The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of WRAL Tech Wire and business editor of

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Partners Chris Heivly and Dave Neal have been working up quite a sweat this summer, and it’s not from the heat.

The leaders of Triangle Startup Factory are working their way through applications for the second “class” of emerging companies to receive funding, tutoring and mentoring before being launched as full-fledged startups later this fall.

And Heivly says he likes what he’s seeing.

“Continue to see increase in quality,” he tells The Skinny after reviewing applications.

The numbers were up 14 percent to 125 for the fall session compared to the initial spring group, which included six firms funded and exiting the process last month.

Heivly and Neal will spend the rest of this month with “phone screens and presentations” before naming the next class,

Of the applicants, 70 percent were from the Triangle and 7 percent from elsewhere in the state.

However, Triangle Startup Factory is obviously generating far-wider appeal.

Heivly notes that 18 percent are from across the United States and 5 percent came from beyond our borders. 

The applicants represent a wide variety of focus, Heivly notes:

  • 22% Business Services
  • 16% Consumer
  • 10% Media & Advertising
  • 10% Retail
  • 7% Education

Heivly says he did expect more healthcare IT applications (“surprised by small group this time”).

Of the applicants, 15 were teams which had applied the first time.

The team size remains small as one who expect with an average of just more than two employees.

“Classes” will begin Aug. 27.