Startup Rewind: Recapping nearly 30 headlines about new, emerging ventures in NC from May 4-10 – WRAL Tech Wire
Last week, we launched a new weekly column that summarizes local startup news coverage over the past week. Here’s the latest digest:
Plenty of startup news dominated headlines last week: The NC Biotech Center awarded $1.8 million in grants and loans to startups and universities; local companies rolled out plans to reopen as “phase one” begins in NC; a serial founder with exits to Google and Facebook started a new venture in Raleigh; sales are high at a new neckwear-mask startup launched by Raleigh teenagers; CED CEO Ravila Gupta is stepping down to become CEO of Chapel Hill’s Bagchi Group; a new lawn care startup wants to hire workers displaced by COVID-19; Launch Chapel Hill’s new director shared her vision for the accelerator; Venture Asheville is launching a new grant program for startups.
Here’s a recap of 29 startup news headlines from last week:
Monday | May 4:
- Scores of organizations hold regular meetups across the Triangle. Here is the latest list.
- Golden LEAF, a statewide economic development group, is making another $125 million in loans available to small businesses across North Carolina.
- Today, we’re launching a new column that summarizes local startup news coverage over the past week. Here’s the first edition.
- Windlift, the Triangle-based engineering and computer programming company focusing on airborne wind energy (AWE), has raised $160,000 in new capital. And the firm wants another $100,000.
- From NC IDEA: Last week we announced the award of sixteen grants ($10,000 each) to startup companies across North Carolina. I wanted to take today’s message to explain how the MICRO program was born from observation and necessity and why we need to rethink economic development priorities.
- Here’s our latest wrapup of upcoming conferences, contests, workshops, application deadlines and socials happening across North Carolina in May. Many events have moved online due to COVID-19 social distancing.
- North Carolina small businesses and startups are faring better in the second round of COVID-19 disaster loans under the Paycheck Protection Program. But the average loans are smaller than in round one.
- Our latest exclusive events wrapup summarizes the must-attend happenings across the Triangle in May, including industry-specific meetups, informative workshops, conferences, panels, and more. Here’s the latest, adjusted for coronavirus cancellations and changes.
- WRAL TechWire just added some important coronavirus funding resources to our Triangle Startup Guide. Check it out.
Tuesday | May 5:
- In a letter to employees, CEO Brian Chesky said the company is letting 1,900 of its 7,500 workers go and cutting businesses that don’t directly support home-sharing, like its investments in hotels and movie production. Airbnb has an extensive base of clients and partners across N.C.
- Less than a week after Raleigh teenage brothers Dylan and Connor Clark officially launched their neckware-mask company, the duo reports that they have already completely sold out from its first production run and is now in the middle of its second round of manufacturing.
- Rakemates is a lawn care subscription service that is designed to hire people who are financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The ousted CEO sued SoftBank on Monday, accusing it of breaching a contract by withdrawing an offer to buy up to $3 billion in WeWork stock from Neumann and other shareholders, according to the New York Times. WeWork has several operations in the Triangle and Charlotte.
- Three-time founder Patrick Sullivan is passionate about building companies. His first company, RightsFlow, got acquired by Google in 2011. His second, Source3, was snagged by Facebook in 2017. Now he’s starting up Bonsai, an online career platform with virtual mentoring, in Raleigh.
- Three-time entrepreneur Patrick Sullivan, with two successful exits (to Google, to Facebook), talks about lessons he’s learned as he launches a third startup (Bonsai) in Raleigh.
Wednesday | May 6:
- Now is the time to plan for the first phase of reopening your business. The evolving nature of responding to the virus as we learn more means that your plan should be fluid and flexible. As our daily understanding of the circumstances evolves, so should your plan.
- Polaris Quantum Biotech, which recently came out of stealth mode to launch a new drug discovery platform, has raised an additional $235,000 in equity, according to a securities filing.
- Twenty-three investors contributed to the round, according to a recent securities filing. To date, the startup has raised more than $3.3 million.
- Ravila Gupta says pursuit of “new career aspirations” is the primary reason she recently stepped down as chief executive officer at the Council for Entrepreneurial Development to become CEO of Chapel Hill-based law firm Bagchi Group.
- The North Carolina Biotechnology Center awarded 13 grants and loans totaling $1.8 million to universities and bioscience companies in the third quarter of its current fiscal year.
Thursday | May 7:
- For nearly all, there will be a new set of principles and protocols to ensure safety and compliance with public health practices. However, each is tasked with writing their own scripts to navigate this “new normal” and none are exactly the same.
- The teams of La French Tech Raleigh-Research Triangle and The French American Chamber of Commerce of the Carolinas (FACCC) have been collaborating tightly since 2019 — with many supporters backstage — to make this happen.
- In a Q&A with TechWire, Velvet Nelson talks about her new role as director of Launch Chapel Hill, her observations of the accelerator’s 13th cohort, how alumni companies are pivoting during the COVID-19 pandemic, and her vision for the future of the program.
- SimpleTix has announced it now integrates directly with Zoom. Its founder says it’s the first ticket app in the world to do so.
- Applications are now open for $5,000 grants to start five new companies.
Friday | May 8:
- Significant comments from the Treasury Department, the SBA and the media have centered on this “necessity certification” for PPP loans. Statements by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and the issuance of additional SBA guidance are causing a great deal of uncertainty with many borrowers. Here’s an update.
- The Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce and ReCity Network have launched a new phase of their partnership that aims to increase the impact of non-profit leaders by connecting them with thought leaders, innovators, and change-makers beyond the Triangle.
- It comes at a pivotal time for the Cary-based video games and software developer. As the world reels from a global pandemic, it has seen a surge in users during the quarantine. It is also reportedly seeking a $1 billion raise in capital.
- On Monday, nearly 40 startups will pitch their products and services for the second installment of CED’s virtual Venture Connect event. Here’s a look.