1776 and 3686 June 2016

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The sentiment is heard loud and clear at local events. Investors and entrepreneurs—most local, some not—believe that the Research Triangle is becoming a premier startup hub not only in the Southeast, but nationally and globally. 
 
Next month, a handful of Triangle startups will have the chance to prove that point, representing the region in two premier pitch competitions. 
 

36|86 — Triangle Trio takes on Nashville 

Three local startups will head to Nashville June 6-7 for the 36|86 pitch competition, which features 36 top startups from across the Southeast. 
 
How It Works 
The recently-completed 36|86 Southern Series was made up of three smaller April events in Birmingham (Ala.), Atlanta and Raleigh. At each event, four regional winners were selected for a bid to the larger 36|86 competition. Along with those 12 startups, 24 additional competitors were chosen from throughout the Southeast. 

The Prize 
For the winner: $50K in prize money 
For the field: Large audience of investors and media members from throughout the country. 
 
Local Representatives 
RocketBolt (Durham) — Southern Series regional winner. RocketBolt is an automated sales assistant that measures engagement levels on websites to determine likely customers, and then offer ways to contact those customers. Its a portfolio company of The Startup Factory and the national Dorm Room Fund (affiliated with First Round Capital). 

Credit: Ryan Timms/ExitEvent
Reveal Mobile (Raleigh) — Southern Series regional winner. Uses beacon technology to gather data surrounding mobile usage and help tailor a highly targeted, relevant advertising experience for mobile users and publishers. Formerly known as StepLeader Digital before a pivot last summer. 

Credit: Ryan Timms/ExitEvent
Shipedge (Durham)— One of 24 representative companies selected from throughout the Southeast at large. Cloud-based supply chain management software, founded in 2010, helping e-commerce retailers streamline order fulfillment operations. 
 
The Field 
Features 36 startups in total, with eight different states represented (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia). According to the 36|86 website, the field includes 10 different industry clusters, and the 36 companies have raised a combined total of more than $20 million in capital. 
 
The Event 
The pitch competition is interspersed with panels and individual speakers, with a mix of accomplished entrepreneurs and investors. Headliners include Square co-founder Jim McElvey, Tyson Clark of Google Ventures, Gotham Gal Ventures’ Joanne Wilson, Scott Kupor of Andreesen Horowitz and executives from Sony Music. 
 
38|86 is billed as a combination of entrepreneurship and “Southern Culture,” featuring a Monday night “Street Fair” event with music, Nashville cuisine, local distilleries and breweries, pop-up shops, and more. Its organized by LaunchTN, a public-private partnership that promotes entrepreneurship and startup investment in Tennessee. Here's the full schedule.
 

1776 Challenge Cup — Triangle Presence in Global Competition 

How It Works 
This global pitch competition involved more than 3,000 companies from 54 cities around the world competing in qualifying rounds over the past year, with 70 advancing to global finals event from June 7-10 in Washington, D.C. 

The finals event is organized into two sections, which competed separately in semifinal rounds. They are: 
  1. Health, Money and Security 
  2. Cities, Education, Energy, Food and Transportation 
 
The Prize 
$175K in total cash prizes 
$1 million in potential investment for one winner
 
Local Representatives 
Neuro+ (Durham)— Won Challenge Cup Durham last November and then a semifinal round in New York in March. Launched initially when founder Jake Stauch was an undergrad at Duke University, Neuro+ produces video games that help children with ADHD improve their focus and ability to pay attention. Mac and Windows desktop applications launched last September and have received positive reviews from physicians and parents. 

Jake Stauch of Neuro+ is one of three Durham Challenge Cup winners. He'll compete in New York City next March for the chance to pitch in the global finals in May 2016. Credit: Patrick Durham/ExitEvent
Tom and Jenny’s (Durham) — Tom and Jenny’s is not officially “in” the global finals field, but is eligible for a “People’s Choice” entry into the field after competing in a regional competition. It is one of nine companies eligible for public voting, which ends at noon on May 11th (Vote here). Three companies chosen by public vote will join the field in June.

Founded by a dentist, Tom and Jenny’s creates healthy, all-natural candy that helps build strong teeth, and is on the verge of a major increase in production. The company is a recent NC IDEA grant winner and alumnus of the Launch Chapel Hill accelerator program. 

Tom & Jenny's is one of three Durham startups to head to New York City to compete in the regional Challenge Cup. Winners there advance to Washington D.C. next May for the final rounds. Credit: Patrick Durham/ExitEvent
The Field 
70 startups from around the world grouped into seven clusters: Education, Energy/Sustainability, Food, Health, Money, Security and Smart Cities.
 
The Event 
Hosted by Washington D.C. incubator 1776, which houses startups that operate within highly regulated industries and puts on events that bring together entrepreneurs, corporations and legislators. The event runs June 7-10, with an opening keynote on Tuesday (June 7th) followed by three nights of pitches and post-competition receptions. Here's the full schedule.