CED Announces 18 Startup Showcase Companies

Written by Vance Fitzgerald. Posted in Entrepreneur, Startup

These local companies will be showcasing at the CED Tech Venture Conference! I have included links to their individual twitter feeds below and have added them to my StartupWatchlist to track them all.
Company Location Twitter Quick Summary


Durham @adzerk We empower developers to build revenue generating products. Check out our ad serving API.

AnyCloud, Inc.

Durham @AnyCloudCo all your photos in one amazing place. Find, manage, & enjoy your photos from any photo service, cloud storage, social network, or email on one site.


Durham @CrowdTunes Putting the power in the palms of the people and providing venues a better music management solution.
EyeScribes, Inc. Durham @EyeScribes Virtual medical scribing utilizing Google Glass
FilterEasy.com Raleigh @FilterEasy We deliver your air filters to your home or business when it’s time to change them, for a cost that’s less than the store’s. 800.308.1186
Guerilla RF Greensboro . Our high performance RF and Microwave IC products enable new levels of range and coverage area in wireless systems.
inMotionNow, Inc. Morrisville @inmotionnow A workflow automation solution for enterprise creative teams, combining project management with creative brief management and online proofing.
KnowledgeTree, Inc. Raleigh @knowledgetree KnowledgeTree’s Content Selling software accelerates buyers from prospect to customer. Right content, right time, right in #salesforce
nCino, Inc. Wilmington @ncino A revolutionary Bank Operating System providing significant ROI and competitive advantage.
Next G Wilmington
Royalty Exchange Raleigh @royaltyexchange The official investment marketplace for buying and selling royalties from music, books, TV, film, patents, trademarks oil/gas, and energy.
Stealz, Inc. Raleigh @getstealz Stealz is the mobile app that rewards you with awesome deals for sharing photos with your friends.
Tethis, Inc. Raleigh Tethis creates and sells novel high value polymers made from low value renewable biomass such as corn starch and hemicellulose. Our first platform Tethex™ is a series of products that are ground-breakingly effective in the removal of ions from water or as a Superabsorbent polymer (SAP).
The Produce Box Raleigh @TheProduceBox We deliver locally grown, sustainable, farm-fresh produce & local artisan goods to our members’ homes and offices throughout North Carolina.
Valencell Raleigh @Valencell_Inc Valencell develops performance biometric data sensors and licenses its patent-protected technology to consumer electronics manufacturers, mobile device and accessory makers, sports and fitness brands and gaming companies for integration into their products.
WedPics Raleigh @WedPicsApp WedPics is the #1 Photo & Video Sharing App for Weddings! No more disposable cameras!
Windsor Circle Durham @windsorcircle Get More from your Customers with Retention Automation Platform: Instantly Connect eCommerce to Email, Analyze Order Data, Automate Lifecycle Marketing.

Amazon’s Leadership Principles

Written by Vance Fitzgerald. Posted in Customer Experience, Entrepreneur

Amazon’s leadership principles are pretty solid and specific:
Whether you are an individual contributor or the manager of a large team, you are an Amazon leader. These are our leadership principles and every Amazonian is guided by these principles.
Customer Obsession Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers.
Ownership Leaders are owners. They think long term and don’t sacrifice long-term value for short-term results. They act on behalf of the entire company, beyond just their own team. They never say “that’s not my job.”
Invent and Simplify Leaders expect and require innovation and invention from their teams and always find ways to simplify. They are externally aware, look for new ideas from everywhere, and are not limited by “not invented here.” As we do new things, we accept that we may be misunderstood for long periods of time.
Are Right, A Lot Leaders are right a lot. They have strong business judgment and good instincts.
Hire and Develop the Best Leaders raise the performance bar with every hire and promotion. They recognize exceptional talent, and willingly move them throughout the organization. Leaders develop leaders and take seriously their role in coaching others.
Insist on the Highest Standards Leaders have relentlessly high standards – many people may think these standards are unreasonably high. Leaders are continually raising the bar and driving their teams to deliver high quality products, services and processes. Leaders ensure that defects do not get sent down the line and that problems are fixed so they stay fixed.
Think Big Thinking small is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Leaders create and communicate a bold direction that inspires results. They think differently and look around corners for ways to serve customers.
Bias for Action Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. We value calculated risk taking.
Frugality We try not to spend money on things that don’t matter to customers. Frugality breeds resourcefulness, self-sufficiency, and invention. There are no extra points for headcount, budget size, or fixed expense.
Vocally Self Critical Leaders do not believe their or their team’s body odor smells of perfume. Leaders come forward with problems or information, even when doing so is awkward or embarrassing. Leaders benchmark themselves and their teams against the best.
Earn Trust of Others Leaders are sincerely open-minded, genuinely listen, and are willing to examine their strongest convictions with humility.
Dive Deep Leaders operate at all levels, stay connected to the details, and audit frequently. No task is beneath them.
Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. Leaders have conviction and are tenacious. They do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion. Once a decision is determined, they commit wholly.
Deliver Results Leaders focus on the key inputs for their business and deliver them with the right quality and in a timely fashion. Despite setbacks, they rise to the occasion and never settle.

Triangle Startup Weekend – Education #TSWEDU

Written by Vance Fitzgerald. Posted in Entrepreneur, North Carolina, Raleigh, Tech

Triangle Startup Weekend TSWEDU

Triangle Startup Weekend – EDU style.  Finally a 2 day weekend with the first signs of spring weather. So after a full week of work inside away from the cold, what could be better than to put on a pair of shorts and log another 40 hours inside? To be fair – I was standing on the shoulders of giants and the view from up there was worth every second. And by standing, of course I mean that I was chilling inside of a super posh space, on a beanbag at @HUBRaleigh . As for these massive giants – were they scary? They were scary smart. These giants were my new found Triangle Startup Weekend @coursefork teammates, three of which I had never met until Friday night. One of them, Elliott Hauser @hauspoor came with a brilliant concept. He is an impressive, passionate educator at the University of North Carolina. You won’t get that sentence from me but once, ever. In fact, I just lost 20 years of Wolfpack street cred – so that tells you how impressive he is. After his pitch attracted two developers that seemed to gel immediately – it was like watching a jam session as they banged out and merged code.

Triangle Startup Weekend brings out familiar Triangle entrepreneurial giants every time, but this specific TSW was focused on education. The focus on that niche brought out additional giants from distant fee-fi-fo-fiefdoms for the event. Educators came from Raleigh, Durham, Chapel-Hill, and from counties throughout NC that I had never even heard of. Ok, I had heard of the counties, but that was a long time ago and I can blame my NC education for not making all 100 county names stick. (Too soon?)

Educators were not only there to provide subject matter input, they were there to pitch their startup *solutions* to problems they see firsthand. They brought passion from the daily front lines of helping students succeed. There were K-12 teachers, workshop builders, professors from UNC, NC State, Davidson, Duke, and even one from Western Michigan. There were students from as far as California, and there were NCState students, and many UNC students and graduates participating throughout the weekend too. (Let’s go Wolfpack family for TSW later this year!) These people were excited enough about the possibilities and potential for innovation in education that they were willing to drive many hours to an event to contribute. It was powerful to see roughly 1/3rd of a room filled with educators that were essentially risk-seeking investors. While they weren’t necessarily “VC” investors, there is no doubt that the investments they made were substantial. They seeded us all with inspiration and further recognition that we have some of the most amazing educators in the world here in NC – and especially here in the Triangle. I was left with little doubt that we have the ability to create innovative systems, processes, and tools to help these passionate educators and ultimately their students – thrive.

More on the weekend events coming soon…

Including more on our winning team of giants @coursefork – and a startup that is about to fork with your collective minds:
  • coursefork
  • Elliott Hauser | @hauspoor
  • Eric Martindale | @martindale
  • Matt Hoffman | @matt_thinks_so
  • Vance Fitzgerald | @vancefitzgerald
  • Derrick McIver |

  • TriangleStartupWeekend
  • @TriangleStartup
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