Raleigh Startup’s Media Coverage Earns A Visit From A Zoning Inspector

Deja Mi, Raleigh startup, NC Startup,startup,startups, Justin Miller, zoning law When 31 year old Justin Miller was interviewed by Raleigh North Carolina’s local newspaper, the News & Observer on Monday he proudly talked about his startup Deja Mi. The city of Raleigh has been very proactive about entrepreneurship and startups over the past few years. Deja Mi, an app development startup, employs 13 people, which under normal circumstances would be welcomed by the city.

After Miller’s story appeared in the paper and on the paper’s website Monday it prompted a visit from a zoning inspector the very next day. As Miller explained to the News & Observer, the company has 30 days to move their office out of the basement of Miller’s home.

According to Miller the company has been working out of the basement for over a year in an effort to preserve some of the $800,000 they’ve received in angel investments to date.

The News & Observer calls the incident awkward for city officials because they’ve been pushing startups so hard as ways to create more jobs. Obviously Miller has achieved that goal.

Justin Miller and the Deja Mi staff (photo: News & Observer)

Miller and his 13 employees have developed to photo sharing apps for the iPhone. Their newest creation, WedPics, allows wedding guests and attendees the opportunity to upload and share wedding day photos collectively.  Their other app is similar in nature but focuses on event photos.

While Miller and his employees dress “startup casual” they haven’t had any incidents in the last year at the residence.

“We’re trying to build a business,” Miller said to the News & Observer. “We’ve brought in people from other cities and states to move to Raleigh to become paying citizens of the city to contribute to the economic growth …, and this is what happens.”

“Here we are trying to create an image of being business friendly, especially to technology companies – in my mind that is unacceptable,” said Raleigh City Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin.


Source: News & Observer

Deja Mi online

More startup news from “everywhere else”

And here’s the big show! 

North Carolina Startup: BuyStand Introduces Name Your Price Goods Buying

BuyStand, NC startup,startup,startups, name your price,priceline,scott caseName your price was a concept introduced and revolutionized by the negotiator, William Shatner, in his ever so popular commercials for Priceline.com. Typically when talking about Priceline.com these days in regards to startups, it’s mentioning Scott Case the founding CTO of Priceline.com, and now the CEO of Startup America. Well we’re talking about Priceline.com because of that infamous name your price concept and a new startup in the Raleigh area of North Carolina called BuyStand.

BuyStand is the latest startup from North Carolina serial entrepreneur Joe Davy. His most recent startup EvoApp failed, of course as any good founder and entrepreneur knows failure leads to success. Failing fast is just one of the methodologies entrepreneurs in 2012 live by.

BuyStand is completely different than Davy’s previous startup.

For concept demonstration purposes Davy used one vertical market, outdoors. Obviously the platform will work for any retail good but outdoors was a great place to start.

As you can probably imagine, reading this far, BuyStand takes the “name your price” concept and applies it to outdoor goods. Whether you’re looking for the latest running shoes or the best all terrain jacket or back pack, you’ll find it at BuyStand. But you won’t find a typical priced out click through e-commerce portal.

With BuyStand the user selects the item that they want, names the price they’re willing to pay and then BuyStand sets that payment aside. Once a buyer has named a price, the BuyStand system lets the buyer know they have a taker and from there the “bid” is either accepted or rejected. If the “bid” (price) is accepted than BuyStand pays the vendor and the buyers product is shipped to their home.

It’s a two click process, name your price and click.

Davy says the need for BuyStand arises from the fact that buyers waiting for items and buying them second hand, used or “off the truck” at sites like e-Bay and Craigslist account for $200 billion dollars in lost profit.

“BUYSTAND solves this problem by eliminating the price and creating an open, efficient, free market.” Davy told the CED Start Something blog.

BuyStand is open in an limited Beta at the moment and you can sign up for a beta invite by visiting the link below.


Sign up for BuyStand’s beta test here

Source: CED Start Something Blog

Here are more startups from “everywhere else”

Here’s where every good startup from “everywhere else” will be


North Carolina Startup Accelerator: RevTech Labs Graduates Wednesday

When we were in Charlotte North Carolina for the 2012 Democratic National Convention we got to work out of Packard Place, a gigantic incubator for high growth potential startups in beautiful Uptown (read downtown but that’s what the natives call it), Charlotte North Carolina. Packard Place is home to two accelerators, one focusing on social entrepreneurship while the other one, RevTech Labs, is Charlotte’s first traditional co-hort based tech startup accelerator.

RevTech Labs announced the program back in May. The first class of 7 startups were able to move in the entire month of June and the program kicked off officially on July 2nd. The startups took a one week break (at least from the space) during the DNC when hundreds of bloggers moved into a temporary news room set up in the space.

The accelerator took some cues from other already established accelerators in their inaugural session. For starters, they required that every startup have a developer as a founder or a developer as a co-founder and present at the accelerator. Many accelerators in the past have allowed startups without developers to move into their programs. In some cases the startups spent much of their time in the accelerator either outsourcing development or dealing with the headaches of managing outsourced developers.

RevTech Labs also housed mentor startups in the same space. MailVu and DealCloud were two of the startups selected to mentor those in the cohort. They were able to secure space in the accelerator in exchange for helping their fellow startups.

Wednesday the seven startups in the first class will show off what they’ve been working on throughout the summer. Not only that but Packard Place, and RevTech Labs have partnered with the NC region of the Startup America Partnership, Startup NC, to host a startup expo alongside demo day. Another 10-20 local NC startups will get to exhibit during the three hour event Wednesday afternoon from 2-5pm.

Investors, entrepreneurs and potential customers will hear pitches from these 7 startups:


Welcome to the local community marketplace for scrumptious food. Our viddles (food) are prepared and grown by your neighbors, the bakers, farmers and artisans living virtually next door. Charlotte is the first stop and the Viddlrs (local bakers) provide homemade, beautiful baked goods. Viddlz makes it simple and economical for quality food providers to start or grow a great food business.


Dataset/IO provides beautiful, simple and powerful data solutions for the Capital Markets. Our solutions offer the ability to manage enterprise data quickly and easily – scaling on demand – while placing the control firmly back in the hands of our data team.


Spatially is developing a better interface for product search in today’s touch-driven world. The technology uses [a technique known as] faceted search and displays search results in a highly interactive 2D interface.


Dog Dash represents a new genre in mobile gaming by introducing a 3D-audio only concept. Users will have to utilize their auditory skills to navigate them through oncoming traffic and away from the pursuing cops. Head phones are required for the true 3D-audio experience and the game is expected to launch on the iPhone this summer.

The Torch

The Torch helps you plan for the unplanned. The Torch is an online and mobile application that makes it easy to organize your “What if?” plan and share it with the people closest to you, so they will know what to do in an emergency.

Flavma Inc.

Flavma Inc. revolutionizes pharmacy software. We’ve built the first Medicare Part D Plan Finder for the iPad. Currently, we are working with Independent Pharmacies to improve their processes and quality of patient care using modern technology.


Autopilot allows you to book a vetted, professional driver on demand when you can’t, shouldn’t, or simply don’t want to drive your own vehicle. You can reserve a driver with the push of a button, track their arrival, and enjoy the benefits of automated, cashless payments all from your mobile device.

The demo day event will be held at Packard Place and if you would like an event you can email them here
Nibletz is the voice of startups “everywhere else” here are more startup accelerator stories from “everywhere else”

Charlotte Startup: Rawporter Raises $300,000 Seed Round With Two Inaugural Investments


We are very excited to report that are good friends, and longtime supporters of Nibletz and our previous ventures, have raised a $300,000 seed round.

Rawporter is a socially driven market place where citizen journalists can post their photos and videos of interesting news events. Rawporter has an e-commerce platform built in where users can sell their pics and videos to news sites, bloggers and even tv stations.

The idea was born when co-founders Kevin Davis and Rob Gaige were eating dinner in Uptown Charlotte. They saw a pretty intense auto accident outside of the restaurant. What they noticed was that all of the people passing by ( including themselves) had snapped some pictures and videos. However by the time the news crews arrived the accident had all but cleared.

Both Davis and Gaige thought that there had to be a way, outside of emailing the photos and videos unsolicited to a news director, to get eyewitness news to the media.

That’s the core to Rawporter now they’ve added social features and more.

Rawporter was able to attract funding from two new funds in their home state of North Carolina. This the first investment by the newly formed IMAF (Inception Micro Angel Fund) Cape Fear and the N.C. Fund of Funds.

Gofman Holdings also participated in the round.

“We formed IMAF Cape Fear to invest in emerging technology businesses. Rawporter is an exciting way for us to take advantage of the photo and video-sharing momentum. Additionally, our expertise in Mobile and eCommerce will better prepare Rawporter for success,” said Dallas Romanowski, Fund Director at IMAF Cape Fear.

As mentioned above, Rawporter is also the first investment by the N.C. Fund of Funds program, a component of the N.C. Small Business Credit Initiative, which was created through federal funding under the Small Business Jobs Act.

“We will be investing in early stage North Carolina companies, like Rawporter, with the potential for exceptional job growth. Our financial support will lead to exciting employment opportunities in the ever-growing North Carolina technology sector,” said Timothy Janke, Director of Private Equity Initiatives for North Carolina’s Small Business & Technology Development Center.

“Although we’re pleased with the progress to date, this funding provides the opportunity to expand faster and introduce functionality our community’s been clamoring for,” said Rawporter Co-founder Kevin Davis.


More coverage of our friends at Rawporter

Nibletz is the voice of startups everywhere else here’s more startup news from “everywhere else”

Rawporter is going to be here, are you?

We Caught Up With Charlotte Startup Rawporter At The DNC 2012

While we were at the DNC 2012 we got the opportunity to crash at the Rawporter crib in Uptown Charlotte. Rawporter co-founder Kevin Davis, recently relocated to New York to help grow the citizen journalism startup. Rob Gaige, the other Rawporter co-founder remains in Charlotte to continue their grassroots efforts in their hometown.

For those of you who aren’t aware, or for those of you who hear the name Rawporter on our videos, Rawporter is a social e-commerece platform for citizen journalism.

On Tuesday evening in the thick of an enormous rain storm, and just before the evening session at the DNC where First Lady Michelle Obama brought the house down, I actually got to join Gaige and Davis for a meal at the Dandelion Market in Uptown Charlotte (that’s their downtown), which is the restaurant where Rawporter was born. It was while eating at Dandelion that Gaige and Davis witnessed a horrific car accident. Like any event like this in 2011, people quickly emerged from every establishment on the block with their smartphones, and immediately started shooting pictures and videos.

Davis and Gaige both noticed that it wasn’t until after the emergency personnel had left and the wreckage was almost cleared that the news trucks began to arrive. When the Rawporter duo got back home and watched the news, sure enough there were no pictures or videos of the actual wreckage.

Sure national cable networks like CNN and Fox News, encourage their viewers to send in videos, but there had to be a way for citizen journalists, and the average people to get their videos to news outlets. In effect there needed to be a crowdsourced video news platform. So Rawporter was born.  Davis and Gaige also decided to add another spin and make an e-commerce platform for the buying and selling of these videos and photos.

On the e-commerce side it was quickly discovered that Rawporter was a great way for bloggers with a small staff, or even newspapers and other media outlets with bare bones staff and bare bones budgets, to utilize the platform for great content.

Now news editors and the like can sift through and buy uploaded files, but what’s even better is they can commission a Rawporter user to actually do the work they need. For instance, if there is a convention or conference that the news outlet can’t get to, they can post an “assignment” with what they are willing to pay and the Rawporter community can bid for the assignment.  Rawporter even facilitates the transaction.

Naturally with the Democratic National Convention in their back yard, it was an excellent venue to show off their product.

The Rawporter team also pitched at DEMO this past spring and Chicago TechWeek back in July.

Check out our video interview below:


Check out Rawporter here

Here’s more of our DNC 2012 coverage

Nibletz is on a sneaker-strapped nationwide startup roadtrip and needs your support

Politico Hosts Energy & The Presidency Panel At DNC2012

Politico hosted a great panel for lunch today. The panel was called “Energy & The Presidency” and talked about clean energy, solar energy and wind energy which are cornerstones to President Obama’s energy plan for the next four years. The panel included: Kevin Book, the Managing Director at Clearview; Carol Browner, former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency; Congressman Ed Markley; Former New Mexico Governor and Former Secretary of Energy, Bill Richardson; and the Former Governor of Colorado Bill Ritter Jr.

As you can see Politico provided a powerful line up of speakers who carrier Obama’s message of finding other forms of cleaner, sustainable energy going forward. Conversely, as Congressman Markley pointed out, Mitt Romney’s campaign has just received $6 million dollars from big oil and his energy plan includes oil above all else.

The Republicans have taken to the airwaves to confuse the people when it comes to energy, the costs and the savings. Kevin Book mentioned that “It’s hard for people to see the monetary effects of these energy changes through ads”.

While education is always a big part of bringing home any initiative and the statistics under the current president include a 50% drop in the price of solar energy. Also, before the end of the year 15,000 more megawatts of power will be added to the grid this year and that will come from solar and wind energy exclusively.

If you’re a frequent reader to nibletz or our former site you may be very familiar with Congressman Markley. While Markley sits on the energy committee, and has since 1976, he is very active in the world of privacy and data and also a strong advocate for startups. In fact the entire state of Massachusetts is as well.

Former Secretary Of Energy Richardson pointed out that global energy demand is going to increase 47% over the next five years, so regardless of previous election cycles, energy is very important this year.

Not only is energy an important issue because we need it, it will also fuel jobs for many years to come. From the corporate world, cleaner energy companies will need to hire workers to build infrastructure, wind mills, solar panels etc. On the startup front, even the government is watching the great ideas that are coming from the CleanTech and green space.


More coverage of the DNC

Uber Hits Mega Capacity In Charlotte At The DNC 2012 And Issues Uber Users Credits

As our long time readers know Uber is the only Valley based startup that we cover on nibletz.com  we do this because they are building out their business across the country and around the world, and each new Uber city is treated as it’s own business. We’ve got great ties to Uber in Washington DC, and New York as well as in San Francisco.

So picture this, we were at the huge StartupRockon, Startup  America party last night featuring The Roots and Uber started tweeting away from their special Uber DNC Twitter account. Uber isn’t officially in Tampa or Charlotte but they’ve put together “pop up” Uber shops for both the DNC and the RNC (last week in Tampa).

Anyway, back to the story. I was standing in line and I was actually next for a Taxi when low and behold a small group of people runs out in the street and jumps my cab. When I confront the gentleman in the group about taking my cab he politely tells me to use Uber and gives me one of their “black cards” that we’ve come to know and love here. Well, ok I’ll take that $20 Uber trip and use it in DC or New York. As for tonight though, I found it alarmingly odd that the Uber team was getting in a yellow taxi.

As I had found out earlier in the day Uber was extremely backed up. Around 2pm on Monday afternoon I was able to get an Uber ride with minimal effort and a mild 40 minute wait. Last night though at midnight we started getting messages that Uber was way over capacity and they were sorry.

An email from Max arrived in my box with an additional credit for trying to use Uber last night and failing miserably.

Of course the story here is the great job, no make that phenomenal job Uber has done looking after their customers (except for jacking my taxi last night). It’s that same die hard enthusiasm for their customer base that has them fighting cities around the country so that they can deliver an uber good Uber experience.

As for getting Uber at the convention, it may be tough, but this morning I waited two hours for a cab so do whatever you can and stay hydrated.


More DNC 2012 coverage from Nibletz here

Follow Uber’s pop up shop here @uber_dnc2012

Here’s Uber’s DNC 2012 page

LiveBlog: Startup America Panel At The DNC 2012: How Government Can Foster Startups

1:22pm: Igor Jablokov: startups are becoming the R&D cauldron for big established businesses now. Rather than keeping in house R&D and upsetting Wall Street big companies are vetting startups that they could acquire with the new technologies they want/need

1:20pm: Chopra: Obama challenged America to double their exports. EdTech startups are having more  success overseas. Other countries are hungry for education and EdTech. “We are more accustomed to selling Boeing overseas rather than having entrepreneurs sell EdTech overseas”

1:15pm: What role does government play in demand: Polis: Sound economic stewardship, restoring our fiscal integrity, getting rid of the special interest loopholes, new trade policies

1:09PM Scott Case: Tells Chopra he is only the second elected official he has ever spoken to as the CEO of Startup America Partnership, that has said “why don’t we build our own companies” rather than “what factories can we get to come here”


1:06PM: Martinsville is going to invest in entrepreneurship locally stemming from Startup America. Chopra visited Martinsville, a community with double digit unemployment and found that entrepreneurship and talent is all about making a job just as much as it is about getting a job.

12:59pm: Dan Roselli: The stimulus act isn’t the government rolling up a dumpster full of cash. He and his business partner used the Stimulus Act to help buy and revitalize the building that now houses the PPL. When it’s not home to bloggers and online media for DNC 2012, Packard Place is the incubator for incubators and 5 floors of startups, entrepreneurs and founders.

12:56pm: Cowell on the innovation fund in North Carolina. Policies like founders tax credits can help founders and spur entrepreneurship. NC is the the 20th state in the US that is offering an “innovation” type fund. Government isnt typically good with these kinds of funds, so they want to outsource and have a public/private partnership. NC uses Credit Suisse as a third party officiant of their fund and gives them an “arms length” distance from the fund itself.

12:54pm: Scott Case question “Where do you see the line” in regards to where government is part of startups. Chopra is talking about policy barriers that make it harder for startups to break into markets. Healthcare data ecosystem counts over 200 new products or services that utilize health data.

Read More…

Video Interview With Charlotte Startup: WeRX Winners Of The StartupRockon Contest At The DNC

Just prior to the StartupRockon kickoff part at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte North Carolina we got to meet Amir Khoshnevis the Chief Strategist for Charlotte startup WeRx.org. They were one of the three finalists for the $5,000 StartupRockon grant contest. The winner was announced just before The Roots took the stage.

WeRx.org is an innovative crowdsourcing platform that would definitely be considered in the social entrepreneurship space. Khoshnevis and his co-founders discovered that people are paying way too much for their medication. Of course we’ve known this for years but what the WeRx team found was something that will blow most people’s minds away.

Take Lipitor for example. In it’s generic form the WeRX team found some pharmacies sold the drug for $11 and on the high end, $180 and that’s right in the Charlotte metro area. The unfortunate reality is that most people who require medication may do a limited cost comparison, and if they do they check the few pharmacies close by. If they can’t afford the cost of the medication close by they often decide to not take it. This can ultimately lead to death.

As another example Khoshnevis and the WeRx team found that in West Charlotte diabetes medications cost two to three times as much as they do in the Ballentine suburb of Charlotte. Why? Because the demographics skew more diabetic in West Charlotte.

So what did they do about this problem? They created WeRx which is a platform that allows people to crowdsource prescription prices. WeRx encourages those taking medications to input what they paid for it. Then then end users can geo-discover the best prescription prices and make the trip to  another pharmacy to get the best price.

Ultimately the idea is to build such a large platform that big pharmacy companies bring their pricing system back inline with each other.

WeRx gives those that report prices a feel good “pill heart” so they know they’ve done their part to help people find the medications they need and hopefully drive the cost of prescriptions down.

This idea was so good that the startup that launched just last week, won the $5,000 StartupRockon grant contest. There win was announced Monday evening at the StartupRockon party featuring The Roots.

An ecstatic Khoshnevis tracked me down by the bar so proud that such a socially important startup won the contest. They plan on putting the $5,000 right back into the company that they’ve been bootstrapping since inception.  Check out a video interview below with Khoshnevis just prior to the start of the party:


Check out WeRx here at werx.org

Here’s more DNC 2012 coverage brought to you by rawporter.com, and kiwi.ly

Nibletz is the voice of startups “everywhere else” and we’re on a sneaker strapped road trip “everywhere else” more info here.

StartupRockingon With StartupRockon At The DNC


It’s been a festive night in Charlotte North Carolina. While many started partying like a democrat Friday evening, StartupRockon and StarutpAmerica along with MassChallenge have kicked off their presence at the StartupRockon party tonight featuring national recoding act The Roots.

The party has had some great people from startup ecosystems throughout the country, Luke Rafenstahl the Mayor of Pittsburgh is a huge startup advocate and he arrived early for the festivities.

Our awesome social media liaison for the StartupAmerica partnership Anna Eisenberg along with Kathleen Warner the COO of Startup America and the partnerships Communications Director, Chris Roche have been talking innovation all night.

The Publisher of Hypervocal, and founder of StartupRockon, Lee Brenner has done an exceptional job of organizing these events in a short amount of time. Brenner pointed out on stage this evening that this is just the startup of StartupRockon at the Democratic National Convention. More programming including panels with StartupAmerica CEO Scott Case and Huffington Post Publisher Arianna Huffington kick off tomorrow morning.

As for The Roots they’ve been tearing the roof off the mother sucka tonight kicking off the party with a tribute to The Beastie Boys MCA and the godfather of DC GoGo Chuck Brown. A Roots version of Paul Revere complete with vocals from MCA and a mad GoGo swing kicked off their set.

We’ll be here all week reporting all the startup goodness from the must attend political event of the last four years the Democratic National Convention.


More of our DNC 2012 Coverage Here

DNC2012: National Comedian Tone X Needs Help Getting Obama Tickets VIDEO

I remember the feeling like it was yesterday, standing in line at the Obama Inauguration freezing my butt off at 4am on K Street in DC. People everywhere were still looking for tickets to get up close and see Obama get sworn into office. Or perhaps you were looking for an Obama ticket 4 years ago at the DNC.

Well critically acclaimed national comedian ToneX turned to @startuptechguy and @nibletztweets to spread the word. He is a sharp dressed, articulate brother that wants to be in the house Thursday night to see Obama deliver his address to the delegates.

With a plea like this we’re sure if you know someone you’ll help him out. You can tweet to him at @tonexcomedy or just drop us a line at info@nibletz.com and we can get a message to Tone’s people.

ToneX brought the house down at the PPL headquarters at the Packard building downtown which is serving as our center of operations today for our DNC coverage. We’re headed to the big StartupRockon party next. It’s refreshing to be here. Here’s ToneX is message, and he approved it himself.


More nibletz DNC coverage here


Startup North Carolina Launches As Startup America Region

Startup North Carolina, the official region for the Startup America Partnership launched last night with not one but two packed parties. Raleigh startups, founders and entrepreneurs celebrated the launch at the RTP foundation headquarters. Brooks Bell, Founder and CEO  of Brooks Bell; Aaron Chatterji, Associate Professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and Derek Holt, Startup America’s Managing Director of National Partnerships were all on hand for the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill Event.

Meanwhile down in Charlotte, Donna Harris, Managing Director of Startup Regions with Startup America and Louis Freeman, CEO of Edition Nation, led the festivities at that event. Startup America will be back in Charlotte in less than two weeks when the Democratic National Convention takes place the week of September 3rd. Startup America is partnering with Startup Rockon for startup focused events a both party conventions.

“North Carolina has an incredible history of innovation that has led it from being an agrarian leader to a hub of scientific and technological leadership,” said Scott Case, CEO of the Startup America Partnership. “Startup NC will be a catalyst to garner even more recognition for North Carolina’s world class entrepreneurs and startups.”

Startup America reported on Monday that over 350 people had registered for both events. According to the latest data from Startup America, even before North Carolina got their own Startup America region there were 202 members from North Carolina in Startup America.

Startup North Carolina launched with community involvement tied in. They opened up this website prior to the launch parties to vote on suggested ideas for a roadmap for the partnership.

Mital Patel, the Triangle Startup Weekend founder spearheaded the efforts in the Triangle while Adam Hill of Packard Place was tasked with firing up the Charlotte region.

Startup North Carolina plans to be a very active region for the Startup America Partnership.

Joining Startup America is free and the partnership offers members access to tens of thousands of dollars in benefits and services from their business partners like; Dell, American Airlines, .co and many more.


Join Startup America here

Nibletz is the voice of startups “everywhere else” here are more startup stories from “everywhere else”

When Bad Names Happen To Great Startups: Corpora And More NSFW

We were in Chattanooga Tennessee this past week covering GigTank’s demo day.  GigTank is a three month accelerator that was centered around building startups that utilized Chattanooga’s 1gb city wide fiber optic network. Chattanooga’s 1gb fiber optic network launched a year before Kansas City’s, Google backed 1gb network.

The first team that presented was a startup from Asheville North Carolina called Corpora. Corpora is a platform that uses social media to aggregate and crowdsource things on a grand scale. For the purposes of the competition they showed off how the service could be used to track medical conditions like allergy clusters. Corpora could also be used to source clusters of other conditions like a food poisoning outbreak or  conditions with widespread results.

One of the judges quickly shot the idea down by suggesting that they wouldn’t tweet about “a rash”. Aside from that, and if you can look past the medical vertical, there is a lot of data that could come out of something like Corpora. Although they didn’t win the grand prize of $100,000 they definitely have an idea worth continuing on now that the accelerator program is over.

So why is Corpora in the headline?

Well Thursday morning while sitting at the press table on the second row at the demo day presentations, I discovered something quite disturbing about Corpora.  I had just finished video taping their pitch and began to compile this story about Corpora. After writing a short summary of their presentation, and uploading the video to YouTube, I began to hunt for a logo for the startup. Like most people the first thing I did was a Google images search.

I wholeheartedly apologize to anyone reading this who was seated behind me and had their eyes on my monitor instead of the actual presentations. You see Corpora yielded a search for Corpora Cavvernosa. The first page of Google images results yielded over 25 pictures of penises. Some of the penises were pierced, some cut open, some were just medical illustrations. You see Corpora Cavernosa is the tissue part that runs on top of the urethra and fills with blood and expands as a result of nitric oxide during arousal. Yes Corpora Cavernosa is the actual part of the penis that “gets hard” during an erection.

In a half joking manner and in a half “WTF why didn’t these entrepreneurs vet this out better” manner, I texted a few of my colleagues who were sitting a few rows back (sorry Eric and Patrick) and of course they too saw the disturbing pictures that undoubtedly you’ve gone and Googled now as well.

Some may say that this is a minor thing, on the contrary it’s something that’s minor but could have been dealt with early on. They don’t actually have any significant brand presence at the moment.

We’re not totally in the clear either, however we knew about our issue early on and decided not to worry about it. There is an Urban Dictionary definition of niblets (with an s) that means something that may be a bit on the NSFW side (I’m sure you’ve Googled it now as well).

Our situation is a bit different, that colleague of mine I mentioned above Patrick Woods is a director at archer>malmo’s a>m ventures group. They specialize in branding, brand identity, advertising, and PR. Woods would love for us to change our name. When he thinks nibletz he thinks snacks, and now of course the UD definition we told him about.

Our name came about because we actually came out with our original tag line before the name itself, which was: “Small crunchy bytes from the tech and startup scene”. As a compliment to our huge Android site (which was sold in April) we came up with Nibletz last year. Our original plan was to do a capsulated version of tech and startups similar to what you would find on TechCrunch. We pivoted in January to “the voice of startups everywhere else” and kept the name.

Unlike Corpora we have an established brand presence so for now the name is the same.

a>m ventures has submitted a suggestion for a SXSWi panel/talk in 2013 called “When Bad Names Happen To Great Startups”. If selected archer>malmo’s Chief Creative Officer Gary Backaus along with their Senior Copy Writer will host and moderate a discussion on the importance of naming and having a great name that you can build an even greater brand identity with.

They’ll highlight some of the companies that have changed their names under archer>malmo’s direction and done very well.

Name changes happen for many reasons, but it’s much easier and a lot less costly when little nuances like your name being part of the word for erection, come up early on in the startup process. Even major corporations sometimes go through name changes. Phillip Morris Companies, the manufacturers of Marlboro cigarettes and one time owner of Kraft foods recently went through a name change to Altria. Of course for Altria many will always refer to them as Phillip Morris.

The Haloid Company was the first name for Xerox.  Lucky Goldstar, the Korean company that became LG, changed their name for better global adaption. Under the Lucky Goldstar name they released a number of very low end electronics, this may have had to do with the shift when they started shipping flat screens, and smartphones worldwide. Now with the shortened name they’ve adapted the slogan Life’s Good.

Many don’t realize that when they fly AirTran they are traveling on the same carrier once known as ValueJet Airlines. ValueJet quickly made a name for themselves in the early to mid 90’s until 1996 when a crash in the Everglades caused them to change their name permanently. Now, most people have forgotten (or didn’t know) that Airtran is ValueJet and just associate AirTran (a unit of Southwest) as a value carrier.

Our own word?

One thing we like about nibletz is that we’ve made it our own by swapping the S for the Z. Do we think we’re the next Google? No of course not but made up words can be fun. The downside to made up words is when you invert a letter like we did or use some other creative spelling that’s hard to articulate in speaking. We are forced to use some SEO ninja skills to help direct people who may be looking for us with an “s” and not a “z”.

We’ve also had a problem with good ole Heather who holds the Twitter name “nibletz” she used the name nibletz as her gamer name for many years and has tried to hold the Twitter handle hostage hoping we’ll pay her thousands of dollars to use it. Sorry we’re doing just fine wtih @startuptechguy my personal Twitter and @nibletztweets.

We’re hoping that the team behind Corpora will do something with the name (or flood the net with pictures to push down all those pictures of penises). We’re also hoping that archer>malmo will win a spot at SXSW for their valuable talk.


More great Chattanooga GigTank coverage here

Nibletz is the voice of startups “everywhere else” here are more startup stories from “everywhere else”

This may be our last crowdfunding campaign but we need it the most!


Startup Weekend Asheville August 24th-26th

Startup Weekend is coming to Asheville North Carolina in less than two weeks. The festivities will kick off on Friday August 24th at 6:30pm at the A-B Tech Community College Enka Campus.

The Startup Weekend Asheville team describes the three day hackathon as “the 48-Hour Film Fest for techies, marketers & entrepreneurs”, making reference to an annual film fest in North Carolina’s mountainous cultural hub.

Asheville has a thriving startup scene, in fact a startup from Asheville called Corpora, just completed the GigTank startup accelerator in Chattanooga Tennessee (check out their pitch video here). In fact we met quite a few people from the Asheville area who had come to Chattanooga to check out their startup scene.

If you’re not familiar with Startup Weekend (and you should be if you read nibletz.com regularly) It’s a 54 hour hackathon style event where marketers, entrepreneurs, developers, and coders work together to develop ideas presented on Friday evening into companies come Sunday evening.

Friday starts off with registration, dinner and then Friday pitches. This is when everyone who has registered for the event and has an idea, can pitch that idea in sixty seconds or less. After the initial Friday pitches those who pitched are scattered throughout the room and the audience votes on the ideas to be developed by placing a sticker on a poster board with the idea on it. At the end of the voting period those ideas with the most stickers are developed.

After the Friday winners are selected, teams are formed. From there the teams spend the next 50 hours working on developing a product, testing their idea with consumers (consumer validation), and putting together a minimum viable product (MVP), mock up, working demo or actual product.

Saturday the teams reconvene early in the morning and continue to work on their startups. Throughout the day the event’s mentors (coaches) provide valuable advice to each and every team. The coaches for Startup Weekend Asheville are:

Rob Zazueta, Partner and Integration Manager at Vertical Respons; Denise Gaskin, Chief Operating Officer at Van Winkle Law Firm; and Traci Sigler COO at WallStCheatSheet.

On Sunday evening the teams will pitch before the judges and then go through a grueling Q&A session. After all the teams have finished their pitches and Q&A’s the judges disappear off to judge land and decide on the top teams of the weekend. Most Startup Weekend winners win valuable business related prizes and some Startup Weekend’s even have cash prizes.

Startup Weekend Asheville’s judges are: Jonathan Lawrie, PhD. Executive Director of the Western Office of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center; John Stainer, Managing Director at Carolina Financial Group; Joe Emison VP Research and Development at BuildFax.

It looks like Startup Weekend Asheville is going to be a great time in a beautiful city. If you’re in Asheville or surrounding areas it may be the perfect weekend event to get your entrepreneurial juices flowing.  To register and for more information, visit the link below.


Startup Weekend Asheville

Nibletz coverage of Startup Weekends

We’re on an international sneaker-strapped startup road trip through Sep. 2013 and need your help