Frill on Shark Tank photo

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Venture capital raises, breakthrough innovations, inspiring entrepreneurs and startup community growth stories made the top headlines last year on ExitEvent. 

Take some breaks from email catch-up and 2016 planning this week to scan through this list of cool stories about local entrepreneurs, startups and our  startup ecosystem here in the Triangle. (Stories are ranked based on page views calculated by Google Analytics.)

1. How Frill Built a Sorority Fashion Startup Worthy of Shark Tank

Impressing the judges on Shark Tank made for attention all year long on ExitEvent. We were amazed at how often this story about a sorority fashion startup born while its founders (pictured top) were in college was viewed, and long past its March publication date. The women behind Frill Clothing raised $100,000 on the show and went on to relaunch their website and expand their product offerings. 

2. Durham's Neuro+ Gets First-of-its-Kind Game for ADHD Treatment to Market

This Duke University-born, Durham-built startup is realizing a dream to change the way kids with ADHD are treated, with early props from physicians and parents.

3. Perspective: It's All About the Why

On the eve of brain surgery, K4Connect and AuthenTec co-founder Scott Moody bravely published this piece reflecting on his career and his sudden health change. We know now that he's had a full recovery, but these words inspired many readers to think about business and life differently.

4. Why I'm Not Sold on Accelerated Code Schools

This writer argued that the three-month, full-time code academies that are all the rage across the U.S. leave much to be desired for executives hiring new grads. Specifically, he argues, they ignore the theory part of computer science that's critical to doing really significant work at the lightning fast speed a startup or small business requires.

5. Doubling Down on Durham: American Underground Expands Again

Once North Carolina's tallest building is being converted into a fourth startup campus for American Underground, along with an office for fast-growing Windsor Circle, a flagship retail store for Runaway Clothing and a community BeatMaking Lab for Durham's youth. It's all part of an AU plan to get 500 startups in downtown Durham over the next two years.

6. Duke Social Scientist and Timeful Co-founder Launches a Different Kind of Incubator

For new startup lab, Duke's Center for Advanced Hindsight and its founder Dan Ariely seek entrepreneurs who want insight from social scientists to build businesses. The lab launched in October with two guinea pig startups.

7. With $2M Raise, Sqord Preps HQ Move to Seattle

West Coast traction and a Seattle investor forced this wearable technology company's move from Durham earlier this year. The startup is a UNC stand-out with the big dream of encouraging kids to be active and play.

8. Out of Stealth Mode, Operable Opens Up About $2.7M True Ventures Investment

A pair of DevOps experts won Silicon Valley firm True Ventures as lead investor for their new Durham startup and shared how they made the deal.

9. The Five Most Interesting New NCSU Startups

In preparation for the 2015 Lulu eGames, we picked out the most unique ideas from the bunch of finalists for the annual NC State business plan competition.

10. A Durham Startup Called First Snags $750K to Deliver Realtors the Best Leads

Idea Fund Partners and Henry Kaestner's Sovereign's Capital funded a stealthy Durham startup that is using public data about life events and predictive analytics to determine potential homebuyers and the best time to target them with messaging from a Realtor.

11. From $0 to $9M in Two Years: Dukies Change Face of E-waste Recycling

They were sophomores at Duke University when this pair of entrepreneurs started a campus e-waste recycling program. Within a year, they'd partnered with and received investment from a Charlotte-area company to open an electronics recycling facility there, and they're fast becoming an icon in their still young industry with plans to open a West Coast operation.

12. RTP's The Frontier to be "Largest Open Innovation Center in Nation"

Research Triangle Park unveiled ambitious plans for a building it hoped would bring startup energy back to its acres of innovative technology and research campuses. The combination of free co-working and meeting space and small offices opened in January 2015 and has become an example for future development in the park.

13. Scot Wingo's List of Triangle "Tweeners"

In response to a remarkable number of new tech executives moving to the Triangle in recent months, ChannelAdvisor co-founder and former CEO Scot Wingo created this list of post-early stage startups in the Triangle—companies that just might be appealing for experienced technology leaders.

14. NC School of Science & Math Grads' FreshSpire Wins #TheBigIdea Project

$100,000 worth of business and development help could be just what the five young college women behind FreshSpire need to make their high school entrepreneurship project a reality. After earning local and national accolades earlier this year, the women now have the support of The Big Idea's mentors, developers and designers.

15. The Who, How, When of Google Fiber

The much anticipated Google Fiber announcement left many North Carolinians with some big questions about the rollout of the uber-fast wi-fi network. We attempt to answer them based on rollouts in other U.S. cities.

16. Sequoia's Jim Goetz: RTP Is Already 2nd Most Important Area of U.S.

In a rare speaking engagement, the world's top venture capitalist according to Forbes sat on a stage at the CED Tech Venture Conference and professed his admiration for the Triangle's universities and innovators. He also gave some marching orders to ensure the region continues its leadership role in technology innovation.

17. Google X's Newest Breakthrough Endeavor (and How Duke Is Involved)

Researchers at Duke University are intricately involved in Google's latest "moonshot" project, an attempt to better understand the healthy body by collecting tens of thousands of data points about individuals right here in North Carolina. We look at the link between Google and Duke, and help readers understand what sort of work will be happening in Duke labs.

18. Bronto Software Sold For $200 Million...Dinosaur Involved 

The global leader in email marketing for major Internet retailers, based in Durham, agreed to be sold to a Silicon Valley public company with some synergies. It became the sixth company on the American Tobacco Campus to be sold in the last two years. 

19. Avelist Closes $450K Round, Tackles the Big Apple

The entrepreneur notorious for selling her house to fund her startup in 2014 lined up a group of angel investors to fund the list-making startup in 2015. She also shared her strategy for making connections outside Durham for the media-oriented company.

20. David Gardner Banks $10M for New Local Cofounders Capital Fund

It didn't take long for angel investor David Gardner to raise the early stage capital fund he announced in January. By July, he'd closed the $12 million fund and opened a space in Cary to mentor startups from the community and create a pipeline for future deals.