Blocking Nasty Bots From the Inside

Tim Conneally, Forbes contributing author, covers Distil Networks’ new product announcement and what it means for customers. Distil Networks announced that its bot and web scraping security products are now available for enterprises using on-premise cloud deployments.

Read the full article from Forbes.

The Curse of the Rocket Ship

Blog post by John Cambier, Managing Partner

Many of us who make venture investments in tech companies located in the Southeast have, over the years, heard questions from our friends on the West Coast as to whether sufficient entrepreneurial and managerial talent is present here to staff a successful startup with the team it needs to scale.  This is a legitimate question.

I will concede that the breadth and depth of human capital present in Silicon Valley is second-to-none for building (most types of) venture-backed companies. However, as someone who has active portfolio companies on both coasts and has seen, first-hand, the challenges of building a great team in both geographies, I will suggest that the culture of the Valley creates an environment where the price of this talent perhaps outweighs the benefits of abundance.

The problem is quite simply this; in the Valley, everyone wants to be an astronaut.  What do I mean by that? I mean that the default position for 90% of the people I’ve met in the tech ecosystem out there – from the receptionists to the CEOs – is that they’re looking for a rocket ship to ride; ALL THE TIME.  The positive aspect of this is that you have a large number of driven, ambitious people clustered in a (relatively) tight geography.  The downside is that the second someone does not think your particular company is a rocket ship, they bolt for (what they believe is) the current or next one.

So, as a CEO of a company in the Valley, you’re not only constantly having to convince prospective employees that your company is THE current (or next) rocket ship, but you’re also having to convince your existing employees that the company still THE rocket ship.   All of this results in a much higher rate of employee turnover and lower productivity as new people are constantly having to be recruited and trained.  This all has a real cost.

In the Southeast, on the other hand, the default position for most of the people I’ve met in the tech ecosystem is that the company they’re currently with is their company of choice.   I would describe it as a stronger sense of team and tribe where, unless the company is clearly struggling or someone’s boss is an insufferable jerk, a person is generally not actively looking for a job if they’re currently employed.  This, I think, has a huge and underappreciated value.

So, not only does the lower cost of living in this part of the country make for a lower compensation expense as compared to the Valley, but the much lower rate of employee turnover also has very tangible benefits on the productivity of the senior managers and, ultimately, their ability to scale the company.  Hiring the right team is critical to building a scalable and successful venture.  I would prefer that my managers and their reports spend their time on filling new positions as opposed to backfilling existing ones.

Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association’s Shared Hospital Services Corp. Partners with Axial Exchange


Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA) and Axial Exchange have partnered to provide VHHA member institutions access to Axial Exchange’s interactive healthcare management application. The VHHA is an alliance of 27 member organization representing 110 hospitals throughout Virginia. Through the partnership, Axial Exchange’s patient engagement application will be available to all VHHA members for purchase, allowing the organizations to address healthcare-specific IT requirements around patient engagement.

Read the press release from Axial Exchange.

Automated Insights Named Overall Best Place to Work by Triangle Business Journal

Automated Insights, the world leader in producing real-time, high-quality personalized content from big data, has been names the top small business to work for by the Triangle Business Journal. “At Automated Insights, we are breaking new ground with a one-of-a-kind technology and producing truly personalized content at a scale no one has ever attempted,” said Automated Insights CEO Robbie Allen. “To accomplish it we don’t just need the best people, we need a culture that celebrates hard work, creativity, and having fun. We believe an effective team is only built through trust and teamwork and this second consecutive award shows that we are succeeding in building that culture.”

Read the press release from Automated Insights.

Why Your Startup Will Thank You for Going to IDEA Pitch

Ann Johnston, startup founder and writer for ExitEvent, attended our October 16th IDEA Pitch event in the American Underground in downtown Durham, NC. These events, held evert other month, bring together area entrepreneurs and allow them to pitch in front of the IDEA Fund Partners team, who provide company feedback  and pitch-specific advice. As to who should attend, Johnson says, “If you’re currently fundraising, IDEA Pitch is a no-brainer, as it offers easy access to investors who are there to hear about your company. If you’re not yet fundraising but are headed in that direction, these sessions are a great way to make sure your pitch and company are on the right track.”

Read the full article on ExitEvent.

Technology and Your Health: Hospitals Watch Those Reviews

WRAL TechWire Editor, Rick Smith, takes a look at the growing importance of ratings and reviews for healthcare providers. Just as ratings are critical for restaurants, ratings from patients can cause financial pain or gain for healthcare providers. Speaking to WRAL TechWire, Axial Exchange CEO & Co-founder, Joanne Rohde, said “CMS, which pay 50% of all healthcare expenses in this country are actually modifying payment algorithms to reflect patient satisfaction, or HCAHP (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) scores. So hospitals are equally invested as the consumers. That’s when everyone wins.”

Read the article from WRAL TechWire.

Raleigh Tech Startup Axial Exchange Rates Rex as Best Hospital in NC


Axial Exchange recently released its Patient Engagement Index (PEI) for North Carolina, the Company’s fifth published PEI. Axial Exchange evaluated patient engagement initiatives at 94 regional provider organizations, analyzing data in three categories: personal health management, patient satisfaction, and social media engagement. Raleigh-based Rex Hospital topped the list with a score of 75, out of 100, beating second place Novant Medical Park Hospital by six points.

Read the full article from WRAL TechWire.