The Skinny

The Skinny

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

Updated 7:58 a.m. Friday

Premium Lock Will there be layoffs as well as new jobs as Quintiles' Q2 launches?

DNA      Quintiles' new joint venture with Quest formally launched Thursday with a work force of some 2,000 people. But will there be layoffs due to any overlap in job functions? Might there also be new jobs created? Let's take a look.

Updated 7:29 a.m. Wednesday

The Startup Factory takes its first step toward going statewide

Chris Heivly and Dave Neal are taking the first step in expanding The Startup Factory accelerator across North Carolina with a "boot camp" in Winston-Salem. In a Q&A with WTW, Heivly talks about the expanded mission and how TSF hopes to make money. Plus, he says, TSF is not taking its eyes off the ball of its primary mission.

Chris Heivly, left, and partner Dave Neal Chris Heivly, left, and partner Dave Neal

Updated 3:30 p.m. Monday

State to add 105,000 jobs this year, jobless rate to fall says NCSU economist

N.C. flag     North Carolina employers will add 105,000 jobs this year, with most of those coming in the Triangle and other metro areas, and the state's unemployment rate will drop to 5.5 percent, says N.C. State economist Dr. Michael Walden in a new analysis.

Updated 8:21 a.m. Monday

A nearly $2B IPO adds to legacy of Lenovo's founder

When does legend become fact? In the case of Lenovo and its founder Liu Chuanzhi, the fact is the company and Liu are bona fide entrepreneurial success stories dating back to humble beginnings in 1984. A big IPO for Lenovo's parent adds to a remarkable legacy. And Liu shares some advice for others to emulate.

Liu Chuanzhi Liu Chuanzhi

Tags: Lenovo
Updated June 25

Premium Lock Remembering Triangle's first 'disruptors' from 2007 - and warnings still relevant today

The late Neal Page, Ryan Allis, Jud Bowman, Bob Young and their companies (Inlet, Broadwick, Motricity, Red Hat) were branded among the original "disruptors" by Business 2.0 magazine in 2007. WTW takes a look back at them in light of Cisco's new "Digital Vortex" report on the latest "disruptor" trend.

Ryan Allis, left, and Jud Bowman: "Disruptors" Ryan Allis, left, and Jud Bowman: "Disruptors"

Updated June 25

Premium Lock Is your firm headed into a 'Digital Vortex" or sending competitors into a spiral of destruction?

Cisco CEO John Chambers recently predicted that digital disruption was going to put a lot of companies out of business. A new Cisco report says he's right with more than 40 percent of existing leaders are going to be "displaced" by the "Digital Vortex." Where does your company stand? And despite being aware of the threat the "Vortex" poses, many execs say it's "not worthy of board-level attention." Oh, really?

Cisco asks: Why should you care about disruption? Cisco asks: Why should you care about disruption?

Updated June 24

Premium Lock Mobile apps showdown: Red Hat-Samsung vs. Apple-IBM

Red Hat        Red Hat wasted no time in capitalizing on news about its mobile apps suite based on FeedHenry technology acquired last year. Tuesday evening, just hours after announcing it's going mobile, Red Hat disclosed a partnership for apps with Samsung, taking direct aim at the Apple-IBM partnership in the same arena.

Updated June 23

Premium Lock Exclusive: Google Fiber ready for Triangle competition, top exec says

Google Fiber formally disclosed launching the construction of its Triangle network today, but it's starting from behind. However, J. Erik Garr, the head of Google Fiber for the Triangle, says the company is ready to take on competition such as AT&T and Frontier, which have a big head start in the gigabit Internet market. He also talks about a wide number of issues in a Q&A with WRAL TechWire.

Google Fiber going in the ground in Triangle Google Fiber going in the ground in Triangle

Updated June 23

Google Fiber is here: Construction begins across Triangle

After years of lobbying for Google Fiber then waiting for service once the Triangle was picked as a site, the news many Triangle residents and businesses have hoped for is official: Construction of a 5,700 mile fiber-optic high-speed Internet and entertainment network by Google is finally getting under way.

Google Fiber installation underway in Triangle Google Fiber installation underway in Triangle

Updated June 23

Premium Lock In the name of hype, Lenovo launches a 'Killer' campaign

In light of the recent massacre in Charleston, a company in the U.S. would be well advised to stay away from a "Killer" campaign. But Lenovo is hyping what appears to be a new smartphone "Killer" in India and is offering a contest in which smartphone users can "bury" their old devices. Smart? Distasteful?

Lenovo's "Killer" teaser at Twitter Lenovo's "Killer" teaser at Twitter

Updated June 22

Red Hat pays hefty price for new CFO: $4M signing bonus, $9M in stock, $500,000 to move

How badly did red Hat want Frank Calderoni, the former chief financial officer of Cisco, to become its new CFO? Try $13.5 million in cash and stock - plus an annual salary of $685,000 and an annual bonus potentially matching that salary.

Frank Caldceroni Frank Caldceroni

Tags: Red Hat
June 22

NC budget showdown: Much at stake for startup, life science, tech sectors

Economic development So will North Carolina gain anew venture capital fund? Will the budget of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center be slashed to zero? Will crowdfunding ever pass? What will happen in terms of economic incentives? Bottom line: Who will fight for what to get passage?

June 18

Senate Majority Leader to Biotech Center: 'It can live on it's own'

N.C. flag     The budget from the North Carolina Senate zeroes-out funding for the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. And the Republican leader says it's time for the hub of the state's growing biotech and life science cluster to "live on it's own." The Biotech Center CEO warns it can't. Now it's up to the House to save funding in final budget negotiations.

Updated June 17

Premium Lock Biotech Center CEO on budget cut: 'We don't want life sciences to go the way of textiles, tobacco and furniture ...'

The proposed N.C. Senate budget calls for a zeroing-out of all financial support for the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. That wipe out would have a big impact on the state's life science industry, warns Biotech Center CEO Doug Edgeton.

Doug Edgeton  Doug Edgeton

Updated June 16

Fidelity Labs brings 'innovation catalyst' to American Underground

Fidelity Investments Startups in the Triangle will be able to earn some first-hand attention and advice from Fidelity Labs, the "innovation catalyst" and R&D group for the financial services giant. It's opening an office at the American Underground's downtown Durham office. Who knows, the Lab might just open the door to a Fidelity capital investment, too.

June 16

NC Senate budget plan cuts all Biotech Center funding

North Carolina's Biotechnology Center budget would be zeroed out - a slash of $13.6 million - under a proposed budget plan released by the N.C. Senate. The Biotech Center is scrambling to recover, noting that the House budget includes funding. Just two years ago, the Center, which helps fund startups and research all over the state and is a key factor to N.C.'s growing life science industry, was funded at $17.2 million.

N.C. Biotech Center    N.C. Biotech Center

Updated June 16

Premium Lock Former UNCW startup center director has big plans for Wilmington

Jim Roberts has new plans for entrepreneurship and startups in the Wilmington area even though his tenure as head of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UNC-Wilmington ended in March. What's he up to other than putting on two events designed to drum up investor interest?

Full Steam Ahead Awards 2015 Full Steam Ahead Awards 2015

Updated June 11

Premium Lock Raleigh startup CellBreaker promises to switch miffed cell users in 7 days

Promising to help wireless customers to break contracts without paying early termination fees and setting up a new account within seven days, Raleigh-based CellBreaker formally launched service Thursday. Right now, customers can use CellBreaker "for free."

June 11

Premium Lock Eco development moving but crowdfunding, VC fund sit; Uber's regulation play

WRAL's Mark Binker reports that economic development is moving again in the General Assembly. However, there's nothing apparently going to happen quickly on two other items entrepreneurs and investors are wanting. But in other startup news, Uber makes a regulatory play. There's also news on renewable energy credits.

Economic development Economic development

Updated June 10

Premium Lock Tonight Show's hilarious spoof: 'Pros and cons of female Viagra'

So what's the biggest risk in taking the 'female Viagra" from Raleigh's Sprout Pharmaceuticals if the FDA approves it? Having the pharmacist say over the PA system: "Female Viagra for Linda." So says Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show.