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Happy Thursday!

Craving some (virtual) human interaction? Join us today from 5-5:40p.m. for the weekly—for now, anyway—GrepBeat Virtual Happy Hour. (It’s only 40 minutes because that’s the maximum for a free Zoom account.) We’re pretty confident we’ve worked out the kinks—Zoombombing is a real thing, y’all—from the first go-round. The Eventbrite has all the details.

And interested startup teams, don’t forget to sign up for the Triangle Startup Trivia Tournament. See more details below in Extra Bit.

Home Alone, Together

With everyone cooped up at home these days, we could all use some food, fitness and fun. Fortunately, Triangle startups (and a PR firm that represents several startups) are here for you. Cary-based Myxx provides the recipes and online shopping lists to get you fed. Raleigh-based WAAM’s fitness app brings you workouts from top trainers. Meanwhile PR firm Benecomms (Wake Forest) can entertain your kids with at-home treasure hunts that are also helping raise money for local nonprofits. Read our full story on their collective efforts here.

And one more tip for kids stuck at home—and their parents: J.K. Rowling has launched a “Harry Potter At Home” site.


Selling Out

To paraphrase Charles Dickens, for ecommerce companies these are the best of times, and the worst of times. (Fun Dickens fact: he loved his cat, Bob, so much that when the feline passed on, Charles had its paw stuffed and mounted on an ivory letter opener. You’re welcome.) There is more demand for online purchases than ever, but that isn’t true for all categories, and supply chain issues are making it increasingly difficult to deliver as promised.

To suss out the facts, we spoke to Triangle-based ecommerce startups Corevist, Seguno and FeedStation as well as graduated startup ChannelAdvisor, now a swanky public company. You can read what we found out here.


Teaming Up

Hey, did somebody mention Corevist? You might recall that way back in early March, which seems like a million years ago, Jurassic Capital—the newest initiative from GrepBeat Godfather Joe Colopy—made its first investment with a $2.8M infusion into Durham-based B2B ecommerce platform Corevist. Today, we dive deeper into Corevist and what attracted Jurassic to them. We also have some news: yesterday was the first day for Corevist’s new COO, Susan Wall, who is a Bronto alum like Joe, fellow Jurassic Partner Kevin Mosley and approximately 73% of the people I (used to) see on a daily basis. Read our full story on Corevist and CEO Sam Bayer here.


Helping Hands

It’s no secret that many small businesses, including startups, need financial help right now. That’s exactly what part of the new CARES Act is supposed to address, especially through SBA (Small Business Administration) loans. But there are a lot of questions about the programs and who qualifies, and even if it will actually be up and running tomorrow when it’s supposed to roll out.

Locally, N.C. Congressman David Price and SBA District Director Thomas Stith will be holding a free virtual town hall tomorrow at 10a.m. WRAL TechWire also has some advice from lawyers at Hutchison, plus a broader Q&A. Meanwhile experts on a call put together by UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and the affiliated Kenan Institute expressed some doubts that the typically slow-moving SBA is up to the task of delivering emergency loans quickly and at massive scale.


Where've You Been?

Several Duke undergrads have whipped up an app that can help trace the contacts of those who test positive for coronavirus. Someone who tests positive can enter that information in the “ContaintIt” app, which uses cellphone location data to notify people who have been in close physical contact with that person so they can quarantine themselves. has all the details.



WRAL anchor David Crabtree recently sat down with SAS’s COO Oliver Schabenberger, the presumed heir apparent to CEO Jim Goodnight. Oliver had plenty to say on how SAS is using its data-analysis expertise to help fight on several fronts of the battle against Covid-19, as well as how SAS is grappling with the new normal in general. You can read an edited version of the transcript here.


Meaty Topic

If you’ve been staring longingly at the cleared-out meat section of your local supermarket, you might be hungry for The new site launched by NC Choices, a program of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems and NC Cooperative Extension, connects consumers with nearby local farms selling pasture-raised meat in bulk quantities. Perfect for you keto devotees!


Extra Bit

Disappointed that you didn’t have a March Madness bracket to fill out? Dismayed by the drumbeat of Covid-19 news? Disjointed by not getting to see your coworkers in the flesh? Don’t worry, we have just the antidote: the Triangle Startup Trivia Tournament!

Like virtually all good ideas, this one was not originally mine. Rather, it was the brainchild of Klearly CEO Alex Krawchick and Triangle startup kingpin Robbie Allen, with a significant assist from Klearly’s marketing guru, Sam Cibelli. We’re still figuring out details, but here’s the gist: we will pit startup teams (from 1-3 people) against each other in trivia contests on Zoom hosted by yours truly, and the last team standing will have the honor of calling themselves the Smartest Startup In The Triangle—plus some prize TBD. (Or maybe bragging rights is reward enough?)

For right now, please let us know if you/your team is interested in participating, and we will go from there. Note: this contest is limited to startups. I will be the arbiter of what qualifies as a startup. The companies we feature on are a pretty good proxy.

Guess where Pete is and (maybe) win a GrepBeat mug!

Lisa Scheibner is this week’s winner after she was one of eight who (somehow) correctly deduced that I was standing forlornly outside the Starbucks at 4010 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd. Lisa’s good fortune at beating the random number generator was perhaps aided by the fact that Tuesday was her birthday. Lisa is a senior front-end engineer at Allstacks (which we wrote about here) and before that was Pendo’s first female engineer. More from a rightfully excited Lisa: “What awesome luck! I'm super excited about replacing my Ikea cup with a GrepBeat mug eventually.” Please bear with our supply chain disruptions, Lisa.


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