The Skinny

The Skinny

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

March 26

Premium Lock Fresh off raising $300,000, startup GroundFloor accelerates 'crowdlending' push

Co-founders Brian Dally and Nick Bhargava want to revolutionize real estate financing through "crowdlending." And they are off to a sizzling start, raising a "heavily oversubscribed" seed round of $300,000. Plus they just closed a second real estate deal in Georgia. They hope to be doing business in North Carolina soon.

GroundFloor touts its value GroundFloor touts its value

Updated March 25

March Madness 2014 defies even predictive modeling at SAS

Who better to forecast the NCAA men's basketball tournament other than the software gurus at SAS and their partners? But even the men and women using analytics software and high-performance computing power to predict what shoppers will buy next and what products will be hot at Christmas can't forecast March Madness. So confesses Jared Dean, confessed basketball junkie, who heads Research and Development at SAS.

Click here to open the YouTube video in a new window.

March 24

'Complete refresh' - State Employee Credit Union buys 8,000 Lenovo PCs

A complete technology reboot with new PCs and keeping jobs in North Carolina - Those are the goals of a huge computer purchase that the State Employees' Credit Union is fulfilling in a deal with Lenovo.

Lyris Bradhser assembles a tablet in Whitsett Lyris Bradhser assembles a tablet in Whitsett

Updated March 27

SAS software tester's graphic tracks tragic missing aircraft mysteries

Robert Allison, a computer science PhD from N.C. State, is just as mystified as anyone else about the disappearance of Flight 370 and is intrigued about other missing aircraft mysteries. To help others wanting to know about these unsolved cases, the NCSU grad has put together an intriguing interactive map/graphic to track these "without a trace" incidents.

SAS engineer's missing airliner map SAS engineer's missing airliner map

Updated March 17

Premium Lock Square 1 aims to raise as much as $119M in going public

In its latest SEC filing, Durham-based Square 1 Bank says it plans to offer some 7 million shares at a price range of $15 to $17 each. The company recently said it hoped to raise around $57 million.

Square 1's growing profits Square 1's growing profits

Updated March 29

Premium Lock What happens in Raleigh's RV at SXSW 'stays in it'

Justin Miller, Raleigh's 'tattooed guy, is having a blast representing the city as its "ambassador" at the South by Southwest festival. He's shown off his "Sir Walter the Bat" tattoo, too. But don't expect to share all that's happened on the RV trip to Austin and back. Sounds like he's been to Vegas ...

Justin Miller Justin Miller

Updated March 14

Premium Lock High-tech job market in NC drops again in February

The daily average of advertised information technology jobs across North Carolina fell for the eighth consecutive month in February. A "softer" market produced 2,980 openings per day, down 20 from January. But when compared to 2013 and 2012, the 2014 number is anemic.

IT job openings decline IT job openings decline

Updated March 14

Premium Lock Many IBMers in China just say no to working for Lenovo

The strike at an IBM x86 server plant in China by some 1,000 workers is ending - but the workers claim they won concessions from Big Blue for better severance and retention packages. Still, about half of them have decided not to transfer to Lenovo despite a plea from the company. IBM's $2.3 billion sale of its sever business to Lenovo triggered the walkout. Meanwhile, in RTP, IBM x86 workers will soon have a new home.

Chinese news website carries IBM protest story Chinese news website carries IBM protest story

Updated March 13

Premium Lock How to drive 'transformative' sales in new markets? PowerSecure CEO offers some pointers

PowerSecure Revenues have soared 67 percent at Wake Forest-based PowerSecure over the past year, and its order backlog is at a record $248 million. An emerging revenue driver is data center power services, which could have a "transformative" impact on the firm. And CEO Sidney Hinton says "the very best" people are driving sales. So what's he looking?

Updated March 12

Premium Lock Lenovo on strike at IBM plant in China: It's 'internal matter for IBM'

Media reports say that some workers have been fired for going on strike at an IBM server plant in China which Lenovo hopes to acquire as part of its $2.3 billion deal with Big Blue. Lenovo is trying to steer clear of the mess, issuing a lengthy statement saying the strike is for IBM to resolve.

IBM workers in China protest Lenovo deal IBM workers in China protest Lenovo deal

Updated March 12

Premium Lock Meet Sir Raleigh, the Bat: Tattooed guy's newest artwork

Justin Miller, the colorful CEO of Raleigh-based WedPics, promised to bring home a new tattoo that would be a tribute to Raleigh after serving as the capital city's "ambassador" at South by Southwest. He fulfilled the promise.

It's Sir Walter Raleigh - The Bat It's Sir Walter Raleigh - The Bat

Updated March 11

Premium Lock IBM's top chef tries new board recipe with 'presiding director;' company won't comment

As IBM's "Watson" serves up recipes at South by Southwest, Chair and CEO Ginny Rometty is mixing things up on IBM's board of directors with the naming of a "presiding director." Will this change help Rometty deliver a winning formula? IBM isn't talking about the change other than what's in an SEC filing.

Virginia Rometty Virginia Rometty

Updated March 10

Premium Lock Startup Factory's search for 'bad-a**' entrepreneurs finds 4 teams

Partners Chris Heivly and Dave Neal on Monday disclosed their four latest emerging ventures - and Heivly says each meet specific critera. Top of the list: a "bad-a**" mind set followed by a market "that we find interesting." So who are these startups and what are the plays? One could do for the spoken word what Pandora has done for music. An exclusive interview for WRALTechWire Insiders delivers the inside story.

Chris Heivly Chris Heivly

Updated March 10

Premium Lock A mentor becomes a partner: How Silverpop CEO boosts Windsor Circle

Matt Williamson has a fast-growing startup on his hands with Windsor Circle, which helps companies retain customers. Last week, Windsor Circle moved into the email marketing space in a partnership with Atlanta-based Silverpop, which is led by NCSU graduate and former RTP entrepreneur Bill Nussey. But Nussey has helped Williamson in other ways over the years - as a mentor. In an exclusive conversation with WRALTechWire, Williamson talks about how CEOs can benefit from having mentors.

Matt Williamson Matt Williamson

Updated March 7

Premium Lock No Ashton Kutcher smartphone, Lenovo says

Ashton Kutcher touts a Lenovo tablet A week ago, the Wall Street Journals' Re/code quoted a Lenovo marketing executive as saying that Hollywood star and entrepreneur Ashton Kutcher was working with the company to create a smartphone. Lenovo says that's not true but offers no other insight.

Updated March 7

Premium Lock Checking in on 'tattooed guy' with SXSW-bound Raleigh team

Before anyone could ask a question, the Raleigh-bound South by Southwest recruiting team bolted from HQRaleigh in a motor home, speeding off on a multi-day road trip. So why is Raleigh sending a team, including Mayor Nancy McFarlane, and why is Justin Miller taking some time off from startup WedPics? WRALTechWire checks in with the team and "the tattooed guy" Miller, who is the Raleigh ambassador, while they are burning up miles on I-85.

Justin Miller in his prize-winng YouTube video Justin Miller in his prize-winng YouTube video

Updated March 6

Premium Lock Sneak peek: Stylish HQRaleigh on eve of move-in day

The upfit of the new HQRaleigh in the city's Warehouse District is continuing even as startups and other ventures who have already leased most of the space prepare to start moving in on Friday. Check out WRALTechWire's photo tour.

HQRaleigh, left, is adjacent to the "CAM" HQRaleigh, left, is adjacent to the "CAM"

Updated March 7

Premium Lock Raleigh mayor heads to Austin to recruit entrepreneurs, businesses

Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane and a team of entrepreneurs plus city staff, are headed to the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, But they are going hunting for entrepreneurs and companies who might want to locate in the capital of North Carolina than the capital of the Lone Star State.

Mayor Nancy McFarlane, left, preps for trip to Austin Mayor Nancy McFarlane, left, preps for trip to Austin

Updated March 6

Premium Lock Reports: Strike against IBM-Lenovo deal continues in China

The New York Times and Financial Times report that workers at an IBM plant near Hong Kong have continued a strike for the fourth consecutive day. They are protesting the sale of IBM's x86 server business to Lenovo. IBM says it hopes workers will accept the transfer.

IBM workers in China protest Lenovo deal IBM workers in China protest Lenovo deal

Updated March 5

Premium Lock RTP misses out on $100M Cisco 'Internet of Everything' center

Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers has vowed to do more business in Canada, citing tax policy and other challenges in the US. In picking Toronto and not either RTP or another US location, Chambers is restating his stance.

John Chambers at CES John Chambers at CES