Startup rewind: How Triangle’s entrepreneurial ecosystem adapting in crisis + 25 other headlines – WRAL Tech Wire


As part of TechWire’s Startup Mondays, we recently launched a new weekly column that summarizes local startup news headlines over the past week. Here’s the latest digest. (Read the last edition here.)

One of the biggest areas of startup news coverage last week was our new series on how the Triangle’s startup ecosystem is adapting to the “new normal,” featuring Cary and Raleigh coworking hubs, Loading Dock, HQ Raleigh and the entrepreneurial community as a whole.

Other news included: Durham startup Get Spiffy is pivoting to decontamination services – read more in this Q&A; the NC Biotech Center won a $50,000 grant from Wells Fargo’s Innovation Incubator program to support local cleantech startup Advanced Animal Diagnostics; four Wilmington startups won NC BIONEER grants totaling $40,000; local black-led businesses say they’re getting shut out of the PPP loan program.

Also, two NC startups announced new fundraises last week: Raleigh edtech company MemberHub ($3.3 million) and Winston-Salem health tech startup Wellnecity ($1.3 million).

Here’s a recap of 25 startup news headlines from May 18-22:

Monday | May 18:

9/11, dot-com bubble, pandemic … Get Spiffy’s Scot Wingo talks how to stay alive in downturns

  • In the wake of the coronavirus, Get Spiffy’s revenue initially plummeted by 90 percent, its co-founder Scot Wingo says, forcing the company to furlough around 200 employees in April. He talks about how he is surviving the crisis.

Here’s Startup Monday’s guide to 100+ meetups, networks & user groups for Triangle

  • Scores of organizations hold regular meetups across the Triangle. Here is the latest list as part of our Startup Monday report.

How’s ‘new normal’ affecting coworking hubs? Just take a look at Loading Dock’s rules

  • To drill down into the changes unfolding at the region’s coworking spaces and startup hubs, take a look at what’s happening at the Loading Dock.

North Carolina headliners: 37 upcoming events & webinars across our state

  • 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.
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On the NC calendar horizon: 91 events & deadlines coming up in June

  • Plenty of technology and life science events and deadlines are on tap for June. Here’s the latest roundup.

Startup rewind: Raising cash during COVID-19; new accelerator; 6 startups land $50K grants + many more headlines

  • Our new “Startup Rewind” column summarizes startup and emerging venture news coverage over the past week. Here’s the latest edition.

The new normal: A different Raleigh-Cary entrepreneurial community takes shape at coworking hubs

  • In the first of an exclusive multi-part series, WRAL TechWire’s Jason Parker examines the rapid changes being forced on the Research Triangle’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic. A vivid snapshot of the evolution taking place is provided by looking at the Triangle’s numerous coworking spaces. The focus of this story is Raleigh-Cary.

Triangle headliners: Previewing 49 local events & deadlines through May

  • 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.

Triangle’s entrepreneurial economy gears up to lead in the new normal

  • As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on and North Carolina’s economy begins to reopen, the Triangle’s startup economy is faring better than many would otherwise think, according to many leaders and investors in the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem. But a new normal is dawning. What does that mean?

Triangle startup Get Spiffy pivots to stay afloat, unveils ‘decontamination business’

  • “The best way to recover is innovate and to make new offerings and partnerships like this to replace the revenue that’s been lost,” says GetSpiffy CEO and serial entrepreneur Scot Wingo.

Triangle Startup Guide is the hub of TechWire’s new Startup Monday – here’s why

  • It’s been a little over a year since we launched our newly designed Triangle Startup Guide. As we make new additions to the guide on a weekly basis, it’s now a key part of our “Startup Monday” package, which includes a multi-part calendar column, a recap of the past week’s startup news, as well as a list of new additions made to the startup guide each week.
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UNC-Chapel Hill to host VC summit spotlighting local ventures

  • Launched in 2019, VC University is a joint venture of Startup@BerkeleyLaw, an initiative of the University of California, Berkeley, and the National Venture Capital Association.

Venture Connect Online wraps today with 21 life science, fintech startup pitches

  • Marking the final installment of Venture Connect Online, 21 life science and fintech startups will take the virtual stage on May 18 to pitch their innovations. Six companies are part of Charlotte’s Queen City Fintech accelerator. The others are focused on therapeutics, disease prevention and pharmaceutical treatments.

Tuesday | May 19:

Prometheus Group makes fourth acquisition – this time it’s ‘bolt-on’ software

  • For the fourth time in seven months, Prometheus Group has made an acquisition. This time it is VIZIYA, formerly part of publicly traded Quarterhill.

Raleigh’s MemberHub lands roughly $3.3M for its parent-teacher group software

  • The Raleigh-based startup, which sells a SaaS-cloud software communications system to parent-teacher groups, confirmed this week it had recently raised $3.3 million in an oversubscribed round.

Winston-Salem startup, committed to minimizing healthcare costs, raises $1.3M

  • A Winston-Salem startup, committed to helping employees save on their health plans, has raised roughly $1.35 million in equity.

Wednesday | May 20:

Durham medtech startup Validic receives kudos for virtual care technology

  • Durham medtech startup Validic has been named the winner of its “Best Hospital Technology Implementation” award as part of the annual MedTech Breakthrough Awards.

Durham startup offering ‘baldness cure’ wins MedTech ‘Breakthrough Award’

  • The Durham-based REVIAN Inc.,  formerly known as PhotonMD, has won Best New Dermatology Technology Solution” award in the fourth annual MedTech Breakthrough Awards program for its hair growth system.
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NC BIONEER program awards grants to four startups in Wilmington

  • NC BIONEER announced four award winners on Tuesday for this biotechnology-based, innovation-focused entrepreneurial initiative for Southeastern North Carolina.

Report: Four in 10 startups face ‘red zone’ – 3 months of funding left

  • Global venture capital funding has dropped by 20 percent since the onset of the crisis in December 2019. The drop, however, is far from evenly distributed, says Startup Genome. But startups are increasingly at risk.

Virtual E4 Carolinas conference to cover energy sector’s role in COVID-19 recovery

  • Charlotte-based E4 Carolinas, a trade association representing energy companies, cooperatives and organizations in North and South Carolina, is hosting a virtual conference focused on the energy sector’s role in paving the way for COVID-19 recovery.

Thursday | May 21:

Got a dawdling dog? K9 ‘scent stimulator’ developed by Greensboro startup helps with poops

  • Kepley BioSystems has launched its new K9 Strategic Scent Stimulant that encourages dogs to be a more-targeted pooper. That means more-controlled social distancing and less time wandering aimlessly around the neighborhood waiting for the mood to strike your animal’s gastrointestinal tract.

Friday | May 22:

Black-led businesses getting shut out of PPP loan program, owners and experts say

  • Even in the best of times, minority-owned businesses face a tougher time gaining access to capital. But during a pandemic, many say it’s getting even harder. Lack of resources and access to networks, along with the government’s “first come, first serve” policy, is causing them to bear the brunt.

NCBiotech among grant recipients from Wells Fargo Incubator Fund

  • In total, 18 channel partners were selected to share the award totaling $900,000. The aim: to help startups retain staff and stay on track to bring their potentially “game-changing solutions” to market, even during a pandemic.

Raleigh tech startup offers ‘touchless menus’ to help restaurants re-open

  • System transmits digital menus onto guests’ personal smart devices.





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