The following is an excerpt from the WRAL TechWire article "New investment fund targets Triangle startups with backing from 20+ founders" by Jason Parker — December 14, 2021
“We’re living in one of the most underrated regions for startups in the country”
What's a 'Tweener'?
Wingo began publishing a list of Triangle-based startups in 2015, showcasing the rapidly increasing number of startups that had reached important milestones.
Initially, there were 50 Triangle startups that met Wingo’s definition of a “Tweener,” which is a technology company (no agencies, no life science companies) in between an early-stage startup and an established company.
The 2021 list included 227 companies that had met the criteria—generating more than $1 million in annual sales, or employing at least 10 full-time non-founder employees, who have not yet reached $80 million in sales or 500 employees.
“We’re living in one of the most underrated regions for startups in the country,” said Alex Lassiter, co-founder of Gather, founder of Green Places to Work, and an investor in Kevel, among other investments.
Lassiter is among the limited partners who will participate in Wingo’s Triangle Tweener Fund, which according to Wingo, could be ready to make its first investment in a “Tweener” as early as January 2022.
“This model allows the region’s entrepreneurs and investors to subscribe to the growth of the area’s excellent startup companies,” said Lassiter. “Startup ecosystems flourish in open, startup-friendly markets where founders and investors work together to reinvest their time and money locally.”