The Skinny

The Skinny

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

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

Updated May 10

Premium Lock Morgan Stanley says 'sell' Lenovo as management shuffling continues

Lenovo   Another top executive post at Lenovo is changing hands in what has become a game of musical chairs over the past year. And to make matters worse, Morgan Stanley says "sell" Lenovo shares, warning that profits are not going to meet expectations as smartphone sales plunge.

Updated May 9

Premium Lock Report: Angels face greater chances of failure; ACA calls results 'fascinating'

Angel investors face greater risks of exit failure now than 10 years ago, according to a new study by the Angel Resource Institute. And successful exits are taking longer to materialize. So what are the chances of failure? And are returns greater than institutional venture capital deal makers? Plus, see what the Angel Capital Association has to say about the data.

Tracking Angel Returns Tracking Angel Returns

Updated May 9

Premium Lock Startups: Fighting HB2 is not a distraction but is necessary

As Gov. Pat McCrory and Republican leaders struggle to deal with the growing political and business crisis that the controversial law has become, three very early opponents remain deeply committed to fighting for repeal. These startup CEOs aren't distracted - but committed.

Brooks Bell is defiant in HB2 battle Brooks Bell is defiant in HB2 battle

Updated May 9

Premium Lock Capital funders for Triangle startups top $60M in April

Venture Capital     Triangle startups put together a pretty good April, rounding up more than $60 million in new capital - be it institutional venture capital or debt. Here's a review of SEC filings.

Updated May 6

Premium Lock Inside AgTech Accelerator: Much more than $$$ for startups

Entrepreneurs, researchers and scientists building or hoping to launch new ventures in the agtech sector now have a wealth of resources to draw from - including investment dollars - with the launch of the AgTech Accelerator in RTP. Its CEO shares more details about the new venture backed by a lot of big names and an initial $11.5 million in funding.

AgTech Accelerator AgTech Accelerator

Updated May 6

Premium Lock Exclusive: AgTech Accelerator CEO spells out mission, offerings to startups, and why it's needed

Agricultural technology startups received a huge boost Thursday with the formal launch of the AgTech Accelerator in RTP. From funding to space to advisory services, entrepreneurs can draw on a variety of resources to launch and grow new companies, says the Accelerator's CEO in the first of a multi-part interview.

John Dombrosky John Dombrosky

Updated May 5

Premium Lock Countering downgrades, S&P gives Quintiles a post-merger boost

Quintiles            Three Wall Street firms have voted "no" on the big Quintiles-IMS Health merger so far by downgrading Quintiles stock. However, on Wednesday afternoon S&P Global Ratings weighed in with a positive review of the deal. WTW Insiders get the details.

Updated May 4

Premium Lock 'Look, look:' Mira carries Triangle hopes to Google Demo Day

Mira, which translates as "Look, look!" in Spanish, is carrying the hopes of the Triangle startup community to continue its dominance of Google Demo Day. The Silicon Valley showcase is Wednesday, and Jonathan Frangakis, its co-founder, CEO as well as a Marine officer, war-on-terror vet and Startup Factory graduate will be on the stage. But what is Mira, and who is Frangakis? WTW Insiders get the story.

Jonathan Frangakis  Jonathan Frangakis

Updated May 3

Premium Lock Analyst: Q-IMS merger could trigger more deals; why Street doesn't like Q deal

Tech mergers Tuesday's merger of Quintiles with IMS Health Services might trigger other CRO deals affecting the Triangle, says Chapel Hill-based analyst Andrew Schafer of Industry Standard Research. Also, Wall Street is giving the Q deal the thumbs down as shares tumble 8 percent. Why? Schafer explains. Plus, a Bloomberg columnist weighs in.

Updated May 4

Premium Lock CEOs' meeting leads to huge $17.6B Quintiles-IMS merger

The merger of Quintiles and IMS Health creating a $17 billion health services company announced Tuesday can be traced back to a meeting between the two CEOs last year. Quintiles' Tom Pike tells analysts the two firms discovered quickly how well they could work together, and the CEO of IMS says the collaboration has already delivered "major wins."

Tom Pike Tom Pike

Updated May 2

Premium Lock Meet Carolyn Sparano, a Bronto vet, now its GM

While co-founders Joe Colopy and Chaz Felix have left Bronto, the Durham-based division of NetSuite still has a familiar face at the helm. Carolyn Sparano is the new general manager, being promoted after a decade with the company. In an exclusive Q&A, Sparano talks about the opportunities as well as the challenges she faces as a female executive. She also discusses lessons learned from co-founders Joe Colopy and Chaz Felix.

Bronto's Carolyn Sparano Bronto's Carolyn Sparano

Updated May 2

Premium Lock Joe Colopy's last Bronto roar: What's next for one of Triangle's best known entrepreneurs?

One last time ... Joe Colopy roars about his experiences at building Bronto into an email marketing powerhouse that he and co-founder Chaz Felix sold a year ago for $200 million to NetSuite. Why did he leave the company? What's next? Will he work with Chaz again?

Joe Colopy Joe Colopy