2022 Triangle Tweener List

Welcome to the seventh annual Triangle Tweeners List! This list features details on over 250 curated startups in the Triangle (the North Carolina high-tech Research Triangle Park corridor that includes Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill) that I call Tweeners. What’s a Tweener? Read on…

In the last year I’ve upgraded the Tweener list with two new offerings:

  • Triangle Tweener List newsletter — If you like this content, sign up for our newsletter for updates on not only the annual list, but a variety of interesting updates on the Triangle startup scene. Sign up for our Triangle Tweener Newsletter here: tweener.substack.com
  • Triangle Tweener Fund — In January of 2022, I launched an Angel List rolling fund that invests with a focus in Triangle Tweeners. It’s creatively called the Triangle Tweener Fund and is only available to accredited investors.

We have over 100 of the top entrepreneurs and ecosystem providers in the Triangle as investors (LPs).

If you are a startup in the Triangle, we’d love to talk to you about an investment, reach out here.

If you are an accredited investor and interested in investing in a basket of the Triangle’s top startups, you can learn more here: www.tweenerfund.com.

The minimum investment to join is $20k compared to $300k+ for traditional venture fund investments.

Note that each Tweener fund investment will be marked with “***Tweener Fund Portfolio Company. “

Thanks to our Sponsors!

We are proud to be sponsored by three awesome companies in the Triangle startup ecosystem:

http://www.hpg.com

HPG is a full-service accounting firm focused on startups from start to Tweener Graduate. HPG can help you with a variety of startup-needs: augmenting your team, audits, tax help, international expansion, and even personal wealth planning (pro tip: don’t wait until you have an exit/liquidity event to do this ’cause that’s too late). Full disclosure: HPG is our accounting firm at Spiffy and I have utilized them in many other companies and for some personal tax needs.

http://www.RobinsonBradshaw.com

Robinson Bradshaw is a Carolinas-based boutique business law firm with a Silicon Valley-level of startup knowledge. Need help on VC financings, M&A, IP, litigation, people issues, option plans, company formation or any of the other issues we deal with daily in startup-land? Give Robinson Bradshaw a call. Full disclosure: RB is our legal counsel at Spiffy and I have worked with them in many other companies.

http://business.bofa.com

Headquartered in North Carolina, Bank of America can grow with you through all stages so you can focus on scaling your business. BofA delivers both local coverage and industry expertise to provide a wide range of financial services, integrated working capital management and treasury solutions, and underwriting and advisory services. BofA is committed to delivering world-class digital capabilities that empower our clients to do business anywhere, anytime and make doing business for our clients faster, smarter, and more secure. To find out more, please visit: business.bofa.com.

Thanks for checking out our sponsors and be sure to let them know you learned about them from the Triangle Tweener list!

In addition to the sponsors, I’d also like to thank the great folks in our Triangle startup community at CED, BCVP, IFP (soon to be Janus Venture Partners), Cofounders Capital, American Underground, Raleigh Founded (previously HQ Raleigh), Square1, Bridge Bank, Live Oak, WIN, CAN, TAP, DAN and more that have been instrumental in helping keep me updated on all the companies in the Triangle that should be considered for the Triangle Tweener List. This list is definitely a big team effort and wouldn’t be possible without the behind-the-scenes help I get from everyone in the community. Finally, I want to thank Triangle startup enthusiast Derek Pando. Derek contributed a ton of time helping me sort through the myriad new companies in the Triangle springing up everywhere. Thanks Derek! (Note Derek’s Tweener volunteer time is done, if you have questions/concerns about the Tweener list, route them to me).

What is a Triangle Tweener?

Triangle Tweeners have the following criteria:

  • They must be headquartered in the Triangle. Note — due to COVID, I’ve gotten a bit more flexible here — there are 5–10 companies that are semi-HQ’d in the Triangle this year.
  • They need to be a technology company — software, hardware, tech-enabled services, digitally native brands, e-commerce, etc. No agencies, or consultancies. No life science companies (drugs, CRO, medical devices, compounds)
  • Have a minimum of $1,000,000/yr ($80k/m) in sales OR 10 people. Or as we say in startup-land, $1m ARR or $80k MRR.
  • Once a company is over $80m/yr in revenue or 500 employees they ‘graduate’ off the list.

Think of Triangle Tweeners as the ‘Goldilocks’ companies in the Triangle — not too small and not too large. These are our future breakouts, big fund-raisers, acquisition targets and (fingers crossed) IPOs. Tweeners are also great for folks moving to the area to target for their first Triangle gig, or if you are at a big company locally and want to try something more entrepreneurial — check out a Tweener today!

About the Author

I’m Scot Wingo, Triangle-area serial entrepreneur (Stingray Software, AuctionRover, ChannelAdvisor and Spiffy).

You can find me on Twitter (here) or LinkedIn (here). Full disclosure — I am still a Director at ChannelAdvisor and Co-founder and CEO of Spiffy (A Triangle Tweener). I also am a LP (Limited Partner or investor) in Bull City Partners, IFP, Co-founders Capital and the Wolfpack Investment Network (aka WIN). Finally, I’m a GP at Triangle Tweener Fund which is obviously completely intertwined/inspired by this list.

FAQ: Why do you do this? (What’s the catch?!?)

Good question and we live in skeptical times, so I get this question a lot. The short story is when I started my first company, I was 27 with an engineering degree and was so green that I would have completely failed if not for the generous mentorship of folks like Dr. Tom Miller, Walter Daniels, Richard Holcomb and Chris Evans. It got to the point that I was chewing up a LOT of their time and I finally asked how I could compensate them. They said — “in the Triangle we pay it forward, someday you will be able to repay the favor to a 2X yr old first-time founder”. And here we are. BTW, to save room at the top of the article here, I’ve put a section at the very bottom of the page that is links to the archives of the Triangle Tweener List if you want to do a little time traveling and fact check me on all this.

2022 Update: The Big Picture

The 2022 Tweener list reflects the activity of 2022. I’ve been doing the list in a more data rich format for 4 years so we have some interesting trends we can look at summarized in this table:

A couple of highlights:

  • Exits are up 100% y/y — After a bit of a slow-down in exits in 2019/2020, things really heated up in 2021. One trend that benefited the Triangle Tweeners was a surge in private equity (PE). PE firms look for companies that exhibit the ‘Rule of 40’ (IMHO you should learn about this if you are in startup-land) and because of our tighter capital markets, many of our companies fit their profile — growing > 40% y/y and profitable, so the number of PE firms hunting in the Triangle has exploded, and the deals have followed. The ‘2022 Update: Acquisitions’ section below has all the deals from 2021. It’s hard to get the values of the deals, but for the 3 that disclosed, the value was over $300m!
  • Investments are up 248% — Bazinga!!, this was an incredible year for fundraising. I even didn’t include the Pendo $150m+110m raises (one of those is tagged as secondary so may not ‘count’ as fresh capital). I won’t list all the fundings here (they are detailed in 2 sections), but when you add those up you get over $700m in investments. Remember, that’s just the investments in Tweeners. For a long time, I’ve argued that, yes we need more VCs in the area, but if we build great companies, investors will come. That was really proven out in 2021. Our local VCs are $150m funds and we had 4–5x that amount flood into the area. One caveat here. Sometimes when PE firms buy a controlling (>50%) interest in a firm, it’s not clear if that is an M+A or a funding. My default position here is to go with the language of the press release, but override that if I have some information on behind the scenes.
  • Tweeners (count) up 11% — This one is a bit tricky because we graduated some and the M+A number was high we lost a lot of Tweeners for all the best reasons. Specifically the math is: Started with 227 tweeners (from 2020), we lost 13 from M+A and graduation (down to 214) and then we added 37 for a total of 251. Another way to do this math would be to look at the ‘organic’ growth of tweeners, taking out the impact from exits and grads and that would be ~20%. Another insight — for every Tweener I meet, there are 10 ‘soon-to-be’ Tweeners, so I believe the pipeline is quite robust. More on that in next section.
  • Bottom line — The Triangle startup ecosystem is a flywheel and what makes the flywheel go faster are entrepreneurs, investment capital, revenues, M+A and graduations — all in an interconnected circle. For example, this year’s 12 acquisitions and Pendo’s graduation, those events will hopefully create a new crop of entrepreneurs that start new co’s, get funding, become Tweeners, and round and round it goes. This year the flywheel accelerated nicely with all that capital coming in, a robust growth of Tweeners and the exits all tee us up for continued accelerating momentum and a healthy ecosystem.

2022 Update: Acquisitions

In 2021 we saw a whopping 12 Tweener Exits, the second highest on record only topped by 2018’s 17 exits. Sadly these Tweeners are off the list because while many of them will maintain a presence in the Triangle, their HQs are no longer here. While most M+A does not disclose a price, three of these did and the cumulative amount was $336m — that was for 3!

  • Pro-ficiency was acquired by NovaQuest on 2/23/21
  • Pureport was acquired by Digital Realty 3/3/21
  • Republic Wireless (Bandwidth — a Tweener Graduate — spin-out) was acquired by Dish Network on 3/8/21
  • d-Wise was acquired by Instem on 3/22/21 (for a reported $31m)
  • Joulebug was acquired by Carimus on 4/5/21
  • Core Compete was acquired by Accenture on 4/7/21
  • Vanguard Software was acquired by Wolters Kluwer for $100m on 5/14/21 (Congrats Neal!)
  • Fantasy Life was acquired by Betsperts on 5/26/21
  • Spoonflower was acquired by Shutterfly for $225m on 6/14/21
  • EmployUS was acquired by Hireology on 7/13/21
  • SignalPath was acquired by Verily on 8/17/21
  • Brightdoor was acquired by Cecillian Partners on 10/6/21
  • Boostopia was acquired by SupporTrends on 10/11/21
  • ReverbNation was acquired by BandLab on 11/5/21

Congrats everyone! As I write this in May of 22, we’re already off to a really robust M+A year, so we could beat 12 in 2022 if the pace continues.

2022 Update: Graduates and Closures

Aside from acquisition, there are three ways for companies to leave the Tweener list:

  • Graduates — The ceiling of the Tweener list is $80m/yr in revenue and by all public accounts, Pendo has passed this level in 2021, so they are now officially a graduate! Congrats Pendozers, excited to see what happens from here and I’m personally hoping for an IPO of epic proportions.
  • Closures — Startups are a risky business and over 50% of startups end up failing — this is healthy. If you aren’t pushing hard and failing, you aren’t innovating. Fortunately, once companies get to the Tweener level, the failure rate falls way off. In fact this year we didn’t detect any failures of Tweeners — yeah!
  • Shrinkage — Sometimes companies hit a rough spot and dip below our 10 people/$1m ARR criteria — that’s shrinkage. None were detected this year.

2022 Update: Tweener Financings of Note

In 2018 there was ~$150m in investments in Triangle Tweeners then in 2019 it was around $300m and in 2020 we had a decent showing of ~$200m. In 2021 we had a banner fundraising year of $700m not including Pendo’s $140m which would have put it at $850m. Here are the 2022 Triangle Tweener investments from highest to lowest where the amount was given along with the date and lead investor. These come from sources that use the SEC form D’s as their information (e.g. Pitchbook, CrunchBase, etc).

  • CData raised $140m 12/16/21 from Updata Partners
  • Pairwise Plants raised $90m Pontifax AgTech on 2/3/21
  • ServiceTrade raised $85m from JMI Equity on 12/6/21
  • Well raised $70m from Valeas Capital Partners on 12/17/21
  • Phononic raised $50m from Goldman Sachs on 7/21/21
  • ProcessMaker raised $45m from Aldrich Capital Partners on 2/12/21
  • JupiterOne raised $30m from Sapphire Ventures on 5/4/21
  • Spiffy raised $22m from Tribeca Venture Partners on 10/26/21
  • Medicom Technologies raised $21.8m from Oval Park Capital on 11/18/21
  • Higharc raised $21m from Spark Capital on 4/21/21
  • Adwerx raised $12.5m from Texas Capital Bank on 11/23/21
  • PatientPay raised $12m from unknown on 10/12/21
  • Pryon raised $12m from Good Growth Capital on 11/24/21
  • Kevel (The Tweener Previously known as AdZerk) raised $10m from Fulcrum Equity Partners on 12/9/21
  • Lolli raised $15m in two rounds, one on 3/24/21 and one from Acrew Capital on 7/28/21
  • Levitate raised $8m from unknown on 2/25/21
  • FinMark raised $6.5m
  • ndustrial.io — $6m from Clean Energy Ventures and ENGIE New Ventures on 5/5/21
  • Dart Displays raised $5.5m from undisclosed investor on 11/9/21
  • SWIR Vision Systems raised $5m on 10/19/21
  • Triggermesh raised $5m from Cisco’s venture arm on 7/13/21
  • AllStacks raised $4m from TDF Ventures on 7/1/21
  • marGo raised $4m from 1/11/21
  • PRTI raised $3.7m from undisclosed on 7/26/21
  • Stitch Golf raised $3.6m from undisclosed on 1/27/21
  • Diveplane raised $3m from undisclosed on 9/22/21
  • Element451 raised $3m from Cultivation Capital on 4/22/21
  • Revibe Technologies raised $3m from Carolina Angel Network and others on 4/15/21
  • LoanWell raised $3m on 12/7/21
  • Alcove raised $2.3m from undisclosed on 6/1/21
  • CureMint raised $2.2m on 10/20/21
  • Klearly raised $1.6m on 4/30/21
  • Pattern Health raised $1.5m from Cofounders Capital and Launch Place 2/15/21
  • Aries raised $1.1m on 2/16/21
  • RepVue raised $1m from Knoll Ventures on 6/29/21
  • Convoy raised $1m on 12/31/21
  • TRAKID raised $1m on 12/15/21
  • Mesur.io, TopCourt, Slingshot Coffee all raised < $1m rounds

2022 Update: New to the Tweener list:

We’ve also discovered 37 new Tweeners that we’re adding to the list this year. Note: you can search for the new additions by searching for “New for 2022”

  • Acre
  • Arpio
  • Atmos
  • Bloom AI
  • ByteBase
  • Cameyo
  • Cycle Labs
  • Dart Displays
  • Dendi Software
  • Dental HQ
  • Devana Solutions
  • E-emphasys Technologies
  • EarthOptics
  • Enmass Energy
  • Flexgen
  • Green Places
  • GrowPath
  • Higgs Boson Health
  • LogistiVIEW
  • Microgrid Labs
  • MuukTest
  • Omni Creator Products
  • Participate
  • Persistence AI
  • Playmetrics
  • Protochips
  • PRTI
  • RepVue
  • ResultID
  • Rownd
  • Security Journey
  • Serve Finance
  • Transmira
  • Tribe
  • Trulabs
  • Tumult Labs
  • WorkDove

Finally: The 2022 Triangle Tweener List Database

(Drum roll please!) Now without further ado here is the 2022 Tweener List. The list is in alphabetical order and includes a ‘pitch’ for the company (my take on how I would describe them in 2–4 sentences). The size (data sourced from LinkedIn), the investors (data sourced from Crunchbase, GrepBeat, WRAL, etc.), the CEO’s name and a link to the LinkedIn page for the company if you’d like to learn more.

Note you can search for “Updated for 2022” to see what’s new or simply “2022” to see what’s new AND changed.

3 Birds Marketing
Pitch: What happens when you apply modern SaaS MarTech (Marketing Technology) to the car dealer world? 3 Birds is what happens! A big feather in the 3 Birds cap (see what I did there?) is that they are in the Honda and Acura preferred vendor programs.
Size: 100
Investors: none
CEO: Kristen Judd
LinkedIn

6Fusion
Pitch: 6Fusion of Raleigh is standardizing the economic measurement of IT infrastructure and cloud services. It was founded in 2008.
Size: 10–50
Investors: $26M from two investors, Intersouth Partners and Grotech Ventures
CEO: John Cowan
LinkedIn

Acre **New for 2022
Pitch: Second-time entrepreneurs are the most interesting to watch. Mike Schneider and team started First in 2015 and quickly hit the Tweener List. In 2019 they were acquired by RE/MAX. Mike is back and here’s the pitch. There are some interesting trends in the real-estate world at the intersection of PropTech and FinTech. For example, fractional ownership is opening up as is institutional ownership (e.g. PE/institutional firms buying up and leasing houses). Acre is at the intersection of these trends. What if you wanted to share your mortgage/home with an institution? That’s where Acre comes in. They match you with a financial partner to buy the house, both amplifying your buying power and getting you better economics than a traditional mortgage.
Size: 10–50
Investors: <none disclosed>
CEO: Mike Schneider
LinkedIn

Adwerx **Updated for 2022
Pitch: A local/vertical ad:tech (advertising technology) company that in early 2015 spun out of ReverbNation. This Durham team is making it easier for hyper-local verticals (real estate is the first one) to take advantage of the latest advertising technologies. The company tells me that they work with 25% of the top 1,000 Real Estate companies, and 15% of the top Mortgage Originators in the United States, and serve ads for more than 250,000 individual producers per year!
Size: 100–200
Investors: $5.5m that includes Bull City Venture Partners, Novak Biddle Venture Partners, Grotech, Alerion Capital, SeventySix Capital. Raised $12.5m from Texas Capital Bank on 11/23/21 **Updated for 2022
CEO: Jed Carlson
LinkedIn

AgEye Technologies
Pitch: As we explore new ways to grow food more cheaply (and someday on Mars of course), indoor growing is increasingly important. AgEye has developed an indoor growth platform. What’s that you ask? Well several parts — first is hardware including set of IoT (Internet of Things) sensors that monitors things like soil moisture plus cameras. The second part is software that used advanced ML (Machine Learning). Together they help the indoor farmer optimize their crop. “Hey Larry, that radish over there needs 6oz of water today and 1hr more of light, but first turn the bulk 12 degrees to the right”
Size: 25–30
Investors: none
CEO: <unavailable>
LinkedIn

Alcove **Updated for 2022
Pitch: When you go to college and want a roommate, there are tons of mechanisms to do that. Then you get a job in another city where you know nobody, what can you do? Enter Alcove -Alcove is a two-sided marketplace. On one side you have renters looking for great rooms. On the other side, you have people that have extra rooms either in their house or in an apartment they are renting and they want to rent out that extra room. Alcove was founded to solve this problem. Another PropTech co in the Triangle!
Size: 20–50
Investors: $5m from NextView, Bling, Expa, Brad Horowitz, Quarry and Pear VC
CEO: Colin Tai
LinkedIn

Allbridge (previously Bulk Internet and TV)
Pitch: Have you ever stayed in a hotel and wondered how they have Satellite TV in every room? The answer is Allbridge. They make (sell and install) the technology that pulls the signal down and then pipes it into every room in a hotel, office park, apartment building, dorm, etc. Based in Raleigh, Allbridge has quietly and without funding created a very big recurring revenue business. In 2019, Bulk TV merged with DCI and EthoStream to form the new company Allbridge.
Size: 200–300
Investors: none
CEO: David O’Connell
LinkedIn

AllStacks
Pitch: Today’s engineering teams use a complex set of tools to hit peak performance. The challenge for a manager and other leaders in the business is that they lose visibility into what’s going on with various projects because all of the data is spread around. AllStacks pulls in all of your engineering data into one place and then analyzes the data to detect and avoid any problems.
Size: 40–60***Updated for 2022
Investors: $5m from Hyperplane Venture Capital and others. Raised $4m from TDF Ventures on 7/1/21 **Updated for 2022
CEO: Hersh Tapadia
LinkedIn

Appraisal Nation
Pitch: If you have ever bought a house, you had to have an appraisal done. AppraisalNation is both a marketplace of appraisers nationwide and the software platform they use to create and deliver the appraisals.
Size: 100–200
Investors: none
CEO: Michael Tedesco
LinkedIn

Aqueti
Pitch: Aqueti has invented a 100 megapixel resolution camera called Mantis with a very wide range of view. This type of technology has tons of use cases and Aqueti has started in the security space. For example, you could have one camera in a stadium that could see everything in half the stadium at very high resolution. This would replace a system of tens or hundreds of cameras.
Size: 10–20
Investors: none
CEO: Kenneth Darby * Updated for 2021
LinkedIn

ArchiveSocial **Updated for 2022
Pitch: You have a business that is active on social media (aren’t we all?!), but you are in an industry that has document and record-keeping requirements (like finance, healthcare, government, legal, etc.). ArchiveSocial, a Durham startup founded in 2011, automatically pulls, records and archives all of your social media so you are compliant with all the relevant requirements. Note: I realize that ArchiveSocial has now been acquired in 2022, they will come off the list next time (the 22 list will be published in 23 — I know, it’s confusing)
Size: 50–100
Investors: $53m round in 2019 from Level Equity
CEO: Ray Carey
LinkedIn

ArenaCX ** Tweener Fund Portfolio Company **Updated for 2022
Pitch: If you recall Bandwidth developed a consumer wireless solution called Republic Wireless. Inside of their to provide top-notch customer service at the best prices possible, they developed some amazing customer service marketplace and management technology. It was so popular other wireless carriers and other industries wanted to use it, so they spun it out as ArenaCX.
Size: 10–20
Investors: $2m from Sovereign’s Capital and Tweener Fund
CEO: Alan Pendleton
LinkedIn

Aries
Pitch: Chris Evans put the serial in serial entrepreneur. He started with one of the first email systems called DaVinci. Then he followed up with an online ad startup called Accipiter. Then he pivoted from software to material science and started Tethis/New Century Spirits. Never one to take a break, he’s back with another startup. This one is in the PPE space. Chris has taken a space-age fabric out of NCSU that has filtration attributes as good or better than N95, but is much more breathable. The result is the Workweek mask by Aries. At the time of this writing, the Aries mask has become my go-to mask. As a glasses wearer, I haven’t found a mask that is nearly as comfortable that doesn’t fog up my glasses.
Size: 10
Investors: Raised $1.1m on 2/116/21
CEO: Chris Evans
LinkedIn

Arpio **New for 2022
Pitch: Arpio is the third company to spin out from Bandwidth (Republic, ArenaCX are the other 2). While at Bandwidth, Doug built some DevOps infrastructure to help with AWS disaster recovery and Arpio is a spin out of that idea. If you are building a company on AWS, there are different zones and being ‘multi-zone’ is expensive. If your AWS zone goes down, it can be very hard to recover. Arpio provides a cost-effective way to add disaster recovery to your AWS infrastructure and increase your up-time.
Size: 10–20
Investors: $2.1m from Y-Combinator, Uncorrelated Ventures and Valor Ventures.
CEO: Doug Neumann
LinkedIn

Arya/Leoforce
Pitch: The family of software that is used by HR departments to recruit, reward and retain talent is called HRIS or HRTech (or PeopleTech). Arya (by Leoforce) uses AI to sort through those thousands of applicants and surface the best candidates. Machine learning trains the system to get better over time. Arya is the world’s first AI recruiting platform, born right here in the Triangle (Raleigh).
Size: 50–100
Investors: none
CEO: Madhu Mogudu
LinkedIn

Atlas Certified
Pitch: There are hundreds of certifications out there: home inspector, Cisco hardware, Microsoft certified X, the list goes on. There’s a hodgepodge of APIs and ways to check these things. Atlas Certified has put them all into a family of over 600 APIs that make it super easy to very and track certifications of anyone across industries. Customers include Amazon, HomeAdvisor, ADP, etc. (Note: I’m aware that Atlas was acquired 4/27/22 by CLEAR, that will be reported in the 2023 update.
Size:10–20
Investors:
CEO: David Lindsay Johnson
LinkedIn

Atmos **New for 2022
Pitch: Building a home is complicated. There are a bazillion decisions, budgeting and tracking is rudimentary, etc. Atmos is revolutionizing the homebuilding experience by giving the home owner a set of design tools that allow you to design your home, find a lot and then get matched (via a marketplace) with a builder. They are currently building only in the Triangle area. Note they are headquartered in SFO and the Triangle, and Nick is a NCSU grad, so we’re laying 50.001% ownership to this one ;-)
Size: 50–100
Investors: $6.2m from Y-Combinator, Khosla Ventures, Starship Ventures.
CEO: Nicholas Donahue
LinkedIn

Bee Downtown
Pitch: Bees, the producers of yummy honey, but also the chief pollinators of the insect-world, are dying off at an alarming pace from something called Colony Collapse Disorder. NCSU student and 4th-generation beekeeper, Leigh-Kathryn Bonner, came up with a great idea. What if you could get corporations and their employees that care about the plight of the humble bumble bee to get involved? Bee Downtown was born! Corporations can sign up for a variety of different hive options and Bee Downtown, installs them, takes care of them, does tours and educational sessions and finally delivers the honey to the company. Everyone wins, and bees get a fighting chance at survival.
Size: 10–20
Investors: none
CEO: Leigh-Kathryn Bonner
LinkedIn

Bloom AI **New for 2022
Pitch: Every business is swimming in data. Dashboards, metrics, analytics, it’s all over the place. Bloom has built a ‘data delivery platform’ to make it easy to aggregate all of your data, display it and provide actionable insights.
Size: 10–20
Investors: <none disclosed>
CEO: Amit Shanker
LinkedIn

BrightView Technologies. **Updated for 2022
Pitch: The Triangle has an unusually large group of smart people in optics, cameras and items like that. Last year we introduced you to Aqueti and this year we have BrightView Technologies. BrightView’s technology can be used for lighting and displays, but what got them on my radar (har har) is their 3D sensing technologies that are used with LiDAR for autonomous vehicles. This company last raised capital in 08/09, but seems to have seen a new resurgence because of the excitement around AV/LiDAR.
Size: 40–60
Investors: <none disclosed>
CEO: Jennifer Aspell
LinkedIn

Broadvine
Pitch: The Triangle is home to Winston Hospitality — a very large hotel developer and operator. Chances are you have stayed in one of their properties. To help manage such a large portfolio, Winston developed SaaS hospitality software. After dogfooding the software, they spun it out as a separate company called Broadvine. Now Broadvine serves over 1000 properties worldwide.
Size: 50–100
Investors: none
CEO: Lexton Raleigh
LinkedIn

Brooks Bell Interactive
Pitch: Brooks Bell Interactive started in 2003 and helps companies perform A/B testing and optimize their ‘whatever they want to optimize’ online — conversions, sales, etc. Full disclosure — Brooks was an intern for us back in 1999 and I take 100% credit for all her success since then. Brooks is also one of the co-founders of HQ Raleigh.
Size: 50–110
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Gregory Ng
LinkedIn

ByteBase.io **New for 2022
Pitch: I have a warm spot in my heart for DevTech (software for developers) because that was my entry into the startup world. Cara and team are building an interesting solution that gives software developers a smart scratch pad. Devs frequently have to juggle a bunch of projects and ‘notification distractions’ (Slack anyone?) which is at conflict of trying to stay in a ‘flow state’ to be able to code. ByteBase is tackling this problem in an innovative way.
Size: 10–20
Investors: $120k, Techstars Anywhere Accelerator
CEO: Cara Borenstein
LinkedIn

Cameyo **New for 2022
Pitch: Today’s big companies have a huge challenge — they have all these legacy apps like mainframes and custom windows apps, but the knowledge worker wants to work remote from home or on the road. Maybe they have a Mac or a tablet or need to access something from their phone. There are solutions like Citrix for this, but Citrix is first generation legacy app sharing. Cameyo offers a more scalable, secure and affordable alternative.
Size: 20–40
Investors: <none disclosed>
CEO: Andrew Miller
LinkedIn

CandleScience
Pitch: CandleScience is a Durham e-commerce company that helps candle-making enthusiasts find the supplies they need and enjoy the experience of making something with their own hands. It was founded in 2004.
Size: 11–50
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Daniel Swimm
LinkedIn

Canopy
Pitch: An on-demand company in Raleigh that operates a marketplace for home care services like lawn maintenance, pest control, gutter cleaning and pressure washing. It was founded in 2014.
Size: 10–20
Investors: $3.9M from Cofounders Capital, IFP, Sovereign’s Capital, Great Oaks Venture Capital and Lowe’s Companies
CEO: Hunt Davis
LinkedIn

Carpe Lotion **Updated for 2022
Pitch: Let’s face it, as humans we sweat. In fact the startup-world is full of crazy levels of stress so if you are reading this, unfortunately I think we’re part of a group of people that sweats more than average. Antiperspirant technology has focused entirely on the underarms. Until…Carpe! Carpe is building a total body sweat management system targeting areas such as sweaty hands and feet. Carpe is selling direct to consumers through Amazon and their products are frequently in the top 10 against national brands. **Updated for 2021 -> It’s been really exciting to see Carpe on TV and on the radio all through 2020 — these guys are doing really well.
Size: 20–50
Investors: $2.3m from Carolina Angel Network (CAN) and Triangle Angel Partners (TAP)
CEO: David Spratte
LinkedIn

CData Software
Pitch: SaaS software is great, but we end up with little pockets of data all over the place. Then you may have legacy data in an old-school relational database like Oracle or Progress. How are you going to stitch all this together? Enter CData. CData has a ‘zero code or codeless’ (this is a big buzzword these days) Data Virtualization solution that connects to over 100 different data sources so you can access all of your data regardless of legacy or modern platform.
Size: 150–200 **Updated for 2022
Investors: CData raised $140m from Updata Partners 12/16/21 **Updated for 2022
CEO: Amit Sharma
LinkedIn

ChekHub ** Tweener Fund Portfolio Company **Updated for 2022
Pitch: I have a confession to make. I love checklists. One of my favorite books is the Checklist manifesto. ChekHub is near and dear to my heart because it is software that allows you to share checklists with coworkers and break down complex tasks into….well checklists. There’s a bunch of other great productivity features, but they had me at checklists!
Size: 10–15
Investors: Tweener Fund and undisclosed other investors
CEO: Jon Trout
LinkedIn

Clinetic **New for 2022
Pitch: Clinetic takes clinical data from EHR systems, curates the data and provides the tools needed for researchers to leverage that data. Previously the data was from claims data which isn’t as detailed, current or extensive as EHR system data.
Size: 20–50
Investors: $6.4m raised from undisclosed investor
CEO: Tom Kaminski
LinkedIn

CloudFactory
Pitch: There are people all over the planet interested in doing tasks for companies on a part-time, as-needed basis. Amazon created a system — Mechanical Turk — to automate this. But it leaves a lot to be desired and is very specific to Amazon’s needs. Enter CloudFactory, which moved its headquarters from Nepal to Durham in 2014. CloudFactory has created some custom workflows for text-to-digital, audio-to-digital and CRM cleanup. This gives companies a turnkey way to solve these types of problems without building their own solutions. A cool thing is its social mission — it contracts with thousands of underemployed “cloudworkers” in cities in Africa.
Size: 100 (more on LI due to their ‘gig workers’)
Investors: $65m from FTV Capital in last round
CEO: Mark Sears
LinkedIn

CloudFuze
Pitch: We’re all fans of cloud-based software or SaaS. But what happens is you are chugging along and look up and suddenly your company has 20 different cloud vendors and your data is spread across gdrive, onedrive, box, dropbox and a bazillion other places. CloudFuze gives you the ability to move between clouds seamlessly. If you’re saying to yourself, wow, this is a great idea — I thought so too, i think we’re going to see some great things out of CloudFuze!
Size: 30–40
Investors: none
CEO: Ravi Poli
LinkedIn

CompostNow
Pitch: Do you want to be Earth-friendly but don’t have room or time to compost? CompostNow to the rescue! You simply place your compostable waste into a bin provided by CompostNow and they pick it up on a regular schedule and take it to their mega compost facility. They also bring the fertile composted soil back to you immediately so you don’t have to wait for Mother Nature to take her time.
Size: 50–100
Investors: undisclosed angels
CEO: Justin Senkbeil
LinkedIn

Constellation Digital Partners
Pitch: One of the hottest areas of startups is called FinTech (Financial Technology) and Constellation is square in the middle of that huge trend. One of the biggest consumers of FinTech software are banks and credit unions. Constellation has created what I think of as a meta-platform. Banks adopt their platform and then other innovators (mostly startups I’m guessing) can deploy new solutions quickly. Think of it as a FinTech app store for credit unions and banks to be able to adopt new software quickly.
Size: 50–100
Investors: $52.5m — their investors are largely credit unions and banks, etc.
CEO: Kristopher Kovacs
LinkedIn

The Convoy ** New for 2022 ** Tweener Fund Portfolio Company
Pitch: Yasin was a NYC->RDU COVID transplant and I had the pleasure to be one of the first folks to meet him when they moved. Some entrepreneurs just radiate a ‘startup gamma-ray energy’ that’s hard to describe until you experience it. Yasin has SGRE to spare. When he moved, he was CEO of a Fantasy sports startup that then they sold. Now he’s started Convoy. Convoy is a B2B marketplace for group buying that saves SMBs big $$ on everyday purchases. Keep an eye on this one…
Size: 10–50
Investors: $1m from undisclosed investors and Tweener Fund
CEO: Yasin Abbak
LinkedIn

Corevist **Updated for 2022
Pitch: Sam Bayer was at HAHT from 1997 to 2000 in the early days of e-commerce. He then worked at SciQuest and MarketAcuity. In 2008, he launched Corevist (aka b2b2dot0) in Raleigh. Corevist helps SAP users connect their back-office ERP to more modern e-commerce platforms.
Size: 10–50
Investors: $8.2m raised, $5.4m fresh on 4/22 including Jurassic Capital,
CEO: Andy Martin
LinkedIn

Coworks
Pitch: Coworking space is the new way to rent space. It offers both flexibility and affordability, so it’s no wonder companies from startups to Fortune 500 love it. If you’re WeWork, you can afford to build your own software to manage your coworking space and community, but what if you’re not? That’s where Raleigh-based Coworks come in. NCSU grad, DeShawn Brown founded Coworks and incubated the idea at Techstars ATL in 2019 and is back in the Triangle scaling it up.
Size: 10–20
Investors: none
CEO: DeShawn Brown
LinkedIn

Creative Allies
Pitch: Creative Allies operates a marketplace for crowdsourcing amazing content. Over 12,000 creators are active on the platform and have created over 17,000 assets. Let’s say you are a local bar and you want to have a St. Patrick’s day promotion. You can go onto Creative Allies and start a design contest and award $250 to the winner. Designers come and create the design and you award a winner. Contests range from this type of a local example all the way to national brands leveraging the power of crowdsourcing to work with the latest talent.
Size: 10–20
Investors: none
CEO: Arnie Thompson
LinkedIn

CureMint
Pitch: As dentists/dental organizations scale up, they need a centralized supplies procurement platform to control and analyze costs. That’s where Durham-based CureMint comes in. Their software gives the staff at dental offices a simple to use, intuitive shopping experience. At the same time, the administrators can measure and manage spend like a much larger company.
Size: 20–40
Investors: In 2020, Cofounder’s Capital invested $1.2m in CureMint Raised $2.2m on 10/20/21 **Updated for 2022
CEO: Brandon Patrick McCarty
LinkedIn

Cycle Labs **New for 2022
Pitch: QA and Testing is hard to do and requires a lot of investment. Frequently it’s skipped or people do double-duty. Cycle Labs provides test automation solutions that will automatically test your apps before they deploy so you avoid evil ‘escaped bugs’ that cause bad customer experiences.
Size: 20–50
Investors: $2.5m from Jurassic Capital (aka Bank of Joe)
CEO: Josh Owen
LinkedIn

Cymatic.io
Pitch: We have a nice new crop of cybersecurity companies on the Tweener list this year and the first one is Cymatic (alphabetically). Cymatic has developed technology that is client-side. That means it can help protect against one of the most prevalent and malicious attacks: javascript injection. There are tons of other benefits for their solution that are over my head, so check it out to learn more!
Size: 20–40
Investors: $4.5m from unspecified investors
CEO: Jason A. Hollander
LinkedIn

DART Innovation (aka DART Displays) **New for 2022
Pitch: DART is in a similar space to Looma Project — helping consumer product goods get their messages out in stores. Looma focuses more on Grocery (GroceryTech) and DART more dept store. (RetailTech). Basically they help brands tell their story with a digital experience via an in-store display of some kind. For example, imagine you are in BestBuy and see this wicked-cool drone. Instead of parking a sales rep there all day, what if there was an interactive display you could touch to watch a video, see features and also learn more. That’s what DART does.
Size: 20–50
Investors: $5.5m from undisclosed investors
CEO: Kenny Olson
LinkedIn

DataClarity
Pitch: We are swimming in data. In fact, you are reading data right now. Data, data, data! DataClarity provides a Analytics and Data Science Platform. The DataClarity solution seems to appeal to a wide variety of industries and ‘plays well’ with the Cognos/IBM data warehouse systems.
Size: 50–200
Investors: none
CEO: Mark Mueller
LinkedIn

Davinci/LCMS Plus
Pitch: Spun out of Duke School of Medicine in 2011, Durham-based DaVinci Education provides an enterprise software platform (“Leo”) that helps facilitate teaching, learning and accreditation management at medical schools around the country.
Size: 10–15
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Allison Wood
LinkedIn

Dendi Software ** New for 2022
Pitch: Let’s say you operate a clinical lab, you need a Laboratory Information System (LIS) to manage everything. It’s 2022 so you’d want a modern platform that’s cloud based, integrates with everything and enables your lab to be super nimble in today’s ever changing world. Boom, Dendi to the rescue! Dendi is a bootstrapped Triangle Tweener that quietly built a great product using the best capital possible — customer capital — congrats Jihoon!
Size: 10–20
Investors: none
CEO: Jihoon Baek
LinkedIn

Dental HQ **New for 2022
Pitch: The Triangle has a ton of DentistTech Tweeners all of the sudden. Dental HQ is Dental membership plan platform. A trend in dentistry is to offer patients a membership plan to augment/replace dental insurance. A local dentist (Dr. Brett Wells) started this and realized there was an opportunity to build software and BOOM Dental HQ was born.
Size: 20–50
Investors: $1.5m from Doug Brown
CEO: Dr. Brett Wells
LinkedIn

Demographics Pro
Pitch: Any marketer will tell you that one of the most important things they think about is demographics for whatever it is they are marketing. When you think demographics (demos as we say in the biz), you think about someone at P+G spending 300k for all this fancy data. That’s the 1985 way of thinking — enter Demographics Pro. Demographics Pro provides APIs that allow you to query: “Who are the top social restaurant influencers in Raleigh, NC?” Create an audience of people 25–30 in the SE states that are thinking about buying a car”. Demographics Pro does it all!
Size: 10–50
Investors: none
CEO: Paul Hallett
LinkedIn

Devada
Pitch: Developers are always looking for communities where they can find folks working on similar problems and share their challenges and findings. Dzone is a community of over 1m developers that enjoy fresh content, message boards and other community features.
Size: 50–200
Investors: SFW Capital Partners
CEO: Terry Waters
LinkedIn

Devana Solutions **New for 2022
Pitch: Devana connects CROs (Clinical Research Organizations) with research sites and sponsors to accelerate and lower costs of drug development.
Size: 10–20
Investors: <none disclosed>
CEO: Barry Lake
LinkedIn

Device Magic
Pitch: There are many industries such as (retail, construction, facilities, telecom) where folks are out and about doing things like inspections, inventory counts, maintenance, and things of that nature. If you want to know what they are doing, you need to arm them with a device and an optimized, low-friction ‘form’. As they are filling it out, you?ll want a variety of ways to know what’s going on and see an aggregate view of all the data. That’s exactly what Device Magic does.
Size: 20–50
Investors: none
CEO: Dusan Babich
LinkedIn

Disruptive Enterprises
Pitch: I personally believe the Triangle needs a big direct-to-consumer (DTC)/consumer product goods (CPG) win to put us squarely in the echelon of top startup cities. That’s why I’m really excited to see Disruptive Enterprises come on the scene in a big way. There are three founders: Mike McCandless (CIO), Mike Hockenberry (CEO) and Brian Kinn (CFO). These guys have too deep CPG experience for me to go into here, but suffice it to say they are 100% DTC legit. Disruptive has a family of brands and their first offerings are: FBomb — fat-smart nut butters and oils, Primaforce — supplements and Ketologic — keto-diet friendly meal replacements and supplements. These guys have experience, great products and in 2019 they raised ~$8m from One Better Ventures, so they have all the ingredients to scale up quickly.
Size: 20–30
Investors: Raised $7.5m from One Better Ventures
CEO: Mike Hockenberry
LinkedIn

Diveplane ** Tweener Fund Portfolio Company
Pitch: AI and machine learning are all the rage. But, we’ve all seen the Terminator, or read hundreds of sci-fi stories (or seen Black Mirror) where the AI’s decide, hmmm humans are kind of a problem, let’s take over the world (looking at you Skynet). Diveplane’s goal is to make responsible AIs that not only do cool AI stuff, but they are open and transparent.
Size: 20–50 **UIpdated for 2022
Investors: In 2020, Diveplane raised capital from Calibrate Ventures, bringing their total to $6m. Investors also includePresence Capital. Mike was CEO of Epic from 2004–2013, so this company has the attention of some very large investors. Wolfpack Investment Network (WIN) is an investor. Raised $2m from undisclosed investors on 9/22/21 **Updated for 2022
CEO: Mike Capps
LinkedIn

Dropsource
Pitch: This Raleigh startup provides a drag-and-drop interface for creating native mobile apps for both iOS and Android. The founder dropped out of Syracuse University in 2013 and moved to the Triangle in 2014 to grow the company. With a November 2015 funding round, it rebranded from Queue Software to Dropsource.
Size: 11–50
Investors: $10.9m in 3 rounds, investors unknown
CEO: Nate Freschette
LinkedIn

EarthOptics **New for 2022
Pitch: EarthOptics’s website really grabbed me with this one: “We are building the Soil Cloud”. EarthOptics is an AgTech company that uses proprietary sensor technology to precisely measure the health and structure of your soil. All that data is uploaded up into SoilCloud. The SoilCloud has tons of applications, one of the more interesting ones is they can measure the carbon footprint of an acre of land, which ties into the growing number of GreenTech companies in the Triangle.
Size: 20–50
Investors: $10.3m including ‘Leaps by Bayer’
CEO: Lars Dyrud
LinkedIn

EDJX
Pitch: 6fusion is the Tweener where this idea was born. EDJX is in the IoT (Internet of Things) space where they are building edge capabilities so that you can easily deploy IoT anywhere (I don’t 100% understand this, but there you go).
Size: 25
Investors: $21.7m raised from undisclosed investors
CEO: John Cowan
LinkedIn

e-Emphasys Technologies **New for 2022
Pitch: This is one of those bigger Tweeners that snuck under my radar for a long time, but we eventually got ‘em! e-Emphasys provides software for equipment rental and dealers to automate their businesses — an ERP system.
Size: 340–450
Investors: Undisclosed amount from TA Associates and others (PE firms)
CEO: Milind Bagade
LinkedIn

Element451
Pitch: Let’s say you run admissions at a higher education institution. You have 400 openings and 4,000–10,000 applications are flying at you every year. How do you manage this process? Enter element451. Element451 provides a SaaS admissions CRM system for a data-driven higher-ed admissions process. Who visited, who has accepted, who called you a million times and stopped by your house -keep all that data in one place and get better at the admissions process
Size: 50–100. **Updated for 2022
Investors: $4m raised: Raised $1m in 2019 from Cofounders Capital. Raised $3m from Cultivation Capital on 4/22/21. **Updated for 2022
CEO: Ardis Kadiu
LinkedIn

Enmass Energy **New for 2022
Pitch: Enmass is building supply chain software to manage and measure a sustainable fuel procurement process. Including scheduling, delivery details, CRM and payments. I’m not sure what all that means, but we’ll count it as GreenTech.
Size: 10–20
Investors: $2.2m from Cox/Techstars accelerator, Blue Bear Capital
CEO: Andrew Scott Joiner
LinkedIn

Entigral Systems
Pitch: A Raleigh IoT company that uses RFID technology to track assets, shipping and receiving of goods and the production process.
Size: 10–50
Investors: $1.67M in four rounds from Triangle Angel Partners
CEO: Mark Self
LinkedIn

Entrinsik
Pitch: This 33-year-old Raleigh software firm sells business intelligence software to 1,500 companies and organizations in higher education, insurance, manufacturing, nonprofits, healthcare and more. It was founded by CEO Doug Leupen.
Size: 11–50
Investors: $1.5M from Research Triangle Ventures and Catalysta Partners in 2001
CEO: Doug Leupen
LinkedIn

Epifany
Pitch: Overwhelming data shows that in today’s complex world of consumer choice, it’s smarter to spend money on the customer experience (CX) than marketing. The mantra is CX is the new marketing. The challenge though is how do you get feedback from customers on how you’re doing and how to improve your CX? That’s where Epifany comes in. Their platform allows restaurants, sports/entertainment teams and venues and health and fitness clubs to ask their customers quickly and easily via surveys via sms or proximity beacons. Then they utilize AI (Artificial Intelligence) and NLP (Natural Language Processing) to give you insights on how to improve your CX.
Size: 20–30
Investors: none
CEO: Jim Zidar
LinkedIn

Equity Shift
Pitch: Cofounded by Will Duckett and Tom Gordon, Equity Shift is a FinTech helping companies digitally automate their corporate activities. Equity Shift is a new Triangle startup that has planted a flag in this exciting space by combining critical software functions (think: document sharing and signing, paymenets, etc.) into a single platform that helps companies effortlessly manage events like raising capital, convertible notes, shareholder voting, and even employee liquidity programs! I’m excited to learn more about this one and watch them grow quickly.
Size: 10–20
Investors: $3.3m from undisclosed investors (using their platform)
CEO: Will Duckett
LinkedIn

eTailInsights
Pitch: When Darren Pierce was at Bronto, he realized that cold calling online retailers was a tough business. He left and founded eTailInsights to solve this problem. The 2011-founded Cary company gathers a large database of online retailers and their contacts to help vendors get their products in front of the right audience.
Size: 20–40
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Jud Vanzee **Updated for 2021
LinkedIn

Eton Solutions
Pitch: There are wealthy families across the world that are taking control of their finances and setting up family offices. A local family office developed software for managing all of their assets and investments and decided to license it. Eton Solutions was born! Category: SaaS FinTech
Size: 100–200 **Updated for 2021
Investors: Raised $11.1m in 2020 from undisclosed sources, bringing their total raised to $20.2m **Updated for 2021
CEO: Robert Mallernee
LinkedIn

Eventops
Pitch: Let’s say you are a large company and you put on a lot of events like user conferences, developer conferences, etc. There’s software out there for managing events, but you have one vendor for the CRM, one for attendee management and another that gives attendees their schedules and apps and what-not. Enter EventOPS. Their SaaS-based software has all the features an organization of any size needs to manage all aspects of an event.
Size: 10–20
Investors: none
CEO: Willy Stewart
LinkedIn

Exit Intelligence
Pitch: Retailers and others pay big $$ to get visitors to their websites. When they leave, Exit Intelligence provides behavior marketing that turns bounced traffic into customers.
Size: 20–30
Investors: none
CEO: Matt Cimino
LinkedIn

FeedTrail
Pitch: FeedTrail is a HealthTech that lets caregivers get feedback from patients on how they are doing (how do I tell every doctor I visit that they are never on time?!, but I digress) so they can improve the customer experience. Feedtrail has made a ton of progress in a short time, so keep an eye on this one!
Size: 30–50 **Updated for 2021
Investors: In 2020, FeedTrail raised $800k from undisclosed investors, bringing the total to $2.7m. Investors include Cofounders Capital and Dioko Ventures **Updated for 2021
CEO: Paul Jaglowski
LinkedIn

Feelgoodz
Pitch: On a trip, the founders discovered amazing flip-flops created from 100% natural rubber. They realized that US consumers would love sustainable, socially conscious products that also were better than traditional offerings. Feelgoodz was born and has expanded not only from their small office on Glenwood but also to other categories plus their e-commerce game is quite strong. **Updated for 2021 — they have a new sub-brand called Rising Tide that is outside of flip-flops.
Size: 30–40
Investors: Wolfpack Investment Network (WIN) is an investor
CEO: Mac Sullivan **Updated for 2021
LinkedIn

Field2Base
Pitch: If you have people in the field (maintenance, etc.) they need to be able to capture information and send it back to HQ. Field2Base has solutions for that.
Size: 11–50
Investors: In 2020, raised undisclosed amount from Black and Veatch bringing their total to $1.7m ** Updated for 2021
CEO: Ed White
LinkedIn

Finmark **Updated for 2022
Pitch: If you’re like me, you have about 400 different little excel models where one night at 2am, you’re like, Hmmm, I wonder if we doubled our prices, what would happen. If I hire 20 more SaaS sales reps this yr, what does that do to bookings and burn? The problem is these little excel nuggets get lost, forgotten and once your team is bigger, impossible to manage. That’s where Finmark comes in — you can build a financial model quickly that is shareable and also super re-usable. Finmark has a pre-set list of metrics important to different businesses so will automatigically kick all that out as well. I’m also excited we have another FinTech company in the Triangle!
Size: 30–40
Investors: $11.6m raised from investors including American Express Ventures, IDEA Fund Partners, Y Combinator, Draper and Associates and Bessemer Venture Partners
CEO: Rami Essaid
LinkedIn

FISCAL Technologies
Pitch: As companies get larger, more and more people are involved in purchasing everything from supplies to equipment and components for their solutions, etc. FISCAL has software that monitors all of that activity at a forensic level and helps look for duplicate purchases, potential internal and external fraud as well as highlighting risks from potential risky vendors. FISCAL has over 250 customers and has monitored over $7 trillion (that’s a T and not a B folks!) in spend through its platform.
Size: 80–100
Investors: Splashes onto the Tweener list with a $4.7m investment from Octopus Investments
CEO: David Griffiths
LinkedIn

Flexgen **New for 2022
Pitch: Another GreenTech, Flexgen designs and integrates energy storage solutions (batteries) and creates the software platform to manage them. This is another one that blew up quickly that we’re excited to have discovered and welcome to TweenerLand
Size: 100–150
Investors: $175m (that’s not a typo) from Altira group and Apollo
CEO: Kelcy Pegler
LinkedIn

FoodLogiQ
Pitch: In today’s world of possible noro-virus and e-coli outbreaks, food safety and traceability are huge priorities. FoodLogiQ provides a SaaS platform for managing the complete food supply chain and has more than 1900 customers with 18,000 locations as customers since its 2006 founding. It’s based in Durham
Size: 50–100
Investors: $30.8m raised from Testo, Tyson Ventures and Renewal Funds.
CEO: Sean O’Leary
LinkedIn

FotoSwipe
Pitch: Sharing pictures and media directly on your mobile devices is complicated. You can email them or text them, but that can be cumbersome. Apple’s cloud and Android/Google don’t ‘play nice together. But FotoSwipe is a mobile app that lets you seamlessly swipe photos between any device.
Size: 10–20
Investors: $1M in three rounds from Cofounders Capital and Tom Lotrecchiano
CEO: Sylvain Dufour
LinkedIn

Freedom
Pitch: The average person in the US looks at their phone 74 times a day. Now you want to look at your phone don’t you? Ok, go ahead, I’ll wait… Welcome back. Ok that feeling you just felt? It’s no secret that smartphones and apps have been purposely designed to be addictive. They give you a little shot of dopamine and boom you are hooked. Enter: Freedom. Freedom helps you break the cycle. You can use Freedom to turn off all the notifications and other distractions in your life that keep you from being productive. Now, try not to look at your phone for the next 90 minutes and if you can’t, it maybe time to give Freedom a try.
Size: 10–20
Investors: 350k seed round in 2015. Investors include Robbie Allen, Mark Easley, Henry Copeland, MDO ventures, and Pilot Mountain Ventures.
CEO: Fred Stutzman
LinkedIn

Get Spiffy **Updated for 2022
Pitch: An on-demand mobile app that allows you to schedule an at-work and at-home car wash or other preventative maintenance within minutes, founded in 2014. All communication and payment is handled through the app making this the most convenient way for you to keep your car Spiffy. The company is based in Durham.
Size: 100–150
Investors: Tribeca Venture Partners, Bull City Ventures Partners, IFP, Wolfpack Investment Network (WIN) are investors. Raised $22m from Tribeca Venture Partners 10/26/21
CEO: Scot Wingo
LinkedIn
Full disclosure: I’m a founder, investor and CEO of this company.

GIBLIB
Pitch: A big trend in EdTech is a marketplace/Netflix approach for different verticals. GIBLIB provides doctors the ability to hear from the top of their field about a variety of topics from subject matter experts. No more hopping on a plane to a painful trip to Bermuda for a conference, now the Docs can get all the content they need online and stay up to speed on the best practices and procedures. GIBLIB is the Netflix of medical education. Note they + CEO just moved to the Triangle from Los Angeles — welcome home!
Size: 20–30
Investors: $7.6m from the Mayo Clinic, Strong Ventures and Global Ventures.
CEO: Brian Conyer
LinkedIn

Global Data Consortium
Pitch: In many lines of business, you need to verify the identity of your customers and trading partners. GDC gathers information into the cloud and provides a SaaS system that delivers Electronic Identify Verification. There are other uses for the system such as data cleansing and address verification.
Size: 40–50 (I’m aware they sold in 22, will be updated next year -congrats Bill!)
Investors: $3.6 from undisclosed investors
CEO: Bill Spruill
LinkedIn

Global Value Commerce (aka Global Golf)
Pitch: Ed Byman was a pro golfer on the PGA tour and in 2001 realized there was an opportunity to sell golf equipment online. He’s built GVC into a global golf company carefully tucked away here in Raleigh. Full disclosure — this is a ChannelAdvisor customer.
Size: 100–200
Investors: $500k from Southern Capitol Ventures
CEO: Ed Byman
LinkedIn

Green Energy Corp
Pitch: There’s a ton of innovation going on around alternative energy sources. Solar power, battery technology, smart meters, smart grids and more. Green Energy has created the GreenBus Microgrid Solution to provide a SaaS solution to pull all of this together in one system. After many companies in the ‘CleanTech’ space went under in 2000–2010, the space was very hard, but now it has come back and Green Energy appears to be well positioned.
Size: 10–20
Investors: none
CEO: Peter Gregory
LinkedIn

Greenlight Health
Pitch: Greenlight gives patients the ability to aggregate and get access to their electronic health records that are spread across a variety of sources. This technology was incubated at Medfusion that was started and sold twice (I like this model too) by local tech startup and soccer entrepreneur Steve Malik.
Size: 10–20
Investors: none (well, I imagine Bank of Steve involved).
CEO: Steve Malik
LinkedIn

Green Places **New for 2022 **Triangle Tweener Fund Portfolio Company
Pitch: One of our most awesome ‘move back to Triangle during Covid’ folks is Alex Lassiter. Alex is a UNC grad who moved to ATL, co-founded Gather (software for restaurants), sold that for 9 figs and then moved back to the Triangle. The urban legend is that over dinner, Alex and Jess Lipson (see Levitate) were having dinner and dreamed up the idea for Green Places. I got an early pitch and because we had this challenge at Spiffy gave it two thumbs up (full disclosure: Spiffy is a customer, I am investor, Triangle Tweener Fund is investor). In a nutshell, Green Places allows a SMB to track their carbon footprint by connecting in all your data and then also offset that so that you can be carbon neutral.
Size: 10–20
Investors: $1m+ from undisclosed investors (including Tweener Fund)
CEO: Alex Lassiter
LinkedIn

GrowPath** New for 2022
Pitch: Let’s say you are a legal firm that takes on a lot of cases for your clients. You’ll need something like a legal firm ERP to manage all that. This was built by a large legal firm for their internal needs, has been productized and they have brought in GTM (Go-to-market) guru Neal Goffman who helped GTM scale up Vanguard Software. Now he’s scaling GrowPath and has already gotten it up to Tweener levels.
Size: 20–30
Investors: none disclosed
CEO: Neal Goffman
LinkedIn

Hexawise
Pitch: Hexawise is in one of my favorite categories: DevTech — technology that helps software developers. Their solution is in the testing part of development. Today’s engineering teams are generating code faster than ever which means, how are you going to test all this code being produced? Enter Hexawise. Their solution is low-code — as a non coder I can build tests based on scenarios like: “Someone goes to the tweener list, presses this button and then they scroll here and do this and then that” and then hexawise takes care of the rest.
Size: 10–20
Investors: none
CEO: Justin Hunter
LinkedIn

Hi Fidelity Genetics
Pitch: I love this tagline: “Plant breeding is analog, we are making it digital”. To that end, HFG is an AgTech company that mixes IoT sensors, data science and genomics to create better seeds. It turns out the secret sauce is in the roots. That’s where my understanding stopped and if you want to learn more, their site has some deep papers on the topic.
Size: 10–20
Investors: none
CEO: Bill Niebur
LinkedIn

Higgs Boson Health **New for 2022
Pitch: Better patient engagement, better provider workflows, better outcomes. I don’t know exactly what that means, but we’re clearly dealing with a HealthTech co here. Digging in, HBH provides patients a ‘manage my surgery’ functionality that allows them to know exactly what is going to happen, when and to better understand the healthcare experience.
Size: 20–50
Investors: $600k from undisclosed investors
CEO: Rajeev Dharmapurikar
LinkedIn

Higharc
Pitch: Building a house is an overwhelming process and usually designed ‘backwards’. You look at plans and find ones you like that may or may not meet your needs. Higharc has software that allows you to ‘flip’ the process and start with your needs and then generate 3D plans from there. With the 3D plans, you can visualize your plans completely to ‘try on’ the design of your house. You could even envision this paired with virtual reality to take home design to the next level. Higharc has raised ~$5m to bring their idea to life.
Size: 40–50 **Updated for 2022
Investors: Raised $4.7m from Pillar VC in 2019. Raised additional 21m from Spark Capital on 4/21/21 ** Updated for 2022
CEO: Marc Minor
LinkedIn

Hip Ecommerce ** Tweener Fund Portfolio Company
Pitch: Mega e-commerce sites like eBay and Amazon are so big they don’t provide great vertical shopping experiences. Hip Ecommerce’s CEO Mark Rosenberg is a stamp and comic collector. He grew frustrated with this fact and decided to change it. Hip Commerce builds vertical marketplaces (comics, postcards and stamps so far) that are heavily customized for the collector. Want that near-mint condition, CGC graded, Amazing Spider-Man number 300? Go to Hipcomic.com and find that puppy faster than you can anywhere else. Full Disclosure: I’m on the board of Hip Ecommerce and angel investor.
Size: 20–40 **Updated for 2021
Investors: In 2020, Hip Ecommerce raised $5m+ in 2020 from Next Coast Ventures. **Updated for 2021
CEO: Mark Rosenberg
LinkedIn

Home Lending Pal
Pitch: In the world of 2021, HLP seems to be split between RDU and MCO, so we’ll claim them because they are FinTech and solving some cool problems. Instead of going through endless forms to figure out your mortgage situation, they have developed an AI persona, named Kev, that walks you quickly through the process and only needs 9 questions asked. After that, boom, Kev presents you with up to 9 offers from lenders and walks you through the process after that.
Size: 10–20
Investors: none
CEO: Steve Better
LinkedIn

IdeaBlock
Pitch: There’s lots of hype (some would say too much) around Bitcoin and crypto-currencies. But, most agree the underlying technology, blockchain, is going to dramatically change enterprise software and other industries by providing a decentralized ledger of activities. Ideablock is using blockchain to protect intellectual property. Let’s say you come up with a novel idea. In the past, the best way to document and ‘start the clock’ on your invention was to start the expensive patent process. IdeaBlock allows you to upload your idea to their decentralized system and create an immutable time stamp in the blockchain.
Size: 10–20
Investors: none
CEO: Eli Sheets
LinkedIn

Imangi Studios
Pitch: We all love to play mini-games on our phones, but did you know that one of the top studios in this category was born and raised right here in the Triangle? Ever heard of Temple Run? Yep, that’s an Imangi game and they are based right here in the Triangle!! I would write more, but I have to go get some coins and multipliers and crush my last high score.
Size: 20–50
Investors: none
CEO: Keith Shepherd
LinkedIn

Impact Karm
Pitch: As you’re shopping and working with different brands, wouldn’t it be cool to know how sustainable that brand is? Impact Karma has KarmaWallet that tells you the ImpactIndex score of brands as you shop. If a brand scores lower, KarmaWallet can recommend a more sustainable alternative.
Size: 10–20
Investors: none
CEO: Jayant Khadilkar
LinkedIn

Impathiq
Pitch: Impathiq helps you read other people’s minds! Err, sorry that’s telephatic, but Impathiq is almost as cool. In the HealthTech world, hospitals use either Epic or Cerner systems. Impathiq has built tools on those systems that help with Electronic Patient Health Records (EHR). The big one I have no idea what it is, but here goes: It’s a high-sensitivity Troponin. The other thing you need to know about Impathiq is they were founded by three Emergency physicians who saw the need and went and built a solution. Kim joined after successfully selling and transitioning Medfusion to NextGen (announced 2019, closed 2020).
Size: 10
Investors: $350k from Cofounders Capital
CEO: Kimberly Labow
LinkedIn

Improved Nature
Pitch: Because of the cost and environmental impact of meat, one of the hottest category in consumer product goods is plant-based meat alternatives. Improved nature here in the triangle has developed technology that gives plant-based meats the same texture as real meat, dramatically improving the functionality of meat alternatives.
Size: 50–100
Investors: In 2020, Improved Nautre received an additional $1m from undisclosed sources. This brings the total to $10m raised. Investors include Wolfpack Investor Network (WIN).
CEO: Rody Hawkins (Fun fact — he’s the ‘father of lunchables!”)
LinkedIn

Infina Connect
Pitch: Infina Connect is a SaaS platform that automates and optimizes the physician referral network system. Founded in 2010, it’s based in Cary.
Size: 10–50
Investors: >$1.9M in three rounds, investors undisclosed
CEO: Mark Hefner
LinkedIn

Infinia ML
Pitch: There’s a lot of hype around AI and Machine Learning — some would say too much hype. Infinia ML breaks through the hype and uses machine learning secret sauce born out of Duke to solve real-world problems.
Size: 20–50
Investors: $10m from Carrick Capital Partners
CEO: Rob Delaney **Updated for 2021
LinkedIn

InHerSight
Pitch: Durham-based InHerSight is focused on creating better workplaces for women. They do this by allowing working women to rate thousands of businesses on criteria that are top priorities to women. On the employer-side, you can get valuable data on what areas are not only important to female applicants, but where you are doing well vs. where you need to improve to attract and retain more female team members.
Size: 10–20
Investors: none
CEO: Ursula Mead
LinkedIn

InsightFinder ** Tweener Fund Portfolio Company
Pitch: A big area of innovation in developing software is devops — the stuff that happens with your code when you ‘ship’ it to production and also make sure your site stays up. Splunk, DataDog and New Relic are all examples of very big public co’s in this space. InsightFinder has put together a stellar team and married it with technology that has 15yrs of research behind it. The result — they are able to use modern AI to look at your production data and predict when problems are going to happen. Try this pitch out at your next cocktail party-> InsightFinder uses patented anomaly detection algorithms to detect true anomalies and reduce spurious alerts.
Size: 10–20
Investors: IDEA Fund Partners (IFP)
CEO: Xiaohui (Helen) Gu
LinkedIn

Instancy
Pitch: I remember back in like ’99 I met Harvey for coffee and he was SUPER fired up about the impact of technology on education, so started his first company MindLever that he successfully sold after 2yrs to a bigger EdTech company: Centra. I was excited to learn that he’s back at it again with Instancy which is a learning ecosystem and marketplace. Unsurprisingly, the company has gotten pretty big very fast. Welcome back to the game and the Tweener list Harvey!
Size: 90–100
Investors: Bootstrapping this puppy it seems.
CEO: Harvey Singh
LinkedIn

InterviewUp/ThinkOptimal/OptimalResume
Pitch: ThinkOptimal offers several products that allow job seekers to optimize their resumes and prepare for interviews. This is in the HRIS category of software. (Human Resource Information System)
Size: 20–30
Investors: none
CEO: Dave McNasby
LinkedIn

Intervolve
Pitch: Another interesting area of focus for the Triangle is AlcoholTech or I guess we can subcategorize it to BeerTech. The AB industry has a complex three-tier distribution system and Intervolve builds software for tracking where the inputs and outputs in the supply chain are through the entire process. Or more simply stated: Where’s my Keg!? <- They can answer that.
Size: 15–20
Investors: none
CEO:
LinkedIn

Investiquant
Pitch: Scott Andrews has been in the Triangle startup scene since starting SciQuest back in ’95. His latest venture, Cary-based Investiquant, provides independent (not tied to a specific brokerage) software for stock traders. Professional traders have access to the latest quantitative algorithms and technologies that allow you to create a trade idea, back-test it and then roll it out. Investiquant democratizes trading by providing the same technologies to individual traders or small/medium size traders.
Size: 10–20
Investors: none
CEO: Scott Andrews
LinkedIn

JupiterOne. **Updated for 2022
Pitch: JupiterOne is in the CyberSecurity world and focuses on the topography side of things — what are all the digital assets in your organization and how do you make sure you’re tracking that first so you can then look at the security applied to that topography. It will reach out to your IT/MIS side, your AWS and all your assets to understand the numerous touch points we all have in today’s cloud-enabled, connected world.
Size: 100–150
Investors: $19m — from Bain Capital Ventures and Rain Capital details here. JupiterOne raised an additional $30m from Sapphire Ventures on 5/4/21. As of this writing, they are now in the unicorn club after raising an additional $70m.
CEO: Erkang Zheng
LinkedIn

K4Connect
Pitch: Scott Moody’s previous company created the technology that is now used by Apple (via acquisition) for its Touch ID finger print sensor. Now in Raleigh, Scott’s newest company (founded 2014) has an IoT platform that allows it to rapidly develop and release solutions oriented towards the older adult market. It’s got a contract to roll out the technology in senior living communities across Pennsylvania and is starting to expand to others with new funding.
Size: 50–100
Investors: In 2020, K4Connect raised $7.7m from AXA Venture Partners, ForteVentures, Intel Capital and Revolution Ventures. That brings the total raised at K4 up to $29.6m **Updated for 2020
CEO: F. Scott Moody
LinkedIn

Kaleido
Pitch: Let’s say a large company has a great idea that would rely on an enterprise-grade blockchain solution. There are many solutions out there, but they all have limitations. Open-source puts all the work in your hands. Blockchain-as-a-service providers sound good but lock you into one platform and cloud platform. Kaleido has developed a solution that is full-stack and cross-platform so it doesn’t have the downsides of other blockchain offerings.
Size: 10–20
Investors: none
CEO: Steve Cerveny
LinkedIn

Keen Decision Systems
Pitch: Helping CMO’s understanding the efficacy of their marketing is big business and the entire category is called MarTech. Keen provides SaaS software for measuring marketing performance and then uses machine learning to formulate a plan to achieve goals.
Size: 10–20
Investors: $3.5m round in 2019 from Spring Mountain Capital
CEO: Greg Dolan
LinkedIn

Keona Health
Pitch: This Chapel Hill-based healthcare IT company allows patients to communicate more directly with caregivers than using existing processes. Think of it as chat/messaging for your doctor.
Size: 50–110
Investors: In 2020 Keona raised additional undisclosed amount from Riverside Acceleration Capital on top of the privious $2.5M from Blueprint Health. **Updated for 2021
CEO: Oakkar Oakkar
LinkedIn

Kevel (previously Adzerk). **Updated for 2022 — name change along with Fulcrum round
Pitch: There are a variety of ad servers out there, but large publishers have very specific needs. They could build their own ad servers, but the costs are prohibitive. Enter Adzerk, an AdTech (advertising technology) company. Adzerk gives publishers a set of APIs that allow them to build their own custom servers and then Adzerk takes care of the complexity on the back end. This creates the best of both worlds: customization capabilities plus scalability at a great price.
Size: 70–100 **Updated for 2022
Investors: $12.2m from Fulcrum Equity Partners, Great Oaks Venture Capital, Brian Handly (of Reveal Mobile) and other angels including TAP (Triangle Angel Partners) and I’m also an angel investor here. **Raised an additional $10m from Fulcrum 12/9/21 **Updated for 2022
CEO: James Avery

Klearly ** Tweener Fund Portfolio Company
Pitch: The Triangle has a rich history of MarTech (Marketing Technology) and the latest startup on the scene is Klearly. Klearly uses data science and machine learning technology to help sales and marketing teams quantify what’s working and recommends the optimal actions to drive sales and marketing economically. With Idea Fund Partners as a backer and over $2m raised, Klearly has a lot of momentum heading into 2020.
Size: 10–20
Investors: $1.5m raised in 2019 led by Idea Fund Partners (IFP). Raised additional $1.6m on 4/30/21 **Updated for 2022
CEO: Alex Krawchick
LinkedIn

LabVoice
Pitch: Let’s say you work in a laboratory with all this equipment like balances, centrifuges, sampling devices, etc. Wouldn’t it be cool to say: “Alexa, what’s the sample weigh? Run a centrifuge on high for 10 minutes…” and also have all of that data and workflow captured in the cloud? That’s what LabVoice does, but instead of Alexa, they have their own hardware called the LabVoice smart device. The device married with their software makes that science fiction a reality.
Size: 10–20
Investors: none
CEO: Frederic Bost
LinkedIn

LearnPlatform **Updated for 2022
Pitch: Schools have a portfolio of software platforms and programs these days, which is great for students but hard for educators to manage. Raleigh-based Lea(R)n, founded in 2014, seeks to solve this problem with a platform and content that helps administrators and educators manage the ed-tech suite.
Size: 50–100
Investors: $6m raised in total from: Emerson Collective, New Markets Venture Partners and more
CEO: Karl Rectanus
LinkedIn

Levitate (Real Magic -> Levitate) **Updated for 2022
Pitch: He’s back…..! Jesse Lipson knocked it out of the park when he sold Sharefile to Citrix. Then he convinced Citrix to bring a bazillion jobs to the Triangle and build a fancy building in the Raleigh warehouse area (he’s crazy everyone said, nobody will want to work in the warehouse area!). Bam- that became the hottest area in Raleigh. I mention all this, because the data clearly says when Jesse does something, he has a 100 batting average (that’s good for my fellow nerds), so you should take notice. With his second startup outing, Real Magic whose product is Levitate, Jesse is bringing enterprise CRM features to the small/micro business. Levitate integrates with your email program and helps you remember to build your relationships. “Hey, you haven’t talked to Tony in 2wks…Remember that Joe told you his daughter is graduating in early June!” stuff like that. In today’s hyper-noisy and connected World, relationships matter even more than later.
Size: 150–200 **Updated for 2022
Investors: In 2020, they raised an additional $6m bringing their total to $12m for 2020. Raised additional $8m from undisclosed investor 2/25/21
CEO: Jesse Lipson
LinkedIn

Lightforge Games **Updated for 2022
Pitch: What if I told you some of the folks that were core to Epic’s best games like Fortnight got together with some other game developers from Blizzard (StarCraft, WarCraft, etc.) to start a new game company right here in the Triangle working on a super-secret new game? Pretty exciting right? I know more, but have to stop here.. be patient Dear Tweener readers, this one’s gonna be worth the wait! (Full disclosure: I’m an angel investor here)
Size: 10–30
Investors: $20m raised from BITCRAFT Ventures and Dreamhaven
CEO: Matt Schembari
LinkedIn

Liine
Pitch: Let’s say you operate an elective surgery practice like lasik. Any improvement in conversion can be the difference between break-even and profits. Liine provides software that monitors calls, makes optimization recommendations and measures the results. Finally, Liine can provide automated incentives to the staff to help drive more appointments.
Size: 10–20
Investors: Raised $800k in 2019 from undisclosed investors
CEO: Bradley Blaser
LinkedIn

Limited Run Games
Pitch: As video games are increasingly going digital, some gamers crave physical media. Limited Run Games publishes limited edition previously digital-only games on physical media. Everything with a vintage/nostalgic connection is becoming collectible (shoes anyone?), and LRG is riding a huge wave with their clever strategy.
Size: 10–20
Investors: none
CEO: Josh Fairhurst
LinkedIn

Loanwell **Updated for 2022
Pitch: Another exciting new tweener in the FinTech Space! Loanwell provides banks and credit unions a platform that streamlines the process of processing loans. From the application/intake to origination, underwriting, closing and then servicing, Loanwell is a complete end-to-end solution.
Size: 10–20
Investors: $3m raised from undisclosed investors
CEO: Bernard Worthy
LinkedIn

LogistiVIEW **New for 2022
Pitch: Covid-19 dramatically accelerated e-commerce and thus the need for warehouses. Today’s warehouses have a lot of complexity. You have a WMS, a ton of people and frequently some automation in the form of robots. How do you tie all that together and orchestrate it? LogistiVIEW has software that solves this problem.
Size: 20–50
Investors: $600k from undisclosed investors
CEO: Seth Patin
LinkedIn

Lolli
Pitch: Earn Bitcoin while you shop online — mic drop. Seriously though, Lolli is a great idea. There are a variety of ways to get cash back from your online purchases, but what about using it as a way to accumulate bitcoin as an alternative asset (or stack Satoshis as the crypto-folks would say). Lolli works by providing a browser extension that pops up when you start shopping online to tell you which merchants provide Lolli bitcoin back offers and to track your accumulated savings/earnings.
Size: 40–60 **Updated for 2022
Investors: $10.3m from Version One Ventures, Pathfinder and Serena Williams Raised $15m in two rounds, one on 3/24/21 and one from Acrew Capital on 7/28/21 **Updated for 2022
CEO: Alex Adelman
LinkedIn

Looma Project ** Tweener Fund Portfolio Company
Pitch: There’s an explosion of brands in every category and with all that noise plus social media, etc. it’s increasingly hard to get your brand story out to consumers. Looma project partners with craft beer and wine makers and grocery stores to put tablets on grocery shelves that tell a brands authentic story to consumers. These brand experiences help drive tremendous sales lift based on Looma’s case studies.
Size: 20–40 **Updated for 2022
Investors: $2.6m from investors including CAN (Carolina Angel Network) and Cofounders Capital AND Tweener Fund. **Updated for 2022
CEO: Cole Johnson
LinkedIn

MacGregor Partners
Pitch: After building a large practice helping companies optimize their supply chain, they built software that they are now licensing called the Logistics Toolbox. A Tweener tipster told me this software is doing really well and now the company is mostly a software co.
Size: 50–200
Investors: none
CEO: Jason Ziegler
LinkedIn

Magnus Health
Pitch: You operate a school or camp and need electronic access to students’ medical records. Who is allergic to peanuts? What’s the emergency contact for John Doe? This Raleigh company was founded in 2006 to make those questions easy to answer.
Size: 10–50
Investors: $100K from undisclosed investors (though David Gardner is on the board)
CEO: Brian Biddulph-Krentar
LinkedIn

MapMyCustomers
Pitch: MapMyCustomers wins the award for the company on and off the list the most number of times. They were on the list in 2019, and then in 2020 moved the HQ to NYC and now they have a new CEO and have returned to the Triangle (Yeah!). Let’s say you are a ‘boots on the ground’ field sales organization and you have a bunch of customers you need to visit on a regular basis. MapMyCustomers helps you understand the geographical layout of your customers and optimize your routes as you visit them.
Size: 20–40
Investors: CoFounders Capital
CEO: Ben Hartmere
LinkedIn

MapRecruit.ai
Pitch: Recruiting is hard. When you put out a listing, you can get hundreds of applicants. How do you sort through that tsunami of applicants to find the diamonds in the rough? Enter MapRecuit.AI — MR uses the latest AI technology to sort through all those applicants, sort them, track them and filter them. The ReA chatbot can even engage with candidates to ask them questions and keep them moving through the process. This type of technology is called HRTech.
Size: 30–50
Investors: none
CEO: Shivaji Mukthavaram
LinkedIn

marGo
Pitch: You’ve probably heard of the direct selling business: Pampered Chef, Rodan and Fields, etc., but you may not realize that is a > $200b industry. Margo is a salesforce app that adds advanced direct selling capabilities to a direct selling business network of sales people and makes it easier to run a direct sales business.
Size: 10–20
Investors: $1.3m from Cofounders Capital. Raised additional $4m on 1/11/21. ** Updated for 2022
CEO: Dean Yellets
LinkedIn

Market Vue Partners
Pitch: Market Vue is a MarTech SaaS company that uses data to leverage marketing solutions. They focus on the Energy and Health industries and provide innovative visualizations of all the data.
Size: 10–20
Investors: none
CEO: David Stirling
LinkedIn

Matchwell
Pitch: Even before the pandemic, there was a shortage of healthcare professionals. Matchwell is a marketplace for healthcare talent. Healthcare organizations list their job openings and Matchwell helps candidates find the best match for their skills.
Size: 20–30
Investors: $4.1m from an undisclosed investor.
CEO: Robert Crowe
LinkedIn

Medicom Technologies, Inc.
Pitch: This group of NCSU grads came up with a way to transfer large files in a peer-to-peer way rapidly, without lossage and securely. The first market they are using the technology for is patient data in radiology and they are growing like a weed.
Size: 50–100 **Updated for 2022
Investors: $5.8m, Raised $21.8m from Oval park Capital on 11/18/21 **Updated for 2022
CEO: Malcom Benitz
LinkedIn

MemberHub ** Tweener Fund Portfolio Company
Pitch: Every school has a PTA and memberhub provides software to schools through the PTA so that schools have more engaged families.
Size: 25–50 ** Updated for 2022
Investors: $7.7m including AIM Group, Venture South, Miami Angels, Collective Capital and the Tweener Fund.
CEO: Will Bowen
LinkedIn

Mesur.io
Pitch: Another new entrant this year in the AgTech category. Mesur.io takes the lastest in Internet-of-Things (IoT) sensors measured with satellite imagery, weather forecasts and soil and surface temperatures for the best growing knowledge. Their technology is also used for turf and athletic fields.
Size: 10–20
Investors: $1.6m from Techstars Austin and other undisclosed investors.
CEO: Tom Rump
LinkedIn

Microgrid Labs **New for 2022
Pitch: Let’s say you are a city or municipality and want to move to an electric fleet over time. How many chargers to you need and where and when do you charge? Microgrid labs provides software that simulates, models and optimizes your electrification strategy for your fleet. We’ll count this one as GreenTech and MobilityTech
Size: 10–20
Investors: $3.6m from the NSF and Jacobs Ventures
CEO: Narayanan Sankar
LinkedIn

Mobile Reach
Pitch: Many businesses have technicians in the field and Mobile Reach creates software for them. They also have software for managing field assets.
Size: 20–50
Investors: none
CEO: Nasrin Azari
LinkedIn

MobileSmith
Pitch: MobileSmith develops a platform that companies use to publish mobile applications with little to no code. Simply drag and drop popular elements and you have an interactive mobile app. This Raleigh company was founded in 1993.
Size: 10–50
Investors: MobileSmith is a ‘penny stock’ traded on the OTCBB under MOST and was a spin-out of Smart Online’s mobile development platform
CEO: Randy Tomlin **Updated 2020 (Previous CEO Bob Dieterle)
LinkedIn

Mrecord
Pitch: Doctors and healthcare professionals are very busy, but are required to keep detailed notes for your electronic health records (EHR). Mrecord offers speech to text technology that lets doctors speak their notes on patients and have them translated to text and stored in the EHR. The results: great records and Docs have more time to see patients.
Size: 30–40
Investors: none
CEO:
LinkedIn

MuukTest **New for 2022
Pitch: MuukTest is in the DevTech category — it helps improve software developer productivity by leveraging AI to build and automate QA tests. You can build the tests using their zero code (super hot/buzzy right now) solution.
Size: 20–50
Investors: $1.2m from TechStars and Contour Venture Partners
CEO: Ivan Barajas Vargas
LinkedIn

Myxx **Updated for 2022
Pitch: Grocery stores are investing millions if not billions in e-commerce (store pickup and delivery), but at the customer level, things start with…recipes. Myxx connects the top recipes to grocery stores. See a tuna casserole recipe you love, press a button and all the ingredients are added to your cart for Kroger, Harris Teeter, etc.
Size: 20–40 **Updated for 2021
Investors: Cofounders Capital — $400k
CEO: Dede Houston
LinkedIn

ndustrial -> </ndustrial.io>
Pitch: ndustrial is a company building IoT solutions for industrial applications. Tomorrow’s factory will be totally outfitted with sensors — ndustrial is working on a solution for that future reality in Durham.
Size: 50–100. **Updated for 2022
Investors: $1.4M in two rounds from Acorn Innovestments and Bay Grove Capital. Raised additional $6m from Clean Energy ventures and ENGIE New Ventures on 5/521
CEO: Jason Massey
LinkedIn

Needlepoint.com
Pitch: Started in 1999, Needlepoint had a retail store, and using its great domain name, needlepoint.com, started to do well online. The wife of Bob Young (of Lulu, Red Hat and PrecisionHawk fame) started the business and he is now serving as CEO.
Size: 10–50
Investors: Bootstrap (Bank of Bob)
CEO: Nancy Young

Net32
Pitch: Dental supplies are extremely expensive and there are lots of middlemen. Net32 sells dental supplies direct to dentists at extreme discounts because they eliminate the middlemen.
Size: 11–50
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Pat Cassidy
LinkedIn

Netsertive
Pitch: Brendan Morrissey moved to the area from LA as part of a Motricity acquisition and in 2009 founded Netsertive in Morrisville. He started by helping local electronics retailers advertise and has expanded to help national brands leverage their marketing into local markets through brand/dealer campaigns.
Size: 201–500
Investors: ~$46M from River Cities Capital, RRE Ventures, Greycroft, Harbert Venture Partners and Venture debt from Square 1 Bank
CEO: Brendan Morrissey
LinkedIn

Nextlot, Inc.
Pitch: In today’s world of two-day e-commerce delivery thanks to Amazon, it’s easy to forget there is still a need for auctioneers. Bank foreclosures, estate sales and other events call for an auction and today’s auctioneers need to stay high-tech and current. Raleigh-based NextLot, founded in 2007, provides a platform that allows you to run your own auctions with online, mobile and webcast features.
Size: 11–50
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Scott Finkelstein
LinkedIn

Nugget **Updated for 2022
Pitch: This is one of my favorite Tweener stories. David and his team came up with the idea for furniture that’s fun and reconfigurable. Lego blocks meets furniture meets cool forts. What’s even better is Nugget sells all of it’s products direct-to-consumer through their e-commerce site. The products are so hot that they’ve moved to a ‘drop’ model where they release nuggets and they are snapped up for 3/6/9 months at a time. My Startup Spidey-sense tells me this one is going to be a rocket ship and could be a consumer unicorn or at least a very big bootstrapped exit. **2022 note — it’s come to my attention that Nugget reached graduate territory in the 20/21 timeframe, so they’ll be graduating off the list a bit belatedly in the 2023 update. Early congrats to Nugget and the founders!
Size: 100–200
Investors: none (Bootstrapped if you can believe it)
CEO: David Baron
LinkedIn

Offline Media ** Tweener Fund Portfolio Company. **Updated for 2022
Pitch: David Shaner graduated from NC State and had an itch to start a company. He started Offline in Raleigh in in 2012 to help people reconnect with their local communities. Offline curates activities and places for your city. This creates an indispensable resource if you move or travel. Simply fire up Offline and you have an insider’s view to what is going on and where to go.
Size: 10–20
Investors: $4.1m from The Startup Factory, Joe Kutelski (formerly eTix) and McClatchy and Tweener Fund.
CEO: David Shaner
LinkedIn

Omni Creator Products **New for 2022
Pitch: OCP is creating CreatorLab and Muse — these technologies will allow any player to flip into a creator. Muse is the engine and CreatorLab is like the consumer-friendly programming tool. I imagine it will be no-code. In any case, this company is white hot and calls the Triangle it’s home even though it’s largely virtual.
Size: 10–30
Investors: $16.25m from Andreessen Horowitz (I think their first investment in the Triangle?) also Upfront ventures
CEO: Mike Atamas
LinkedIn

Pairwise Plants
Pitch: I read a lot of nerdy science articles and one of my favorite topics is this gene editing software called CRISPR. It allows you to ‘hack’ genes like you would software. Pairwise takes our current fruit and vegetables, looks at their DNA and then improves it by mixing in attributes from the natural versions of the plants. Who needs pesticides when you can design the plant to be pest resistant? Want blackberries without seeds? How about Kale that tastes like cotton candy (ok I made that one up, but consider it a request, ok guys?).
Size: 100–150 **Updated for 2022
Investors: $115m from Monsanto Ventures, Bayer, Deerfield and other bio-techy investors. Raised additional $90m from Pontifax AgTech on 2/3/21 **Updated for 2022
CEO: Tom Adams
LinkedIn

Paragon Application Systems
Pitch: DevTech is a hot area and so is e-commerce. Marry them together and you have testing/dev tech that focuses on systems that include payments. That’s the intersection where Paragon lives. Their software helps you create and execute automated tests that include payment systems.
Size: 40–50
Investors: none
CEO: Jim Perry
LinkedIn

Participate **New for 2022
Pitch: Covid taught us that online learning platforms (aka Leearning management systems or LMS’s) are, well, not great to put it kindly. Participate has a next-gen LMS that wraps community into the experience. Imagine taking a class and being able to interact with the current and past students, etc.
Size: 40–50
Investors: <none disclosed>
CEO: Mark Otter
LinkedIn

Patagonia Health
Pitch: Ashok Mathur has been active in the Triangle startup scene since I can remember. In 2008, he started Cary-based Patagonia to build a SaaS EHR (electronic health record) platform that includes 15–20 different EHR apps.
Size: 10–50
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Ashok Mathur
LinkedIn

Pattern Health ** Tweener Fund Portfolio Company
Pitch: Durham-based Pattern health has built a combined healthcare software system and marketplace. Pattern Health allows health innovators to distribute their applications across many health systems. The result is faster innovation in the health-care field which is good for all of us. HealthTech (Health Technology) is another big area of innovation for the Triangle and it’s going to be interesting to watch Pattern Health scale-up.
Size: 20–50. **Updated for 2022
Investors: Raised $1.5m from Knoll Ventures on 6/29/21. **Updated for 2022
CEO: Ed Barber
LinkedIn

PatientPay
Pitch: PatientPay is an online platform for patients to pay for their medical bills. Brings the simplicity of e-commerce to medicine.
Size: 11–50
Investors: $6.5M led by Mosaik Partners. Raised an additional $12m from undisclosed investor 10/12/21 ** Updated for 2022
CEO: Tom Furr
LinkedIn

Pawboost
Pitch: True-life story here. Let’s say the landscaping folks come and leave your gate open by accident. You let your dog, Rover out in the backyard, and an hour later go to let him in and …. uh-oh, he’s gone. What do you do? Enter Pawboost. Pawboost provides a site where you can post a lost pet alert everywhere in one place. Pawboost spreads your message through social media, emails and to a network of over 2m RescueSquad (a network of rescues, vets and other folks in the pet industry that help find and return lost pets) participants. It even will help you print out a flyer so you can get Rover back safe and sound.
Size: 5–10 (confirmed their revenues get them on list)
Investors: none
Co-CEOs: Tim Kijewski and Clayton Gladieux
LinkedIn

Percona
Pitch: Modern sites and applications run on complex databases. Percona has created software for monitoring and optimizing database systems.
Size: 150
Investors: none
CEO: Peter Zaitsev
LinkedIn

Persistence AI **New for 2022
Pitch: If Ed’s name is familiar, he’s been at many a Triangle startup: Form2Base, HydroXphere and now he’s CEO of Persistence AI. Persistence AI is PropTech. They offer an AI chatbot for the real estate industry that allows you to qualify leads, book appointments and even does follow-ups. Sit back and watch the deals close!
Size: 10–20
Investors: <none disclosed>
CEO: Ed Holloway
LinkedIn

Phononic
Pitch: Solid state electronics have revolutionized computing, lighting (Cree) and now Phononic has figured out how to apply it to refrigeration. From cooling CPUs to residential and commercial applications, Phononic is revolutionizing the 100yr+ old stagnant cooling market with a green solution that eliminates the need for energy hungry compressors, heat sinks and other traditional refrigeration mechanisms.
Size: 100–200
Investors: Raised $160M from 8 investors including Venrock, Oak investment, UBS Wealth. Raised $50m from Goldman Sachs on 7/21/21 **Updated 2022
CEO: Anthony Atti
LinkedIn

Photofy
Pitch: Social content creation tool for consumers and businesses, founded in Raleigh in 2013 by the founder of InvitationBox.com (which sold to CafePress in 2011).
Size: 10–20
Investors: $1.8M from Capitol Broadcasting, Michael Olander Jr. and Jon LaNasa
CEO: Jon LaNasa
LinkedIn

Playmetrics **New for 2022 ** Tweener Fund Portfolio Company
Pitch: Mike Doernberg has been at this startup game for three great cos: SmartPath, ReverbNation and now, PlayMetrics. Running a youth sports team/club is a ton of work and the existing software was all built in AOL days (or at least it feels like it). Playmetrics is a modern platform with everything you need to manage team or an entire league.
Size: 20–50
Investors: <Nothing disclosed at this time>
CEO: Mike Doernberg
LinkedIn

Plasma Games **Updated for 2022
Pitch: Ever try to get a kid strung out on TikTok videos to pivot to learning about Physics? Yep, it’s not easy. EdTech startup Plasma Games equips teachers with a 3D video game platform that helps teach modern kids, in a modern way — with fun, digital interaction.
Size: 20–40
Investors: $225k from undisclosed investors
CEO: Hunter Moore
LinkedIn

Pocket Prep
Pitch: Split between Seattle and the Triangle, we’re going to claim Pocket Prep. They have built an app that makes it easy to study and take exams for standardized tests and professional certifications using your mobile phone. Another awesome innovative EdTech company.
Size: 10–20
Investors: none
CEO: Peter Murphy
LinkedIn

Precision Fermentation
Pitch: PF is another entrant in the Triangle’s burgeoning BeerTech scene. Fermentation is a tricky chemical process to nail and ripe for data analysis. Enter PF. Their product, the BrewMonitor system, is a combination of hardware (sensors) and software that gives the brewer complete visibility into the fermentation process. The result: better beer, higher yields and improved consistency.
Size: 20–40
Investors: none
CEO: Jared Resnick
LinkedIn

PrecisionHawk
Pitch: Drones! (drops mic and walks off stage). Seriously though, PrecisionHawk has a UAV platform that can do real-time/AI mapping for a variety of uses — agriculture, GIS, search/rescue, etc. Founded in 2011, it’s based in Raleigh.
Size: 51–200
Investors: Raised $35m in 2019. Prior to 2019, they raised $104M from Third point ventures, Verizon Ventures, Bank of Bob (Bob Young), and Millennium Tech Ventures
CEO: James Narrod (Previous: Michael Chasen)
LinkedIn

Primal Space Systems
Pitch: We’re not too far from a sci-future of autonomous vehicles and drones changing the transportation and logistics industries. Underlying all those future technologies are mapping and 3D data, lots and lots of it. Primal Space Systems focuses on gathering and unifying all that data and building complex 3D models so drones don’t run into power cables and autonomous vehicles avoid pot holes (amongst other things). This startup has more PHDs than the NCSU EE Department, so watch out!
Size: 10–20
Investors: none
CEO: Barry Jenkins
LinkedIn

ProAxion ** Tweener Fund Portfolio Company **Updated for 2022
Pitch: A very hot area is Internet of Things or IoT and that’s where ProAxion lives. I’m a software guy, so bear with me on this one. Let’s say you have a factory with all kinds of big machine things. If your factory is down, that is bad, but how can you know one of the machines is going to fail? Turns out that the vibrations change over time as bearings wear down, cogs de-cog and sprockets …you get the idea. Simply throw a Proaxion device on there and it will monitor those cogs, sprockets and bearings and alert you via the cloud when it thinks a machine is getting close to a failure. It’s like being able to see the future, but with a cloud.
Size: 10–20
Investors: $2.8m raised from Triangle Angel Partners (aka TAP) II, Venture South and Triangle Tweener Fund.
CEO: Eric Murray
LinkedIn

ProcessMaker
Pitch: 2020 update: ProcessMaker has had a flood of VCs coming through the area to visit them, it will be interesting to see what news comes out here in 2020 — I’m expecting big things! We’re all startups here, so we don’t have too many complex processes and workflows. But let’s say you have 10,000 people in your company and you need for department X to talk to department Y on a project in a seamless way. That’s what ProcessMaker does. You take the process and define it in the software. For example, someone in marketing comes up with a product image and passes it to legal for review, then it goes to the sales team, then finance, then HR, then IR, then back to legal and finally back to marketing with that entire chain of reviewers and processes well documented.
Size: 200–250
Investors: Raised $45m from Aldrich Capital Partners on 2/21/21 **Updated 2022
CEO: Brian Reale
LinkedIn

Produce Box
Pitch: Courtney Tellefsen was a stay-at-home-mom in 2007. She wanted to understand where her food was coming from and support local NC farmers. Like anyone, she couldn’t get to the farmer’s market every week to buy fresh locally-sourced produce. The Produce Box was born! TPB now has a team of 200 folks that deliver thousands of produce boxes each week in the Triangle and Charlotte. It’s based in Raleigh.
Size: 50–200
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Courtney Tellefsen
LinkedIn

Proficient Auto
Pitch: You’re driving to work and your check engine light comes on. You know that’s going to be the start of a really bad day, that is before Proficient Auto. Proficient can come on-site (entirely mobile auto mechanic), diagnose your problem, give you a quote and fix it right on the scene. Based out of the Triangle, but also services Miami, FL.
Size: 10–20
Investors: Bootstrapped!
CEO: Robert Koencamp
LinkedIn

Protochips **New for 2022
Pitch: Protochips technology is very sci-fi, so apologies if I butcher this one. They have developed machine vision and AI that is used in some nanotechnolgy — something around dose management, TEM research and it’s ‘in situ’
Size: 50–100
Investors: $3.3m from undisclosed investors.
CEO: David Nackashi
LinkedIn

PROVEIT
Pitch: PROVEIT is a mobile app that allows you to compete for real money using skill-based games. Based on the popularity of the direct-to-consumer game, the company has built the ‘real money SDK’ that lets other game developers tap into their cash-winning system and increase their engagement and monetization. They even handle all the legal compliance around cash-based payout games for their customers.
Size: 10–20
Investors: none
CEO: Nate Lehoux
LinkedIn

PRTI **New for 2022
Pitch: Jason Williams started FastMed (urgent care) sold that for a bazillion dollars and then discovered the technology that he turned into PRTI. Are you sitting down? You won’t believe this one. PRTI has technology that de-constructs tires. That process releases a ton of energy and PRTI takes that energy and …(wait for it)… turns it into crypto! Tires->Crypto. Yep, and right here in the Triangle. Disclosure: PRTI is a partner of Spiffy’s.
Size: 20–50
Investors: $14.2m from undisclosed investors
CEO: Chris Hare
LinkedIn
PublicInput.com
Pitch: Let’s say you are in a government entity and you want to know more about what the citizens want. How do you do that? Sure you could have meetings and what-not, but they are inherently unscalable. You could shoot out a SurveyMonkey, but governments communications have complex rules around privacy and compliance. Enter PublicInput.com — they have built a comprehensive multi-tiered system for government entities to gather input and interact with their citizen customers. What’s even better is PublicInput is a SaaS/cloud app and they have a resident CRM, communication cloud and more. Now the Triangle has a GovTech company to keep an eye on!
Size: 20–30
Investors: Seed round by Gregory Fisher
CEO: Jay Dawkins
LinkedIn

Pryon
Pitch: Igor Jablokov sold his last company, Yap, to Amazon and they use it in this niche product called Echo/Alexa, so Igor has a really serious AI/Natural language background. He’s now turning that experience to the enterprise and leveraging AI/Voice for new enterprise solutions
Size: 40–60 *Updated for 2022
Investors: Pryon announced a whopping $20m from Rise of the Rest in 2019 Previously had raised $4.5m including Carolina Angel Network (CAN), Greycroft, Triangle Angel Partners (TAP), and Full Tilt Capital Raised additional $12m from Good Growth Capital on 11/24/21 ** Updated for 2022
CEO: Igor Jablokov
LinkedIn

Quinsite ** Tweener Fund Portfolio Company **Updated for 2022
Pitch: As you’ve probably already realized from all the HealthTech companies on the Tweener list, our healthcare system generates a ton of data. Enter Quinsite — their platform ingests all that data and makes it actionable. Want to compare wait-times across hospitals? Want to compare physicians? What to do hospital capacity planning and more? Quinsite is your co!
Size: 10–20
Investors: $2.5m from Jeff Clark and Tweener Fund
CEO: Jeff Maze
LinkedIn

Railinc
Pitch: Railinc of Cary provides rail data and IT services for the freight railroad industry. It was founded in 1999.
Size: 200–500
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Allen West
LinkedIn

REIN
Pitch: Another hot and growing area in the Triangle is FinTech and InsureTech. The MetLife/TechStars accelerator has really dramatically increased the activity in the area. REIN gives insurance providers a platform for creating unique offerings. Let’s say you want to insure a fleet of drones, or autonomous vehicles or Taylor Swift’s upcoming tour. REIN lets you pull in all the data available, run different scenarios and offer a variety of options to the end customer. Previously this was so manual and cumbersome most insurance companies couldn’t participate in the more custom insurance segment, but now they can with REIN.
Size: 50–100
Investors: none
CEO: Steve Rabbitt
LinkedIn

Realvolve
Pitch: As you’ve probably noticed, there are a fair amount of industry-specific SaaS CRM solutions on our list. Realvolve, founded in 2012 in Raleigh, provides a SaaS CRM targeted to real estate agents.
Size: 10–50
Investors: $600K from angels and Lighter Capital
CEO: David Crumby (based in Denver)
LinkedIn

Remarque Systems
Pitch: The Triangle has a ton of companies in drug development that do clinical trials. Remarque Systems has developed SaaS software for designing, managing and monitoring the risk in clinical trials.
Size: 20–50
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Michael Arlotto **Updated 2020 (Previous CEO Badhri Srinivasan)
LinkedIn

RepVue**New for 2022 ** Tweener Fund Portfolio Company
Pitch: There’s an information disparity in the sales rep world. Reps want very specific parameters for their next gig (deal size, bonus dynamics, etc). RepVue has built a vertical sales-rep/hiring marketplace where companies looking for great reps can meet them. Full disclosure: I’m a personal investor on this one.
Size: 10–20
Investors: Alerion Ventures, Knoll Ventures, TDF Ventures, S3 Ventures and Triangle Tweener Fund
CEO: Ryan Walsh
LinkedIn

Restaurant Furniture Plus
Pitch: In 2016, George Deeb moved from the windy city (Chicago) to the Triangle and since then he’s been a great addition to the ecosystem. George runs Red Rocket which is half growth consulting and half venture fund/private equity. (note: George/Red Rocket produce some great content, I highly recommend you check it out). In 2018, they acquired Restaurant Furniture Plus and transfer the HQ to the Triangle. Do you have a restaurant? If you said yes, you probably need furniture for your patrons to chill out on. Enter Restaurant Furniture Plus — your one-stop shop for all your restaurant furniture needs. Keep chugging George, we’re excited to see how big you can scale Restaurant Furniture Plus!
Size: 10–20
Investors: none
CEO: George Deeb
LinkedIn

ResultID **New for 2022
Pitch: ResultID’s pitch is: “Sparknotes for decision-making”. Their technology digs data out of documents and spreadsheets, uncovers the business insights and then build work flows once and you are done. e.g. take this number from A-12 in this spreadsheet, then pull in this data from a dashboard and put them in a chart.
Size: 10–20
Investors: $3.4m from Techstars and undisclosed investors.
CEO: Aditya Badve
LinkedIn

RevBoss
Pitch: Most B2B SaaS companies need outbound sales lead generation. Eric Boggs started at Bronto building this function, then did it again at Argyle Social and finally decided there is a company idea there in 2014. Durham-based RevBoss provides software and services that help recurring revenue businesses scale up their businesses rapidly without having to build their own SDR capabilities.
Size: 20–50
Investors: $1.1M from Sovereign’s Capital, Robbie Allen, Bruce Boehm and Alston Gardner
CEO: Eric Boggs
LinkedIn

Reveal Mobile
Pitch: Brian Handly is one of the Triangle’s most successful serial entrepreneurs. After Stepleader Digital spun out of Capitol Broadcasting, it built mobile apps for media companies but Handly has helped it pivot to leverage beacon technology and Big Data to help advertisers reach a local audience. Reveal Mobile, born in 2015, gives advertisers insights into what their customers and target customer are doing in the local world.
Size: 25–50
Investors: In 2020, Reveal raised an additional $2m from IDEA Fund, BCVP, Alerion, and Charleston Angel Partners. This brings the total raised to $8m.
CEO: Brian Handly
LinkedIn

Revibe Technologies. **UPdated for 2022
Pitch: Revibe makes a digital band that gives vibration reminders that help students focus. Today’s kids are flooded with stimulation from social media, chats, Disney+ and more. Revibe’s technology helps them stay focused and on-point while in school. The results are amazing for this ~100 device, their website touts some pretty amazingly improved grades from Revibe users.
Size: 10–20
Investors: In 2020, Revibe raised $250k from undisclosed investors. Raised $3m from Carolina Angel Network on 4/15/21 **Updated for 2022
CEO: Joseph Koziak
LinkedIn

Revware, Inc.
Pitch: Previously in the Tweener list we’ve talked about all the 3D printing and modeling going on in the Triangle. Revware is squarely in that space. Their MicroScribe technology lets you take a physical object and collect datapoints to build an exact 3D model. Their current revenues primarily come from applications for guided therapy, landmark studies, reverse engineering, and manufacturing QC. Two fun facts: This technology was used on Shrek (started in clay then digital 3D) and Tom tells me at 28yrs+ this is the oldest Tweener on the list. I’m pretty sure he’s right!
Size: 10–20
Investors: none
CEO: Tom Welsh
LinkedIn

ROI Revolution **Updated for 2022
Pitch: ROI Revolution provides search engine marketing and other services to SMBs in various industries. Based in Raleigh, it was founded in 2002.
Size: 100–200
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Timothy Seward
LinkedIn

Roobrik **Updated for 2022
Pitch: Roobrik is a SaaS MarTech platform that combines medical decision science with online recommenders to help consumers make difficult health and care decisions. By offering consumers unbiased decision support, B2B customers that use Roobrik see 20–40% more leads that convert at 2x the rate of their other website leads.
Size: 10–20
Investors: Carolina Angel Network (CAN) and the Launch Place are investors.
CEO: Nate O’Keefe
LinkedIn

Rownd **New for 2022
Pitch: There are certain things that all websites have that are low value add to create over and over again. One of them is user on-boarding (create login, password, yada yada) and authentication (what’s your cell, here’s a code, yada yada). Rownd puts all this into a widget that anyone can add to their website with a couple lines of code, thus taking all the friction out of user authentication.
Size: 10–20
Investors: Y-Combinator — $500k
CEO: Robert Thelen
LinkedIn

Schedule Pop
Pitch: When one of the founders of very successful eTix starts a new company, it gets my attention. Ben has created a great second act in the form of SchedulePop. SchedulePop allows a business of any size to manage their employees’ shifts schedules and more. This is such a needed solution that they work with a very wide set of industries like museums, hospitals, clubs, golf courses, restaurants and retail -phew!
Size: 10–20
Investors: none
CEO: Ben Wingrove
LinkedIn

SEAL Innovation
Pitch: SEAL Innovation is a wearable/IoT company that has developed a connected necklace that detects if someone is having problems swimming and alerts the parents and/or lifeguard of the situation. Founded in 2010 and based in Raleigh.
Size: 1–10
Investors: $2M from Triangle Angel Partners and The Launch Place
CEO: Graham Snyder
LinkedIn

Second Nature (Previously known as FilterEasy)
Pitch: Are you like me at the first of every month relishing that it is time to pull out the ladder and change your air-conditioner filters? Ok, I fibbed, I actually do this about every six months if I’m lucky. Why? Because it’s one of those things that not only is hard to remember, but is a pain because I’m always missing 1–2 of the filters and have to go to Home Depot or Lowe’s to buy them. Thad Tarkington and Kevin Barry were NCSU students when they came up with an e-commerce solution with an automated delivery service for air filters, and it’s grown like crazy ever since.
Size: 50–200
Investors: Raised $16.4m in 2020 from Arsenal, Bonaventure, Idea Fund. That brings the total raised by Second Nature to $34.7m.

$18.3M+ from One Better Ventures, RTP Capital Associates, Iron Yard Ventures, Cofounders Capital, Arsenal ventures, Azure Capital Partners and Michael Olander Jr., Triangle Angel Partners (TAP), IDEA Fund Partners, Carolina Angel Network (CAN) and Wolfpack Investment Network (WIN).
CEO: Thad Tarkington
LinkedIn

Security Journey **New for 2022
Pitch: The most productive (for bad guys) and hardest to protect is people or what they call ‘social cyber attacks’ — phishing has gotten super sophisticated and more and more folks are falling into traps. Security Journey provides training for employees to make sure they are on top of the latest bad guys tricks. Over 10,000 employees have done this training!
Size: 20–40
Investors: Bootstrapped!
CEO: Chris Romeo
LinkedIn

Seguno Software
Pitch: E-commerce — yeah! Seguno is some ex-Bronto-ites and new folks that have created an email app that sits on top of the very popular Shopify e-commerce SaaS platform. This makes a ton of sense, because even if/when shopify offers their own email offering, they have 2m users, so they have to build the most basic platform possible, this should leave plenty of room for Seguno to add a ton of value for the larger stores.
Size: 10–20
Investors: $150k from Colopy Ventures (aka Bank of Joe)
CEO: Christopher Geiss
LinkedIn

Serve (aka Serve Commons?) **New for 2022
Pitch: Serve is a FinTech. The super-rich are able to create trust funds to protect their generational wealth. Serve seeks to democratize that so that everyone can leverage trusts — you can throw assets into a trust, then fractionally own, administer and grow it. They are a public benefit co.
Size: 10–50
Investors: none disclosed
CEO: Francene Chadwick
LinkedIn

ServiceTrade
Pitch: Ex-Red Hatter Billy Marshall is at again. ServiceTrade, a Durham startup he founded in 2012, makes mobile apps and web apps to help maintenance businesses deliver more service calls and connect with their customers.
Size: 150–200 **Updated for 2022
Investors: Raised a $30m round on 8/4/20 from BCVP and Frontier Growth. Raised $85m round from JMI Equity on 12/6/21 **Updated for 2022
CEO: Billy Marshall
LinkedIn

Shark Dreams
Pitch: Baaaaabbbbbyyyy Shark, do-do-do-do… Sorry, I can’t stop singing that song when I write about this one. Shark Dreams is a mobile app in the HealthTech space. With an IoT pill bottle called LIVIT, Shark dreams allows health providers to monitor their patients remotely. “Did Sally take her medicine last night?” Shark dreams can answer that for you.
Size: 20–50
Investors: none
CEO: Dharma Nukarapu
LinkedIn

Shipedge **Updated for 2022
Pitch: More e-commerce — yes! Whenever you make the front-end of something easy (add to cart + pay and boom) the back-end gets 10–100x as complex. E-commerce is a perfect example of this. The logistics of e-commerce is extremely hard and gets hard when you mix in omnichannel, multiple channels, multiple fulfillment centers, etc. Shipedge has created cloud versions of all the software you need to manage this complexity — order management, warehouse management, returns and more.
Size: 20–40
Investors: none, but folks are flying in to meet them on the reg…
CEO: Jose-Ignacio Flores
LinkedIn

Sift
Pitch: I first met Jud Bowman when he was like 18 and started a mobile search engine called Pinpoint. They merged with another company and became Motricity which was one of the biggest exits in the Triangle. Jud knows a ton about the mobile world and his new company, Sift uses advanced big data analysis to understand and target cell phone users. Sift has built a profile of 1.2b app installation footprints and uses that to better target app downloads. For example, if a user has 4 travel apps, then they are more likely to download another travel app.
Size: 20–50
Investors: $3.2m from Wakefield Group and Idea Fund Partners
CEO: Jud Bowman
LinkedIn

Sitation
Pitch: On the surface, you may think Sitation is a consulting company. That’s half-right. Underlying their consulting is a powerful software platform that analyzes any ecommerce operation and finds the holes in the SEO/SEM strategy, data catalog, product content, and other areas that dramatically impact the customer experience and thus overall sales momentum.
Size: 30–40 **Updated for 2021 — they are growing like a weed!
Investors: none
CEO: Steve Englebrecht
LinkedIn

Slingshot Coffee Company
Pitch: A husband-wife coffee enthusiast couple wanted to create coffee that was healthier and organically sourced. They also make cascara teas and cold-brew coffees. They were born in Raleigh, NC, but their e-commerce game is strong and their sales are exploding, catapulting them onto the Tweener list!
Size: 10–20
Investors: none
CEO: Jenny Bonchak
LinkedIn

SMT (SportsMEDIA Technology Corp)
Pitch: Have you ever been watching a football game and seen the yellow first-down marker or those cool stats that float on the field? Well, most likely you can thank the local company SMT for those awesome effects. Now they have expanded to collecting stats, timing and scoring.
Size: 200–500
Investors: $26.3m from Vicente Capital Partners
CEO: Gerard Hall
LinkedIn

Sports Endeavors, Inc (SEI)
Pitch: SEI started as a catalog company selling soccer and Lacrosse equipment globally. They when e-commerce came along, it was a natural and in the early days of the internet they bought some great domains like soccer.com and lacrosse.com. Today they are one of the largest online sporting good companies in the US. They are based out of Hillsborough, NC
Size: 200–500
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Mike Moylan
LinkedIn

Spreedly
Pitch: Integrating payments into your app, website or service is complex. Spreedly provides a cloud-based API that makes it easy to accept and manage payments. Nathaniel Talbott founded Spreedly in 2007 and it’s based in Durham.
Size: 50–200
Investors: Raised a $75 round in 2019, previously raised $6M from E-Merge, AngelList .
CEO: Justin Benson
LinkedIn

Stitch Golf
Pitch: A big trend in brands and e-commerce are direct-to-consumer brands and Digitally Native Vertical Brands (DNVB) like Bonobos and Warby Parker. I was excited to discover that Apex-based Stitchgolf is applying this model to golf accessories. They started with club covers and have moved into high-quality golf bags, and even expanded into the broader golf/sports apparel category.
Size: 40–60 ** Updated for 2022
Investors: Raised $3.6m on 1/27/21. **Updated for 2022
CEO: Charlie Burgwyn
LinkedIn

StrongKey
Pitch: I have no idea what StrongKey does, but they have a really cool octopus as their logo. Just kidding…Strongkey has a cyber security box/appliance you can install in your data center that encrypts your data on your network to keep it from prying eyes. It’s capable of handling billions of keys and 1000 transactions per second -so it’s targeted at large enterprises in industries where it’s super important to protect data (health care, finance, etc.)
Size: 20–50
Investors: Systena is an investor (out of Japan interestingly)
CEO: Arshad Noor
LinkedIn

SWIR Vision Systems
Pitch: Innovations in machine learning have made vision systems in industrial categories a hot category. Local RTI spun out SWIR Vision Systems. SWIR has developed a family of cameras that can cost effectively see a very wide set of spectrums (including Short-wave IR). SWIR can be used to get x-ray like images. For example, on their site, they show a use case in agriculture where the cameras look at apples and can see bruises that aren’t visible to the human eye, but SWIR can see them. Applications include agriculture, product manufacturing and security.
Size: 20–50. **Updated 2022
Investors: In 2019 raised $2m from undisclosed investors. Raised $5m on 10/19/21 **Updated on 2022
CEO: George Wildeman
LinkedIn

SyncFusion
Pitch: In 1998, we sold Stingray software to Rogue Wave — a public company. In 2001, a couple of our strategic folks, Daniel Jebaraj and Stefan Hoenig started SyncFusion with the idea to create next-generation components for developers. They’ve been grinding away at SyncFusion for 17yr now and made some smart bets on mobile development, Xamarin, and big data. They also changed their model from licensed to subscription. All without raising any external capital.
Size: 1000–1500 **Updated for 2022
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Stefan Hoenig
LinkedIn

Takeout Central
Pitch: The pandemic has accelerated grocery and food delivery and it looks like our own local food delivery company, Takeout Central has done very well too. Takeout central started out as UNC dorm food delivery (Tarheel takout back then) and has expanded not only outside of the dorm, but across NC and into TN as well. Takeout Central works with the smaller independent restaurants that are looking for a local option vs. national.
Size: 30–40
Investors: none
CEO: Wes Garrison
LinkedIn

Tanjo, Inc.
Pitch: Tanjo has developed a generic ‘machine learning brain’ that can be trained on a variety of industries and topics and used in a variety of ways. Their first example of a product built on the machine learning brain is Tanjo Animated Personas (TAP). TAP allows a marketer to create an AI that fits a certain persona and then test different messaging on them. So for example, you can say — create a persona for a 35yr old mom of 3 in Cary, NC and 2 of the kids play soccer and one plays chess. You can then train the software on all the data from that cohort and it will make recommendations for how to best message and reach that customer.
Size: 10–20
Investors: $2.6m from undisclosed investors. **Updated for 2021
CEO: Richard Boyd
LinkedIn

Teamworks
Pitch: You have a sports team with coaches, players, assistant coaches and other constituents. You need to share a bunch of information around playbooks, schedules, plans, etc. but you want to do it in a secure/managed way. Teamworks, founded in Durham by a former Duke football player, is a software platform that allows you to manage, deploy and optimize that situation.
Size: 100–200 ** Updated for 2021
Investors: In 2020, Teamworks raised an additional $30m from Delta-V capital, General Catalyst and more. That brings their total raised to $48m.
CEO: Zachary Maurides
LinkedIn

Teamworks Solutions
Pitch: Yes — we apparently have two Tweeners named some variation of Teamworks! I discovered ‘this’ Teamworks while learning more about the other Teamworks. Another example of these Tweeners really hiding under the radar! Let’s say you run a factory or a service business that has technicians in the field doing maintenance. You will need software that enables the field techs to manage everything and work in a mobile way (through phone and tablets). Teamworks Solutions, based in Raleigh since a 2002 founding, has software that solves this problem and focuses on the c-store, education, healthcare and municipality industries.
Size: 10–50
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Craig Drouillard
LinkedIn

TeleSage
Pitch: More HealthTech — TeleSage provides software that is web based and screens and assesses patients for better outcomes in the mental health category.
Size: 10–20
Investors: none
CEO: Benjamin B Brody, MD
LinkedIn

Terra Dotta
Pitch: Have I mentioned that EdTech is big in the Triangle? Terra Dotta is a growing player in the space for educational institutions that want to offer travel abroad/international programs. Imagine the complexity there of tracking the students, travel planning, student tracking, program management, student alerting, etc. That’s what Terra Dotta does. The CEO Anthony Rotoli is a ChannelAdvisor alumni and I taught him everything he knows ;-)
Size: 50–100
Investors: $3.4m raised in 2019 from LNC Partners
CEO: Anthony Rotoli
LinkedIn

Tethis
Pitch: Some cool material was developed in the lab at NC State and Triangle serial entrepreneur, Chris Evans with Scott Bolin helped take it out of the lab and commercialize it as Tethis. Today the company has turned the material into super-absorbant polymers (SAP). I’m a software guy and have no idea what all that means, but evidently it can be applied to diapers, cleaning supplies and tons of other stuff.
Size: 20–50
Investors: $27m from Blue Hill Group, Carolina Angel Network (CAN), Wolfpack Investment Network (WIN)
CEO: Scott Bolin
LinkedIn

thinQ
Pitch: TelecomTech has always been big in the Triangle (anyone remember Nortel?) and thinQ is pioneering the next generation. Today, you can pull down your VOIP from the cloud and thinQ has a platform that lets you put your calls out to RFP so you can lower your prices. The team here spun out of Bandwidth.com which should come as no surprise to you and bodes well for their future. Tweener grads tend to create more…tweener grads!
Size: 25–50
Investors: $24m led by Turn/River Capital (October ‘18)
CEO: Aaron Leon
LinkedIn

The Climate Service
Pitch: Let’s say you are a large financial institution or Fortune 500 company. Climate scientists all agree that man-made CO2 is causing the planet to heat up, but they all disagree on the timing and degree of the impact. How do you assess your risk with such a wide array of possible outcomes from global warming? The Climate Service has built Climanomics — a platform for helping you assess the bookends of your risk and plan/disclose accordingly. Note in 2022, TCS was acquired, they will come off next year. I’m aware they were acquired and excited for them! **Updated for 2022
Size: 25–50
Investors: In 2020, they raised $3.8m from Persei Ventures **Updated for 2022
CEO: James McMahon
LinkedIn

Three Ships
Pitch: Zach Clayton started Three Ships in 2009 as a digital agency. He was like 16 then and now is pushing 21 and can finally have a beer on Beer Fridays. (Seriously though, it’s great to see this crop of young new folks starting cos. in the area). Anywho, Three Ships developed some interesting technology around SEO for brands and has since split into three separate companies to focus on three different areas. CRISP is a branding agency. Demand Signals provides SEO and content marketing. 3s Ventures provides customer acquisition services.
Size: 20–50 Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Zach Clayton
LinkedIn

Tilt/Tilt 365
Pitch: There’s an explosion of software for managing HR and people, called HRIS or Human Resource Information Systems. Tilt 365, based in Raleigh and founded in 2008, helps with assessments. If you want to do a self assessment and see how your peers see you — Tilt 365 has software for delivering and analyzing that. What makes you tick? What will make you happiest in your career? Tilt has also built a complete methodology around its assessments to help companies develop people and increase retention.
Size: 10–50
Investors: Undisclosed but David Gardner is an investor
CEO: Pam Boney
LinkedIn

TiO Home Automation
Pitch: The Triangle has an explosion of IoT (Internet of Things) companies and TiO is focused on helping make home automation simpler. Their products start with a smart home app and they have a variety of hardware they integrate with to provide complete home automation.
Size: 10–30 people
Investors: none
CEO: Sanjay Patel
LinkedIn

TopCourt
Pitch: Covid has accelerated online learning and EdTech startups. One model that has surged is ‘netflix for learning’ type models. One of the biggest is called Masterclass which has raised ~$250m. TopCourt brings this model to tennis. Want to learn how to improve your serve from Venus Williams? Want to work on your backhand with tips from Chris Evert? Want to schedule a 1:1 session with a pro? TopCourt has all that and more. Founder Taylor Meyer is a Tarheel undergrad in chemistry with a Kenan-Flagler business school and then went to Harvard for a masters in comp-sci.
Size: 10–20
Investors: $8.5m from undisclosed investors.
CEO: Taylor Meyer
LinkedIn

Trade Pending
Pitch: Car dealers are under a lot of pressure on both the new and used vehicle sides of their business. Not only is it hyper competitive, but they are competing with e-commerce level experiences from innovative companies like Carvana. Trade Pending provides software to dealers to help them elevate the online experience for used cars. They offer a web-based trade-in tool, inventory management/enhancement and more.
Size: 20–40
Investors: CapStreet (not clear if this is an M+A/majority thing or minority — you decide).
CEO: Brice Englert
LinkedIn

TraKid
Pitch: If you’ve ever been to a big museum, or theme park or zoo with a pack of kids, you know the biggest fear is losing them in some of that massive real estate and crowds. Enter TraKid! This idea was born out of NCSU and I’ve been fortunate enough to see them progress from a simple tracker that kids wear to now the product offers an interactive set of games (think treasure hunt type stuff) that keep kids engaged and excited about the park, but also give parents piece of mind that if they lose sight of their kids, they will be able to find them quickly.
Size: 10–20
Investors: TRAKID raised $1m on 12/15/21
CEO: Brandon Kashani
LinkedIn

Transmira **New for 2022
Pitch: What’s cooler than AR/VR and metaverses mixed with NFTs? Ummm, I got nothing. Transmira (maybe rebranding Omniscape?) has developed a platform where brands can place virtual/digital oods in a 3d or the AR world.
Size: 10–50
Investors: $700k from coingeek and Calvin Ayre
CEO: Robert Rice
LinkedIn

Tribe Labs, Inc **New for 2022
Pitch: Tribe is a platform for remote work. Their mission: Humanize the remote experience.
Size: 10–20
Investors: none disclosed
CEO: Tomás Gutiérrez Meoz
LinkedIn

TriggerMesh
Pitch: Blink and your company has 200 different SaaS products used by different groups. While they are all super-easy to setup and get going on (by design) but then you wake up and you have folks across the company quad-entering data in these apps, or even unable to get any data out. Enter TriggerMesh — their platform that integrates with a wide variety of SaaS platforms and allows you to not only move data in and out automatically, but also allows you to create workflows.
Size: 10–20
Investors: Raised $5m from Cisco’s venture arm on 7/13/21
CEO: Mark Hinkle
LinkedIn

Trill AI
Pitch: Trill is a Cary-based FinTech company that is leveraging modern AI/ML capabilities into the financial world. Financial analysts build very complex micro and macro models that may look at GDP trends, weather and then micro-data like product sentiment. Clearly this isn’t going to scale in Excel. This is where Trill’s AI comes in. It can pull in terabytes of micro/macro data and help you decision that for smarter investment decisions and risk analysis.
Size: 10–20
Investors: none
CEO: Akash Ganapathi
LinkedIn

Trulab **New for 2022
Pitch: You had me at Scott Ogle. Seriously though, Scott was CEO/President at Sageworks — one of the OG FinTech Tweeners that had a great exit. Now he’s back and founded Trulab. Trulab provides software for CROs that are doing clinical trials to help them manage the whole process (like supply chain for clinical trials). Every sample is tracked and they even feature ‘Remote Site Accessioning’ (whatever that is). Trulab has hit the ground running with lots of customers and momentum.
Size: 10–50
Investors: None disclosed
CEO: Scott Ogle
LinkedIn

Tumult Labs **New for 2022
Pitch: Tumult is a cybersecurity company that provides data privacy. The company is built on this idea of ‘differential privacy’ — an ironclad, mathematically-proven privacy guarantee. Let’s say you need to share some data that has personally identifiable information (PII)in it you can use Tumult’s software to share that with guaranteed privacy.
Size: 10–50
Investors: None disclosed
CEO: Gerome Miklau
LinkedIn

Tyrata
Pitch: Tyrata is a Duke technology spin-out. They have invented a sensor that tire manufacturers place inside your tires that measures the tread depth and alerts you or your car when your tread has gotten too low. Tyrata also has ‘drive over’ technology that fleet operators
Size: 15–25
Investors: Raised $3m from undisclosed sources in 2021 **Updated for 2021
CEO: Jesko von Windheim
LinkedIn

Undercover Colors
Pitch: Undercover Colors has developed fingernail polish for women that in addition to being a fashion statement, can detect the presence of date rape drugs in drinks. This will empower women to prevent sexual assault. The founders spun the startup out of NC State University in 2014. It’s based in Raleigh.
Size: 10–20
Investors: $8.2M from Cofounders Capital, Cindy Whitehead,
CEO: Barbara Cook
Update: Raised $5.5M in 2016 along with a great deal of media attention.
LinkedIn

USAT Corp
Pitch: Internet of Things — IoT is an exploding category globally and really big in the Triangle. USAT’s spot in the IoT world is to be a big e-commerce site for all the various routers and sensors that you may need for a project. This is super helpful because each vendor has their own website, but it makes it hard to mix and match, compare, etc.
Size: 40–50
Investors: none
CEO: Keith McRae
LinkedIn

UserVoice
Pitch: I took my eye off UserVoice for a year or so and somewhere in there they completely domiciled in the Triangle. They previously were split between NY (execs and sales) and NC (engineering) — now they seem to be 100% in the Triangle. I’ve used UserVoice before and it’s great SaaS software that you integrate into your software so that you can gather user feedback. Users can submit feature requests, upvote/downvote/etc.
Size: 50–75
Investors: $9.6m from Baseline Ventures and other undisclosed ventures.
CEO: Matt Young
LinkedIn

Vade Park
Pitch: Cities are getting smarter and one of the areas that needs to be optimized is curbs. Curbs are important for parking, services (garbage, cleaning, roadwork, etc.). How can a city keep track of all this? Vade Park uses some kind of IoT device that mounts a camera either on phone poles or city buses (or both?) and that is how they get the data. They then use AI to tell cities stuff like: Your curb parking on main st is maxed out every day by 1pm.
Size: 10–20
Investors: none
CEO: Matty Schaefer
LinkedIn

Valencell
Pitch: Another wearable IoT company, Valencell of Raleigh, has developed advanced biometric technology for wearables that it has licensed out to manufacturers. It was founded in 2006.
Size: 50–110
Investors: (Updated for 2019) $35M from Best Buy Capital, CBC Partners, TDF Ventures, G//Tech Ventures and True Ventures
CEO: Kent Novak
LinkedIn

Validic
Pitch: Validic gives developers of healthcare apps and insurance companies and healthcare systems one common interface to support all the different wearables and medical devices out there. Based in Durham, it was founded in 2010.
Size: 51–200
Investors: $18.4M raised from 11 investors including Mark Cuban, Greycroft, SJF Ventures and Kaiser Permanente Ventures
CEO: Drew Schiller
LinkedIn

Vectra Automation
Pitch: Let’s say you have a bunch of 3D CAD drawings, but for a variety of reasons you need them converted to 2D. Prior to Vectra, you would have to get a drafter to tediously convert the 3D to 2D manually.
Size: 30–50
Investors: none
CEO: Vinod Kettay
LinkedIn

Vertical IQ
Pitch: Let’s say you sell something into a lot of different industries. You want your sales and marketing teams to have all the information about that vertical industry. Calling on dentists, hospital administrators, veterinarians, welders, plumbers, etc? You want to know as much about the industry as possible. You can use Vertical IQ to pull up any information about an industry. Arm your sales people with the info they need before they pick up the phone so they are prepared. **Updated for 2021
Size: 20–50
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Bobby Martin
LinkedIn

Virtue Labs
Pitch: There’s an explosion of new brands because the cost to create a brand has come down thanks to the digital/e-commerce revolution. Virtue is a consumer product goods (CPG) company in the beauty category. They have created a keratin-based haircare brand that repairs hair reducing frizz and split ends. They sell through the various beauty channels and have a very strong direct e-commerce game.
Size: 40–50 **Updated for 2021
Investors: Raised $28.5m on 11/12/20 **Updated for 2021
CEO: Melisse Shaban
LinkedIn

Vital Plan
Pitch: There are lots of confusing information about natural remedies. Braden Rawls partnered with her father to provide an alternative. In addition to tons of great content on the subject, they offer their own line of supplements.
Size: 11–50
Investors: 2019 Update: Vital Plan has raised $1.2m from investors including the Carolina Angel Network (CAN)
CEO: Braden Rawls
LinkedIn

VoiceThread
Pitch: In today’s world of remote work, we need better ways to communicate and workflows. Enter VoiceThread. Their platform allows a team to take a piece of media — say a picture or video and attach voice notes and annotations to the media for better communications.
Size: 20–50
Investors: none
CEO: Steve Muth
LinkedIn

WalletFi
Pitch: Another FinTech new addition this year! WalletFi sells software to banks that allows them to offer their customers the ability to track subscriptions, free trials and turn those on and off. We’ve all struggled to unsubscribe from some $19.99/m recurring fee — WalletFi powers that functionality for banks to then offer it to their customers — what we call B2B2C in the startup biz.
Size: 10–20
Investors: none
CEO: Marc Miller
LinkedIn

Wastezero
Pitch: Trash and waste is a huge problem. When it comes to trash collection, there’s no economic incentive to generate less waste because we all pay the same for trash collection (by neighborhood/region). What if you were billed more the more you throw away? Wastezero has created a system to do exactly that. Wastezero’s system is used in 800 locations and it has proven to reduce waste by 44%.
Size: 50–200
Investors: none
CEO: Dave Bryla
LinkedIn

Weaveup
Pitch: It’s somewhat unusual for two companies (see: Spoonflower) in the Triangle to be tackling the same space, but given our state and NCSUs focus on textiles, I don’t think this one is too surprising. Durham-based WeaveUp has two sides to the business. One one-side it’s a direct-to-consumer fabric design and printing platform. On the other side, it’s a business-to-business platform where companies like JOANN, Continental and Valley Forge Fabrics can use the WeaveUp technology to enhance their offerings.
Size: 10–20
Investors: In 2020, WeaveUp raised an undisclosed amount from the retailer Jo-Ann Fabric **Updated for 2020
CEO: Flint Davis
LinkedIn

Well Dot
Pitch: This one is hard to talk about because, well, their brand is well and when you talk about something like that it’s hard to go to the well for new words that aren’t well. So I’ll call it well.co to make it a bit easier to understand. Well.co is a Chapel Hill based HealthTech company that is revolutionizing how patients access healthcare. Underlying the solution is an AI-powered health engagement platform that collects all of the patients data and preferences and utilizes that to deliver a much better and different member experience. That seems hard to grok, the examples they give are: proactive health guidance, personalized expert guidance, incentives for better health care and more.
Size: 100–150
Investors: Raised a whopping $40m Series A from General Catalyst, John Doerr, Mosaic Health Solutions and others. Raised additional $70m from Valeas Capital Partners** Updated for 2022
CEO: Dave Werry
LinkedIn

Whitestar Communications
Pitch: Fast communications and privacy are keys to many problems. WhiteStar’s technology allows peer-to-peer encrypted communications. This is good because you get speed (peer to peer cuts out a leg of network transit (client->server->client). With the evolution of 5G this technology also can enable new phone<->phone applications.
Size: 10–20
Investors: none
CEO: Rich Moon
LinkedIn

Windlift
Pitch: What’s cooler than drones? Drones that generate electricity! Windlift has built ‘airborne power generators. Imagine a drone type thing you get super high in the air (with a tether), then that puppy has fans and the winds up there generate power that comes down to earth through the tether. Sound like Sci-fi? Nope, it’s here in the Triangle now!
Size: 10–20
Investors: $125k in debt financing investor unannounced
CEO: Rob Creighton
LinkedIn

Wiser Systems
Pitch: Wiser systems uses the latest IoT technologies to allow companies to manage assets. Let’s say you are Indiana Jones and you have just found something like, oh, the Lost Ark. You store that Ark in a huge warehouse. Now it’s 4-yrs later and you want to find it? What do you do? You call Wiser Systems. Imagine if you took your Ark when you checked it in and put an IoT doo-dad on there. Then whenever you need the Ark, you look at a cloud-based version of your warehouse and ‘blip’ there it is right there in the back left corner.
Size: 10–20
Investors: none
CEO: Elaine Rideout
LinkedIn

WorkDove **New for 2022
Pitch: Melissa built an HR consulting firm in Wilmington and discovered there was an opportunity to build software to implement the various HR strategies they developed as a consulting firm.
Size: 20–50
Investors: $2.9m from Jurassic Capital (Bank of Joe)
CEO: Melissa Phillippi
LinkedIn

Written Word Media
Pitch: The trend toward self-publishing is huge. Amazon is driving this, and locally, we have a major player in Lulu. But these platforms give authors tools for writing, editing and publishing but what about marketing? Written Word Media of Durham has a platform and network that helps authors get their books discovered. The network has 18,000 authors and over 600,000 readers looking for book recommendations.
Size: 10
Investors: $50K from NC IDEA, Bootstrap
CEO: Ricci Wolman
LinkedIn

Zaloni
Pitch: We’ve all heard the buzz around big data. One of the underlying technologies is called Hadoop and it’s open-source software out of Yahoo! Hadoop gives you a good foundation for a big data map-reduce system, but since it’s OSS, like Linux/Red Hat, it falls short of what many commercial enterprises need from a system. Enter a host of startups (Cloudera and Hortonworks are probably the best known). Zaloni is a RTP-based Hadoop startup, founded in 2007, that adds enterprise data management to Hadoop. What’s that mean? Well if you have a big Hadoop implementation (terabytes), the OSS management tools leave a lot to be desired. Zaloni gives you the ability to pull in large amounts of data, organize the data, monitor and extract it. It also gives you the ability to monitor permissions and workflows (who did what, when to what data and were they allowed to?). This space is so hot — I don’t think Zaloni will be on the Tweener list for long. It’s likely it will get snapped up by one of the big players out there
Size: 200–300 **Updated for 2021
Investors: In 2020, Zaloni raised $15m from an undisclosed group. That brings their total to $24.6m including $7.5M from Sierra Ventures **Updated for 2021.
CEO: Susan Cook
LinkedIn

Zogo Finance
Pitch: What do you get when you mix EdTech and FinTech? Zogo! Zogo provides software and content that allows their partners (like Amex!) to offer users financial education. Want to learn about how options trading works? ETFs and a variety of other financial terms/concepts? Zogo teaches financial literacy using games and videos and other GenZ friendly media.
Size: 20–40
Investors: $295k from the MetLife/Techstars accelerator and undisclosed investors.
CEO: Bolun Li
LinkedIn

Zynbit
Pitch: Salesforce is a hugely popular and powerful CRM system with millions of users. One of the most popular features of Salesforce is the AppExchange ‘app store’. Like your smartphone’s app store, AppExchange allows you to add functionality and extend your Salesforce system in interesting ways. This is where Zynbit comes into the picture. One of the challenges of Salesforce is getting sales reps to capture all their customer interactions (email/chat/calls/etc.). Zynbit starts there and then adds a bunch of other features to help sales reps be more productive within Salesforce.
Size: 40–100 **Updated for 2021
Investors: Raised additional $1m in 2020 bringing their total to $2.5m. *Updated for 2021
CEO: Phil Dixon
LinkedIn

Triangle Tweener List Archive

This section has links to the archives of the Tweener List. When I started, I published it on this site called ExitEvent that has since merged with WRAL’s techwire area. Fortunately, they copied a lot of the content over to WRAL and you can still find it.

•2015 lives here on WRAL — this is the OG, the formatting a little off, but content checks out.

•2016 lives here

•2017 lives here

•2018 lives here

•2019 lives here

•2020 lives here

•2021 lives here

UPDATE LOG

  • 6/21/22 — Updated Nugget and did some other small clean ups.

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CEO of Spiffy (www.getspiffy.com) and Co-Founder/Executive Chairman of ChannelAdvisor

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