Welcome to the 2018 Triangle Tweener list!

This is an annual list ( a little late this year -sorry!) that I publish to catalog and help draw attention to the rising tech startups in the Triangle (The North Carolina high-tech corridor that includes Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill). I created the Triangle Tweeners in 2016 and published it on Exit Event for the Triangle startup community. Now it is here.

Updates

This post was last updated on March 26, 2018— I will keep a change log at the end of the document so you can see what has been changed. You can also follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

What is a Triangle Tweener?

Triangle Tweeners are companies headquartered out of the Triangle with at least $1M/yr in sales or 10 people. They generally are technology companies (mostly around software, e-commerce, tech enabled services and some materials/devices) and are independent and not public. Once a company is over $80m/yr in revenue and/or 500 employees they ‘graduate’ off the list.

Not included on the list are pure agencies or consulting/VAR (Value Added Reseller) firms and life science companies (drug development, medical devices, CRO, etc.).

Also, it’s important to note that while it’s great we have more and more firms with HQ’s outside of the Triangle opening sizable operations in our area, they do not qualify for Triangle Tweeners — the goal of this list is to help grow and scale homegrown companies.

Think of Triangle Tweeners as the ‘Goldilocks’ companies in the Triangle — not too small and not too large. These are our future breakouts, IPOs and big M+A’s. They are also great for folks moving to the area or if you are at a big company and want to try something more entrepreneurial.

2018 Update: Off the Tweener list:

This year we graduated (M+A, IPO, matriculation), 9 Tweeners:

  • Bandwidth — Bandwidth had an IPO in 2017, so has graduated off the list.
  • Bivarus — was acquired before I could get then on the list — by a Boston firm.
  • Dude solutions — Graduated off the list by crossing 500 employees.
  • Junxure — I found in Q3 17 and before I could get them on the list this year they were acquired by AdvisorEngine.
  • KnowledgeTree — acquired by SAVO
  • Transloc — Acquired by Ford in Jan 2018
  • Wedpics — was acquired by Mixbook in 2017
  • Windsor Circle — Was acquired in early 2018 by OSG
  • Zift Solutions — Merged with another company and moved HQ to NJ

2018 Update: New to the Tweener list:

We’ve also discovered 38 new Tweeners. These come to me a variety of ways — some from their investors, others email me directly, etc. Here are the 39 new 2018 Tweners:

  • 3 Birds Marketing
  • Academic Benchmarking Consortium
  • Appraisalnation
  • Arya/Leoforce
  • Boss Key Productions
  • Broadvine
  • BulkTV
  • CARS/ez-recovery
  • Compostnow
  • Creative Allies
  • CrossComm
  • EmployUS
  • Eton Solutions
  • Exit Intelligence
  • Feelgoodz
  • Global Data Consortium
  • Inspectionxpert
  • InterviewUp/ThinkOptimal/optimalresume
  • Keen Decision Systems
  • Macgregor partners
  • Map My Customers
  • Market Vue Partners
  • Medicom
  • Mobile Reach
  • Myxx
  • Percona
  • Remarque Systems
  • Republic wireless
  • Sift
  • Slingshot Coffee Company
  • SMT (SportsMEDIA Technology Corp)
  • SnapSolv
  • Sports Endeavors
  • SyncFusion
  • Tethis
  • TiO Home Automation
  • Virtue Labs
  • Wastezero

The 2018 Tweener List

Now without further adieu is the 2018 Tweener List. The list is in alphabetical order and includes a ‘pitch’ for the company (my take on how would describe them in 2–4 sentences). The size (data sourced from LinkedIn), the investors (data sourced from Crunchbase, WRAL, etc.), the CEO and a link to the LinkedIn page for the company if you’d like to learn more.

Note to make it easier to find the 2018 additions, you can search for “New for 2018” to zip to those quickly.


New for 2018!

3 Birds Marketing

Pitch: What happens when you apply modern SaaS MarTech (Marketing Technology) to the car dealer world? 3 Birds is what happens! A big feather in the 3 Birds cap (see what I did there?) is that they are in the Honda and Acura preferred vendor programs.

Size: 100

Investors: none

CEO: Kristen Judd

LinkedIn


New for 2018!

Academic Benchmarking Consortium

Pitch: Let’s say you are in higher education and want to benchmark your institution (probably a university) against other universities. ABC Insights does that for you. They have over 20 of the nation’s top universities in the benchmark and operate right out of Chapel Hill.

Size: 10–20
Investors: none

CEO: Steve Beisser

LinkedIn


Adzerk

Pitch: There are a variety of ad servers out there, but large publishers have very specific needs. They could build their own ad servers, but the costs are prohibitive. Enter Adzerk, an AdTech (advertising technology) company. Adzerk gives publishers a set of APIs that allow them to build their own custom servers and then Adzerk takes care of the complexity on the back end. This creates the best of both worlds: customization capabilities plus scalability at a great price.
Size: 10–50
Investors: (Updated for 2018) $1.7m from Great Oaks Venture Capital, Brian Handly (of Reveal Mobile) and other angels including TAP (Triangle Angel Partners)
CEO: James Avery
LinkedIn


New for 2018!

Academic Benchmarking Consortium

Pitch: Let’s say you are in higher education and want to benchmark your institution (probably a university) against other universities. ABC Insights does that for you. They have over 20 of the nation’s top universities in the benchmark and operate right out of Chapel Hill.

Size: 10–20

Investors: none

CEO: Steve Beisser

LinkedIn


Active Location Inc.
Pitch: This AdTech company, founded in Raleigh in 2014, provides technology that allows advertisers to target ads by location. This technology gives advertisers unprecedented understanding of consumer behavior.
Size: 10–50
Investors: $250K in two rounds
CEO: Devin DeLane
LinkedIn


Adwerx
Pitch: A local/vertical ad:tech (advertising technology) company that in early 2015 spun out of ReverbNation. This Durham team is making it easier for hyper-local verticals (real estate is the first one) to take advantage of the latest advertising technologies.
Size: 10–50
Investors: (Updated for 2018)-> $5.5m that includes Bull City Venture Partners, GroTech, Boulder Ventures, Advancit Capital, SeventySix Capital
CEO: Jed Carlson
LinkedIn


New for 2018!

Appraisal Nation

Pitch: If you have ever bought a house, you had to have an appraisal done. AppraisalNation is both a marketplace of appraisers nation-wide and the software platform they use to create and deliver the appraisals.

Size: 50–100

Investors: none

CEO: Brian McSheehy

LinkedIn


ArchiveSocial (updated for 2018)
Pitch: You have a business that is active on social media (aren’t we all?!), but you are in an industry that has document and record-keeping requirements (like finance, healthcare, government, legal, etc.). ArchiveSocial, a Durham startup founded in 2011, automatically pulls, records and archives all of your social media so you are compliant with all the relevant requirements.
Size: 50–100
Investors: $2.1M in two rounds from NC IDEA, David Gardner, The Startup Factory and e.Republic Ventures
CEO: Anil Chawla

LinkedIn


New for 2018!

Arya/Leoforce

Pitch: The family of software that is used by HR departments to recruit, reward and retain talent is called HRIS or HRTech (or PeopleTech). Arya (by Leoforce) uses AI to sort through those thousands of applicants and surface the best candidates. Machine learning trains the system to get better over time. Arya is the world’s first AI recruiting platform, born right here in the Triangle (Raleigh).

Size: 50–100

Investors: none

CEO: Madhu Mogudu

LinkedIn


Axial Exchange
Pitch: Red Hat COO Joanne Rohde left in 2009 to found Raleigh-based Axial Exchange and change the way patients interact with their doctors. Axial helps heath care providers get better at patient engagement. Think of it as bed-side manner as a service.
Size: 11–50
Investors: $9.4M in five rounds. Idea Fund Partners, Arsenal Ventures, and Canaan Partners are investors.
CEO: Michael Donahue

LinkedIn


Blogads
Pitch: An advertising network along with provider of services for advertisers that want to advertise on blogs. Blogads also allows for bloggers (publishers) to monetize their content. And it is working on several interesting internal startup ideas. It’s based in Durham.
Size: 50–110
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Henry Copeland
LinkedIn


New for 2018!

Boss Key Productions

Pitch: One of the most (in)famous game designers, Cliff Bleszinski (aka CliffyB), cut his teeth at Epic Games and still calls the Triangle home. His latest company, Boss Key Productions is an independent game studio located in downtown Raleigh. Their latest game, Lawbreakers is the studio’s first title and has been very well received by the gaming community.

Size: 100–150

Investors: none

CEO: Cliff Bleszinski

LinkedIn


BrightDoor Systems
Pitch: If you are a real estate developer and you have a great new neighborhood, you need a complete CRM/digital marketing system to help you promote and manage your sales force and customer data. BrightDoor, founded in 2005 in Cary, provides a SaaS platform for the builder industry.
Size: 10–50
Investors: $2M from Idea Fund Partners and Outcome Capital.
CEO: Michael Worthington
LinkedIn


Bright Wolf
Pitch: Internet of Things (IoT) is going to be huge and Bright Wolf is a Durham company with a lot of traction in the space. Imagine that everything had a sensor on it. If a generator in a factory is going out, a sensor could raise an alert so a second generator could take over while a maintenance dude comes out to fix generator 1. Bright Wolf’s platform enables this type of machine-to-machine (m2m) automation, and is used heavily in the transportation industry.
Size: 10–50
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Peter Bourne
LinkedIn


New for 2018!

Broadvine

Pitch: The Triangle is home to Winston Hospitality — a very large hotel developer and operator. Chances are you have stayed in one of their properties. To help manage such a large portfolio, Winston developed SaaS hospitality software. After dogfooding the software, they spun it out as a separate company called Broadvine. Now Broadvine serves over 1000 properties world-wide.

Size: 50–100

Investors: none

CEO: Shawn Barber

LinkedIn


Brooks Bell Interactive
Pitch: Brooks Bell Interactive started in 2003 and helps companies perform A/B testing and optimize their ‘whatever they want to optimize’ online — conversions, sales, etc. Full disclosure — Brooks was an intern for us back in 1999 and I take 100% credit for all her success since then

Brooks is also one of the co-founders of HQ Raleigh.
Size: 50–110
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Brooks Bell
LinkedIn


New for 2018!

Bulk TV & Internet

Pitch: Have you ever stayed in a hotel and wondered how they have Satellite TV in every room? The answer is BulkTV. They make (sell and install) the technology that pulls the signal down and then pipes it into every room in a hotel, office park, apartment building, dorm, etc. Based in Raleigh, BulkTV has quietly and without funding created a very big recurring revenue business.

Size: 50–100

Investors: none

CEO: David O’Connell

LinkedIn


CandleScience
Pitch: Candlescience is a Durham e-commerce company that helps candle-making enthusiasts find the supplies they need and enjoy the experience of making something with their own hands. It was founded in 2004.
Size: 11–50
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Daniel Swimm
LinkedIn


Canopy
Pitch: An on-demand company in Raleigh that operates a marketplace for home care services like lawn maintenance, pest control, gutter cleaning and pressure washing. It was founded in 2014.
Size: 10–20
Investors: $3.9M from Cofounders Capital, Idea Fund Partners, Sovereign’s Capital, Great Oaks Venture Capital and Lowe’s Companies
CEO: Hunt Davis
LinkedIn


New for 2018!

CARS/ez-recovery

Pitch: Do you ever need to repossess (recover) a vehicle and wish you had a suite of solutions and services to help? Ok, me neither, BUT apparently someone does need this and CARS (Consolidated Asset Recovery Systems) does. Their IBeam platform is SaaS software that allows lenders to automate the recovery process.

Size: 50

Investors: none

CEO: Steve Norwood

LinkedIn


Carusele
Pitch: Spun out of the agency Ignite Social Media in 2015, Cary-based Carusele creates and distributes organic social media content for brands and retailers.
Size: 10–50
Investors: $750K from undisclosed investors
President: Jim Tobin (also CEO of Ignite Social Media)
LinkedIn


CloudFactory
Pitch: There are people all over the planet interested in doing tasks for companies on a part-time, as-needed basis. Amazon created a system — Mechanical Turk — to automate this. But it leaves a lot to be desired and is very specific to Amazon’s needs. Enter CloudFactory, which moved its headquarters from Nepal to Durham in 2014. CloudFactory has created some custom workflows for text-to-digital, audio-to-digital and CRM cleanup. This gives companies a turnkey way to solve these types of problems without building their own solutions. A cool thing is its social mission — it contracts with thousands of underemployed “cloudworkers” in cities in Africa.
Size: 10–50
Investors: $13M from Sovereign’s Capital, Rockefeller Foundation, David Clouse
CEO: Mark Sears

LinkedIn


CloudPay
Pitch: The Cloud meets payroll! Honestly I don’t know much about these guys — it is one of these sleeping Tweeners I stumbled upon a while ago that is quite big, but under the radar locally. It’s based in Raleigh and was founded in 1998.
Size: 200–500
Investors: $52m+ raised to date from Rho Capital Partners and Pinnacle Ventures
CEO: Paul Bartlett
LinkedIn


New for 2018!

Compostnow

Pitch: Do you want to be Earth-friendly but don’t have room or time to compost? CompostNow to the rescue! You simply place your compostable waste into a bin provided by CompostNow and they pick it up on a regular schedule and take it to their mega compost facility. They also bring the fertile composted soil back to you immediately so you don’t have to wait for Mother Nature to take her time.

Size: 10–20

Investors: undisclosed angels

CEO: Justin Senkbeil

LinkedIn


CoreCompete LLC
Pitch: Provider of agile Big Data analytics on top of Amazon Web Services and SAS. Core Compete delivers pricing analytics, customer analytics and merchandising/supply chain solutions. It’s four years old and based in Durham.
Size: 50–110
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Shiva Kommareddi
LinkedIn


Corevist
Pitch: Sam Bayer was at HAHT from 1997 to 2000 in the early days of e-commerce. He then worked at SciQuest and MarketAcuity. In 2008, he launched Corevist (aka b2b2dot0) in Raleigh. Corevist helps SAP users connect their back-office ERP to more modern e-commerce platforms.
Size: 10–50
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Sam Bayer
LinkedIn


New for 2018!

Creative Allies

Pitch: Creative Allies operates a marketplace for crowdsourcing amazing content. Over 12,000 creators are active on the platform and have created over 17,000 assets. Let’s say you are a local bar and you want to have a St. Patrick’s day promotion. You can go onto Creative Allies and start a design contest and award $250 to the winner. Designers come and create the design and you award a winner. Contests range from this type of a local example all the way to national brands leveraging the power of crowdsourcing to work with the latest talent.

Size: 10–20

Investors: none

CEO: Donald Thompson

LinkedIn


Cultures for Health
Pitch: A big trend in food involves consumers focusing not only on healthier eating, but understanding where their food comes from and what’s in it. Founded in 2009, Cultures for Health moved to the Triangle from South Dakota recently. It operates a content and e-commerce site that helps folks make a change in how and what they eat. Many of the foods they offer and teach about require active cultures to get started (e.g. yogurt, kefir, sourdough, etc.). Tom and Joe (the Canvas on Demand/CafePress guys) are actively helping this company scale up.
Size: 11–50
Investors: Undisclosed funding from Tom and Joe
CEO: Julie Feickert
LinkedIn


Dognition
Pitch: Want to learn more about your pet? Serial entrepreneur Kip Frey’s latest Durham company will help you figure out what your pet is feeling and thinking via science-based games.
Size: 10–50
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Kip Frey
LinkedIn


Dropsource
Pitch: This Raleigh startup provides a drag-and-drop interface for creating native mobile apps for both iOS and Android. The founder dropped out of Syracuse University in 2013 and moved to the Triangle in 2014 to grow the company. With a November 2015 funding round, it rebranded from Queue Software to Dropsource.
Size: 11–50
Investors: $10.9m in 3 rounds, investors unknown
CEO: Ben Saren
LinkedIn


DZone
Pitch: Developers are always looking for communities where they can find folks working on similar problems and share their challenges and findings. Dzone is a community of over 1m developers that enjoy fresh content, message boards and other community features.
Size: 50–200
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Rick Ross
LinkedIn


Entigral Systems
Pitch: A Raleigh IoT company that uses RFID technology to track assets, shipping and receiving of goods and the production process.
Size: 10–50
Investors: $1.67M in four rounds from Triangle Angel Partners
CEO: Mark Self
LinkedIn


Entrinsik
Pitch: This 33-year-old Raleigh software firm sells business intelligence software to 1,500 companies and organizations in higher education, insurance, manufacturing, nonprofits, healthcare and more. It was founded by CEO Doug Leupen.
Size: 11–50
Investors: $1.5M from Research Triangle Ventures and Catalysta Partners in 2001
CEO: Doug Leupen
LinkedIn


New for 2018!

EmployUS

Pitch: Recruiting great talent is hard. I mean, really really hard. What every company realizes after spending gobs of hard earned cash on LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster and all the job boards is that the best and cheapest way to hire folks is through employee referrals. But, we tend to pay the least for employee referrals and solicit them the least. EmployUS is an HRIS, HRTech firm out of Raleigh that takes all of the work out of running a referral program and adds fun features like gamification that drive adoption (more referrals!).

Size: 10–20

Investors: none

CEO: Ryan O’Donnell

LinkedIn

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — -

eTailInsights
Pitch: When Darren Pierce was at Bronto, he realized that cold calling online retailers was a tough business. He left and founded eTailInsights to solve this problem. The 2011-founded Cary company gathers a large database of online retailers and their contacts to help vendors get their products in front of the right audience.
Size: 10–50
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Darren Pierce
LinkedIn


eTix
Pitch: I don’t know much about the founding of eTix, but Joe Kustelski was head of product before he left to start Rockhouse Partners. eTix then acquired Rockhouse in 2012 and Joe was CEO from 2012–2015. In late 2015, original founder Travis Janovich led a management buyout. eTix provides digital ticketing for venues (think TicketMaster but for smaller venues). You can’t go see a band or milk a cow at the Fair in RTP without ringing its cash register. This Durham company processes over 50 million tickets per year across 1800 venues globally.
Size: 100–300
Investors: $1 million from 1 investor — Southern Capitol Ventures
CEO: Travis Janovich
LinkedIn


New for 2018!

Eton Solutions

Pitch: There are wealthy family across the World that are taking control of their finances and setting up Family offices. A local family office developed software for managing all of their assets and investments and decided to license it. Eton Solutions was born! Category: SaaS FinTech

Size: 10–20

Investors: none

CEO: Robert Malleree

LinkedIn


New for 2018!

Exit Intelligence

Pitch: Retailers and others pay big $$ to get visitors to their websites. When they leave, Exit Intelligence provides behavior marketing that turns bounced traffic into customers.

Size: 20–30

Investors: none

CEO: Matt Cimino

LinkedIn


New for 2018!

Feelgoodz

Pitch: On a trip, the founders discovered amazing flip-flops created from 100% natural rubber. They realized that US consumers would love sustainable, socially conscious products that also were better than traditional offerings. Feelgoodz was born and has expanded not only from their small office on Glenwood but also to other categories plus their e-commerce game is quite strong.

Size: 30–40

Investors: none

CEO: Mark Saad

LinkedIn


Field2Base
Pitch: If you have people in the field (maintenance, etc.) they need to be able to capture information and send it back to HQ. Field2Base has solutions for that.
Size: 11–50
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Thomas Bright
LinkedIn


FilterEasy
Pitch: Are you like me at the first of every month relishing that it is time to pull out the ladder and change your air-conditioner filters? Ok, I fibbed, I actually do this about every six months if I’m lucky. Why? Because it’s one of those things that not only is hard to remember, but is a pain because I’m always missing 1–2 of the filters and have to go to Home Depot or Lowe’s to buy them. Thad Tarkington and Kevin Barry were NCSU students when they came up with an e-commerce solution with an automated delivery service for air filters, and it’s grown like crazy ever since.
Size: 10–50
Investors: $11.4M+ from RTP Capital Associates, Iron Yard Ventures, Cofounders Capital, Arsenal ventures, Azure Capital Partners and Michael Olander Jr.
CEO: Thad Tarkington

LinkedIn


First.
Pitch: In the real estate industry, the best leads are when people are thinking of moving. First uses predictive analytics to determine which people in a Realtor’s network are most likely to buy, and then offers up a variety of ways for a Realtor to connect to that person. The company is based in Durham at American Underground.
Size: 10
Investors: $5.6m million from IDEA Fund Partners and Sovereign’s Capital
CEO: Mike Schneider
LinkedIn


Fokus Labs
Pitch: Fokus makes the Re:vibe — a wearable that is designed to help students focus in a school room setting.
Size:> $1m in sales
Investors: Cofounders Capital and The Launch Place
CEO: Rich Brancaccio
LinkedIn


FoodLogiQ
Pitch: In today’s world of possible noro-virus and e-coli outbreaks, food safety and traceability are huge priorities. FoodLogiQ provides a SaaS platform for managing the complete food supply chain and has more than 1900 customers with 18,000 locations as customers since its 2006 founding. It’s based in Durham
Size: 10–50
Investors: (Updated for 2018) $12.3m from Renewal investments and
CEO: Dean Wiltse

LinkedIn


FotoSwipe
Pitch: Sharing pictures and media directly on your mobile devices is complicated. You can email them or text them, but that can be cumbersome. Apple’s cloud and Android/Google don’t ‘play nice together. But FotoSwipe is a mobile app that lets you seamlessly swipe photos between any device.
Size: 10–20
Investors: $1M in three rounds from Cofounders Capital and Tom Lotrecchiano
CEO: Sylvain Dufour
LinkedIn


Gather Digital
Pitch: Gather provides native mobile apps for events, allowing attendees to vote, view agendas and more. Founded in 2009, it’s based in Chapel Hill.
Size: 10–50
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Jon Phillips
LinkedIn


Get Spiffy
Pitch: An on-demand mobile app that allows you to schedule an at-work and at-home wash or detail within minutes, founded in 2014. All communication and payment is handled through the app making this the most convenient way for you to keep your car Spiffy. The company is based in Durham.
Size: 10–50
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Scot Wingo
LinkedIn
Full disclosure: I’m a founder, investor and CEO of this company.


New for 2018!

Global Data Consortium

Pitch: In many lines of business, you need to verify the identify of your customers and trading partners. GDC gathers information into the cloud and provides a SaaS system that delivers Electronic Identify Verification. There are other uses for the system such as data cleansing and address verification.

Size: 10–20

Investors: none

CEO: Bill Spruill

LinkedIn


Global Value Commerce (aka Global Golf)
Pitch: Ed Byman was a pro golfer on the PGA tour and in 2001 realized there was an opportunity to sell golf equipment online. He’s built GVC into a global golf company carefully tucked away here in Raleigh. Full disclosure — this is a ChannelAdvisor customer.
Size: 100–200
Investors: $500k from Southern Capitol Ventures
CEO: Ed Byman
LinkedIn


GoldenKey (used to be called SoloPro)
Pitch: If you’ve bought or sold a home, you may have looked at the reconciliation report and thought, “Wow I just paid an agent(s) a big check. What did they do for all that?” SoloPro is for the FSBO audience and allows you to work with agents on more of a consulting basis. Need an opinion on the investment aspects for a property or help making an offer, or input on pricing? SoloPro, founded in Durham in 2014, has a platform and services enabling this.
Size: 10–20
Investors: $5M+ from nine investors including Lowe’s, the Duke Angel Network, Capitol Broadcasting, Switch V, NFX
CEO: Tommy Sowers
LinkedIn


icimo LLC
Pitch: In today’s world, your business throws off more data than ever. Commercial analytics platforms like Tableau, SAS, etc. help, but icimo, of Apex, provides custom analysis templates and a best practice methodology on top of those platforms. It’s used by the retail, banking/finance and healthcare industries, founded in 2010.
Size: 50–110
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Bryce Gartner
LinkedIn


Infina Connect
Pitch: Infina Connect is a SaaS platform that automates and optimizes the physician referral network system. Founded in 2010, it’s based in Cary.
Size: 10–50
Investors: >$1.9M in three rounds, investors undisclosed
CEO: Mark Hefner
LinkedIn


InMotionNow
Pitch: Founded in 1999 as Proof-it-Online, this company helped creative departments automate workflows with a SaaS platform to get content proofed and approved. In 2009, it launched inMotion for videos and animation. This has taken off. In 2012, the company rebranded as InMotionNow and the buzz is that Ben Hartmere (CEO since ’13) has this Morrisville Tweener on fire.
Size: 50–100
Investors: $5M from Madison River Ventures and Eastside Partners.
CEO: Ben Hartmere
LinkedIn


New for 2018!

InspectionXpert

Pitch: Mechanical engineers build systems that have to be tested by quality engineers. The industry has focused more on the creation/planning side than the testing side. Inspectionxpert changes that by providing SaaS software for the quality side of the equation.

Size: 15–20

Investors: none

CEO: Jeff Cope (NCSU grad — go pack!)

LinkedIn


New for 2018!

InterviewUp/ThinkOptimal/OptimalResume

Pitch: ThinkOptimal offers several products that allow job seekers to optimize their resumes and prepare for interviews. This is in the HRIS category of software. (Human Resource Information System)

Size: 20–30

Investors: none

CEO: Dave McNasby

LinkedIn


Intervolve
Pitch: I don’t know much about these guys other than this blurb: “Intervolve provides supply-chain software for the beverage industry.” Sounds like they deal with beer, which is pretty cool and must help with developer recruiting. Raleigh company founded in 1999.
Size: 50–200
Investors: $8M from NC IDEA, Sanoch Management and undisclosed investors
CEO: Mason Koffman
LinkedIn


iScribes
Pitch: Doctors have to spend a lot of their time documenting their decisions and patient visits versus spending time with the patient. iScribes records the patient visit and stores it on a secure server. A certified medical scribe then documents the encounter and the physician can review it. This company moved to Durham from Virginia after it’s 2014 founding.
Size: 50–110
Investors: $1.1M from physician-angel investors, Triangle Angel Partners and The Launch Place
CEO: Jared Pelo
LinkedIn


JouleBug
Pitch: Making the world more sustainable sounds easy, but what small changes an you make in your everyday habits to make a difference? JouleBug is an app that lets you measure your impact, get ideas on improved sustainability and you’ll earn buzz points.
Size: 11–50
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Grant Willard
LinkedIn


Junxure
Pitch: This SaaS CRM solution, founded in 2000 in Raleigh, is customized for wealth/financial advisors.
Size: 50–200
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Greg Friedman
LinkedIn


K4Connect
Pitch: Scott Moody’s previous company created the technology that is now used by Apple (via acquisition) for its Touch ID finger print sensor. Now in Raleigh, Scott’s newest company (founded 2014) has an IoT platform that allows it to rapidly develop and release solutions oriented towards the older adult market. It’s got a contract to roll out the technology in senior living communities across Pennsylvania and is starting to expand to others with new funding.
Size: 10–50
Investors: $10M from Sierra Ventures, Stonehenge Growth Equity Partners, Better Ventures, Stephen Morton and Ben Yu
CEO: F. Scott Moody

LinkedIn


New for 2018!

Keen Decision Systems

Pitch: Helping CMO’s understanding the efficacy of their marketing is big business and the entire category is called MarTech. Keen provides SaaS software for measuring marketing performance and then uses machine learning to formulate a plan to achieve goals.

Size: 10–20

Investors: none

CEO: Greg Dolan

LinkedIn


KEEPS Corporation
Pitch: KEEPS produces software called ROAMS that helps automobile service departments automate and optimize their operations.
Size:11–50
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Ray Branch
LinkedIn


Keona Health
Pitch: This Chapel Hill-based healthcare IT company allows patients to communicate more directly with caregivers than using existing processes. Think of it as chat/messaging for your doctor.
Size: 50–110
Investors: $2.5M from Blueprint Health
CEO: Oakkar Oakkar
LinkedIn


LCMS Plus
Pitch: Spun out of Duke University in 2010, Durham-based LCMS+ is an online edu-tech Size: 10–15
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Allison Wood
LinkedIn


Lea(R)n
Pitch: Schools have a portfolio of software platforms and programs these days, which is great for students but hard for educators to manage. Raleigh-based Lea(R)n, founded in 2014, seeks to solve this problem with a platform and content that helps administrators and educators manage the ed-tech suite.
Size: 11–50
Investors: $800K from seven investors: AT&T, Edovate, Gregg Burt, Jean Hammond, Kaplan, Techstars
CEO: Karl Rectanus
LinkedIn


Lulu
Pitch: In 2002, Red Hat founder Bob Young wanted to do a three ring tech circus. He pivoted into self publishing. Now he sells yoga pants — just kidding, different Lulu.
Size: 50–200
Investors: Bootstrap (Bank of Bob)
CEO: Unknown (Nigel Lee left in August of 2017)
LinkedIn


New for 2018!

MacGregor Partners

Pitch: After building a large practice helping companies optimize their supply chain, they built software that they are now licensing called the Logistics Toolbox. A Tweener tipster told me this software is doing really well and now the company is mostly a software co.

Size: 40–60

Investors: none

CEO: Jason Ziegler

LinkedIn

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — -

Magnus Health
Pitch: You operate a school or camp and need electronic access to students’ medical records. Who is allergic to peanuts? What’s the emergency contact for John Doe? This Raleigh company was founded in 2006 to make those questions easy to answer.
Size: 10–50
Investors: $100K from undisclosed investors (though David Gardner is on the board)
CEO: Brian Biddulph-Krentar

LinkedIn


New for 2018!

Map My Customers

Pitch: There is a classic problem in Computer Science called the Traveling Salesman — how do you optimize sales calls? It’s theoretical there, but in the real world, many sales are done in-person with on-site visits. Map My Customers allows you to see on a variety of maps your customers and prospects.

Size: 10–20

Investors: none

CEO: Matthew Sniff

LinkedIn Link


New for 2018!

Market Vue Partners

Pitch: Market Vue is a MarTech SaaS company that uses data to leverage marketing solutions. They focus on the Energy and Health industries and provide innovative visualizations of all the data.

Size: 10–20

Investors: none

CEO: David Stirling

LinkedIn


MATI Energy
Pitch: MATI Energy was founded by Tatiana Birgisson, who was a Duke student looking for a healthy energy drink and couldn’t find one. So what does an enterprising entrepreneur do but invent a healthy alternative? MATI Energy was born.
Size: 11–50
Investors: $2.2M invested including Steve Case and the Duke Angel Network
CEO: 2018 Update —Tatiana is no longer CEO at MATI, I don’t think a new CEO has been announced.
LinkedIn


Medfusion
Pitch: I love these types of stories because I’ve lived one before. Stephen Malik started Medfusion (1.0) in 2000. Its SaaS software helped patients make appointments and pay medical bills. In May of 2010, Malik sold the Cary company to Intuit for $91 million and rebranded as Intuit Health. Flash forward to 2013 when Steve bought back the business for an undisclosed amount and Medfusion (2.0) was born.
Size: 50–100
Investors: $3M from BCVP and Hatteras Ventures
CEO: Kimberly Labow
LinkedIn


New for 2018!

Medicom Technologies, Inc.

Pitch: This group of NCSU grads came up with a way to transfer large files in a peer-to-peer way rapidly, without lossage and securely. The first market they are using the technology for is patient data in radiology and they are growing like a weed.

Size: 10–20

Investors: $5.8m

CEO: Malcom Benitz

LinkedIn


New for 2018!

Mobile Reach

Pitch: Many businesses have technicians in the field and Mobile Reach creates software for them. They also have software for managing field assets.

Size: 10–30

Investors: none

CEO: Nasrin Azari

LinkedIn


MobileSmith
Pitch: MobileSmith develops a platform that companies use to publish mobile applications with little to no code. Simply drag and drop popular elements and you have an interactive mobile app. This Raleigh company was founded in 1993.
Size: 10–50
Investors: MobileSmith is a ‘penny stock’ traded on the OTCBB under MOST and was a spin-out of Smart Online’s mobile development platform
CEO: Bob Dieterle
LinkedIn


New for 2018!

Myxx

Pitch: Grocery stores are investing millions if not billions in e-commerce (store pickup and delivery), but at the customer level, things start with…recipes. Myxx connects the top recipes to grocery stores. See a tuna casserole recipe you love, press a button and all the ingredients are added to your cart for Kroger, Harris Teeter, etc.

Size: 10–20

Investors: Cofounder Capital — $400k

CEO: Monica Wood

LinkedIn


</ndustrial.io>
Pitch: ndustrial is a company building IoT solutions for industrial applications. Tomorrow’s factory will be totally outfitted with sensors — ndustrial is working on a solution for that future reality in Durham.
Size: 10–20
Investors: $1.4M in two rounds from Acorn Innovestments and Bay Grove Capital
CEO: Jason Massey
LinkedIn


Needlepoint.com
Pitch: Started in 1999, Needlepoint had a retail store, and using its great domain name, needlepoint.com, started to do well online. The wife of Bob Young (of Lulu, Red Hat and PrecisionHawk fame) started the business and he is now serving as CEO.
Size: 10–50
Investors: Bootstrap (Bank of Bob)
CEO: Bob Young


Net32
Pitch: Dental supplies are extremely expensive and there are lots of middlemen. Net32 sells dental supplies direct to dentists at extreme discounts because they eliminate the middlemen.
Size: 11–50
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Pat Cassidy
LinkedIn


Netsertive
Pitch: Brendan Morrissey moved to the area from LA as part of a Motricity acquisition and in 2009 founded Netsertive in Morrisville. He started by helping local electronics retailers advertise and has expanded to help national brands leverage their marketing into local markets through brand/dealer campaigns.
Size: 201–500
Investors: ~$49M from River Cities Capital, RRE Ventures, Greycroft, Harbert Venture Partners and Venture debt from Square 1 Bank
• CEO: Brendan Morrissey
LinkedIn


Nextlot, Inc.
Pitch: In today’s world of two-day e-commerce delivery thanks to Amazon, it’s easy to forget there is still a need for auctioneers. Bank foreclosures, estate sales and other events call for an auction and today’s auctioneers need to stay high-tech and current. Raleigh-based NextLot, founded in 2007, provides a platform that allows you to run your own auctions with online, mobile and webcast features.
Size: 11–50
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Scott Finkelstein
LinkedIn


Offline Media
Pitch: David Shaner graduated from NC State and had an itch to start a company. He started Offline in Raleigh in in 2012 to help people reconnect with their local communities. Offline curates activities and places for your city. This creates an indispensable resource if you move or travel. Simply fire up Offline and you have an insider’s view to what is going on and where to go.
Size: 10–20
Investors: $700K+ from The Startup Factory, Joe Kutelski (formerly eTix) and McClatchy
CEO: David Shaner
LinkedIn


Operable
Pitch: Operable sits at the interesting intersection of two trends: 1. Chatbots — iMessage, Slack, FB Messenger and WhatsApp all have trained us to move short status work conversations out of email and into chat. These platforms all have apps that are called chatbots. 2. DevOps — Developer Operations is the automation of some of the tedious tasks that are required of the development process (e.g. builds, automated qa tests, deployments, etc.). Operable offers Cog, which is a chatbot for DevOps. Now you can say “cog deploy product x to server y” in a chat and boom, it is taken care of for you.
Size: 1–10
Investors: $3M from True Ventures, Makerbot and Fitbit
CEO: Mark Imbriaco
LinkedIn


Organic Transit
Pitch: Rob Cotter is an ex-auto industry guru who is looking to disrupt the transportation industry and guide the future of urban transportation. His first vehicle, the ELF, is a solar-powered electric platform that took Kickstarter by storm. Full disclosure, I’m on the board of Durham’s OT. And this one isn’t much software, but it’s solar and electric vehicles and that’s pretty cool — and there is definitely a software/e-commerce component.
Size: 10–50
Investors: $2.5M+ from Investors Circle and angel investors, also raised money in a Kickstarter campaign
CEO: Rob Cotter
LinkedIn


Patagonia Health
Pitch: Ashok Mathur has been active in the Triangle startup scene since I can remember. In 2008, he started Cary-based Patagonia to build a SaaS EHR (electronic health record) platform that includes 15–20 different EHR apps.
Size: 10–50
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Ashok Mathur
LinkedIn


PatientPay
Pitch: PatientPay is an online platform for patients to pay for their medical bills. Brings the simplicity of e-commerce to medicine.
Size: 11–50
Investors: $6.5M led by Mosaik Partners.
CEO: Tom Furr
LinkedIn


Pendo
Pitch: When you are building cloud-based apps, one challenge is instrumenting them so that you know what customers are doing within the app. Raleigh’s Pendo has a platform that helps you not only solve this problem, but gives you actionable insights into what users are doing and the ability to easily message users to nudge them in the right direction (hey, try this feature!). Todd Olson (Rally Software) and Erik Troan (rPath/Red Hat) are the founders and they’re building a new headquarters in Raleigh in 2016. Pendo is the hottest startup in the Triangle right now.
Size: 50–110
Investors: (Updated for 2018) $58m from Battery Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, Core Capital Partners, Contour Venture Partners, IDEA Fund Partners and angels
CEO: Todd Olson
LinkedIn


New for 2018!

Percona

Pitch: Modern sites and applications run on complex databases. Percona has created software for monitoring and optimizing database systems.

Size: 150

Investors: none

CEO: Peter Zaitsev

LinkedIn


Phononic
Pitch: Solid state electronics have revolutionized computing, lighting (Cree) and now Phononic has figured out how to apply it to refrigeration. From cooling CPUs to residential and commercial applications, Phononic is ??????
Size: 50–200
Investors: $160M from 8 investors including Venrock, Oak investment, UBS Wealth
CEO: Anthony Atti
LinkedIn


Photofy
Pitch: Social content creation tool for consumers and businesses, founded in Raleigh in 2013 by the founder of InvitationBox.com (which sold to CafePress in 2011).
Size: 10–20
Investors: $1.8M from Capitol Broadcasting, Michael Olander Jr. and Jon LaNasa
CEO: Jon LaNasa
LinkedIn


PlotWatt
Pitch: The electric grid is getting smarter and while a lot of solutions target the solution, PlotWatt helps small businesses understand their energy usage and lower their costs.
Size: 11–50
Investors: Raised ~$5m from Felicis Ventures and Acorn Investments
CEO: Luke Fishback
LinkedIn


PrecisionHawk
Pitch: Drones! (drops mic and walks off stage). Seriously though, PrecisionHawk has a UAV platform that can do real-time/AI mapping for a variety of uses — agriculture, GIS, search/rescue, etc. Founded in 2011, it’s based in Raleigh.
Size: 51–200
Investors: (updated for 2018) $104M Third point ventures, Verizon Ventures, Bank of Bob (Bob Young), and Millennium Tech Ventures
CEO: Michael Chasen
LinkedIn


The Produce Box
Pitch: Courtney Tellefsen was a stay-at-home-mom in 2007. She wanted to understand where her food was coming from and support local NC farmers. Like anyone, she couldn’t get to the farmer’s market every week to buy fresh locally-sourced produce. The Produce Box was born! TPB now has a team of 200 folks that deliver thousands of produce boxes each week in the Triangle and Charlotte. It’s based in Raleigh.
Size: 50–200
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Courtney Tellefsen
LinkedIn


Prometheus Group
Pitch: Prometheus was founded by NCSU alumni Eric Huang in 1998 and it’s based in Raleigh. It developed an add-on for SAP that helps with plant maintenance.
Size: 50–200
Investors: Prometheus Group raised an undisclosed amount from the large private equity company TA Associates.
CEO: Eric Huang
LinkedIn


PRSONAS
Pitch: People are expensive, robots and holograms are not. PRSONAS of Durham has developed technology that provides for self-service holograms. These holograms can provide virtual receptionists, product specialists and concierges. It was founded in 2013.
Size: 10–20
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: David Rose
* Update: PRSONAS raised $525k from local and regional angel investors and the Charlotte Angel Fund.
LinkedIn


Quantifize Solutions
Pitch: Quantifize builds solutions targeted towards colleges and universities to improve the consumer (student) experience. One of the offerings is Buzz Report, which aggregates all of the social media for a university into one easy-to-manage and monitor dashboard. Students happy? Is the food on campus yummy or icky? Buzz Report will let you know. The other offering from Quantifize is Laundry Alert. Do you want to know how many laundry machines in the dorm are available or when your laundry is done? Laundry Alert gives students an automated way to monitor the machines.
Size: 10–50
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Adam O’Donnell
LinkedIn


Racarie Software (Applicantstack.com)
Pitch: Racarie was founded by HR professionals that were looking for an inexpensive applicant tracking solution, so they created applicantstack.com. In addition to tracking job applicants, it also helps with on-boarding and many other manual HR tasks.
Size: 11–50
Investors: bootstrap
CEO: Nathan Shackles
LinkedIn


Railinc
Pitch: Railinc of Cary provides rail data and IT services for the freight railroad industry. It was founded in 1999.
Size: 200–500
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Allen West
LinkedIn


New for 2018!

Remarque Systems

Pitch: The Triangle has a ton of companies in drug development that do clinical trials. Remarque Systems has developed SaaS software for designing, managing and monitoring the risk in clinical trials.

Size: 10–20

Investors: Bootstrap

CEO: Badhri Srinivasan

LinkedIn


New for 2018!

Republic Wireless

Pitch: The founder of Bandwidth hated paying a huge cell bill for his family of five, so created a system that uses your wi-fi for calling instead of the cell network. Republic Wireless was born and spun out from Bandwidth before their IPO.

Size: 100–200

Investors: none

CEO: Chris Chuang

LinkedIn


RevBoss
Pitch: Most B2B SaaS companies need outbound sales lead generation. Eric Boggs started at Bronto building this function, then did it again at Argyle Social and finally decided there is a company idea there in 2014. Durham-based RevBoss provides software and services that help recurring revenue businesses scale up their businesses rapidly without having to build their own SDR capabilities.
Size: 10–20
Investors: $1.1M from Sovereign’s Capital, Robbie Allen, Bruce Boehm and Alston Gardner
CEO: Eric Boggs
LinkedIn


Reveal Mobile
Pitch: Brian Handly is one of the Triangle’s most successful serial entrepreneurs. After Stepleader Digital spun out of Capitol Broadcasting, it built mobile apps for media companies but Handly has helped it pivot to leverage beacon technology and Big Data to help advertisers reach a local audience. Reveal Mobile, born in 2015, gives advertisers insights into what their customers and target customer are doing in the local world.
Size: 10–20
Investors: $2.5M from Capitol Broadcasting, Bull City Venture Partners, Alerion Ventures and Idea Fund Partners
CEO: Brian Handly
LinkedIn


ReverbNation
Pitch: This is serial entrepreneur Michael Doernberg’s latest company (after selling SmartPath to DoubleClick). ReverbNation provides software and services for bands and is based in Durham.
Size: 50–200
Investors: $8.6M in 3 rounds from Southern Capitol Ventures, Novak Biddle and SeventySix Capital
CEO: Michael Doernberg
LinkedIn


Realvolve
Pitch: As you’ve probably noticed, there are a fair amount of industry-specific SaaS CRM solutions on our list. Realvolve, founded in 2012 in Raleigh, provides a SaaS CRM targeted to real estate agents.
Size: 10–50
Investors: $600K from angels and Lighter Capital
CEO: David Crumby (based in Denver)
LinkedIn


ROI Revolution
Pitch: ROI Revolution provides search engine marketing and other services to SMBs in various industries. Based in Raleigh, it was founded in 2002.
Size: 50–200
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Timothy Seward
LinkedIn


Sageworks
Pitch: Sageworks provides financial analysis software for helping value private companies. Based in Raleigh, it was founded in 1998.
Size: 200–500
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Scott Ogle
LinkedIn


Samanage
Pitch: SaaS/cloud based IT management and help desk software, founded in 2007. It’s based in Cary but has an R+D office in Israel.
Size: 50–200
Investors: $34M in four rounds from six investors including Carmel Ventures, Vintage Investment Partners, Gemini Israel Ventures, Silicon Valley Bank, Salesforce Ventures and Marker LLC
CEO: Doron Gordon
LinkedIn


Savii Inc. (previously called Akili Software)
Pitch: Launched in 2014 by two female entrepreneurs, Savii provides software that at-home caregivers use to manage workflow and communicate with patients and their families.
Size: 10–15
Investors: $1.1M from Cofounders Capital, RTP Capital and Cherokee Investment Partners
CEO: Michelle Harper
LinkedIn


SEAL Innovation
Pitch: SEAL Innovation is a wearable/IoT company that has developed a connected necklace that detects if someone is having problems swimming and alerts the parents and/or lifeguard of the situation. Founded in 2010 and based in Raleigh.
Size: 1–10
Investors: $2M from Triangle Angel Partners and The Launch Place
CEO: Graham Snyder
LinkedIn


ServiceTrade
Pitch: Ex-Red Hatter Billy Marshall is at again. ServiceTrade, a Durham startup he founded in 2012, makes mobile apps and web apps to help maintenance businesses deliver more service calls and connect with their customers.
Size: 10–50
Investors: $4.8M in two rounds from undisclosed investors
CEO: Billy Marshall
LinkedIn


ShiftWizard
Pitch: Every part of the hospital care experience is getting automated and ShiftWizard is bringing technology to Nurse’s scheduling. Founded by nurses, for nurses, ShiftWizard simplifies the complexities of nurse scheduling.
Size:11–50
Investors: $3M from Rolling Hills Ventures and Resolute Venture Partners
CEO: Joe Velk
LinkedIn


Shoeboxed
Pitch: Taylor Mingos was a Duke student in 2007 and did an internship with a EU-based social media company. After that gig, he had the idea to marry some of the learnings from social media to B2B and Shoeboxed was born. Based in Durham, Shoeboxed collects receipts for businesses and individuals and turns them into digital data. This platform has tons of uses, such as automatically generated expense reports, business card scanning and contact updates, along with mileage tracking.
Size: 51–200
Investors: $2.5 million from four investors including Novak Biddle Venture Partners, Michael Brehm, Dennis Bemmann
CEO: Taylor Mingos
LinkedIn


New for 2018!

Sift

Pitch: I first met Jud Bowman when he was like 18 and started a mobile search engine called Pinpoint. They merged with another company and became Motricity which was one of the biggest exits in the Triangle. Jud knows a ton about the mobile world and his new company, Sift uses advanced big data analysis to understand and target cell phone users. Sift has built a profile of 1.2b app installation footprints and uses that to better target app downloads. For example, if a user has 4 travel apps, then they are more likely to download another travel app.

Size: 10–20

Investors: $3.2m from Wakefield Group

CEO: Jud Bowman

LinkedIn


SignalPath
Pitch: Every drug candidate has to go through a complex clinical research process. Managing that is huge undertaking. SignalPath has software that helps manage the clinical research process.
Size: 10–50
Investors: $3M raised from unknown investors in 2016.
CEO: Ira Grossman
LinkedIn


New for 2018!

Slingshot Coffee Company

Pitch: A husband-wife coffee enthusiast couple wanted to create coffee that was healthier and organically sourced. They also make cascara teas and cold-brew coffees. They were born in Raleigh, NC, but their e-commerce game is strong and their sales are exploding, catapulting them onto the Tweener list!

Size: 10–20

Investors: none

CEO: Jenny Bonchak

LinkedIn


Spoonflower
Pitch: Stephen Fraser and Gart Davis left Lulu to start Spoonflower in 2008. Durham-based Spoonflower allows consumers to create and print their own custom fabrics, wall paper and gift wrap. It has created a rapidly growing marketplace in the fabric world.
Size: 50–200
Investors: $25M from North Bridge Equity Partners and Bull City Venture Partners.
CEO: Gart Davis
LinkedIn


New for 2018!

SMT (SportsMEDIA Technology Corp)

Pitch: Have you ever been watching a football game and seen the yellow first-down marker or those cool stats that float on the field? Well, most likely you can thank the local company SMT for those awesome effects. Now they have expanded to collecting stats, timing and scoring.

Size: 200–500

Investors: $26.3m from Vicente Capital Partners

CEO: Gerard Hall

LinkedIn Link


New for 2018!

SnapSolv

Pitch: Today’s customers don’t want to call or email — they want to text or chat in their questions or use social platforms like FB Messenger. That’s a problem because the existing CRM software is geared towards the old way, not the new way. Enter SnapSolv. SnapSolv has created a unified customer communications SaaS system that pulls in all of the new ways of communicating into a single platform.

Size: 10–20

Investors: Bootstrap

CEO: Prakash Kakumanu

LinkedIn


New for 2018!

Sports Endeavors, Inc (SEI)

Pitch: SEI started as a catalog company selling soccer and Lacrosse equipment globally. They when e-commerce came along, it was a natural and in the early days of the internet they bought some great domains like soccer.com and lacrosse.com. Today they are one of the largest online sporting good companies in the US. They are based out of Hillsborough, NC

Size: 200–400

Investors: Bootstrap

CEO: Mike Moylan

LinkedIn


Spreedly
Pitch: Integrating payments into your app, website or service is complex. Spreedly provides a cloud-based API that makes it easy to accept and manage payments. Nathaniel Talbott founded Spreedly in 2007 and it’s based in Durham.
Size: 11–50
Investors: $6M from E-Merge, AngelList
CEO: Justin Benson
LinkedIn


Stealz
Pitch: If you are a local restaurant or service company, you know that social media and sharing generates word of mouth and can be very valuable. But how do you get patrons to actively promote your business? Also how do you build loyalty? Stealz, founded in Raleigh in 2012, produces a mobile app that encourages customers to both be loyal and promote the business. Stealz had a ton of momentum in 2015, signing large McDonalds and other franchises.
Size: 11–50
Investors: $1.5M from Cofounders Capital, Triangle Angel Partners, Michael Olander Jr. and RTP Capital.
CEO: Jim Zidar
LinkedIn


New for 2018!

SyncFusion

Pitch: In 1998, we sold Stingray software to Rogue Wave — a public company. In 2001, a couple of our strategic folks, Daniel Jebaraj and Stefan Hoenig started SyncFusion with the idea to create next-generation components for developers. They’ve been grinding away at SyncFusion for 17yr now and made some smart bets on mobile development, Xamarin, and big data. They also changed their model from licensed to subscription. All without raising any external capital.

Size: 200–500

Investors: Bootstrap

CEO: Stefan Hoenig

LinkedIn


Teamworks
Pitch: You have a sports team with coaches, players, assistant coaches and other constituents. You need to share a bunch of information around playbooks, schedules, plans, etc. but you want to do it in a secure/managed way. Teamworks, founded in Durham by a former Duke football player, is a software platform that allows you to manage, deploy and optimize that situation.
Size: 11–50
Investors: (2018 Update) Teamworks raised an additional $15m ($21m total) from General Catalyst on top of the $6M led by Seaport Capital
CEO: Zachary Maurides
LinkedIn


Teamworks Solutions
Pitch: Yes — we apparently have two Tweeners named some variation of Teamworks! I discovered ‘this’ Teamworks while learning more about the other Teamworks. Another example of these Tweeners really hiding under the radar! Let’s say you run a factory or a service business that has technicians in the field doing maintenance. You will need software that enables the field techs to manage everything and work in a mobile way (through phone and tablets). Teamworks Solutions, based in Raleigh since a 2002 founding, has software that solves this problem and focuses on the c-store, education, healthcare and municipality industries.
Size: 10–50
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Craig Drouillard
LinkedIn


New for 2018!

Tethis

Pitch: Some cool material was developed in the lab at NC State and Triangle serial entrepreneur, Chris Evans with Scott Bolin helped take it out of the lab and commercialize it as Tethis. Today the company has turned the material into super-absorbant polymers (SAP). I’m a software guy and have no idea what all that means, but evidently it can be applied to diapers, cleaning supplies and tons of other stuff.

Size: 15–25

Investors: $27m from Blue Hill Group and others.

CEO: Scott Bolin

LinkedIn


Three Ships 
Pitch: Zach Clayton started Three Ships in 2009 as a digital agency. He was like 16 then and now is pushing 21 and can finally have a beer on Beer Fridays. (Seriously though, it’s great to see this crop of young new folks starting cos. in the area). Anywho, Three Ships developed some interesting technology around SEO for brands and has since split into three separate companies to focus on three different areas. CRISP is a branding agency. Demand Signals provides SEO and content marketing. 3s Ventures provides customer acquisition services.
Size: 51–200
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: Zach Clayton
LinkedIn


Tilt/Tilt 365
Pitch: There’s an explosion of software for managing HR and people, called HRIS or Human Resource Information Systems. Tilt 365, based in Raleigh and founded in 2008, helps with assessments. If you want to do a self assessment and see how your peers see you — Tilt 365 has software for delivering and analyzing that. What makes you tick? What will make you happiest in your career? Tilt has also built a complete methodology around its assessments to help companies develop people and increase retention.
Size: 10–50
Investors: Undisclosed but David Gardner is an investor
CEO: Pam Boney

LinkedIn


New for 2018!

TiO Home Automation

Pitch: The Triangle has an explosion of IoT (Internet of Things) companies and TiO is focused on helping make home automation simpler. Their products start with a smart home app and they have a variety of hardware they integrate with to provide complete home automation.

Size: 10–30 people

Investors: none

CEO: Sanjay Patel

LinkedIn


TouchCare
Pitch: TouchCare provides a mobile health app that securely connects patients and physicians. Now, your next consultation may be as easy as FaceTime. Founded in 2013, the company is based in Durham.
Size: 10–50
Investors: $4M from Mosaic Health Solutions
CEO: Damian Gilbert
LinkedIn


Undercover Colors
Pitch: Undercover Colors has developed fingernail polish for women that in addition to being a fashion statement, can detect the presence of date rape drugs in drinks. This will empower women to prevent sexual assaault. The founders spun the startup out of NC State University in 2014. It’s based in Raleigh.
Size: 10–20
Investors: $8.2M from Cofounders Capital, Cindy Whitehead,
CEO: Tyler Confrey-Maloney
Update: Raised $5.5M in 2016 along with a great deal of media attention.
LinkedIn


Valencell
Pitch: Another wearable IoT company, Valencell of Raleigh, has developed advanced biometric technology for wearables that it has licensed out to manufacturers. It was founded in 2006.
Size: 50–110
Investors: $25.5M in four rounds from Best Buy Capital, CBC Partners, TDF Ventures, G//Tech Ventures and True Ventures
CEO: Michael Dering
LinkedIn


Validic
Pitch: Validic gives developers of healthcare apps and insurance companies and healthcare systems one common interface to support all the different wearables and medical devices out there. Based in Durham, it was founded in 2010.
Size: 51–200
Investors: $18.4M raised from 11 investors including Mark Cuban, Greycroft, SJF Ventures and Kaiser Permanente Ventures
CEO: Drew Schiller
LinkedIn


Vertical IQ
Pitch: In 2010, Bobby Martin had the idea to create software to help bankers call on businesses (They’ve never called me — who knew they even did that!) The Raleigh company now has over 20,000 users at ~100 banks.
Size: 20–50
Investors: Bootstrap
CEO: T. Kevin McNamara is president with Martin serving as chairman.
LinkedIn


New for 2018!

Virtue Labs

Pitch: There’s an explosion of new brands because the cost to create a brand has come down thanks to the digital/e-commerce revolution. Virtue is a consumer product goods (CPG) company in the beauty category. They have created a keratin-based haircare brand that repairs hair reducing frizz and split ends. They sell through the various beauty channels and have a very strong direct e-commerce game.

Size: 10–20

Investors: Bootstrap

CEO: Melisse Shaban

LinkedIn


Vital Plan
Pitch: There are lots of confusing information about natural remedies. Braden Rawls partnered with her father to provide an alternative. In addition to tons of great content on the subject, they offer their own line of supplements.
Size: 11–50
Investors: $225K from angel investors
CEO: Braden Rawls
LinkedIn


New for 2018!

Wastezero

Pitch: Trash and waste is a huge problem. When it comes to trash collection, there’s no economic incentive to generate less waste because we all pay the same for trash collection (by neighborhood/region). What if you were billed more the more you throw away? Wastezero has created a system to do exactly that. Wastezero’s system is used in 800 locations and it has proven to reduce waste by 44%.

Size: 30–50

Investors: none

CEO: Mark Dancy

LinkedIn


Written Word Media
Pitch: The trend toward self-publishing is huge. Amazon is driving this, and locally, we have a major player in Lulu. But these platforms give authors tools for writing, editing and publishing but what about marketing? Written Word Media of Durham has a platform and network that helps authors get their books discovered. The network has 18,000 authors and over 600,000 readers looking for book recommendations.
Size: 10
Investors: $50K from NC IDEA, Bootstrap
CEO: Ricci Wolman
LinkedIn


XSInc
Pitch: XSInc provides a SaaS platform for the agriculture and turf/ornamental industries. XSinc’s customers are manufacturers and retailers that serve the production agriculture business (farms). Founded in 1998, it’s based in Morrisville.
Size: 50–200
Investors: $20M from Morgan Stanley
CEO: Fulton Breen
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Youth Digital
Pitch: Justin Richards has a passion for Minecraft and teaching kids about technology. He put those together and has built a very successful business called Youth Digital that sells online classes to youngsters to help them learn to code. Founded in 2010, it’s based in Chapel Hill.
Size: 50–110 Investors: $2M from an undisclosed investor(s)
CEO: Justin Richards
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Zaloni
Pitch: We’ve all heard the buzz around big data. One of the underlying technologies is called Hadoop and it’s open-source software out of Yahoo! Hadoop gives you a good foundation for a big data map-reduce system, but since it’s OSS, like Linux/Red Hat, it falls short of what many commercial enterprises need from a system. Enter a host of startups (Cloudera and Hortonworks are probably the best known). Zaloni is a RTP-based Hadoop startup, founded in 2007, that adds enterprise data management to Hadoop. What’s that mean? Well if you have a big Hadoop implementation (terabytes), the OSS management tools leave a lot to be desired. Zaloni gives you the ability to pull in large amounts of data, organize the data, monitor and extract it. It also gives you the ability to monitor permissions and workflows (who did what, when to what data and were they allowed to?). This space is so hot — I don’t think Zaloni will be on the Tweener list for long. It’s likely it will get snapped up by one of the big players out there
Size: 50–200
Investors: $7.5M from Sierra Ventures
CEO: Ben Sharma
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