TechWire rewind: African American tech leaders speak out; GRAIL’s Durham expansion; 8 startups raise cash + 70 other headlines

As Monday morning rolls in, we’re providing TechWire readers with a quick recap of the past week’s news headlines.

Last week, we continued our ‘new normal’ series about how local communities are adapting to COVID-19: Read about suburban Wake County and RTP. We also launched a new series of stories on how local African American tech leaders are demanding change in the wake of George Floyd’s death: The series interviews Donald Thompson, William Spruill, Margaret Brunson, Angela Connor and Tim Humphrey.

In other news: California biotech firm GRAIL will invest $103 million to build a lab in Durham, adding 400 jobs; nearly 1 million people have applied for unemployment benefits in NC; Amazon is bringing a retail store to Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh; two Triangle startups, CourtRoom5 and MuukLabs, landed coveted spots in the Techstars Kansas City Accelerator.

Several NC startups raised cash last week, including Durham-based VADE ($428,000), Raleigh-based Global Data Consortium ($3.5 million), Durham-based Renovion ($3.1 million), Raleigh-based Equity Shift ($750,000), Raleigh-based Agile Sciences ($1 million), Charlotte-based Atom Power ($17.8 million, including backing from ABB Technology Ventures), Cary-based Kronoverse (undisclosed amount) and Cary-based Atmospheric Plasma Solutions ($3.5 million).

As part of TechWire’s new “Startup Monday” segment, we recently launched column that summarizes local startup news coverage over the past week. Read last week’s edition here.

And, in national news: Facebook employees voiced opposition to Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to leave up posts by President Donald Trump; a national survey found that 70 million Americans plan to look for more pandemic-proof jobs; here’s how major tech execs responded to George Floyd’s death; the Congressional Budget Office said it could take 10 years for the U.S. to recover from COVID-19 economic fallout; the S&P hit a record 50-day rally; 42.6 million people have filed for unemployment across the U.S.; the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 13.3% in May, sending stocks soaring.

Keeping with our Monday tradition, here’s a look back at 79 local, state and national headlines as reported by WRAL TechWire last week:

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MONDAY | June 1 Headlines:

TUESDAY | June 2 Headlines:

  • Biotech firm GRAIL to invest $103M for Durham facility, adding hundreds of jobs
  • Durham legal software firm GrowPath rolls out more patented tech
  • Eli Lilly starts first human trial for Covid-19 antibody therapy
  • Epic resets new Fortnite season for June 11, prevails in lawsuit
  • IBM, Red Hat, Cisco, Apple, other tech execs blast racism in wake of George Floyd’s death
  • Raleigh biotech firm Agile Sciences raises $1M in equity
  • Raleigh software service Equity Shift raises $750,000 in debt from 7 investors
  • Survey: 70 million Americans will look for more pandemic-proof jobs
  • Survey: NC employers adapt to COVID-19 – from pay cuts to flexible schedules, more
  • Tech Today: BioCryst raises $115M, grants stock to 5 hires; G1 secures $100M; Charles & Covard new CEO; Akoustis names sales exec
  • UNC study: Face masks may help since coronavirus often infects nasal cavities first
  • US economy may take a decade to recover from pandemic, feds say
  • Zuckerberg’s stance on Trump ignites virtual walkouts by some Facebook employees

WEDNESDAY | June 3 Headlines:

THURSDAY | June 4 Headlines:

FRIDAY | June 5 Headlines:

  • African American tech leaders in Triangle demand change – writer Angela Connor calls for ‘courageous acts’
  • Amazon bringing retail ‘4 star’ store to Raleigh’s Crabtree Valley Mall
  • Cary billionaires Goodnight, Sall see wealth soar 40% during pandemic, Forbes says
  • Cary startup Atmospheric Plasma Solutions raises $3.5M, is hiring
  • Epic Games delays Fortnite’s new season, live event ‘The Device’ for third time
  • Google: State-backed hackers target Trump, Biden campaigns
  • NCSU researchers: ‘Artificial chemist’ with AI will speed up R&D, manufacturing
  • NetApp moves to bolster cloud services with $450M deal for Israeli firm
  • New legislation means multiple changes for small businesses, PPP loans
  • Report: World’s billionaires getting much richer despite pandemic
  • Startup Atom Power lands ABB Technology Ventures as investor in new $17.8M round
  • Surprising positive jobs report sends stocks soaring on Wall Street
  • Tim Humphrey, IBM’s top NC exec, joins African American tech leaders’ call for action to deal with racial issues
  • Two NC startups – CourtRoom5, MuukLabs – land spots in Techstars Accelerator
  • Whistleblower receives largest-ever award (nearly $50M) in currency scheme

Weekend Reading:


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