Beginning this fall by October or early November, the CED will create a “Rapid Risers” list of startups that have landed institutional funding, are starting to scale, and are creating jobs, Joan Seifert Rose, president and CEO of the CED told the organization’s Tech Venture Conference on Tuesday.
“It will be a dynamic list of breakout hits,” Rose told WRAL Techwire later in an interview. “Some companies will grow beyond it, some will be acquired, some may not work out.”
Rose said “It’s great to see so many companies maturing. After the recession we saw a lot of app companies and we still see that, but now also companies in materials and other areas of tech.”
She attributes this in part to the number of support organizations established in the last few years, from HQ Raleigh to the American Underground and of course, the CED.
There are more than 250 startups alone at AU and nearly 150 at HQ Raleigh, according to their respective websites.
About 800 people are registered this year, 110 of them investors with 60 funds in attendance.
The number of first time funds attending is up, largely due to the work of Dhruv Patel, the CED’s director of investor relations.
“In the past,” Rose said, “We would see them at the conference and then not talk to them for a year.”
Now, Patel stays in touch, letting investors know about regional startups that fit their portfolios. He talks to more than 300 out-of-market funds, a figure up 10-fold from two years ago, Rose notes.
“It saves them time,” she adds. “The Triangle is one of 10 or 15 communities with a ton of startup activity and investors don’t have the time to do all the research.”
Patel lets them know that the next time they’re in town, they should talk to this company or that one.
Rose, who plans to step down when the CED finds a replacement for her, said she still plans to stay with the organization to help with the transition.
A job description for the position will go up on the CED’s web site this week. It has hired Waverly Partners, which led the search for the new Raleigh Chamber of Commerce president to conduct the search.
She said the CED is interested in hearing from potential candidates for the position and those who might recommend an appropriate candidate.
“This is the first time I ever left a job without knowing what I was going to do next,” Rose added. “But I know I want to stay in the area. My family is all here now and there is no where else I want to live.”