In this week’s episode of The Friday Nooner, Brooks Malone of The Download series (who is also a partner at Hughes Pittman & Gupton) came on as a guest co-host. GrepBeat Godfather Joe Colopy was also on the show as usual, but this time he was freezing in the streets of downtown Asheville during a celebratory birthday trip.
The featured guest today was Krista Covey, president of First Flight Venture Center, an RTP-based innovation lab and business incubator that recently celebrated its 30th birthday. (Plus she’s a former Download subject.) Unfortunately, she couldn’t make it until the very end, but stay tuned for next week where Krista will dive into all the specifics of the work she’s doing at First Flight.
And in a momentous occasion for GrepBeat, today marked the first time The Friday Nooner had a sponsor. Dualboot Partners—which is also the current title sponsor for the GrepBeat newsletter—is a business and software development company that helps businesses grow. Thanks, Dualboot!
Here are a few highlights from the show:
- Pete discussed the recent North Carolina Secretary of State numbers that show that new business starts in North Carolina surged 40 percent in 2021 compared to 2020, which was previously the record. Strikingly, only 9 percent of founders said that they started their news business as a direct result of of job losses. The trio of Pete, Joe and Brooks dive into the implications and explanations, including the mass COVID-related migration of residents from large cities to areas like the Triangle.
- Brooks divulged his personal process that brings forth his Download articles. A fixture on GrepBeat’s website, Brooks has used these pieces to spotlight leaders in the Triangle tech ecosystem, and a key goal of his is to increase representation of women and minorities in The Download. Also, Joe and Pete finally get Brooks to admit some of his favorite coffee shops, something of a struggle since Brooks was determined to be a coffee shop diplomat.
- The question of what 2022 will hold for the tech industry is still up in the air. But Brooks gave some predictions: more people moving to the Triangle, increased merger and acquisition activity and the potential complications of the Build Back Better program (if it passes) on startups.
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