Good afternoon and welcome back to another Friday Nooner. Pete, Joe, and Jackie kicked off the episode with some blockchain talk before informing the audience of a major piece of GrepBeat news. Well, news about GrepBeat’s parent company, Colopy Ventures.
Under the day-to-day leadership of Jenn Summe, Joe and the rest of his Colopy Ventures team have launched a new investing firm called Primordial to address a funding shortage in the Triangle for pre-seed-stage tech startups. (We wrote about Primordial this week.) In Joe’s opinion, it’s much better for young startups to raise less capital and use it more efficiently than to raise a ton and throw money at projects too quickly. Primordial aims to give startups initial capital and advice to support long-term success rather than one big push that might come too soon.
In even bigger GrepBeat news, Joe has ordered—and is still modifying—a bobblehead figure of Jackie to go alongside Pete’s.
On a national level, the crew discussed how CEO Charlie Jarvice of the former fintech startup Frank is being sued and now charged criminally for lying about the number of users on her platform to entice JPMorgan to acquire the company. Jarvice was a former member of the Forbes 30 under 30 list, which is generally considered a prestigious honor but has also gone to some folks who turned out to be, well, bad apples. Pete passed along a stat that he had heard that past Forbes 30 Under 30 awardees have raised over $6 billion in funding, but have also been responsible for frauds of more than $18B. (Among the culprits: Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos, Sam Bankman-Fried of FTX, and “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli.)
This week’s guest is Sophia Lopez, the co-founder and COO of Raleigh-based Kaleido, which is a blockchain-as-a-service startup for enterprise customers. Here are some highlights from the conversation:
- Sophia said she and Joe have eerily similar backgrounds: both went to Harvard for undergrad and UNC’s Kenan-Flagler for their MBAs, both spent time abroad teaching, both have four kids, and at least some of those kids attended NCSSM. And, obviously, they have both launched software companies.
- Sophia got her job at IBM through a case competition while a Kenan-Flagler MBA student where she analyzed block chains, and it was at IBM that she eventually met her Kaleido co-founder Steve Cerveny. The two teamed up on Kaleido in 2017 and received funding from blockchain entrepreneur Joseph Lubin as part of his startup studio ConsenSys before spinning out as an independent company in 2020. Kaleido delivers blockchain solutions at enterprise scale to transform all sorts of industries, from finance to healthcare to energy.
- Kaleido is HQ’d in downtown Raleigh and operates in-person for maximum collaboration and growth. Worldwide, the company has about 50 people and is always recruiting strong talent within the Triangle.
- Sophia said it’s great to be able to upgrade a decades-old data system by providing new technology via blockchain for data collection and distribution. If you go to Kaledio.io, you can access a free demo and set up your own blockchain through the site.
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