The Triangle Startup Factory is taking on a new name – scratch “Triangle.” Does that mean the technology startup business accelerator is leaving Durham?

No, the partners say.

Chris Heivly, one of the two co-founders, closed the firm’s third “Pitch Davy” for companies completing the startup program on Thursday by announcing that henceforth its name is “The Startup Factory.” The goal, says Heivly who spoke on behalf of partner Dave Neal (sidelined from the event due to a back injury) is to draw more national attention to what they are doing.

“For us to be successful, we have to be a national brand,” Heivly explained

But the two plan to keep the Startup Factory in Durham where they launched it with some $5 million in capital in January 2012. 

Five of six firms selected for  program, which includes $50,000 in investment and the possibility of $150,000 more later, made presentations to investors before a crowd of several hundred people at The Carolina Theatre. After the program, Heivly said in an interview that the Factory already was receiving more and more applications from new ventures around the country.

Other accelerators draw a much larger percentage of companies from outside their home market – 70 percent to 30 percent. In the last two groups of selections for the Durham program, the percentage went from 70 percent local to 30 percent national to a 57/43 split for the just-graduated group.

Heivly said a name change and rebranding effort will give the Startup Factory a “broader presence.” While he insists the founders love the Triangle in the name they came to realize that having Triangle in the name imposed some possible geographic limitations. Did the name mean, for example, only Triangle firms could apply? And would possible investors not be drawn to participating companies if there wasn’t a larger talent pool from which to pick?

“While the original name was good for us in the Triangle, it wasn’t good in Chicago,” Heivly said. “We were locked in.”

The Factory is accepting applications for its next three-month program through June 30. Heivly hopes a greater number of applications from a bigger area will be made.

“The more applications you get, in theory the better chance of success of picking winning companies,” he said.

From the perspective ‘as an investor,” Heivly is pleased with how Startup Factory-backed firms are doing.

“Nine of eleven are still going,” he said. “Two are dead.”

Of those nine, “six are doing really well,” and several graduates have secured outside funding beyond Startup Factory.

The new group – Tuee, Vacation Futures, Bring Me That, Taggs and Tabsprint – are especially impressive, Heivly added with a smile. “Three of the five have already had money committed.”

The Startup Factory emerged after another accelerator, Launchbox, failed and shut down. Hevily was part of that experience.

Heivly and Neal believe a new brand will ensure failure isn’t an option.