The Skinny

The Skinny

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

Updated March 14

Zuckerberg's face time with Coack K, Williams a slam dunk

Mark Zuckerberg's whirlwind tour of North Carolina takes him to N.C. A&T for a town hall with students then on to personal face time with Roy Williams, Mike Krzyzewski and their basketball teams. It's part of his "are we building the world we all want" tour. And he likes what he hears in our state.

UNC players tower over Mark Zuckerberg UNC players tower over Mark Zuckerberg

March 13

Premium Lock Inside First Flight Venture Center: A different kind of startup hub

Startup hubs are a booming business across the Triangle, but one of the oldest is flourishing despite the competition. It's the First Flight Venture Center. President Andy Schwab, who also is an active angel investor, explains why in an exclusive Q&A.

First Flight Venture Center First Flight Venture Center

Updated March 10

Premium Lock First Flight Venture Center is soaring as RTP startup hub

New data show just how big the impact First Flight Venture Center is having on the Triangle's entrepreneurial community: More than $20 million in funding generated in 2016 by 37 companies who employ more than 160 people. And Andy Schwab, the Center's president, is quite proud. He shares his thoughts about First Flight, its mission, and its uniqueness as a startup hub.

First Flight Venture Center First Flight Venture Center

Updated March 10

Nominations open for WRAL TechWire Awards

WRAL TechWire's annual awards Nominations are now open for our fifth WRAL TechWire Awards. Plus, we're making some "early bird" tickets available for reservation. Don't miss your chance to nominate a winner - and to attend our celebration, which will be hosted at Google Fiber's new HQ in Raleigh.

Updated March 8

Latest Teamworks software wins: ACC tourneys

The lists of leagues, teams and organizations continues to grow for Durham collaborative software firm Teamworks. The latest user is the Atlantic Coast Conference, which is using Teammworks to help coordinate the ACC men's basketball tournament underway in New York. Former Duke athlete Zach Maurides, Teamworks founder and president, talks with WRAL TechWire about the firm's blossoming success.

A sample from Teamworks A sample from Teamworks

Updated March 8

Premium Lock Cofounders Capital rapidly emerging as Triangle VC power player

Looking for investors? There's one VC firm in the Triangle that's making deals with startups at a remarkable pace: Cofunders Capital. Here's an inside look at the firm, what it's looking for in startups, and some advice about how to go looking for cash.

Cofounders Capital's David Gardner Cofounders Capital's David Gardner

March 7

NVCA backs US-Canada move 'empowering women entrepreneurs and business leaders'

In all the frenzy about Russia, North Korea, Obamacare and border security, you may have missed news from the Trump and Trudeau administrations about diversity and equality. The National Venture Capital Association didn't and is throwing its support behind a new initiative.

Updated March 3

Cindy Whitehead's Pinkubator, Crowdfunder team up to promote women-led startups

Cindy Whitehead. the CEO who sold Sprout Pharmaceuticals for some $1 billion, and Chance Barnett, the CEO of fast-growing crowdfunding platform Crowdfunder, are teaming up in an effort to promote and help grow women-led startups.

Chance Barnett, left, and Cindy Whitehead, right, Chance Barnett, left, and Cindy Whitehead, right,

March 2

Amazon's cloud crash caused by, of all things, a typo

Amazon  As humans become more reliant than ever on technology and the global Internet of Things, the human factor becomes even more dangerous as Amazon's massive cloud failure clearly demonstrated Thursday. In explaining what happened, Amazon says an "input" was "entered incorrectly," and - boom!

March 2

RTI researchers map strategy to combat China's 'airpocalypse'

Smog has gotten so bad in China that la group of lawyers are suing the government, seeking an apology and compensation. But clearer skies could be ahead thanks to research conducted by scientists at RTI International.

"Airpocalypse" in Beijing  "Airpocalypse" in Beijing

March 1

PurThread stitches together big deal with Cotton Incorporated

Cary-based PurThread lands Cotton Incorporated, which is funded by US cotton producers and importers, to utilize its embedded anti-odor technology in cotton knit and woven fabrics. The deal is the latest in a series of major victories for the startup.

Updated March 1

Report: NC's life science sector drives double-digit job growth

New data shows that North Carolina's life science ecosystem continues to flourish with companies across the state increasing employment by 11 percent since 2010. But even more impressive is the industry's impact on related employment with jobs tied to life science surging by 15 percent. After a dip in 2014, related jobs surged by 31,000 in 2016.

Charting NC life science growth Charting NC life science growth

Updated February 28

Life science presenting startups reflect NC's growing diversity in talent, focus

Biotechnology  Some 50 startups and emerging entrepreneurial companies from around North Carolina will be touting their technologies, products and management teams at the CED's annual Life Science Conference today and tomorrow. As profiles being published by WRAL TechWire clearly show, the state's ecosystem is more diverse than ever in both talent and expertise. Plus, the number of support organizations for these new ventures continues to grow.

Updated February 28

Premium Lock Exclusive: Joan Siefert Rose on why she's taking a new job

Joan Siefert Rose, who recently stepped down as CEO of the Council for Entrepreneurial Development and joined an RTP consulting firm, is now wearing another hat. She's the new CEO of LaunchBio, a California-based nonprofit group focusing on life science startups. In a detailed Q&A, Rose discusses her new mission - and why she accepted the challenge.

Joan Siefert Rose Joan Siefert Rose

Updated February 23

Premium Lock CED Life Science Conference to showcase Triangle's remarkable success story

Biotech   So much of the deserved media hype about the growing success of the Research Triangle focuses on high tech. Nothing wrong with that. But too often overlooked is the continuing growth of the region's life science industry. And the CED Life Science Conference event next week will showcase that story.

Updated February 23

Premium Lock Exits of Plastina, Lipson are good news for Triangle - Here's why

The exits of Frank Plastina from Cree after the failed Wolfspeed spinoff and Jesse Lipson from Citrix which had built upon his SharefFile to build a powerful presence in Raleigh will prove to be good news for the Triangle's economy. How so? Well, look at the case of Scot Wingo and Cindy Whitehead.

Frank Plastina Frank Plastina

February 22

Premium Lock Study: 'Tasty' cannabis edibles need better labels for safety

Read before you eat, marijuana snack lovers. Makers, be careful with labels. RTI International researchers warn in a new study that "tasty" cannabis/marijuana edibles need better labels in order to ensure safety.

Marijuana risks  Marijuana risks

Updated February 21

Premium Lock Report spells out strategy for how NC can cash in on 'data economy'

Big data  As billions of devices become linked to the Internet of Things and people as well as governments and companies generate terabytes of data daily, the "data economy" is flourishing. But how can North Carolina best capitalize on this tech opportunity? A new report outlines several recommendations.

Updated February 17

Premium Lock Report: NC equity funding drops $400M in '16 yet reach grows

money image North Carolina entrepreneurial companies raised far less money in equity funding last year than in 2015, according to a new report from the Council for Entrepreneurial Development. However, the state is drawing more investor interest from Silicon Valley and other locations.

Updated February 16

Premium Lock Despite big changes, Google Fiber says it's 'here to stay in Triangle'

Google Fiber is reaching out to assure Triangle customers - and potential ones - that the company is "here to stay in the Triangle." GF issued the statement Wednesday afternoon following a report of major changes within the company.

Google Fiber's customer/service center in Raleigh Google Fiber's customer/service center in Raleigh