The Skinny

The Skinny

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

Updated August 26

Premium Lock Durham startup Spoonflower lands $25M in new funding

Spoonflower, a Durham-based startup focusing on delivering custom fabrics, wallpaper and even gift wrap through on-demand technology, is stitching together major expansion plans after landing $25 million in capital. And in landing the funding, Spoonflower is bringing a new investor to North Carolina.

A sample of creations at Spoonflower A sample of creations at Spoonflower

August 25

Premium Lock Exclusive Q&A: Why Jennifer Bosser took Triangle Cleantech Cluster job

Over the past five years, few names have been more associated with economic development in Wake County than Jennifer Bosser. But as of Sept. 1, Bosser will become the first executive director of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership's CleanTech cluster. Why is she taking the job? What's the mission?

Jennifer Bosser Jennifer Bosser

Updated August 25

Premium Lock One-on-one with Christy Shaffer: What Hatteras' new $90M fund means, impact of her promotion; and why Triangle life science sector is so hot

In a Q&A, Triangle veteran life science executive turned venture capitalist Christy Shaffer talks with WRAL TechWire about the new $90 million venture fund raised by Hatteras Ventures, what her promotion says about female VCs, and why the Triangle life science sector is so hot.

Christy Shaffer Christy Shaffer

Updated August 25

Bleak Monday for world's richest, including Goodnight

Jim Goodnight   Monday's maniacal trading led to huge losses around the world's stock exchanges - and billionaires along with the common folk took big hits. Among the top losers? Jim Goodnight of SAS, whose fortune dwindled by $377.5 million, according to Bloomberg News' estimates.

Updated August 24

Cree, Novozymes buck negative trend on Wall Street's 'Manic Monday'

On what's being called "Manic Monday" with the Dow and Nasdaq plunging before recovering then dropping again, Durham's Cree and Novozymes, which has a big presence in Franklinton, bucked the selloff. Take at look at the WRAL TechWire "30" for a snapshot of Triangle tech and life science stocks.

Tracking Triangle tech, biotech stocks Tracking Triangle tech, biotech stocks

Updated August 25

Premium Lock North Carolina's Inc. 5000 members - with a Triangle spin

Dollar sign      CEOs at private companies seldom - if ever - openly disclose revenues and profits. But each year thousands open the books hoping to make the Inc. 500/5000 list of fastest-growing private companies. And the latest list offers interesting insight into some of the Triangle's prize up-and-comers.

Updated August 24

Premium Lock Brief video is first tease for Cliff Bleszinki's new game - some fans bark

Cliff Bleszinski, the creative force who helped make Epic Games a world leader in gaming, is on the verge of unveiling the first title for his own company, Boss Key. And Cliff is promising fireworks at "The Shattering." The first tease is out: A brief video.

Updated August 24

Bloomberg Billionaires: Goodnight loses $368M in a week

CFOs and CEOs across America have complained about a stronger U.S. dollar creating "headwinds" this year. But another factor is hurting them big time now, both in the pocketbook and in doing business: The stock market plunge in China. Among those tech execs suffering big time is Jim Goodnight of SAS, according to Bloomberg news.

Updated August 21

CED Tech Venture adds more high-profile speakers, new keynote

David Morken, CEO of Republic Wireless and plus Steve Neff, Fidelity Investments' top technology executive, are the latest additions to the speaker lineup for the CED Tech Venture conference next month. As WTW reported Thursday, the event also has a new keynote presenter.

CED Tech Venture CED Tech Venture

Updated August 21

Premium Lock Sprout, AgBiome deals reflect new muscle in life science investing

Biotech, agscience, life science Want proof that life science startups and emerging firms are back as targets for investment capital? Raleigh's Sprout Pharmaceuticals is being sold for $1 billion and RTP startup AgBiome has raised an impressive $34.5 million. But these aren't the only indicators that VCs and private equity see biotech and pharmaceuticals as good bets once again.

Updated August 21

Inside Sprout's $1B payday: It didn't likely grow overnight; meanwhile, buyer takes big hit

So Raleigh's Sprout Pharmaceuticals sells itself for $1 billion plus royalties in the future within 48 hours of winning approval for its "little pink pill" - is this a Jackie and the beanstalk story with success sprouting overnight? By the way, initial reaction on Wall Street to Valeant's buy is very negative.

Execs at Sprout are "on a mission" Execs at Sprout are "on a mission"

August 20

Cisco's Warrior withdraws as CED Tech Venture keynote

Padmasree Warrior  Padmasree Warrior, the former chief strategy and technology officer at Cisco, has stepped aside as one of the keynote speakers at the upcoming CED Tech Venture conference. She recently left Cisco, and another Cisco exec will replace her at the Raleigh event.

August 19

Premium Lock More Motorola change? Lenovo will create one smartphone brand, exec says

Motorola's new Lenovo banner   So Lenovo guts its Motorola work force based in Chicago by 25 percent as part of a big cost-cutting move. What's next? The top mobile executive within Lenovo says he envisions one brand, not two. Right now, Lenovo has its own smartphones then there is Motorola. What name will prevail? What group will dominate? Oh, you also might find interesting which market Lenovo considers most important outside of China.

Updated August 19

Premium Lock Red Hat: We remain 'active and strong' IBM partner

Red Hat         IBM's highly publicized launch of two Linux mainframe servers earlier this week barely made mention of Red Hat while playing up Red Hat rivals. That raised eyebrows at the HQ of WRAL TechWire, so we asked the Hatters: What's going on? Then there's the Open Mainframe Project. Is Red Hat involved? Our Insiders get the story.

Updated August 18

Verizon, AT&T share No.1 in NC wireless service; Verizon wins nationally

Wireless coverage Competition for customers among the top four wireless providers remains intense - and close - with Verizon nosing past AT&T for the top spot nationally as calculated by independent testing firm RootMetrics. But in North Carolina, the two companies share the top spot. Meanwhile, Sprint is catching up.

Updated August 17

Premium Lock New Linux mainframes show hardware isn't dead at IBM

Big Blue is rolling out new mainframes focusing on open source Linux, a sure sign that hardware isn't quite dead at IBM. Mainframes remain a profit center even as IBM has shed in recent years its PCs, printers, point-of-sale and x86 server businesses as well as semiconductors.

Tags: IBM, Red Hat, Linux
Updated August 17

Survey: RTP tech, energy firms look to hire 3,300 - with right skill sets

Help wanted sign      One company is expecting to add 200 jobs and 84 percent of companies participating in a new survey say they will be looking to hire people over the next one to five years. But the survey conducted by RTI International for the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster so finding people with certain high-tech skills remains difficult.

Updated August 14

The Chicago massacre: Lenovo gutting 25% of Motorola work force

A reorganization of Lenovo's smartphone operations in June included the ousting of its top mobile executive. On Thursday, Lenovo went much further:Motorola will take over as the lead on smartphone development but at the same time its Chicago headquarters work force is being gutted by 25 percent. Lenovo is making other cuts, too, but those include 7 percent in the Triangle and 10 percent overall across corporate white collar jobs.

Motorola's new Lenovo banner   Motorola's new Lenovo banner

Updated August 14

CED picks 100-plus startups, emerging firms for Tech Venture showcases

The Council for Entrepreneurial Development is going to demonstrate the growing power of North Carolina's startup community with a whopping 100-plus new and emerging ventures pitching their strengths to potential investors at its annual Tech Venture conference.

CED Tech Venture CED Tech Venture

Updated August 13

Twitter removes 140-character limit on private messages

Now you can "tweet" to your heart's delight - without any character limits - but only for private messages. Twitter announced early Thursday that it is removing the 140-character limit to its "Direct Messages." But on the public side, the limit remains.

Sample of a Twitter Direct Message Sample of a Twitter Direct Message