Editor’s note: Allan Maurer and Rick Smith were cofounders of Local Tech Wire (now WRAL TechWire) in 2002. Allan has written for TechWire for nearly two decades. Colleagues and friends in the digital media business generously shared with The Skinny their thoughts about Allan as he wages a battle against poor health. Don’t miss Scot Wingo’s thoughts about Allan, either.

DURHAM – Allan Maurer, cofounder of WRAL TechWire in 2002, has been one of the most widely published writers about technology in the Triangle and elsewhere for more than two decades. He’s battling poor health right now, and friends as well as colleagues plus people he has written about have reached out to TechWire to extend best wishes and positive encouragement.

Among those is Cal Chang Yocum, one of the first writers to sign on for Local Tech Wire as TechWire was called when it began publishing in January 2002. Cal knew and respected Allan quite deeply before the LTW team assembled.

Remember LocalBusiness.com – one of the first tech-only email newsletters?

Rick Smith, WRAL TechWire’s editor and a cofounder, writes The Skinny.

“Allan and I covered venture-backed and small-cap tech companies in Research Triangle for a publication called LocalBusiness.com in 2000,” Cal told TechWire.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better partner and mentor. Twenty years later, I still think back fondly at what a great team we were.

“Allan is one of a kind.”

Charlotte entrepreneur Andy Agrawal talked a great deal with Allan before deciding to launch Local Tech Wire along with another investor.

“When we stated Local Tech Wire, Allan was one of the first journalists to join the team.  He was a key part of the launch team with his nose for news and ability to write compelling stories,” Agrawal recalled.

“He was passionate about the local tech community and loved his profession.

“I reconnected with him a few years ago when he interviewed for a story on the M&A tech market and found that he hadn’t changed a bit. I wish him a speedy recovery.”

The writer in the fedora: A salute to tech legend Allan Maurer from Scot Wingo

Eric Gregg, another tech entrepreneur in the Triangle, launched TechMedia, Triangle Tech Journal and Tech Journal South along with his late brother Randall. The Greggs also utilized Allan’s reporting and writing skills.

“In the early days of TechMedia, Allan was such an instrumental writer and editor and played a key role in helping us transition from print to digital and eventually to live media, which became our enduring success,” explained Randle who sold his TechMedia company in 2019.

“If someone asked me to define a true journalist, I would immediate point to Allan who is the definition of that in every sense of the word. The amount of quality content that he has been able to produce day in and day out over the years is simply on another level. He’s the utmost professional but also just a great human. I’m looking forward to him getting better and ‘getting the band together again’ to work on some future projects.”

“Genuine, honest, kind”

Joe Procopio, the former owner and publisher of Exit Event and now an executive at Get Spiffy who writes a weekly column on entrepreneurship for TechWire, developed his own special relationship with Allan.

“Allan is one of those people who just makes me smile as soon as I see him. He is a genuine, honest, and kind person and an expert on the business of technology,” Procopio said.

“The first advice writing I ever did was for TechJournal South, where he was my editor, and Allan taught me a lot about writing – not just how to put the right words together, but how to communicate thoughts and ideas in a way that can be both informative and interesting.

“He also taught me a lot about business and tech. I don’t remember ever hanging out with him without learning at least three new things.”

“Cranking it out”

Given Allan’s free-lance writing career, he wrote for many publications ranging from science to space. Over the last several years he has been a regular contributor to news stories generated by the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. His assignments came from Jim Shamp, a longtime journalist himself in Durham who now is public relations director. He’s had the job since 2005, and he often has called on Allan to cover emerging technology.

Which brings us to Shamp’s Allan Maurer story as only he – ever joyful, ever colorful – could tell it.

“I love this guy for his inspiring ability to grab change, embrace nuance, and see opportunity in storytelling,” Shamp said.

“Allan Maurer has long been an invaluable asset in the prodigious stable of NCBiotech freelance writers, serving NCBiotech, WRAL TechWire readers and North Carolina citizens statewide, with stories that resonate. Stories about the amazing life-sciences ecosystem in which we live and work.”

Maurer was never reluctant to explore new tops of science and entrepreneurship, as Shamp pointed out.

“Case in point: When ag tech started bubbling up from the magma of biotech successes in North Carolina, Allan told me he wanted to hang his omnipresent fedora on this sector whenever possible. So, when I assigned him that coverage, he started crawling around NCBiotech events at our RTP headquarters and grabbing interviews, sometimes well into the evening. Then he went home and pounded out late-night stories that provided our readers unique flashes of what’s happening and where we’re going in ag tech. He created this niche as a specialty journalist because he always keeps his hand on the plow, and recognizes the all-important ingredient for North Carolinians: “story.”

“Allan has spent decades awash in tech and biosciences like a pig in poop. A true North Carolina entrepreneur and more. A gentle soul, a committed journalist, listening and taking notes …  and cranking it out.”

That he does – and hopefully will continue to do so.

Allan, you are missed.