Boom Supersonic, a Colorado aviation startup trying to resurrect supersonic passenger jets, broke ground on its manufacturing facility in Greensboro Thursday — a significant step in the company's ambitious plans in North Carolina.
Why it matters: If Boom is successful in recreating the supersonic jet, it could lead to an explosion of manufacturing jobs in Greensboro, where it would assemble and test the jets.
The Factory, one of the few Black-run coworking spaces in the Triangle, will close its doors this month, Johnny Hackett Jr., CEO of Black Dollar Corp., the company that owns and operates the business, tells Axios.
Why it matters: Black Dollar Corp. is one of the more prominent organizations trying to tackle a racial disparity in entrepreneurship in Raleigh.
- Just 4% of companies with multiple employees in Raleigh are Black-owned, according to an analysis from last year. Raleigh's population is 28.6% Black, according to the Census Bureau.
- Black Dollar Corp. has tried to address that by providing space and tools for Black entrepreneurs mainly in the retail industry. Several companies that launched with Black Dollar have since moved into their own spaces, as noted in a 2022 New York Times story that featured the company.
Driving the news: The Factory (811 W. Hargett St.) has since exhausted the funds it received from the grant that used to open the space, Hackett said, and a lack of additional grant funding placed it in a precarious position. The Factory's landlord, David Meeker, has given it rent breaks in recent months.
- Black Dollar Corp. also runs the Black Friday Market retail incubator space downtown, which is used by dozens of Black retail entrepreneurs.
- That space is not in danger of closing, Hackett said.
What they're saying: Hackett said he believes places like The Factory are key to helping attract and support entrepreneurs of color.
- "When you've got entrepreneurs — especially those in retail — thinking about what city to move to, I want Raleigh to show up," Hackett said, "because we've got infrastructure like The Factory to help them create and outlets like Black Friday Market that helps them sell."
What's next: Hackett said he still believes The Factory's mission has a future and is committed to reviving it in the future.
- This isn't the end of the idea, he said, just the end of this version of it.
A new cafe and outdoor recreation company is setting up a retail shop near Brightleaf Square in downtown Durham.
Driving the news: Yonderlust will open at 109 N. Gregson St. as early as next month, owner Kit Linton tells Axios. The company is also releasing an outdoor recreation mobile app to help users find trips near here.
Driving the news: He's started a new family foundation called 2ndF, which will seek to boost the Triangle's startup ecosystem through angel investing, grants and mentorship.
- 2ndF — an abbreviation for Second Foundation as well as a reference to the science fiction novel by Isaac Asimov — will focus on boosting minority involvement in the local tech scene.
Why it matters: With the sale of Global Data Consortium, a provider of digital identity verification, Spruill became one of the most successful Black founders in the Triangle's history.
- Spruill said he wants use his influence to ensure more people of color are leading tech companies and local startups in the region.
Investor funding for women-led startups in the Triangle has slowed this year after hitting record highs in 2021, according to a new report from PitchBook.
What's happening: Triangle startups with a female founder or co-founder raised $178 million from investors in the first three quarters of this year.
- Last year, they raised $409 million overall.
Allstacks, a software startup split between Raleigh and Austin, has raised $12.3 million to fund an expansion of its productivity tools that have benefited from a rise in remote work, the company tells Axios.
Why it matters: Productivity tracking tools, like the one offered by Allstacks, have become attractive as companies manage the progress of teams spread all over the world.
A Raleigh real estate company and its Chicago partner have bought yet another piece of land on Glenwood Avenue's southern end with an eye toward adding more retail and restaurants in the area.
Driving the news: Raleigh-based LODEN Properties and Chicago's Northpond Partners dropped $4.4 million on the Carter Building at 14 Glenwood Ave., a property across the street from the AC Hotel.
Raleigh, Charlotte and Greensboro are among the 20 best American cities for foreign investment, according to a new ranking by the Financial Times and Nikkei
Why it matters: Being attractive to foreign companies can change entire regions, especially in the Southeast.
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