Groundwork Labs has new digs at American Underground @Main and a new class of 10 startups learning lean startup and building businesses there. We’re here to introduce you to the bunch.

Some quick stats: One has already raised $350,000, another more than $3 million. One already counts some of the best soccer teams in the world as clients. A pair has the Department of Defense as a client. And at least two men have left finance jobs to start companies.

There are consumer-focused startups in the group, and highly industrial ones. One even involves your furry friends.

Meet the founders of the 10 companies below, and here’s a quick recap of Groundwork Labs’ successes to date:


Jon Hayes has already earned some press since moving back to the Triangle from New York City earlier this year. The North Carolina School of Science & Math grad who spent seven years as an investment banker at Citigroup raised a $350,000 seed round from Cofounders Capital in recent months and is prepping a January launch of his platform to help travelers get the most value out of their reward points. 
The company’s founding was inspired by the experience of planning his honeymoon to the Maldives in 2013. It was difficult to calculate the best way to cover first class travel using points—Hayes thought a software application could make the process a whole lot easier. He finally left his job in March 2014, found a CTO and began teaching himself to code. 
Their mission is to make recommendations to travelers on how to save the most money while traveling on points, and to eventually make a commission when people sign up for new credit card accounts to take advantage of their point offers. The system will also let users transfer points between programs. Eventually, it could be applied to other points programs.
Hayes has used the time at Groundwork to immerse himself in lean startup methodology, to learn the ropes of entrepreneurship since he’s a first-timer and to take advantage of the access to subject matter experts like marketing guru Vickie Gibbs.
After launch, he expects to hire another one or two more employees to help scale the company.