DURHAM — Business is booming at Square 1 Bank, the “help wanted” sign is out, and a new office will open next week.

Those were some of the reasons why Susan Casey, chief credit officer of the bank, and her husband, bank president Richard Casey, were all smiles at Monday night’s TechExec networking event. Square 1 was the host at the American Tobacco complex.

“We’ve been very fortunate,” said Richard Casey. “We’ve had very good deal flow so far.”

Square 1 focuses on venture-banked firms. Since Square 1 launched operations on Aug. 8, its staff has nearly doubled in size. And two new offices bring the bank’s total to eight.

“We employ 58 people nationwide, and 33 of those are in Durham where we maintain our support,” said Susan Casey. “We think we have super people. They are the best of breed.” She added that the Durham office could employ as many as 50 in another 12 months. How many people will be hired in all “depends on volume” of deals.

Susan noted that Square 1 has just signed lease papers and hired a representative to operate out of New York City. Just two weeks ago Square 1 opened an office in Reston VA.

Once New York is open, Square 1 will have offices in all eight markets it targeted before launch: Durham as its hub; Seattle; Silicon Valley; Boston; Reston; Austin TX; and San Diego.

The Square 1 headquarters will move from temporary office space to its permanent location at the American Tobacco complex on Jan. 6. “This building has been fabulous,” Susan said.

Square 1 hosted the TechExec, which is put on by ClearImage and WRAL Local Tech Wire. “This is a great way for us to meet a lot of people in the local technology community,” Susan said. A crowd of well over 100 people turned out.

A Slimmer Dave Rizzo Is Staying Busy

Dave Rizzo, head of NC IDEA (which used to be known as MCNC), said he is “busier than all get out” — and it shows.

Rizzo says he has lost more than 50 pounds. He didn’t go on a fad or a crash diet, either, but instead visited a nutritionist who recommended serious changes in diet.

As for NC IDEA, which recently invested in HexaTech, Rizzo said he likes what he sees in potential investments.

“We have a much bigger deal flow than earlier this year,” he said. “I’d say it’s two to three times what it was six months ago.”

IBM’s David Benevides To Retire

David Benevides, the long-time regional director of corporate community relations for IBM in Research Triangle Park, is retiring at the end of the year.

IBM is preparing a big bash to salute Benevides next week, according to Lynne Beaman of IBM, who attended the TechExec.

Benevides is leaving IBM after 39 years.

Square 1, Southern Capitol Teaming Up?

Ben Brooks of Southern Capitol Ventures can’t say much now, but apparently the venture firm is working on a deal with Square 1 Bank.

“It will probably happen after we close our next fund,” Brooks said.

As for its first fund, Brooks is looking for an investment that would close it out.

“We’re still sitting on it,” he explained. “We do see lots of activity. We would like to do one more deal. Things are good.”

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Rick Smith is the editor of WRAL Local Tech Wire.