Raleigh, North Carolina city skyline. Image credit: ESB Professional / shutterstock.com
Home to the Research Triangle, North Carolina is known for hosting some of the country’s best universities and barbecue, but it is also home to a burgeoning startup scene.
The state is the 9th-most populous in the US and is anchored by two cities, Charlotte (the largest city) and Raleigh (the capital).
North Carolina is an attractive place to found a startup due to its wealth of local talent from local powerhouse universities like Duke University, UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, and Wake Forest University. It also boasts a low cost of living compared to current major tech hubs like Silicon Valley or New York City.
The area’s startup scene has already produced some powerful companies and is a hub for ventures in the fintech, healthcare, and energy sectors. Additionally, it is home to 5 unicorns, AvidXchange, Epic Games, Pendo, Printful, Tresata.
Check out these five startups to watch in the Tar Heel State this year.
Headquartered in both New York City and Durham, North Carolina, Policygenius is a booming insure tech startup that earned a spot as one of the Best Startup Employers of 2021 according to Forbes. Earlier this year, the online insurance marketplace was reportedly in talks to go public via a SPAC deal. Currently, the company has over 550 employees and has boosted its headcount by over 200 since its $100 million Series D funding in January 2020.
Liine is an AI-powered patient acquisition platform for the medical community. The company, founded in 2016, offers medical practices the ability to record calls and automatically manage leads directly from its platform as well as data-driven insights into patient calls and potentially boost the form to appointment conversion rate by 900%. The company (founded by Bradley Blaser, Eric Blaser, and Andrew Johnson) raised $200,000 in debt financing from an investor in August and could raise an additional $800,000.
Well is a Chapel Hill-based health tech startup that made big news in the final days of 2020 by announcing a $40 million Series A funding round and the creation of 400 new jobs in the region. Founded by former Aetna executives in 2019, Well has created an AI-driven consumer health platform to help demystify the healthcare system and improve proactive engagement with healthcare providers when needed.
Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Stratifyd is a software startup building AI-powered experience analytics solutions. This year the company announced several new products that leverage its no-code “Smart AI” that allows users to uncover cost-saving, revenue-generating insights by analyzing both old and new data.
Founded in 2017, Alumshares is on a mission to help alumni invest in startups that are emerging from their alma maters. The company is a good example of a venture that is capitalizing on its local strengths as it is headquartered in the heart of the Research Triangle giving it easy access to three major universities and their alumni. The company itself identifies promising startups and creates a legal vehicle for users to then purchase shares that can then be tracked via the company’s platform.