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Cofounders Capital Announces Investments

Cofounders Capital Announces 3rd and 4th Investments

Cary, NC – Early this week Cofounders Capital announced their 3rd and 4th investments. Unlike the first two investments that were follow on rounds, these are both new first round investments led by Cofounders.

Employus LogoEmployUS is a Raleigh based startup run by an NCSU graduate. It could become the Uber of the staffing industry by empowering employers to lessen their dependence on staffing agencies by offering referral bonuses to anyone who connects them to a great hire. Referrers can make thousands of dollars just by referring a friend for a new job. EmployUS was a Citrix Accelerator company and a winner of a $50K NC Idea grant. Cofouunders have lined up some solid beta customers and recruited a proven CTO.

Factivate LogoFactivate is a business intelligence tool for sales and marketing organizations providing data aggregation, visualizations and alerts. In sharp contrast to the complex and expensive Business Intelligence tools on the market today, if you know how to use Excel then you know 95% of what you need to know to use Factivate and pull your cloud-based data into a simple familiar interface for analysis and manipulation. Factivate is run by a Duke graduate who currently works out of our lab in Cary. Cofounders lined up several large beta customers before leading the round.

Cofounders Capital

Cofounders Capital is an early stage seed fund focused on software ventures in the Triangle. Created in 2015, Cofounders partnered with the Town of Cary to provide free lab space to entrepreneurs who receive expert help modeling and vetting their startup ideas. We help with prototyping, vetting and lining up beta customers.

The most promising of these ventures are then funded through Cofounders Capital’s $12M seed fund. Cofounders Capital is managed by serially successful entrepreneur, David Gardner with a team of over seventy advisers and volunteer mentors who are all investors in the fund, eager to support entrepreneurship in the Triangle and to help our portfolio companies and entrepreneurs succeed.

Town of Cary Technology Task Force Report

Cary Technology Task Force Recommends

Cary, NC – In July of 2012, the Town of Cary commissioned the Technology Task Force (TTF) to study technology and engagement for the town. Over a four month period, the nine members of the original task force studied a wide scope of questions including municipal websites, mobile applications, social media, open data, video, Cary as a community tech hub, legal issues and sustainability.

The final report for the TTF was delivered in December of 2012. The report is no longer found on the Town Website, so we thought it beneficial to list the summary recommendations and then ask the reader if these recommendations are still valid.

TTF Overarching Policy Recommendations

  1. The Town should give the same care and attention to planning and implementation of our virtual properties as the Town spends on its physical properties.
  2. Adopt an Open Data and a Public API Policy
    • Critical to support “Cary is a Community Technology Hub”
    • Will allow for independent Mobile application development
  3. Make Cary a “Community Driven” Technology Hub
  4. [Vision:] Cary actively supports Technology User Groups, Hack-a-Thons, School Technology Partnerships, Code for America Brigades, etc.

    • Make Cary a location of choice for people moving into the Triangle area who are taking technology positions.
    • Will attract highly-skilled technology professionals
      • More affluent and active demographic
      • Could help balance the aging population demographic trend
    • User Groups can provide the Town advice on Technology implementation and sustainability.
    • Will have a positive influence on the development of mobile and other apps in the Town.
    • Will support Economic Development in the Town
    • Will support and promote Technology Education in the Town
  5. Promote Citizen Engagement
    • 2-Way Communication Policy
    • More people involved in the community
    • Town gains an on-going feedback mechanism
    • Claim the Town’s social media properties
  6. Develop Generation 6 Website (or Websites)
    • CaryNC.gov
    • Integrate with Social Media Channels
    • Incorporate open data and mobile responsiveness
  7. Develop an official, simple mobile application to gain experience developing and deploying mobile applications
  8. Re-envision the Video Production Department
  9. Provide Leadership for Technology Related Legislative Issues
    • Protect our citizens from new age threats to their privacy and security.
    • Use Technology to enhance citizen participation in the decision-making process.
    • Allow us communication methods with our youth that are not public record.
  10. Encourage Partners to Adopt Parking Lot Items
    • Technology Education
    • Economic Development
ODI NC Logo

The Open Data Institute Comes to NC

Cary, NC – The Open Data Institute of London, UK has a node in North Carolina – the Open Data Institute of North Carolina (ODI NC). Local Open Data guru Jason Hare chartered the Node in October 2013 and finally convinced local entrepreneur Ian Henshaw to come on board as CEO.

What is the Open Data Institute?

The Open Data Institute is catalysing the evolution of open data culture to create economic, environmental, and social value. It helps unlock supply, generates demand, creates and disseminates knowledge to address local and global issues.

We convene world-class experts to collaborate, incubate, nurture and mentor new ideas, and promote innovation. We enable anyone to learn and engage with open data, and empower our teams to help others through professional coaching and mentoring.

What is a Node of the Open Data Institute?

Each ODI Node has agreed to adopt the ODI Charter, which is a open source codification of the ODI itself, and embodies principles of open data business, publishing, communication, and collaboration.

City or Regional Nodes deliver projects, and can provide training, research, and development. …ODI North Carolina… falls into this category.

ODI NC Activities

  • ODI NC has brought the ODI Training to the US. Register today for Open Data in a Day course on May 30
  • Follow the ODI NC on Twitter – @TheODINC
  • Follow the activities of the ODI NC on their blog.
Emerging Tech Hub - Raleigh, NC - Picture by James Willamore

Raleigh – Emerging Tech Hub

Raleigh, NC – Raleigh was just included in a list of the 8 emerging tech hubs. The list originally appeared on the TransferWise blog: Why you should pay attention to these 8 emerging tech hubs (TransferWise is the new way to transfer money between countries and is “from the people who built Skype and PayPal“)

The TransferWise folks “found 8 cities where technology’s influence is growing by the minute, and the world should start paying close attention.”

The List

  1. Eindhoven, Netherlands
  2. Pune, India
  3. Nicosia, Cyprus
  4. Dublin, Ireland
  5. Raleigh, North Carolina
  6. Hong Kong
  7. Malmö, Sweden
  8. Tel Aviv, Israel

The Word About Raleigh

Affordable housing, short commutes and the title of No.1 U.S. city for young families are all triggers for the flock of technology companies and university graduates to Raleigh. Over the past two decades, Raleigh has experienced the third-highest job growth and second-highest population increase in the country. It’s also part of the North Carolina Research Triangle, one of the most prominent U.S. research parks pioneering in IT and biotechnology. The region (known as Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill) is anchored by cutting-edge research institutions from surrounding universities, growing high-tech companies like Bandwith and Yealink as well as Fortune 100 companies IBM, Cisco, Sony Ericsson and many more.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation as an Economic Development Tool

The efforts of everyone in Raleigh pulling together for entrepreneurship and innovation is a powerful economic development tool. The momentum is continuing to build and recognition of Raleigh and the Triangle as a premier Tech Hub will only continue.

What are all the pieces that are building our strong and vibrant Tech community?

Takeaway

I hear people wondering if we have too many things going on in the Tech space and if the market is now getting crowded. I think there is room for many more, companies, programs and meetups. Competition, friendly competition, in the Triangle area will develop even better programs and offerings than we have right now and will ensure our place as a premier Tech Hub.


Featured picture by James Willamor under Creative Commons

2030 Dashboard Image

Dashboard 2030

Research Triangle, NC – RTI International announced yesterday the release of Dashboard 2030, an online tool to track North Carolina’s progress in economic development, business climate and job growth..

About Dashboard

Dashboard 2030 informs dialogue and catalyzes action to address North Carolina’s economic development challenges and opportunities. It provides independent and objective data on leading indicators of state and business competitiveness. It was created by RTI International and funded by the North Carolina Chamber Foundation, to track progress toward North Carolina Vision 2030 – A Plan for Accelerating Job Growth and Securing North Carolina’s Future.

Dashboard 2013 Design

The guiding principals for development of Dashboard 2013 are:

  • Independence
  • Objectivity
  • Transparency

RTI International was selected for objectivity and independence.  Transparency: The data is provided so that individuals can understand the indicators and perform additional analysis if they want.

A Useful Tool

We hope that this tool will be valuable for policy formation in North Carolina.  Check out Dashboard 2030 and let us know what you think.

Morrisville NC Logo

Morrisville Discusses Open Data

Morrisville, NC – At the Morrisville Town Council Meeting on August 27, 2013, Morrisville Council Member Steve Rao led a discussion on a Smart Cities Open Data Initiative (Audio file 53:17-1:06:53). Steve would like Morrisville to join in the regional efforts about Open Data, and thinks Morrisville needs to adopt an Open Data Policy. Councilor Rao added that Open Data can bring increased citizen engagement and economic development to Morrisville.

Councilor Rao suggested that Morrisville could link the Open Data effort to the Blue Ribbon Commission on Transportation Funding (Briefing Sheet 2013-069), to bring data that would enable the commission to make better and more informed decisions. The Blue Ribbon Commission on Transportation Funding was discussed at the Council meeting (Public Address 21:10-24:37, Council Comments 25:20-30:48).

Morrisville staff has worked on a Morrisville Data Portal prototype with Jason Hare, a Morrisville resident and the Open Data Program Manager in Raleigh, NC. This portal included CAMPO data that had been transformed to be machine readable.

Councilor Rao recommended that the Council direct staff to investigate an Open Data Initiative for Morrisville and come back with a briefing – a recommendation supported by a majority of the Council. The briefing is expected to include:

  • Pros/cons of Open Data
  • Recommendations with options for Council to consider
  • An Open Data Resolution
  • Cost information

130830 Morrisville

Previous Discussions in Morrisville

The discussion on August 27, was preceded by the Smarter Cities and Open Data discussion that Councilor Rao brought before the Morrisville Council on May 28, 2013.  Prior documents and reporting: