In today’s Bulldog update of technology news: Proto Labs expansion on track; Jean Davis joins First Flight Venture Center board; REACH NC moves to the Frontier; tablets, cars spur AT&T growth.

CEO Vicki Holt told investors in Proto Labs (NYSE:PRLB) during an earnings call Thursday that the company is on track to complete its expansion into its new 77,000 square foot facility in Cary by early 2016. Based in Minnesota, the 3-D printing firm said in June that it plans to invest $25 million and create 170 jobs in Cary over the next five years. See the Triangle Business Journal’s report here:

First Flight Venture Center names Davis to board

Jean Davis, CEO of MCNC, the technology non-profit that builds, owns, and operates a leading edge broadband infrastructure in North Carolina used by research, education, and healthcare institutions, has been named to the First Flight Venture Center board.

Davis is the former COO and director of international trade at the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

First Flight is a technology incubator in Research Triangle Park founded in 1991 to help entrepreneurs and early stage companies.

REACH NC moves to The Frontier

REACH NC, the Web portal that helps bring the expertise of thousands of North Carolina-based researchers to businesses, developers, government agencies, and the public, has a new home at The Frontier, the new state-of-the-art space in Research Triangle Park designed to foster collaboration and community among business people and entrepreneurs.

REACH NC staff will move to the new space—the first completed project at RTP’s Park Center development—next week. The move will give REACH NC (Research, Engagement and Capabilities Hub of North Carolina) greater visibility among RTP tenants who could benefit from tapping into its portal for information about experts at North Carolina universities and research centers.
“REACH NC was designed to make the expertise of our world-class universities and research centers accessible to the North Carolina business and entrepreneurial communities,” said Sharlini Sankaran, PhD, executive director of REACH NC in a statement.

“Putting our offices in the heart of RTP, in a space that was built to foster  collaboration and collegiality, is another way for us to bridge the gap between university research and the needs of the private sector. It’s a fantastic workspace and will put REACH NC in front of many people who could benefit from it.”
REACH NC pulls together information on more than 10,000 researchers, nearly 75,000 grant awards, and 350,000 publications from 20 academic and research institutions throughout North Carolina. These include UNC-Chapel Hill, NC State University, Duke University, and RTI International. \

The Frontier, which opened in January 2015, serves as RTP’s testing ground for ideas. The 142,000-square-foot former IBM building has been transformed into a multi-functional space that includes free collaboration and meeting space, as well as private offices at affordable lease rates. For more information see:; and

Tablets, cars spur AT&T growth

AT&T says it has added 2.1 million net new customers in its second quarter – but almost all came from tablets and connected cars – 1 million of them. AT&T CFO John Stephens said during an earnings call that “Our moves to transform the company are working well.”

The company reported a Q2 profit of $3.04 billion or 58 cents a share. Revenue climbed 1.4 percent to $33 billion.

Although the company added 410,000 post paid customers, entirely from tablets, while losing 200,000 basic phone customers.

The company says its is focused now on providing wireless connections to the Internet of Things, from pill bottles to dog collars.