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Back in June of last year, I published the first Tweener list as part of my Guide to the Triangle Startup Ecosystem. The short story (the long story can be found here in the original post) is: 
  • We have a lot of people moving into the area (and even locally) and looking for jobs at startups.  
  • My recommendation is if you don’t want to found a company, then looking at companies that are a bit later stage can both minimize your risk and also give you opportunities to catch a shooting star. 
  • There are so many new companies formed in the Triangle it is hard to track what/where/who they are. 
Therefore, I created the Triangle Tweener list. 

Definition of Triangle Tweener 

Triangle Tweeners are companies based out of the Triangle with at least $1m in sales or 10 people. They generally are technology companies (mostly around software) and are independent and not public. 
 

What’s changed since the last update? 

Since the last update (7/22/15), a lot has happened: 
  • 7+ Triangle Tweeners were acquired: Ansible, Automated Insights, Bluestripe, Bronto, Contactology, Paired Health and Consolidated Asset Recovery Systems (CARS) just this week. 
  • Maxpoint had an IPO (so we lost eight from the list) 
  • Thanks to the community and the CED, I’ve been able to add 30-40 new Tweeners since the last list! As mentioned when I introduced the Triangle Tweeners, once you start looking, Tweeners come out of the woodwork. 
  • Now the Tweeners are at 90-100 strong—a testament to the growth in the region and the ever expanding pipeline of startups that are feeding into the Tweeners. 
  • Finally, when working on this update, I noticed that a large percentage of the new companies on the list have female founders/CEOs. Akili Software, The Produce Box, Brooks Bell, LCMS+, Needlepoint.com, Axial Exchange, Cultures for Health, Tilt 365 and Written Word Media are all women-led Tweeners. In addition to the heavy bootstrap nature of our region, I would love to see us over-index on women-led ventures as well and this is an awesome group of Triangle Tweeners that can start to further differentiate our region.

About the Triangle Tweener List 

The list is alphabetical and for each company, I have a short blurb on what they do (in my words), their approximate headcount and any funding history. I've also added a geographical analysis of the Tweeners here.

• Pitch: 6fusion of Raleigh is standardizing the economic measurement of IT infrastructure and cloud services. It was founded in 2008.
• Size: 11-50 
• Investors: $26M from two investors, Intersouth Partners and Grotech Ventures 
• CEO: John D. Cowan

• 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

• Pitch: An ad:tech (advertising technology) company that provides a publisher-oriented ad server technology. James Avery is CEO of the seven-year-old Durham-company, and customers include Reddit and Thrillist. 
• Size: 10-50 
• Investors: $650K from Great Oaks Venture Capital, Brian Handly (of Reveal Mobile) and other angels 
• CEO: James Avery
 
• 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: $1.2M Series A that includes Bull City Venture Partners, Boulder Ventures, Advancit Capital, SeventySix Capital
• CEO: Jed Carlson

Pitch: Launched in 2014 by two female entrepreneurs, Akili provides software that at-home caregivers use to manage workflow and communicate with patients and their families.
• Size: 10-15
• Investors: Undisclosed seed round, but winners of NC IDEA and participant in Citrix Raleigh Innovators Program
• CEO: Michelle Harper

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: 11-50
• Investors: $1.1M in two rounds from NC IDEA, David Gardner, The Startup Factory and e.Republic Ventures
• CEO: Anil Chawla

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 and Canaan Partners are investors
• CEO: Joanne Rohde


• Pitch: Henry Kaestner and David Morken started Bandwidth.com back in 1999 and it has grown ever since then. Bandwidth, based in Raleigh, has a wide portfolio of businesses such as selling VOIP equipment and service to SMBs, a consumer WIFI phone offering (Republic Wireless). Bandwidth technology is also used to power Google’s consumer voicemail offering – Google Voice. Bandwidth is perpetually rumored to be on the cusp of an IPO or a big M+A, but nothing has happened yet. 
• Size: 200-500 
• Investors: $20.5M
• CEO: David Morken


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

 
• 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 
*Full disclosure: I am on the board of this company.

• 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 
• Founders: James Branigan, Patrick Dempsey • Director: David Houghton 

• 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


Pitch: Candle Science 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

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 ws founded in 2014.
• Size: 10-20
• Investors: $2M from Cofounders Capital, Idea Fund Partners, Great Oaks Venture Cpital and Lowe's Companies
• CEO: Hunt Davis

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
• CEO: Jim Tobin

Pitch: Healthtech software for automatic payment for clinical trials. Founded in 2008, the company is based in Durham.
• Size: 50-200
• Investors: $15M from Vital Venture Capital, Hatteras Venture Partners, Edison Partners
• CEO: Tim Immel

• 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: $5.7M from Sovereign's Capital, Rockefeller Foundation, David Clouse
• CEO: Mark Sears

• 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: Andrew Pearson (UK)


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

• 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 

• 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

• 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


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: 10-20
• Investors: $4.85M from angels
• CEO: Aidan Cunniffe

• Pitch: Duuuuddeee…. Kent Hudson and Lee Prevost founded SchoolDude in 1999. They bootstrapped this puppy up to the point where, in 2014 they could take a $100 million investment from Warburg Pincus. They rebranded as Dude Solutions and have rolled out a bunch of products since. In a nutshell, Cary-based Dude has SaaS/Cloud based products for schools to manage procurement, maintenance and things like that. 
• Size: 200-500 
• Investors: Bootstrap, oh plus $100M from Warburg Pincus
• CEO: Kent Hudson


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

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

• Pitch: I don’t know much about the founding of eTix, but Joe Kustelski was there as 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, the original founder Travis Janovitch 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

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: $2M from RTP Capital Associates, Iron Yard Ventures, Cofounders Capital, Azure Capital Partners and Michael Olander Jr.
• CEO: Kevin Barry

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: one investor in undisclosed round
• CEO: Dean Wiltse

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 and ExitEvent coverage

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

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: Karl Murphy
Full disclosure: I'm a founder, investor and executive chairman of this company.

• 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


• 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


• 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


• 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: $1.3M from Madison River Ventures
• CEO: Ben Hartmere 

• 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: Bill Kaluza


• 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: $750K from physician-angel investors
• CEO: Jared Pelo


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

• 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 also got a contract to roll out the technology in senior living communities across Pennsylvania.
• Size: 10-50
• Investors: $2M from Sierra Ventures, Stonehenge Growth Equity Partners, Better Ventures, Stephen Morton and Ben Yu
• CEO: F. Scott Moody

• 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

• Pitch: Software for training sales reps and increasing your $/rep. This Raleigh company’s data science predicts what content will work when, and bam, you close more deals. It was founded in 2009.
• Size: 11-50 
• Investors: $7.6M from River Cities, Hatteras, Core Capital and Hasso Plattner 
• CEO: Chris Atkinson


• Pitch: Spun out of Duke University in 2010, Durham-based LCMS+ is an online edu-tech system that helps healthcare providers with heatlhcare education and certification.
• Size: 10-15
• Investors: Bootstrap
• CEO: Allison Wood

• 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

• 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: Nigel Lee



• 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: James Burns

• 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: Bootstrap (Bank of Stephen)
• CEO: Vern Davenport 

• 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: Amir Elbaz

• 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

• Pitch: Started in 1999, Needlepoint had a retail store, and using its great domain name, needlepoint.com, started to do well online. Lulu’s Bob Young was CEO for a while—his wife started the business—and I believe is still an investor. 
• Size: 10-50 
• Investors: Bootstrap (Bank of Bob) 
• CEO: Nancy Young

• 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


• 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

• 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: $550K from The Startup Factory
• CEO: David Shaner

• Pitch: Operable has been in stealth mode since it landed its first funding in early 2015 Its website hints at software that helps IT teams manage the operations of large websites.
• Size: 10-50 
• Investors: $3M from True Ventures, Makerbot and Fitbit
• CEO: Mark Imbriaco

• 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: Kickstarter, Investors Circle and angel investors
• CEO: Rob Cotter


• Pitch: Ashok Mathur has ben 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

• 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. 
• Size: 50-110 
• Investors: $13.25M from Battery Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, angels, Core Capital Partners, Contour Venture Partners and IDEA Fund Partners
Partners
• CEO: Todd Olson


• 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: $11M Bank of Bob (Bob Young), Millennium Tech Ventures, Intel Ventures
• CEO: Christopher Dean 

• 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 a large private equity company – TA Associates
• CEO: Eric Huang

• 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

• 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 and Jon LaNasa
• CEO: Jon LaNasa

• Pitch: PredictifyMe uses Big Data to predict answers to questions about your business in the future. I have no idea how this works, but it sounds pretty cool. Founders are based in Raleigh but there are employees around the world.
• Size: 10-50 
• Investors: $1.25M from Silver Platter LLC and undisclosed investors
• CEO: Rob Burns

• 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


• Pitch: Quantifize builds solutions targeted towards colleges and universities to improve the consumer (student) eexperience. 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


• Pitch: Racarie, founded in Cary in 2007, provides SaaS-based HRIS software that helps companies track recruiting and hiring processes.
• Size: 10-50 
• Investors: Bootstrap
• CEO: Nathan Shackles


• 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


• 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


• 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: $750K from Capitol Broadcasting, Bull City Venture Partners, Alerion Ventures and Idea Fund Partners
• CEO: Brian Handly


• 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


• Pitch: Serial entrepreneur Michael Doernberg’s latest company (founded in 2006 after he sold SmartPath to DoubleClick) provides software and services for bands. It's based in Durham
• Size: 50-200 
• Investors: $8.6m in 3 rounds from Southern Capitol Ventures, Novak Biddle and SeventySix Capital
• CEO: Michael Doernberg


• 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: $50K angel investment
• CEO: David Crumby (based in Denver)

• 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


• 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


• 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: $24M in three rounds from five investors including Carmel Ventures, Vintage Investment Partners, Gemini Israel Ventures, Silicon Valley Bank and Marker LLC
• CEO: Doron Gordon

• 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
• CEO: Graham Snyder

• 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


• 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 

• 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: $1.6M from nine investors including Lowe's, the Duke Angel Network, Capitol Broadcasting, Switch VC 
• CEO: Tommy Sowers

• 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

*Full disclosure: I am on the board of this company.

• 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 

• 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

• Pitch: You have a sports team with coaches, players, assistnat 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, foundd 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: Bootstrap 
• CEO: Zachary Maurides 

• Pitch: Yes—we apparently have two Tweeners named some variation of Teamworks! I discoverd '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

• 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 has developed some interesting technology around SEO for brands with lots of office locations so it can check all the boxes now to be a Triangle Tweener. 
• Size: 10-50 
• Investors: Bootstrap 
• CEO: Zach Clayton 

• 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

• 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


• Pitch: TransLoc, founded in 2004 and based in RTP, enables real-time transportation information that passengers love and sells the software to government agencies that provide transportation services. 
• Size: 10-50 
• Investors: Bootstrap 
• CEO: Doug Kaufman

• 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: $3M in two rounds from Cofounders Capital 
• CEO: Tyler Confrey-Maloney


• 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: $16M in four rounds from Best Buy Capital, CBC Partners, TDF Ventures and True Ventures
• CEO: Michael Dering


• 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: Ryan Beckland


• 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: Bobby Martin 

• Pitch: In 1998, NCSU Physics professor Dr. John Risley realized there was a need for software to better manage assignments and grading. WebAssign was born in Raleigh! 
• Size: 50-200 
• Investors: Bootstrap 
• CEO: Alex Bloom


• Pitch: Justin Miller and Idan Koren originally came up with a social network around events called Deja Mi in 2010. But they noticed that brides were heavy users so went after that vertical first with WedPics. Now thousands of weddings every week utilize WedPics to create a private social network around their event and they've since launched a new app called PHOTO. Full disclosure—I’m an investor here. 
• Size: 11-50 
• Investors: $14.85M in six rounds from Bullpen Capital, Great Oaks Venture Capital, Idea Fund Partners, OCA Ventures, Adam Draper, Bob Young, Jocelyn Goldfein, Barbara Corcoran, Alex Osadzinski, John Repogle, Jed Carlson
• CEO: Justin Miller


• Pitch: Matt Williamson left Bronto in 2011 with a crazy idea—what if he could develop software focused on helping e-commerce companies with retention vs. acquisition? He also asked himself: How could I possibly wear green pants every day? Windsor Circle was born in Durham! 
• Size: 51-200 
• Investors: $9.3m from 5 investors including Comcast Ventures, Origin Ventures, Idea Fund Partners and Triangle Angel Partners 
• CEO: Matt Williamson

• LinkedIn and ExitEvent coverage
*Full disclosure: I am on the board of this company.

• 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

• 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

• 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

• 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: Bootstrap
• CEO: Ben Sharma

• Pitch: Ken Romley was part of the SmartPath team (see ReverbNation) and after the acquisition by DoubleClick, started Zift in 2006. Durham-based Zift helps large brands manage their partner/channel networks to grow their channel sales. 
• Size: 51-200 
• Investors: $20.9M raised from investors such as Arrowroot Capital, SSM Partners, Southern Capitol Ventures/Bull City Venture Partners
• CEO: Ken Romley