating to RTP. The latest report documents the community’s growth in 2022, reaching over 375 established companies and startups and more than 60,000 employees.
Campbell University’s Lundy-Fetterman School of Business launched its first Camel Accelerator cohort in 2021, aiming to bring together students, new business owners and mentors to help local startups grow. The annual program selects 10 to 20 North Carolina-based entrepreneurs who are female, minority or reside in a rural area. For 10 weeks, participants learn sales and marketing tips, connect with mentors, expand their networks and get connected to educational resources. Sessions are held in a hybrid format via Zoom and at Campbell’s Buies Creek campus.
2.) Also updated is our Launch Chapel Hill listing with new data from its website (the updated portion is in bold below), and I replaced its old logo with a new one (see attached).
Launch Chapel Hill, a coworking space and incubator, has an accelerator program open to early-stage startups. It offers entrepreneurs on-site tools, resources and knowledge they can use to grow their ventures, covering areas like business models, how to evaluate market timing and assessing certain risks or growth potential. Since its founding in 2013, the program has graduated more than 170 startups, which went on to gain over $105 million in revenue and raise $63 million in capital.
As a side note: Applications are currently open for the spring 2023 Launch Chapel Hill cohort. The deadline is Jan. 5.
More recent additions
Every year, the Council for Entrepreneurial Development’s Venture Connect conference brings together over 1,000 local and regional entrepreneurs, in-state and out-of-state VCs, and other investors and stakeholders. The event features a much-anticipated pitch competition, in which high-growth startups present their products/services to gain visibility among investors, other entrepreneurs, corporate executives, potential customers and talent. The program eyes scaling companies in the tech, biotech, agtech, food innovation and consumer packaged goods markets. As of 2022, Venture Connect’s 6,700 alumni companies had raised about $6 billion in funding.
Here is startup financing news from Wolfpack Investor Network and Harbright Ventures:
The Durham Success Summit recently opened applications for its Summit Scholars and Founders programs. The Summit Founders program to the “Accelerators/Mentorship Programs” section, as it’s relevant to local entrepreneurs.
Hosted by the Durham Success Summit, the Summit Founders Program is a free, six-month incubator offering training, mentorship and seed funding for ventures founded by Black men ages 16 to 24. Cohorts meet weekly in person and gain access to the Success Network, an online networking community. Separate from Summit Founders, the Durham Success Summit also hosts a three-month Summit Scholars Program for professionals to hone their networking and leadership skills.
Duke Angel Network recently changed its name to Duke Capital Partners. The existing listing on the “Venture Capital & Angel Groups” page has been changed to include the new name, along with some new information about its average investment and portfolio statistics. The updated listing is below:
Duke Capital Partners (previously known as the Duke Angel Network) funds student- and faculty-led startups, so long as the ventures have a founder, executive/board member or major investor who’s a student, alum, employee or parent. The group invests in early-stage companies, with its average contribution ranging from $500,000 to $2 million. As of November 2022, Duke Capital Partners’ portfolio features over 40 companies that went on to raise more than $900 million.
In light of the NC Department of Commerce opening its latest round of One NC applications, I updated the “One North Carolina Small Business Program” listing to include additional information about reimbursements, as well as the number of recipients (over 340 companies) as of 2022. I also added the new logo. The updated listing is below:
Administered by the North Carolina Department of Commerce, this state program offers grant-matching to NC-based startups that have received Phase I awards from the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) federal programs. It also reimburses businesses for a portion of the costs of preparing and submitting SBIR or STTR proposals. Since 2006, One NC grants have supported more than 340 companies (as of November 2022). Read more TechWire coverage here.
2ndF: With a focus on bringing the Triangle’s inclusive growth to the national stage, 2ndF aims to establish minority education programs, drive more growth in the tech sector, and invest in early-stage startups at both the angel and venture levels. The organization was founded in 2022 by Raleigh entrepreneur Bill Spruill, co-founder of the now-exited Global Data Consortium. Read more TechWire coverage here.
We added a new “Startup Hubs” feature:
We also added NC TECH’s latest Tech Innovation Index report:
Through its Tech Innovation Index, the North Carolina Technology Association (NC TECH) provides a detailed snapshot of how the state’s metro areas compare to other top regions nationwide. Launched in December 2021, the annual report measures tech innovation across three categories: tech talent supply, tech talent demand and innovation. The latest edition ranked two Triangle hubs—Durham-Chapel Hill and Raleigh-Cary—within the top 10 metro areas. Find the 2022 report here and more TechWire coverage here.
Equity Raise Podcast: Produced by American Underground and hosted by entrepreneur Naya Fela Powell, the Equity Raise Podcast features diverse startup founders sharing their experiences, how they overcame barriers, the lessons they’ve learned along the way and more.
Bull City Summit Podcast: The Bull City Summit launched in 2022 as a multi-day festival to connect the region’s entrepreneurs, musicians, artists and creatives. As an extension of the event, the Bull City Summit podcast features interviews with local and national entrepreneurs, business leaders, investors and more.
And here’s looks at new hub listings added recently in Chapel Hill and Pittsboro:
Heading: Industrious Chapel Hill – The Gwendolyn
Address: 101 Glen Lennox, Chapel Hill, NC 27517
Blurb: This coworking space opened in summer 2022 near UNC-Chapel Hill’s east campus and U.S. Highway 15/501. It features private offices for small teams, network memberships for hybrid workers and virtual addresses for businesses and individuals. The space is owned and operated by Industrious, a New York-based coworking firm that first expanded to the Triangle in 2015.
Photo (attached below)
Photo caption/credit: Industrious
Heading: 79°West Innovation Hub
Address: 367 Freedom Pkwy Suite 130, Pittsboro, NC 27312
Blurb: 79°West Innovation Hub opened in August 2022 to provide office suites, conference rooms, coworking and programming for Chatham County’s growing entrepreneurial community. The space is situated inside MOSAIC, a 44-acre mixed-use development in Chatham Park.
Photo (attached below)
Other recent additions:
Previewing what Innovate Carolina hub will offer: Sheryl Waddell, UNC’s director of economic development and innovation hubs, offers a preview of an upcoming coworking space aiming to anchor the campus to Downtown Chapel Hill’s thriving innovation district.
Bunker Labs, a national organization focused on veteran entrepreneurship, launched its Veterans in Residence program in 2019 to provide space, services, mentorship and community resources to help veterans and military spouses build and grow their businesses. The six-month program runs out of WeWork’s nationwide network of coworking spaces, which includes Charlotte and Raleigh/Durham. North Carolina is typically well-represented in Veterans in Residence cohorts, with 18 local entrepreneurs participating in the latest round (class 2022-B).
Plus: Check out this video from Bunker Labs:
Updates from Sept. 5
Leading off: Sarah Glova’s latest startup hub feature is about Frontier RTP;
SixThirty Ventures invests in early-stage startups across fintech, insurtech, privacy and digital health markets. The St. Louis-based venture capital firm has over 75 startups and a dozen exits in its portfolio. In August 2022, the firm opened an operation in the Triangle led by Joe Darcy, a former principal at Durham-based IDEA Fund Partners.
Here are more recent additions:
Addition to the “Competitions, Grants and Other Funding” section: Administered by Duke University’s Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE), the annual Fred Morgan Kirby Prize for Scaling Social Impact awards $100,000 in unrestricted funds to nonprofit and for-profit organizations working on social impact projects. The program launched in 2020 with support from the F.M. Kirby Foundation, a fund endowed by five-and-dime store entrepreneur Fred Morgan Kirby. The award targets enterprises that can present strong evidence of their impact over the last three years, along with a plan to scale further over the next three to five years.
There’s also a dedicated listing for The Wright Village in the “Incubators & Coworking Spaces” section of the Triangle Startup Guide – just scroll through the map to find it in Raleigh. All of the other profile subjects are listed in this section as well, including Loading Dock, Raleigh Founded, First Flight Venture Centetr, American Underground – with more tom come.
The Launch Place recently announced its Big Launch Challenge event will return this fall. On its website, the organization added an updated total for the amount of money the competition has awarded: $174,000 to 16 companies.
Here’s the updated version: The annual Big Launch Challenge is a chance for startups to pitch for $15,000 in cash prizes, as well as additional capital opportunities. The event is hosted by The Launch Place, an investor based in Danville, Virginia. The organization has expanded its presence in the Triangle market with an RTP office and several local startups in its portfolio. In nearly a decade of hosting the competition, The Launch Place has awarded $174,000 to 16 companies (as of 2022). Winners often attract later investments from The Launch Place, as well.
Newsworthiness: The 2022 Big Launch Challenge will be held on Nov. 17 in RTP. The application deadline is Oct. 3. Here are the calendar listings:
There’s a new listing for the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster’s annual Cleantech Innovation Awards. The RTCC is now accepting nominations for this year’s program, scheduled for November. (Dates and calendar links below.) Here’s the startup guide blurb: The Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster‘s annual Cleantech Innovation Awards launched in 2019 to celebrate the top individuals, organizations and projects driving the clean energy technology sector in the Triangle. The award categories span areas such as entrepreneurship, research, equity and diversity, talent development, and impact across transportation, energy, water and local government.
Newsworthiness: The 2022 Cleantech Innovation Awards will be held on Nov. 9 in Cary. The submission deadline is Sept. 9. Here are the calendar listings: