2018 Top 10 Startups to Watch

NC Tech Awards Top 10 Startup Profiles

NC Tech Awards Top 10 Startup Profiles

 

The NC Tech Awards "Top 10 Startups to Watch" are selected from applications submitted earlier this summer. They must be a technology startup founded in NC within the past four years that has demonstrated a foundation for success.

We asked each startup to answer a brief questionnaire to provide insight into their journey towards success. 

2018 Top 10 Startups to Watch included: (Pictured Above)

CONSTELLATION DIGITAL PARTNERS • DAIS X • DIVEPLANE CORPORATION • FLUREE • HAYSTACKCRM • HEARFUL • MAP MY CUSTOMERS • MYBEEHYVE • ROVE • VITALFLO  

 

 


  • When was your company founded? 2018
  • Its founder(s) and current title(s) are: Steven Guido, CEO and Zachary Fearnside, CTO
  • What is your mission statement? Aeva Labs was founded to empower distilleries everywhere with the tools they need to make quality products and push the boundaries of their craft.
  • What does your selection by NC TECH mean to you and your company? We're incredibly excited to be selected for this award. We're proud members of the entrepreneurship community in Raleigh and are looking forward to being a part of this ecosystem as it continues to grow.
  • What makes your company unique? What is your secret sauce? We're bringing fresh perspective and innovation to a centuries-old problem. Aeva Labs has created a unique process for aging liquor that's highly customizable and versatile. As a result, we're able to offer a workflow that emulates what our end-users are used to.
  • What is your target market(s) and why did you select it/them? Our initial target is craft distilleries. Many of them aren't old enough to have good quality aged product out on market. We give them that ability from the day they open.
  • Are you producing revenue? If so, are you cash flow positive or profitable? Yes and No
  • How are you financed? We closed a pre-seed round earlier this year.
  • Who are your investors? We have quite a diverse group of investors, primarily individuals. A few are NC based, but we have multiple out of state as well.
  • Are you currently looking for financing and if so, how much? Not at the moment, but we are planning another round for 2020.

Allstacks

Coming Soon....


Auxbus_Horizontal_Logo.png

  • When was your company founded? January 2019
  • Its founder(s) and current title(s) are: Dan Radin, founder and CEO
  • What is your mission statement? To demystify and unlock audio so all kinds of people can connect and share.
  • What does your selection by NC TECH mean to you and your company? We are honored to be the first Western North Carolina company to be recognized as a Top Ten Startup to Watch by NC TECH. It's incredibly rewarding to be selected among all of the amazing tech startups in North Carolina.
  • What makes your company unique? What is your secret sauce? Auxbus is the all-in-one podcast creation platform that guides novice creators through all the steps of creating a professional podcast. It results in professional content and audio quality in minimum time. We've built a portfolio of proprietary, patent-pending technologies including custom audio DSP, robotic process automation, and a unique approach to working with remote guests and co-hosts so they sound like they're right in the room with the host.
  • What is your target market(s) and why did you select it/them? I spent 15 years developing more than 75 audio tech products as an employee of other companies. When I went to start my own podcast, I discovered the state of podcasting tools and platforms. They solve only for amateurs and professionals. But for businesses at sub-enterprise scale, no solution existed for high-quality, time-efficient, moderate-cost audio content marketing. I knew my background, network, and experience would enable Auxbus to win this space. We started building Auxbus by researching — talking to current, former, and would-be business podcasters. We learned about the biggest pain points, reasons some had stopped, and reasons others hadn't started yet. Then we built Auxbus to address them: all the information and tools in one place, high time efficiency, ability to know you're doing it right, and ability to measure success.
  • Are you producing revenue? If so, are you cash flow positive or profitable? Yes and No
  • How are you financed? Auxbus has raised two pre-seed investments from local angel investor groups.
  • Who are your investors? Angel Capital Group/High Country Impact Fund/Mercurio Capital Partners/John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneurs on Fire
  • Are you currently looking for financing and if so, how much? Currently raising out of a $400k convertible note, with $308k available.

Green Stream Technologies Inc. Logo

  • When was your company founded? 2017
  • Its founder(s) and current title(s) are: Jim Gray, President and CEO + Karen Lindquist, Chief Operating Officer
  • What is your mission statement? We are an environmental IoT firm. We help build smarter, safer more sustainable communities. We help state and local governments monitor flooding in real time to protect property and improve safety and mobility.
  • What does your selection by NC TECH mean to you and your company? We are delighted to be included in this year's list of startups to watch. We moved our business to North Carolina from Norfolk VA in January this year to be part of NC's vibrant business and tech community. To receive this recognition from the tech community tells us we made the right decision. We've found our home in North Carolina.
  • What makes your company unique? What is your secret sauce? We are pioneers in the domain of environmental IoT (eIoT). We're not just selling environmental technology - our grand vision is to build an environmental monitoring network so our customers can share flood information across internal departments, across jurisdictions, and with the public. We aim to improve public safety and help build resilience to increased flooding.
  • What is your target market(s) and why did you select it/them? Our first target market is state and local government. We share a common mission to protect property and improve safety and mobility through high resolution, real-time situational awareness. Our customers such as Town of Cary, City of Wilson, Holly Springs, Morrisville and others, as well as the North Carolina Emergency Management department are great early adopters, open to innovation and partnering with us in pilot projects to understand their needs and tailoring our solution to fit their needs. We are also working with environmental professionals. Many are involved in restoration and conservation of coastline, streams and wetlands. We automate their monitoring and they help us to understand their domain.
  • Are you producing revenue? If so, are you cash flow positive or profitable? Yes and No
  • How are you financed? Combination of sales revenue, bootstrapping and grants.
  • Who are your investors? No investors yet but we are looking for investors who share our mission: impact investors, family offices, or perhaps even corporations that care about climate resilience.
  • Are you currently looking for financing and if so, how much? We're actively seeking grant funding and we are evaluating the pros and cons of taking on debt or equity investors.

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Coming Soon....


Image result for petscreening

  • When was your company founded? 2016
  • Its founder(s) and current title(s) are: John R. Bradford, III - Founder and CEO
  • What is your mission statement? PetScreening advocates responsible pet ownership and pet-friendly policies while helping limit animal fraud.
  • What does your selection by NC TECH mean to you and your company? Being selected as Top 10 to Watch by the NC Tech Association brings additional credibility to our company and our state. We often hear that CA and NY are the top states for tech companies but the NC TECH Association's advocacy is showcasing some very talented tech companies located right here in NC.
  • What makes your company unique? What is your secret sauce? We are unique in that we are the only service of its kind and we are solving a top-rated problem, at no cost, for the rental housing industry. Our secret sauce is that our Founder has a first-hand understanding of the industry's problems dealing with pets and animals and then developed a technology solution to help address it. Our service was created by a property manager for property managers.
  • What is your target market(s) and why did you select it/them? The North American rental housing industry is our target market and we selected this market because or technology solution addresses a specific industry-wide problem.
  • Are you producing revenue? If so, are you cash flow positive or profitable? Yes and No
  • How are you financed? Bootstrapped then raised series-seed venture capital (June 2019)
  • Who are your investors? Grotech Ventures/Relevance Capital/Camber Creek
  • Are you currently looking for financing and if so, how much? Not at the moment but we are always open to introductory conversations for future rounds, if needed.

Image result for swell systems

  • When was your company founded? 2017
  • Its founder(s) and current title(s) are: Derek Schmidt, Founder and CEO
  • What is your mission statement? … to streamline operations for small teams and creative firms worldwide
  • What does your selection by NC TECH mean to you and your company? We are honored to receive this award, because we know we're in good company. Previous winners have gone off to be great corporate citizens, and we look forward to that opportunity as well. Of course, we also hope this award will serve as social proof to our future employees, partners, investors and customers.
  • What makes your company unique? What is your secret sauce? Our success is based on our commitment to streamlining our customers' success. They didn't start their business to be operations gurus - and so we've taken the sting out of the day-to-day running of the business. We do this via product and service. First, SWELLEnterprise combines 2-3 different solutions into one SaaS product. Second, we help them align SWELL with their unique way of doing business via highly accessible customer service. For example: We've instituted a get-started program where custom on-boarding is offered to all new customers, helping them set up the system to work its best for the way they run their business. Additionally, our private group on Facebook is active with questions and discussions and enhanced by recommendations from users and instant update information on product use. Finally, we commit to a response via our in-app chat within 24 hours – but usually within minutes.
  • What is your target market(s) and why did you select it/them? Our target markets are creative services, such as web development, graphic design, advertising firms, and service-focused companies that intend to expand. We chose this market because our SaaS product SWELLEnterprise was originally designed and customized to solve the problems of that industry.
  • Are you producing revenue? If so, are you cash flow positive or profitable? Yes and No
  • How are you financed? Bootstrapped.
  • Who are your investors? N/A
  • Are you currently looking for financing and if so, how much? SWELL Systems is looking to explore new opportunities with the right partners. We are looking to raise $500,000 to scale our proven marketing strategy and grow our team of customer success representatives.

The Climate Service logo

  • When was your company founded? 2017
  • Its founder(s) and current title(s) are: James McMahon, CEO + Terry Thompson, CTO
  • What is your mission statement? To enable our customers to include climate change in every decision they make.
  • What does your selection by NC TECH mean to you and your company? It validates our observation that we are in precisely the right time and the right place, serving a rapidly emerging demand for climate-related insights.
  • What makes your company unique? What is your secret sauce? We enable customers to model the quantified financial impacts of climate change on their assets. Our Climanomics™ SaaS analytics platform for the first time makes it easy to get decision-relevant insights, for multiple scenarios and asset types, at any point in time & space. No other company provides the scientific rigor coupled with financial analysis in a useable product.
  • What is your target market(s) and why did you select it/them? The core of our market is composed of the 867 firms, with a combined market capitalization of over $9 trillion and responsible for over $118 trillion in invested assets, who have publicly signed the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure, asking for more and better disclosure of climate-related risks. We chose them because they are specifically asking for a product like ours.
  • Are you producing revenue? If so, are you cash flow positive or profitable? Yes and Yes
  • How are you financed? 2 seed rounds with angel investors. 1 seed round with strategic partners.
  • Who are your investors? Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator, LMI Ventures, Wolfpack Investor Network, Venture Capital Multiplier Fund, Climate Analytics Holdings, individual investors.
  • Are you currently looking for financing and if so, how much? Currently beginning Series A raise for about $4M to scale the product and our ability to meet market demand.

Threat Sketch

  • When was your company founded? 2015
  • Its founder(s) and current title(s) are: Rob Arnold – CEO + Nathan Powell - Chief Risk Officer
  • What is your mission statement? We are experts in cybersecurity data analytics for cyber risk management professionals. We believe cyber risk managers are most successful when they have the appropriate tools, information and leadership support. Our mission is to arm the world's cyber risk managers with the data and analytics necessary to measure and manage ongoing cyber risk. We provide curated data and analytic tools that facilitate an easy-to-understand 360° view of risk management.
  • What does your selection by NC TECH mean to you and your company? It validates all the hard work we have been doing on behalf of the small/medium businesses that we ultimately serve. It also validates all the work we are doing in the beltway on behalf of North Carolina.
  • What makes your company unique? What is your secret sauce? The work we do at the national stage is what makes us unique. Homeland Security and the NIST are two examples of government agencies that are shaping the cybersecurity industry. When they convene conferences, roundtables, and task forces, Threat Sketch is often the sole representative for small and medium businesses. We sit at the table with companies like IBM, AT&T, Cisco, Intel, Verizon where we advocate for small/medium businesses and help shape the policies and programs that, in turn, shape our industry.
  • What is your target market(s) and why did you select it/them? While our customers are large businesses, it is the small and medium businesses that they need to reach that are our real target. We selected them because they need access to the same risk-informed decision making tools that their larger counterparts need. This provides us an opportunity to do good by making enterprise class risk management accessible to resource strapped organizations.
  • Are you producing revenue? If so, are you cash flow positive or profitable? Yes and No
  • How are you financed? Ourselves and with revenue from two contracts with Homeland Security to implement large scale risk management solutions for nonprofits and small governments that are part of our nation's critical infrastructure.
  • Who are your investors? We have been lucky enough to be largely self funded. The only major outside, non-revenue money came from a former investment banker that tracked us down to make an early, private investment.
  • Are you currently looking for financing and if so, how much? Qualified investors that want to include cybersecurity in their portfolio should contact us. We have a $1.5m convertible preferred stock offering at a very modest valuation that should be open by the time this goes to print. We expect it will close quickly as we already have investors queuing up for term sheets.

Viibrant

  • When was your company founded? 2016-2017
  • Its founder(s) and current title(s) are: Patrick Smith - President, CEO
  • What is your mission statement? We empower senior living communities by tailoring technology to simplify and connect.
  • What does your selection by NC TECH mean to you and your company? We have been recognized in our industry for market leading technology, but this is our first time being recognized amongst other incredible start-ups outside of our industry. This is a class that we can all be very proud of. Not very many good ideas become a business and not very many businesses are successful. Recognitions like this are very rewarding and validating, however the accolades and smiles we get from our clients and residents are so much more. Seeing the smile from a resident after she heard Alexa speak back to her for the first time is a memory we will not easily forget. She had a stroke just months before and has reportedly been very somber. No, we did not cure her, but technology touched her life that day and it brought tears to her husband’s eyes. That is a powerful feeling.
  • What makes your company unique? What is your secret sauce? Two things. We are not afraid of change. We change our product, team structure, and procedures frequently. This is not easy, but it keeps us fresh. It keeps us thinking about the future. We are not afraid to try new things, and abandon them if they are not working. Second, we listen. We let our customers into the driver seat of our company. Sure, we have good ideas, but most of our game-changing ideas have come from the mouths of our customers. So many companies think they know what is best so they stick to their ways and they tell their customers "no, maybe eventually". We say "sure, give us a few weeks." This creates an incredible product, powerful relationships, and a rewarding work environment.
  • What is your target market(s) and why did you select it/them? We are in the senior living space. Our primary customers are part of the independent living space: think of a cruise ship on land, just for 65+ adults. We are starting to move toward middle market communities that offer services you would traditionally think of in care environments. All of this was completely by accident. Patrick Smith came from a successful career in e-commerce and his wife Missy was a gerontologist. Through pillow talk, they came up with the idea to create an online hub for residents to interact with their community, and a place where administrators could manage content. information, and analytics. Today, that hub/portal has bloomed into 7 other solutions including a mobile app, digital signage, interactive kiosks, and Alexa voice skills.
  • Are you producing revenue? If so, are you cash flow positive or profitable? Yes and Yes
  • How are you financed? Self-funded and small private investment
  • Are you currently looking for financing and if so, how much? Yes, but only with the right fit.

 


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