Back on June 24th, I shared my list of Triangle Tweeners. These are Triangle-based post early-stage (10 people and/or > $1m/yr in sales) companies. Based on the success of that article, I am launching a more comprehensive look at the Triangle Startup Ecosystem

Before adding to the ecosystem components, I wanted to first circle back and update the Tweener list. Since posting this, I have had ~15 Tweeners come out of the woodwork (I told you they are A) hard to find and B) under the radar!). I also wanted to update a couple of entries that had some errors/omissions. 
Finally, based on the popularity of this list, I have created two Twitter lists: 
  1. Triangle TweenersThis list allows you to follow all of the Triangle’s post-early stage companies. (Try and say Triangle Tweener Twitter List 10 times fast) 
  2. Triangle Tweener CEOs (coming soon)—This list allows you to follow all the Tweener CEOS (that I could find on Twitter).   

New Tweeners! 

Here are 11 new Tweeners, that added to the first 40, bring the total past 50. Before starting this project, my sense was that we have a lot of Tweeners in the Triangle, but now I think we have a surge and a boom of Tweeners! 
• Pitch: If you don’t know what Ansible is in reference to, you need to hand in your geek badge of pride and go read Ender’s Game. Ok, now that you’re back – Ansible is in ATC and has cloud-based software that helps larger engineering teams manage the release cycle. For example, if you have a multi-node cloud app (hosted or on AWS), it can be very manual to roll out a new version of your code. Ansible automates this for you. Ansible’s founders previously worked at Red Hat. 
• Size: 10-50 
• Investors: $6m from Menlo Ventures 
• CEO: Said Ziouani 

• Pitch: If you are a real estate developer and you have a great new neighborhood, you need a complete CRM/digital marketing system to help you promote and manage your sales force and customer data. BrightDoor provides a SaaS platform for the builder industry. 
• Size: 10-50 
• Investors: $2 million from IDEA Fund Partners and Outcome Capital. 
• CEO: Michael Worthington 
• Pitch: Internet of Things (IoT) is going to be huge and Bright Wolf is a local company with a lot of traction in the space. Imagine that everything had a sensor on it. If a generator in a factory is going out, a sensor could raise an alert so a second generator could take over while a maintenance dude comes out to fix generator 1. Bright Wolf’s platform enables this type of machine-to-machine (m2m) automation, and is used heavily in the transportation industry. 
• Size: 10-50 
• Investors: Bootstrap 
• Founders: James Branigan, Patrick Dempsey • Director: David Houghton 
• Pitch: Sam Bayer was at HAHT from 1997 to 2000 in the early days of e-commerce. He then worked at SciQuest and MarketAcuity. In 2008, he launched Corevist (aka b2b2dot0). Corevist helps SAP users connect their back-office ERP to more modern e-commerce platforms. 
• Size: 10-50 
• Investors: Bootstrap 
• CEO: Sam Bayer 
• Pitch: I don’t know much about the founding of eTix, but Joe Kustelski was there as head of product before he left to start Rockhouse Partners. eTix then acquired Rockhouse in 2012 and Joe has been CEO since. eTix provides digital ticketing for venues (think TicketMaster but for smaller venues). You can’t go see a band or milk a cow at the Fair in RTP without ringing its cash register. This company processes over 50 million tickets per year across 1800 venues globally. 
• Size: 100-300 
• Investors: $1m from 1 investor – Southern Capitol Ventures 
• CEO: Joe Kustelski 
Pitch: Are you like me at the first of every month relishing that it is time to pull out the ladder and change your air-conditioner filters? Ok, I fibbed, I actually do this about every six months if I’m lucky. Why? Because it’s one of those things that not only is hard to remember, but is a pain because I’m always missing 1-2 of the filters and have to go to Home Depot or Lowe’s to buy them. Thad Tarkington and Kevin Barry were NCSU students when they came up with an e-commerce solution with an automated delivery service for air filters, and it’s grown like crazy ever since.
Size: 10-50 
• Investors: $2m from RTP Capital Associates, Iron Yard Ventures, Azure Capital Partners and David Gardner 
• CEO: Kevin Barry 
• Pitch: Founded in 1999 as Proof-it-Online, this company helped creative departments automate workflows with a SaaS platform to get content proofed and approved. In 2009, it launched inMotion for videos and animation. This has taken off. In 2012, the company rebranded as InMotionNow and the buzz is that Ben Hartmere (CEO since ’13) has this Tweener on fire. 
• Size: 50-100 
• Investors: $1.3m from unknown investors. 
• CEO: Ben Hartmere 
• Pitch: I love these types of stories because I’ve lived one before. Stephen Malik started Medfusion (1.0) in 2000. Its SaaS software helped patients make appointments and pay medical bills. In May of 2010, Malik sold to Intuit for $91 million and rebranded as Intuit Health. Flash forward to 2013 when Steve bought back the business for an undisclosed amount and Medfusion (2.0) was born. 
• Size: 50-100 
• Investors: Bootstrap (Bank of Stephen)
• CEO: Vern Davenport 
• Pitch: Taylor Mingos was a Duke student in 2007 and did an internship with a EU-based social media company. After that gig, he had the idea to marry some of the learnings from social media to B2B and Shoeboxed was born. Shoeboxed collects receipts for businesses and individuals and turns them into digital data. This platform has tons of uses, such as automatically generated expense reports, business card scanning and contact updates, along with mileage tracking. 
• Size: 10-50 
• Investors: $2.5m from 4 investors including Novak Biddle Venture Partners 
• CEO: Taylor Mingos 
• Pitch: Zach Clayton started Three Ships in 2009 as a digital agency. He was like 16 then and now is pushing 21 and can finally have a beer on Beer Fridays. (Seriously though, it’s great to see this crop of young new folks starting cos. in the area). Anywho, Three Ships has developed some interesting technology around SEO for brands with lots of office locations so it can check all the boxes now to be a Triangle Tweener. 
• Size: 10-50 
• Investors: bootstrap 
• CEO: Zach Clayton 
• Pitch: In 2010, Bobby Martin had the idea to create software to help bankers call on businesses (They’ve never called me – who knew they even did that!) He now has over 20,000 users at ~100 banks. 
• Size: 20-50 
• Investors: Bootstrap 
• CEO: Bobby Martin 


• Pitch: Stephen Fraser and Gart Davis left Lulu to start Spoonflower. Spoonflower allows consumers to create and print their own custom fabrics, wall paper and gift wrap. They have created a rapidly growing marketplace in the fabric world. 
• Size: 50-200 
• Investors: Bootstrap 
Pitch: Red Hat COO Joanne Rohde left in 2003 to found Axial Exchange and change the way patients interact with their doctors. Axial helps heath care providers get better at patient engagement. Think of it as bed-side manner as a service. 
• Size: 50-200 
• Investors: Bootstrap 

NTNCT – Not Triangle NC Tweeners 

After I published the first list of Triangle Tweeners, several folks pointed out interesting NTNCT companies. While they don’t meet the ‘HQ in the Triangle’ requirement, they are very interesting. So we’ve created a bit of a ‘Honorable Mention’ category here. Let us know if you find any other interesting NTNCTs! 

Fusion3 (thanks @Chip Royce) 
• Pitch: Just West of the Triangle in the Triad, Fusion3 produces a line of 3D printers that excel at large volume jobs. Not only are they speedy, but they also have high quality and are very robust. 
• Size: 10-50 
• Investors: Bootstrap 
• CEO: Chris Padgett 
Goenergies (thanks Jim Roberts) 
• Pitch: East of the Triangle in Wilmington, Goenergies has created a ‘fuel cloud’. Sounds scary, but we’re talking a software cloud that companies that buy a lot of fuel (for fleets of vehicles) can use to negotiate lower prices, manage usage, etc. 
• Size: 10-50 
• Investors: Bootstrap 
nCino (thanks Jim Roberts) 
• Pitch: nCino is out of Wilmington and started by some ex-bankers. nCino creates what they call a Bank Operating System. Basically, it’s software that helps banks automate all of their operations—loan processing, compliance, processes and bank-y stuff like that. 
• Size: 150+ 
• Investors: $62 million (WHOA!) from nine investors including Insight Venture Partners, Wellington Management Company, Salesforce Ventures and some angels. 
• CEO: Pierre Naude 
Next Glass (thanks Jim Roberts) 
Pitch: Let’s say you are working on this project, like a list of Triangle Tweeners just to pick a random example out of thin air, and you are looking to have a glass of wine or a beer and want to try something new. What if an app could say: “Try Beer X or Wine Y. We’re pretty sure you are going to like it based on your tastes.”  Sounds too good to be true, but this is the problem that Next Glass is tackling. 
• Size: 10-50 
• Investors: Undisclosed amount from dozens of angels.
• CEO: Kurt Taylor