The Friday Nooner: “Pete” NFT And Greppys Nominees; Guest Jesse Midgett

In today’s episode of The Friday Nooner, Joe returns from his week-long, internet-less family vacation to join Pete in discussing the bidding winner of GrepBeat’s “Pete” NFT and nominees for the upcoming Greppy Awards (April 23), as well as other tidbits from the Triangle-tech realm. Guest Jesse Midgett also joins to explain NASA’s patent licensing program (which we wrote about last week). Here are some of the episode’s highlights:

  • This morning was the deadline to place a bid on the infamous “Pete” NFT, with proceeds from winner Steve Klein (the co-founder of to be donated to the North Carolina Museum of Art. (Who knew using OpenSea wasn’t as easy as eBay?) (9:50) 
  • The inaugural Greppy Awards will take place in lieu of The Friday Nooner on April 23. Listen to today’s episode to hear the nominees for the five categories: Best Small, Medium, and Large Startup; Most Impactful Individual; and Best On-Campus Startup. Be on the look out for next Tuesday’s newsletter for a link to place your votes! (15:00)
  • American Underground and Raleigh Founded—the two largest startup hubs in the Triangle—announced this week a new partnership that will enable a member of one to work out of the office of another for up to one day a week or four days a month. It’s a win-win situation for members of either hub! (22:10)
  • Guest Jesse Midgett joins around 24:00 to explain NASA’s patent licensing program. Although Midgett said that in the past they have typically sought out companies at a later stage in development to use their patents, this year, NASA is scoping out startups in places like the Triangle to be potential licensees. Midgett makes an analogy of the old transfer process to a scene in The Princess Bride: the patent is like the magical chocolate that Miracle Max gives to Westley before he storms the castle, but then Miracle Max simply waves and wishes him good luck from there. Midgett said his task now is to figure out the best areas to support startups in their storming of the commercialization “castle” and to marshal whatever regional resources may be available to help said storming.
  • But patents aren’t the only thing NASA has to offer, Midgett said. Technologies from patents that have expired are also available for free in the public domain, and NASA’s software catalog offers options that don’t require a license to use. Christmas came early! (33:30)

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