Monday, February 3, 2014

2014 is off to a blazing start for entrepreneurs in the Triangle

Post by CED President Joan Siefert Rose

Hats off to Dude Solutions, which on Monday turned the lobby of its Cary office building into a cheering section, complete with employees wearing special t-shirts and an appearance by Governor Pat McCrory, to announce a deal worth up to $100 million with the New York-based private equity firm Warburg Pincus.  CEO Kent Hudson and President Lee Prevost, Dude Solutions co-founders, have bootstrapped the cloud-based software company for 15 years, growing to more than 200 employees and 8,000 customers.  The investment will allow SchoolDude and FacilityDude, which help educational, government, and other entities manage their IT and energy use efficiently, to step up the pace of growth and add hundreds of new jobs.  It’s evidence of the hard work and vision of these two NC State engineering grads, who chose the Triangle as the place to find the talent, connections, and community support they needed to build their fast-growing enterprise.

We’re also thrilled for Digitalsmiths, our neighbors at the American Tobacco Campus, which announced last Thursday that San Jose-based TiVo plans to acquire the company for $135 million in an all-cash deal.  This is another great success story for Durham, as co-founders Ben Weinberger and Matty Berry relocated the cloud-based company from South Carolina to recruit the specialized workforce needed to build the sophisticated media technology that allows viewers to find and recommend specific video content.  TiVo was blown away by the value Digitalsmiths adds to the Pay-TV industry, and thinks there is a big opportunity to reach a larger share of the market in the next few years through relationships with service providers, companies that produce content, and manufacturers of consumer electronics. 

And the team at Morrisville’s Aerial BioPharma chose to make its big announcement January 13 at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco: Jazz Pharmaceuticals, based in Dublin, Ireland, is buying the rights to one of Aerial’s late-stage compounds to treat excessive daytime sleepiness for patients with narcolepsy.  The deal is worth $125 million in upfront payments, and up to $272 million in milestone payments over the next few years.  Aerial defines itself as a different kind of drug company, run by entrepreneurs focused on developing biologics and small molecules for conditions affected by processes in the Central Nervous System.  CEO and co-founder Moise Khayrallah says the company brings innovative therapies to market quickly to improve patients’ lives and help investors achieve a positive return.  The small but nimble team at Aerial, which includes co-founders Stephen Butts and Gary Bream, has been together since 2006 as part of 3 successful startups. Aerial is currently developing therapies to manage acute and chronic pain. 

Dude Solutions, Digitalsmiths, and Aerial BioPharma all have been active participants in CED over the years, and we applaud and celebrate their successes.  Let’s hope the rest of 2014 continues to bring us such good news!

No comments:

Post a Comment