Taking steps in the right direction
Bill Warner and his partners call their Cary-based nonprofit EntreDot Enterprises Inc. because it helps entrepreneurs connect the dots. “These are six logical steps of business maturity. People running businesses came to us because they didn’t do previous steps like market research or competitive differentiation, or they don’t have the right marketing and sales channel.” Warner — a former IBM Corp. executive and managing partner of Paladin and Associates Inc., a consultancy in Wake Forest — entered the nonprofit world in 2008, when he and several other businessmen used a grant from Winston-Salem-based Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation to mentor entrepreneurs in rural North Carolina. They took the model for that program and, using donations and their own money, debuted EntreDot’s first incubator in Cary last February. It has opened four more in the Triangle and wants to expand to Charlotte. Besides cheap rent, EntreDot offers workshops and guidance from a network of 300 regional mentors. More than 100 entrepreneurs, including restaurant owners, landscapers and accountants, have passed through its program, for which they pay a $250 monthly fee.
Problem A local-news website in Cary couldn’t turn a profit.
Enter EntreDot Founders Hal and Lindsey Goodtree started it in 2009, but neither had business experience. EntreDot taught them about cash flow, annuities, accounting and balance sheets. They are now making money, though they won’t disclose how much.
Shelten Media LLC
Problem A Cary online-marketing company needed more clients.
Enter EntreDot Started by N.C. State University student Shelli Dallacqua in 2011, EntreDot showed her how to target clients, secure long-term contracts, set prices and create a billing system and provided cheap office space. Revenue has grown 400% in the last year, and Shelten has expanded from four to 22 clients.
DURHAM — Ocera Therapeutics will merge with a subsidiary of Tranzyme Pharma in an all-stock deal and move its headquarters to San Diego, where Ocera is based. A group of investors plans to invest $20 million in the combined company after the deal closes, which is expected to happen in the third quarter. Linda Grais, CEO of privately held Ocera, will lead the company, which will be traded on the Nasdaq and focus on therapies for liver diseases.
DURHAM — Time magazine named Duke University oncologist Kimberly Blackwell one of its 100 most influential people. Blackwell, 44, was cited for her research into treatments for an aggressive type of breast cancer.
CARY — Yellow Pages publisher Dex One and Dallas-based Supermedia closed their merger. The deal was completed after a judge approved Chapter 11 bankruptcy plans for both. The combined company, Dex Media, will be based in Dallas.
CHAPEL HILL — Carol Folt will become chancellor of UNC Chapel Hill, effective July 1. The interim president of Dartmouth College and an environmental scientist, she will be the first woman to fill the role. She replaces Holden Thorp, who announced his resignation last year and will become provost of Washington University in St. Louis.
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK — AgBiome raised $14.5 million from venture-capital investors. The agriculture-biotechnology company improves plant productivity.
RALEIGH — New York-based Ipreo Holdings, which develops software for financial institutions, plans to open an office downtown, hiring 250 workers by the end of 2017.