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Local media has been all over recent news that Citrix plans to shut down its national startup accelerator—the same program that launched the Raleigh Innovators Program, which graduates its second cohort of startups this afternoon. 

From at least some of those reports, it seems pretty clear that Raleigh leaders are doing what they can to ensure the program goes on. It's already got a lot of involvement beyond Citrix. The local Executive Council has four Red Hat executives including DeLisa Alexander (Chief People Officer) and Lee Congdon (CIO), mentor and SoarTriangle leader Lauren Whitehurst, Jason Widen of HQ Raleigh and four local venture capitalists. Just three of six instructors are employed by Citrix. 

WRAL TechWire quoted HQ Raleigh's Alyson Sutton saying: 
"We don't have a definite answer regarding the future of the program at this point. (...) Citrix is committed to Raleigh and has great partnerships with local groups like Red Hat, Cherokee, and HQ. It's one of the strongest programs in terms of local support, so they will continue to work to bring the program back next year."
It's unclear how much of the (non-corporate) participants' $25,000 grants are paid by Citrix and how much is provided by co-sponsors HQ Raleigh, Red Hat and the Cherokee-McDonough Challenge. But more details are likely to be revealed at today's Demo Day for eight B2B companies and four teams building new products inside Citrix and Red Hat.

This story is more about them. 

Past participants have said this program was critical to the success of their companies. It gave them time to talk to customers and truly vet their ideas without giving up any equity. The Citrix Accelerator, with the help of mentors and instructors, primarily helps companies or internal corporate teams prove out the desirability, feasibility and viability of their products within a three month period.

Two of last year's participants—Akili Software and EmployUs—have raised funds after finishing the program. And Akili is one of six female-led startups to be mentored by SoarTriangle this year. Userlite has launched a beta that, according to its website, has been used by 1,000 teams and at least 14,000 employees (including the Citrix Accelerator team). HQ Raleigh's Liz Tracy says one of two Citrix teams from last year—Castr—is still at work and funded by Citrix. And JoosyCloud and Mindset Systems are still working on their businesses too. 

Here's where they all stood after last year's Demo Day. And here are the seven reasons I gave for why this startup accelerator should continue to exist in Raleigh.

In the current batch, which began in September, there's a mix of healthcare, clean tech, productivity/collaboration software companies and four internal team projects. Here's the rundown, and expect more details on the companies after today's event. 

The healthcare innovators include:

MD Benchmark, a husband and wife team experienced in healthcare and determined to help physicians and healthcare companies navigate the arduous process of obtaining commercial insurance. They run a local consulting practice called Reese Consulting Group and are developing an insurance plan marketplace to ensure practices and doctors are getting the right products for protecting themselves in malpractice or other situations.

Medicom, the brainchild of a pair of NC State engineering students, is building a software for radiologists to quickly share patient data. Looks like founder Chase Ballard launched a similar company called SharePlace earlier this year. It doesn't appear to be focused on the medical field but is a new way for sharing files by diverting a central server. 

Remedy is developed by a healthcare industry consultant in SAS's global healthcare and life science practice and author of soon-to-be-published "The Patient Revolution." Krisa Tailor is developing a platform for managing chronic pain. It allows for collaboration between providers and patients in treating pain, which reportedly costs people $635 billion annually.

Innovating in clean tech:

SeaChange Technologies, which has invented a water purification and desalination process that is faster, cheaper and more environmentally friendly than other methods. The company founded by former Pfizer and Zoetis scientist Dipak Mahato was recently named one of three local winners for the global Challenge Cup startup competition and will compete next spring in New York City. It's also an NC IDEA grant finalist.

SeaChange Technologies is one of three local Challenge Cup winners. Founder Dipak Mahato will pitch at the regional finals in New York City next March. Credit: Patrick Durham/ExitEvent

Rocktron has developed a way to remediate coal ash without creating any waste. The company (which appears to be based in the U.K.) led by B.J. Lawson already secured a patent for the process. According to a Citrix blog post, Rocktron converts the ash to glass and metallic beads called Eco-Mineral fillers, which can be used in a variety of industries. 

SmartFarm is the brainchild of a Lexington, KY home automation expert who wanted to take the technology into farms and fields. Smart Farm is a system for monitoring crops, soil and farm equipment and controlling irrigation systems and it's already in beta on a 6,500 acre farm in Arkansas.

Working on productivity and collaboration are...


TaskTorch is made up of another husband-and-wife team who started and sold a software company to Rally Software (and have a long history of working together). Now, they're hoping to better organize teams of people who do different functions but must work together. Founders Nate and Niki Kohari are also part of the SoarTriangle mentorship program this year.  

Duvtail is a pretty nontraditional software team. Founders Geeta Vemuri and Matt Wheeler worked as CPAs at Big Four firms and noticed a regular struggle in keeping track of audit and client interactions and requests. They've set out on a mission to help accountants keep better (and secure) track of their workflow.

And the four internal teams include:

Citrix Team Addoo, a pair of employees who are pursuing a project they started at Citrix Hack Week to change the way customer onboarding happens. Citrix Creative Lead Hudson Haines and senior software engineer Sujan Abraham are working on a drag and drop way to build new training programs, including surveys, demos, videos, documents and other materials.

Citrix Team Coco is made up of product designer John Totten and senior software engineers Anuja Gogate and Ryan Morton. They're working on a software that combines disparate pieces of information (files, emails, texts, data, notifications, etc.) in one place to help teams or individuals in a workplace see the full picture to help them make better decisions. 

Red Hat Team Collider are four software engineers who want to encourage more real-time collaboration between developers around the world, to help people in the field address challenges or solve problems faster.

Citrix Team Para believes there is a better way to multi-task while driving than texting and fumbling around with existing apps. The team of customer success managers Virginia Moundous and Kelley Allen and senior software engineer Kevin Tuttle is working on an app that reacts to simple voice commands and gestures.