Vote For The Inaugural Greppy Awards! Here’s All The Info You’ll Need

[Editor’s Note: If you’re cool with SPOILERS, here’s a recap of all the winners of the inaugural awards.]

GrepBeat is proud to announce the inaugural Greppy Awards, aka The Greppys, which will be held virtually on Friday, April 23, at 12 Noon ET. (Register here.) Thanks to our sponsor, Dualboot Partners!

We will be announcing winners in five categories, with readers voting for their top choice. These “Readers Choice” winners will be honored alongside the category champ chosen by our six-judge panel, which also generated the nominated companies/individuals in the first four categories below. (The Greppys page has all the info on judges, process, etc.)

The categories are:

Best Small Smartup (1-10 employees)
Best Medium-Sized Startup (11-50 employees)
Best Large Startup (51+ employees)
Most Impactful Individual
Best On-Campus Startup

There will also be a special award presented for Best Leveraging of Triangle Ecosystem Resources.

Voting will be open until next Thursday, April 22, at 5 p.m. ET.

Of course, we all want an educated electorate. So we’ve put together this handy guide with brief descriptions of the nominees in each category. The nominees have been listed in alphabetical order.

Once you’ve given this a quick read—or while keeping this page open as a reference—please go vote!


1. Small Startups

Blue Recruit
HQ: Raleigh
Year Founded: 2018
CEO: Rich Camacho

Description: A job marketplace designed for the unique skills and needs of blue-collar workers. Instead of uploading resumes that are typically more geared toward white-collar jobs, for instance, blue-collar job seekers are matched with hiring companies based on the skills they list.

In GrepBeat: “Blue Recruit Offers Better Way For Blue-Collar Workers To Find Jobs” (March 17, 2020)

HQ: Durham
Year Founded: 2017
CEO: Sonja Ebron

Description: An online case-management platform for people representing themselves in civil court proceedings. Through a monthly subscription, users get access to a Litigator’s Toolset, which comes with a legally tailored search engine and training videos on how to represent oneself in court, as well as other digital equipment to help clients win their own cases.

In GrepBeat: “Don’t Have A Lawyer? Courtroom5 Will Help You Win On Your Own” (March 21, 2019); Durham-based Courtroom5 Wins Black Founders Exchange Demo Day” (September 30, 2019). Plus you can find more GrepBeat coverage here.

HQ: Durham
Year Founded: 2017
CEO: Alex Krawchick

Description: A SaaS-based platform for B2B companies that uses machine learning and data analytics to help marketing teams identify what factors are expected to contribute to future growth the most. Klearly also simulates different growth scenarios or paths—think Google Maps for marketing departments—so companies can prioritize what’s working and take the smartest path to maximize revenue growth.

In GrepBeat: “Klearly Analytics Helps Businesses Better Map Their Marketing Efforts” (January 17, 2019)

HQ: Raleigh
ear Founded: 2015
CEO: Helen Gu

Description: A software startup founded by NC State professor Helen Gu that uses AI to predict and prevent IT incidents and system issues before they impact businesses. Powered by machine learning, InsightFinder tracks events, logs, metrics, and changes to detect any anomalies, predict incidents, and remedy outages.

In GrepBeat: “Raleigh’s InsightFinder Uses Machine Learning To Improve IT Operations” (Jan. 28, 2021)

HQ: Durham
Year Founded: 2020
Founders: Adam Smith and Adam Long

Description: By fully automating and tracking workflows, Wrangle eliminates the need to nag team members about a task and eliminates the risk of work being lost in busy channels—especially in Slack.

In GrepBeat: “Just Wrangle It: New Durham Startup Removes Kinks From Workflow Processes” (August 27, 2020)


2. Medium Startups

HQ: Raleigh
Year Founded: 2016
CEO: Hersh Tapadia

Description: A SaaS startup that uses predictive analytics and risk-management tools to help software developers identify any problems in their delivery processes. By aggregating data from all engineering teams, Allstacks gives real-time alerts and insights to help companies learn from previous product delivery outcomes and work patterns to optimize the development process.

In GrepBeat: “Allstacks Helps Identify Development Bottlenecks Before They Snowball” (February 21, 2019) 

HQ: Durham
Year Founded: 2017
CEO: Bernard Worthy

Description: LoanWell first launched as a DTC (direct to consumer) platform that enabled users to receive loans from community members in a crowdfunding-like feature, but has pivoted to provide B2B software to community lenders. LoanWell offers automated loan origination and portfolio management software for community lenders—including banks, credit unions, CDFIs (Community Development Financial Institutions), loan funds, and foundations—through a white-labelled platform with end-to-end functionality for application intake, origination, task management, underwriting, closing, servicing and reporting.

In GrepBeat: “Durham Fintech LoanWell Powers Covid-19 Relief Fund For Entire State” (June 4, 2020); “LoanWell Believes It Takes A Village To Make The Best Loans” (February 12, 2019) 

Pattern Health
HQ: Durham
Year Founded: 2016
CEO: Ed Barber 

Description: Pattern Health aims to improve clinical care decision-making, advance the research of new therapies and help people better manage their health by offering a platform for health professionals to easily create and license digital health programs, and a marketplace with those validated programs for users to explore and use.

In GrepBeat: “Durham’s Pattern Health Fosters Innovation In Healthcare” (July 16, 2019)

Reveal Mobile
HQ: Raleigh
Year Founded: 2015
CEO: Brian Handly

Description: A tech company that designs results-driven, geofencing marketing tools to help companies target and understand their mobile audience. Reveal Mobile’s latest product, VISIT Local, uses location-based marketing and analytics to deliver precise location data to help companies and brands reach their customers based on where they go and measure the impact of digital advertising and promotions.

In GrepBeat: “Pete Meets… Brian Handly, CEO, Reveal Mobile” (Sept. 29, 2020); “The Download: Brian Handly, CEO, Reveal Mobile, Inc.” (Aug. 27, 2019)

Revibe Technologies
HQ: Raleigh
Year Founded: 2013
CEO: Joseph Koziak

Description: Founded by Rich Brancaccio with a company mission to help those who struggle to stay focused, its main product—the Revibe Connect wearable watch—uses vibration reminders to help kids and adults stay on task. Geared towards those with ADHD, the watch uses a predictive analytic machine learning algorithm to learn the schedule and needs of the user to customize the frequency of reminders, and shares the results via a Revibe mobile app.

In GrepBeat: “Revibe Technologies Has One Focus: Keeping Everyone On Task” (February 7, 2019)


3. Large Startups

HQ: Raleigh
Year Founded: 2014
CEO: Todd Olson

Description: Pendo’s product experience and digital adoption solutions help companies become product-led and deliver digital experiences users love.

In GrepBeat: “[VIDEO] GB Cribs: CEO Todd Olson Gives Us A Tour Of Pendo’s HQ” (June 11, 2020); “Marketing 101: Joe Chernov, CMO, Pendo” (July 7, 2020); “Meet… Jennifer Dearman, Chief Customer Officer, Pendo” (Oct. 24, 2019); “Pendo Event Aims To Change Underrepresentation Of Women In Tech” (January 24, 2019); “Meet… Jennifer Fentress, Pendo” (Sept. 13, 2018)

Real Magic/Levitate
HQ: Raleigh
Year Founded: 2017
CEO: Jesse Lipson

Description: Real Magic builds SaaS communication products to help drive effective marketing for companies, such as their first app Levitate, which uses AI-powered software to help small and medium-sized businesses manage their professional relationships and referrals. 

In GrepBeat: “Raleigh’s Levitate Keeps Rising With New Funding, Rapid Growth” (July 23, 2020); “Lipson’s Latest Trick: Raising $6M Series A For Real Magic” (June 20, 2019); No Trick: ShareFile Founder Lipson Back With Real Magic” (Aug. 21, 2018)

Second Nature
HQ: Raleigh
Year Founded: 2012
CEO: Thad Tarkington

Description: Formerly called FilterEasy due to its original focus as a subscription service selling replacement air filters, Second Nature has rebranded as a broader home wellness platform. Its first product extension is into fridge filters.

In GrepBeat: “The Download: Thad Tarkington, CEO, Second Nature” (Oct. 8, 2019)

Year Founded: 2015
CEO: Scot Wingo

Description: An on-demand mobile car-care service serving B2C markets at home and work—and B2B fleet markets across the U.S.—in which users can schedule a car wash or other service on the app and Spiffy technicians meet the user where they are.

In GrepBeat: “The Download: Karl Murphy, Co-Founder and President, Spiffy” (May 5, 2020); “Spiffy Doubles Its Size Overnight With Acquisition Of Orlando’s YLL” (November 8, 2019); “Spiffy Turbocharges Dallas Growth With Acquisition Of NuWash” (July 30, 2019); The Download: Scot Wingo, Spiffy” (Oct. 30, 2018). Find all of our Spiffy coverage here.

HQ: Durham
Year Founded: 2008
CEO: Michael Jones

Description: A global e-commerce marketplace that connects textile makers and consumers with design artists worldwide and allows users to design their own patterns and premium fabrics. Through on-demand digital printing technology and eco-friendly, sustainable and scalable manufacturing processes, Spoonflower aims to revolutionize the textile industry.

In GrepBeat: “The Download: Michael Jones, CEO, Spoonflower” (Oct. 20, 2020); “Meet… Allison Polish, President, Spoonflower” (March 31, 2020)


4. Most Impactful Individual

This award recognizes a local tech entrepreneur who has gone above and beyond in fostering the Triangle’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The nominees are:

Robbie Allen is the Co-Founder and CEO of Startomatic. Before Startomatic, Allen was the Founder of CEO of StatSheet, which later became Automated Insights, and was the CEO of Infinia ML. He is an angel investor and adviser to multiple startups. He will also soon be the host of a podcast for GrepBeat called For Starters that explores everything you need to know about starting a business. For Starters launches on April 27. You can also find our stories on Allen here.

Jesse Lipson was the founder of ShareFile before the company was acquired by Citrix in 2011. Now Lipson has founded a new venture, Real Magic, which builds SaaS products. Their first product, Levitate, helps businesses manage their professional relationships and grow. He was also the Co-Founder with three others of the startup community/coworking hub Raleigh Founded (formerly HQ Raleigh). You can also find our stories on Lipson here.

Todd Olson is the CEO and Co-Founder of Pendo. Pendo provides product experience and digital adoption solutions, aiding companies in their quests to become product-led and deliver excellent digital experiences to users. Before that, Olson co-founded 6th Sense Software and Cerebellum. He is a frequent speaker at Triangle-area entrepreneurial events. Read our coverage of Olson here.

Joe Procopio has had multiple management roles at prominent Triangle startups, including Precision Fermentation, Spiffy and Automated Insights. He previously founded Exit Event, a media property that is arguably GrepBeat’s spirit animal. Though Procopio might be best known to our readers these days for his Teaching Startup series, which appears regularly in GrepBeat.

Scot Wingo is a serial entrepreneur who currently serves as the CEO of Get Spiffy, an on-demand mobile car care service company. Wingo has previously launched and successfully exited three other startups, including ChannelAdvisor (a publicly traded company where he is still the Executive Chairman), Stingray Software and AuctionRover. Wingo also maintains the Triangle Tweener list of startups in the area. Read our previous coverage of Wingo here.


5. Best On-Campus Startup

This category recognizes startups led by students at a Triangle university. To be eligible, one or more of the founders must be a current student, whether at the undergrduate or graduate level. These nominees were provided by the respective universities’ entrepreneurial departments.

Audacity Labs
School: Duke
Founders: Quinci King and Eric Little

Description: Audacity Labs wants to create a community for teens to unleash their inner entrepreneur. It is a startup incubator for underrepresented youth in Durham, providing programming and mentorship.

School: Duke
Founder: Ben Stewart

Description: Blooket was created by Duke sophomore Ben Stewart as an online trivia game for students. During Covid-19, the startup experienced exponential growth. Teachers pick a question set and a unique game mode out of a variety of game options. Players answer questions in the question set to help them win the games.

Extruo, LLC
School: NC State
Founders: Dakota Batch, J’den Williams, Victoria Luong, Matheus Turra

Description: Extruo can help coaches and athletes target areas of improvement using their garments. Their clothing has integrated sensors that track the position of someone’s limb in space compared to other body parts, slowing down athletes’ movements for analysis.

Flux Hybrids
School: NC State
Founders: Micah Ulrich and Clay Dowdey

Description: Flux Hybrids seeks to make transportation better and more accessible with clean hybrid conversion technology. The startup creates hybrid and all-electric conversion kits that can turn any car into a clean, efficient vehicle.

MUSE Biomedical
School: UNC-Chapel Hill
Founders: Goutam Gadiraju, Karthik Kaundinya, Pradham Tanikella, Jennifer Jacober and Tasneem Essader

Description: MUSE Biomedical creates medical devices and sensors focused on providing preventative solutions to opioid addiction and their related deaths. We previously wrote about the company here.

School: NC Central
Founder: Alana Petifer

Description: PLAY is a cosmetic company targeting athletes and performers who wear make up in high-intensity environments. PLAY’s products block oil and sweat from your face to preserve your make up.

Vector Rideshare
School: UNC-Chapel Hill
Founder: Nehemiah Stewart

Description: Vector Rideshare is first university networked carpooling app. Vector connects students and faculty traveling to similar destinations, which can be a life saver during semester breaks. We previously wrote about the company here.