The Skinny

The Skinny

WRAL TechWire Publisher and Editor Rick Smith dishes out tidbits from the local technology sector.

9:52 a.m. yesterday

Premium Lock New digital news competitor for RTP: Crain's

Crain's Crain's, the business publishing conglomerate, is expanding its digital footprint to the Triangle. The daily newsletter means more competition for tech, life science and other business news across RTP.

7:47 a.m. yesterday

Premium Lock Closing books on 2015: $1.25B in NC capital + A tip of the cap to CED

Joan Siefert Rose The Council for Entrepreneurial Development is closing the 2015 financial books for startups and emerging companies in North Carolina with data about grants. The new information boosts the capital haul to more than $1.2 billion. Plus: here's a "thank you" to the CED for its Innovators Report.

Updated 7:49 a.m. yesterday

Premium Lock Report: Startup capital funding off to slower start in '16

CED Startups and emerging firms that the Council for Entrepreneurial Development defines as "entrepreneurial companies" are off to a slower start in 2016 when it comes to fundraising. That's according to data in the CED's new Innovators Report.

Updated 7:51 a.m. yesterday

'Wow:' Quintiles takes vivid VR plunge to improve digital health

Darrell Pryor, news photographer for WRAL TV, utters a "wow" and smiles as he removes the virtual reality goggles during the first VR demo given by Quintiles to news media about its new VR initiative. But Quintiles isn't playing games. It's aiming to improve the clinical trials process and digital health. "We feel we are out there at the edge," says the Quintiles exec leading the VR charge. "People come out of the experience different." Indeed, they do.

Updated May 20

Cisco tells NC employees: 'Extremely disappointed' in HB2

The top North Carolina executive for Cisco, which is one of the largest high-tech employers in Research Triangle Park with some 5,000 workers and contractors, holds a teleconference to discuss the controversial House Bill 2. Cisco says it is "extremely disappointed and concerned" about HB2.

Ed Paradise Ed Paradise

Updated May 20

Layoffs hit IBM in Triangle; Big Blue confirms cuts but says it has 25k open jobs

IBM layoffs     A new round of layoffs - the second in the last three months - is sweeping across IBM with numerous reports of job cuts at Big Blue's Research Triangle Park campus. IBM confirms cuts are being made but also says it has 25,000 open positions as it "aggressively" transforms the company. However, IBMers say few of those jobs are in the U.S.

Tags: IBM, Layoffs
Updated May 20

Triangle plans for growth despite a big elephant (HB2) in the room

The elephant wasn't seen but roar could almost be heard. In the room if invisible and quiet, the big animal overshadowed the annual "State of the Research Triangle Region" event. HB2 - the controversial lesbian, gay, transsexual, bisexual or LGBT bill - wasn't mentioned directly. But allusions were clear, and in interviews executives agree: HB2 is bad for the state's image as well as economic development.

Charles Hayes talks the future at state of the region event Charles Hayes talks the future at state of the region event

Updated May 19

Premium Lock Joe DeSimone's thrilling day: 'Wow. Humbling'

The medal has been delivered - Dr. Joseph DeSimone is one happy man. The inventor, professor, entrepreneur received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Obama on Thursday in a White House ceremony, and his response when asked beforehand if he was excited he replied: "Are you kidding me? THRILLED!" By the way, he also had some ideas on innovation to share with the President. Later, he tweets: "Wow. Humbling."

Dr. Joseph DeSimone receives his medal from President Obama Dr. Joseph DeSimone receives his medal from President Obama

May 18

Premium Lock As crowdfunding kicks in, 'proceed with caution,' attorney says

Benji Jones While SEC rules are finally in place for crowdfunding at a national level, investors and companies shouldn't make any hasty decisions, says a partner at Smith Anderson who closely follows the issue.

Updated May 18

Premium Lock NC lags the pack while SEC crowdfunding rules take effect

Crowdfunding  New SEC rules for crowdfunding of startups took effect Monday, action that drew praise from a leading Triangle attorney who focuses on venture capital. The National Venture Capital Association also salutes the kickoff. But in North Carolina, crowdfunding remains far from reality - and even a proposed bill is "a very conservative small step forward," Raleigh attorney Jim Verdonik tells WRAL TechWire.

Updated May 17

Premium Lock Inside Counter Culture Coffee: Secrets to success

UNC-CH graduate Brett Smith and his team have built Durham-based Counter Culture Coffee into a growing, profitable success with a blend of commitment to sustainability, quality - and much more. What are the secrets to building a coffee powerhouse?

Counter Culture Coffee's new Durham HQ Counter Culture Coffee's new Durham HQ

Updated May 16

Premium Lock At Counter Culture Coffee, brewing a sustainable success story

Watch out, Starbucks? In all the hype about technology startups across the Triangle, it's easy to overlook an emerging company that smells of success. Meet Counter Culture Coffee, a venture focusing on providing the best in coffee through sustainability and education from grower to drinker. While Durham is known for its craft breweries, there's much more going on than beer.

Counter Culture: A brewing success Counter Culture: A brewing success

Updated May 13

Premium Lock Can crowdfunding survive in rancor-filled General Assembly?

Politics Remarkably, very little media attention was given a huge economic development bill introduced in the North Carolina General Assembly on Wednesday. Crowdfunding is part of it, rather than a separate piece of legislation. Will that help or hurt in a session dominated by HB2?

Updated May 13

CED Entrepreneur Hall of Fame picks pioneers Dougherty, Gillings, Hutchison, Young

The Council for Entrepreneurial Development's new Hall of Fame is kicking off with a powerful lineup of honorees: The father of venture capital in North Carolina, the co-founder of Quintiles, a longtime tech industry lawyer, and the irrepressible co-founder of Red Hat.


May 12

Premium Lock University commercialization efforts could get $2.5M boost

Innovation Successfully commercializing technology discovered at universities is a Gordian knot not often unraveled. A proposed $2.5 million fund in a North Carolina bill introduced this week aims to bring more companies to market from university-born ideas.

Updated May 12

Premium Lock 'RISE NC:' Bill targets $2.5M to create statewide entrepreneurial network

A Senate economic development bill calls for the creation of a statewide entrepreneurial network to recruit "world-class investors, skilled entrepreneurs and managers" to North Carolina under the name NC RISE. If passed, it provides $2.5 million in funding.

General Assembly General Assembly

Updated May 12

Premium Lock Senate bill details $100M 'Small Business Venture Fund'

N.C. flag There's much more to a new North Carolina Senate bill than crowdfunding. it includes details about a new "Small Business Venture Fund" that could mean as much as $100 million for startups and emerging companies. Rural and veteran-owned firms are big targets. But funding for the Triangle will be limited.

Updated May 13

Premium Lock Senate, House introduce crowdfunding in economic development bill

Crowdfunding  Three Republican Senators have filed a crowdfunding bill for North Carolina, sparking hope that legislation opening up investments to the masses and provide more capital to startups may become a reality. A similar measure also has been introduced in the House.

Updated May 11

Report: Raleigh-Durham ranks No. 4 as startup hub

Providing proof that the startup boom in the Triangle is fact, not hype, is a new report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and two partners. The "tech Triangle" as the report describes the Raleigh-Durham metro area ranks No. 4 nationally as a startup hub.

Heath startups boost Triangle Heath startups boost Triangle

Updated May 11

Premium Lock Google Demo Day loser? Hardly, says Mira CEO; $$$ coming

Marine Corps/war-on-terror vet Jonathan Frangakis knows what real pressure is. Life or death based on his decisions as an officer. So while prepping for and presenting at Google Demo Day was pressure filled, the CEO of startup Mira prepped well for the "pitch battlefield." He didn't win - or did he? There's much money still coming his way.

The Mira pitch The Mira pitch