On today’s Friday Nooner, Joe and Pete were still riding the social high from GrepBeat’s in-person Happy Hour yesterday (loyal readers would know that this is our first in-person event since last February.) If you weren’t one of the 50-some lucky GrepBeaters (Greppers?) who made the event to eat Pete’s cookies and answer trivia questions about 1996—the year that our sponsor Hutchison law firm was “born”; it just turned 25—fear not: we will have another Happy Hour soon!
Here’s what else Pete and Joe, and guest Trevor Schmidt of Hutchison, covered:
- Scooter aficionado Joe talks the new-ish electric Vespa—he thinks it’s not a great investment just yet—and his gang of Durham Vespa-rados. Later in the podcast Joe (who apparently is very gang-happy today) also shares his opinions on the Triangle’s “West Side,” Durham and Chapel Hill; and “East Side,” which he claims is Cary and Raleigh. (ends at 5:00)
- This morning, CED released its Annual Innovators Report, which elaborated on what we already knew: Triangle entrepreneurship continued to boom in 2020 despite, and even because of, the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic. Some highlights include over $3.4 billion of funding raised by NC companies, $2.7 billion of which is from Triangle companies, including $1.8 billion from Cary’s Epic Games. Tech made up 80% of these funds vs. life sciences—a stark increase from previous years, which Pete and Joe attributed partially to the pandemic spurring the need for virtual, touch-less and high-tech solutions. (6:45)
- On the note of financial anomalies, Pete and Joe give us a #FlashbackFriday to one of the wildest plays (literally) of pandemic financing: GameStop stock’s January Reddit skyrocket. Joe thinks recent high-profile hackings might lead to some policy change. The duo also got into the potential policy implications of ProPublica’s recent report on billionaires’ tax returns (spoiler alert: In 2018, Elon Musk paid less in federal income taxes than the digits than his baby’s name). (11:05)
- Speaking of policy, Happy Hour sponsor Hutchison Law’s Trevor Schmidt joins Pete and Joe some 21 minutes in. Thanks in large part to the Hutchison crew, Happy Hour was a huge success. Trevor said his favorite part of the night was seeing how many new faces joined the Triangle tech startup scene since the start of the pandemic. (21:25)
- If you’re looking for a great podcast to follow up Robbie Allen’s latest episode of For Starters, check out Trevor’s podcast, Founder Shares. In the podcast, which views entrepreneurship from a legal perspective, Trevor chats with Hutchison clients about what worked, what didn’t and what they learned along the way. He said he’s always looking for great stories — so if you can think of a more interesting legal question than what’s next for our “The Pete” NFT merch (answer: it’s legally safe for us) you should check him out. And more to the point, if you are startup founder or know someone who is, that’s right up his alley.
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