Earlier this year, we released the 2016 Triangle “Tweeners”, a list that has mushroomed to ~100 middle-stage companies here in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina. 

With a much larger list than the initial 2015 version, we’ve put the Tweeners in a database and will start to share some interesting secondary data that has come out of the effort to catalog this important segment of the Triangle’s startup community. 

This is a two-part blog post that digs deeper into the Tweener list. We’ll start with the geography of the Tweeners.

Geography – where do the Tweeners live? 

This table shows the distribution of cities where Tweeners are located: 
Here you can see Raleigh leads with 49% of the Tweener list, followed by Durham with 31%. 
If you’re more visual, check out all of the Tweeners on this Google map (move your cursor to navigate and click on pins):
The colors represent the city where the Tweeners live (e.g. Durham = Green) and when you hover on a pin, you’ll see details like address, industry, CEO, size and links for each Tweener. For a more interactive experience, here’s a link to the map
A few interesting observations from this data: 
  • Many Tweeners live in the American Tobacco Campus/American Underground area of downtown Durham and the HQ Raleigh area in downtown Raleigh. 
  • Once Tweeners get to the 50+ employee level, then you start to see them either move south (Cary) or toward the edges of RTP where larger office space is available. 
  • The outskirts of the Triangle—areas like Apex, Holly Springs and Morrisville—need more Tweeners! 
  • Chapel Hill is surprisingly slim on Tweeners as well. When I talk to founders out of Chapel Hill and Carrboro, they struggle to find office space in ‘town’, so they tend to move out once they get bigger. Many move up 15/501 to Durham or east on 40 towards Meridian. You can see those clusters on the map.  


One of the attributes that makes the Triangle unique from other startup towns is the fact we have three main metro areas (Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh) and lots of interesting suburban towns in-between (Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Knightdale, Morrisville, Carrboro, etc.) where not only can you live, but you can also choose to operate your Tweener. Hopefully you’ve found this geographical tour and the interactive maps helpful as you navigate the Triangle startup scene. 
In the next post, we’ll look at the Tweeners from a different angle—the industries they play in. For more information on the Triangle startup scene, check out the rest of my Guide to the Triangle Startup Ecosystem.