Ansible, a Durham open software automation firm acquired by Red Hat in 2015, made a move this week to broaden its market share through more Bull City innovation.
The company announced the release of what it’s calling “Ansible 2.1,” the latest version of its open source IT automation framework. It’s the third major release since Ansible was acquired by open source giant Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) last October, and another release – this time for its Tower Software – is expected in the coming weeks, says Todd Barr, senior vice president of sales and marketing.
While Ansible’s pace hasn’t picked up when it comes to product launches – (“We’ve never slowed down”) Barr says Red Hat’s resources have been able to broaden each of those releases.
“We’re doing more in the same time cycles, really because we have more people,” he says. While, citing the obligatory pre-earnings quiet period, he says he can’t provide a specific headcount, he says Ansible has increased healthily since it disclosed in March that it had 85 dedicated employees.
And it’s that investment that, so far, has had the most impact on Ansible post-buy. “We now have the ability to hire quality engineers,” Barr says. “When you’re a startup, you’re trying to get to market as fast as possible.”
When you’re Red Hat, a company that just posted $1.72 billion in annual revenue last February, you have the resources to refine further and fully test out your product. And a lot of that is through the people you’re able to higher – both with the Red Hat Wallet and with the Red Hat prestige. “We get a bigger pool of candidates,” he says. “And we’re still adding people in Durham, which is cool.”
Ansible is on track to meet the job projections it had when the deal was first announced, he says.
Last October, company executives said the then-50 person local headcount would likely add up to 50 employees in the 2016 calendar year.
Part of Fullsteam Brewery owner Sean Lilly Wilson’s brewing ethos? “Not letting beer be the total be-all, end-all.”
Since opening in 2010, Fullsteam has built a strong reputation based on quirky beer names (Coffee Is for Closers), a family-friendly attitude (check out the wall of board games) and quintessentially North Carolina beers. “Beer has a role within community, with food, and a role in life in general,” he says. He’s more into incorporating it into life in general, which is why Durham is the perfect fit for his beer.That might sound strange coming from a self-declared beer lover, let alone one who owns one of Durham, North Carolina’s most beloved breweries. But it’s exactly that mind-set that’s catapulting Bull City into the limelight as America’s latest, greatest craft beer destination.
The exterior of Fullsteam’s brewery and tavern | Photo: Courtesy of Fullsteam Brewery
A variety of factors contributes to Durham’s growing beer scene—the first of which is ironically thanks to Prohibition. The Pop the Cap movement began in 2003 to lift the state’s mandated 6 percent alcohol content limit, a law that had been around since 1935. “It was a stupid law that needed to go,” Wilson says. The law was the Berlin Wall between Durham and the craft it would become known for, and once the law changed in 2005, it threw the doors open to more innovative and exciting brewing—leading us to where we are in 2016.
Bullish on Bull City
Durham originally gained traction from the tobacco industry, which means there’s simply the space to support new breweries, thanks to an abundance of large, empty warehouses. “Before Fullsteam started, there was nothing in this area,” Matt Pennisi, owner of newcomer Durty Bull Brewing Company, recalls. Now there’s a nonprofit urban garden, a giant coffee roastery and a handful of breweries nearby. “We start making people want to come to the area, and then restaurants pop up.”
And then there’s the midsize-city mentality: “Everyone wants to be local, and buy local, and eat local, drink local,” Pennisi says. “Farm-to-table restaurants,beer dinners that are with farm-to-table.” He likens Durham to Portland and Denver, in that they’re all “a little bit gritty” but full of farmers’ markets and local love. And it doesn’t hurt that the beers happen to be unique and overwhelmingly excellent: Think bold sour beers from Durty Bull, a variety made from local foraged persimmons at Fullsteam and distinctly German options from Bull Durham Beer Co.
Chris Davis, Durty Bull’s head brewer | Photo: Alex Maness
We have German-born Sebastian Wolfrum to thank for those German styles: He’s the treasurer of the NC Craft Brewers Guild and the executive brewmaster of Bull Durham. It was the first craft brewery to open in a minor league baseball stadium, and it’s all just quirky enough and created with respect to the stadium that it works. It uses a fast bottom draft filler, which minimizes foam waste, and fans can tour the brewing area during the game. Brewing happens around the clock during the season, but when the last strike is called in September, the brewers start their own game, using the off-season to play around and make new brews.
Brewing beer at Bull Durham Beer Co. | Photo: Ben Roaman
The Spirit of Co-opetition
Just as Bull Durham reflects its niche habitat, Durham’s breweries reflect the city’s growing landscape. In the case of Durty Bull, literally: The bar is made of reclaimed wood from demolished houses down the road, as Durham clears the way for more housing developments. The state is a hotbed of recent political spotlight, and more than 30 breweries banded together to create a “Golden Rule Saison” as a response to the controversy. The teamwork involved with the one-off beer isn’t uncharacteristic, which Wolfrum refers to as “co-opetition.” Despite the high amount in a concentrated region, and nearly 140 total in the state—compared to 28 at the turn of the century—they’re sticking to safety in numbers.
When Durty Bull had to store a giant cooler during the chaos of construction, nearby Ponysaurus gladly spared the space, and when it needed a forklift to unload material, Fullsteam stepped in. “We only stand to gain if we have a big-tent mentality,” Wilson says as he looks down at picnic table. He points out a faded Bull City Burger logo, showing that these were sent over after thedowntown brewery didn’t need the tables anymore.
“We did something for them,” he says. “I forget what it was. You don’t tally it up.”
$58.8 billion was invested in the US through venture capital in 2015, making it the biggest benefactor of this investment type in the world. That money was invested in everything from financial services to biomedical research. A substantial portion of the money was also invested in America’s world leading technology sector.
While Silicon Valley still dominates the technology landscape when it comes to American investment statistics, emerging cities all over the country are also getting in on the action and creating opportunities for millions of Americans. The Homes.com New Tech City Index ranks these emerging cities based on a number of metrics including industry wages, employment levels, and average house price (see below for full calculation).
So, where is the best American city to live for tech professionals?
Not surprisingly, the Raleigh-Durham area ranked well. But not as well as it did last year when it took the top spot in the nation.
In fact, the Triangle ranked No. 8 in the nation this year, behind four cities near the West Coast, and behind some perennial chart toppers such as Boston; Austin, Texas; and Washington, D.C.
But a closer look at the numbers and the methodology shows a market in Raleigh-Durham that is very stable with a gradual rise in number of job openings, median home value and the diversity of job classification.
According to Glassdoor, the Triangle has about 34,660 job openings with a median salary of $62,000. The three hottest jobs in the area right now are registered nurse, research associate and software engineer.
Last year, the Triangle got the top rating with 24,000-plus job openings and a median salary of $50,000 – both substantially lower than this year’s number.
The Triangle got a national nod this week for its penchant for digital innovation and thriving local startup ecosystem. Ranked fourth in a national evaluation of America’s best cities to lead the digital economy, Raleigh-Durham stood out for its concentration of dynamic startups leading the charge in health and tech innovation. It fell just behind Boston, San Francisco and Denver. San Diego ranked fifth. Led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, The FreeEnterprise.com and Washington D.C. startup hub 1776, the second annual Innovation That Matters 2016 report includes analysis of 25 US cities. Researchers indexed data sets across a series of city-specific attributes, including: talent, capital, industry specialization, density, institutional connectivity along with cultural statistics. They conducted a comprehensive survey of more than 330 startup leaders. Researchers also met with public and private industry leaders in each city to evaluate the various environmental conditions contributing to ecosystem leadership. A roster of local startup founders along with leaders from key academic, corporate and civic institutions participated in organized roundtable focus groups to help researchers identify both successes and opportunities for improvement. In Durham in late January, local participants included: Mason Ailstock, Research Triangle Park; Laura Baverman, ExitEvent; Anil Chawla, Archive Social; Kevin Davis andDennis Newman of Duke University’s Office of information and Technology; Chris Heivly, The Startup Factory; Derrick Minor, City of Raleigh; Brett Wolfe, Microsoft; andAdam Klein, American Underground. That roundtable led researchers to identify the following key levers attracting entrepreneurs to the area: strong openness to new ideas, a high quality of life and a favorable regulatory environment. “The Triangle ecosystem works because of the low friction between universities, startups and civic entities. There is a long history of collaboration between these different spheres, especially with the creation of RTP, that makes it easy to build and sustain conversations within the entrepreneurial ecosystem,” says Klein, chief strategist of American Underground (ExitEvent’s parent company). “I’d contend that and the density of startups activity in downtown nodes will be crucial to our future success.” Continue Reading by Clicking HERE
The Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham has opened its student-operated restaurant in Durham’s American Tobacco Campus.
The restaurant, The District at 410, is open for lunch from noon-2 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, except on May 12 when it will be closed for a private party.
The restaurant’s theme is small plates. Favorites on the menu include pan seared scallops served with creamy polenta and balsamic drizzle; slider burgers; crispy fried Brussels sprouts with prosciutto, banana pepper and Parmesan cheese; savory baby carrots glazed in butter and brown sugar.
Prices range from $2.50-$5.50 for small plates, $6.50-$12.50 for large plates, $2 -$2.50 for sides and $4 for desserts.
The District is located in the lobby of the Fowler Building at 410 Blackwell St. Reservations are recommended; drop-in patrons will be seated as space is available. For reservations, please call 919-317-3200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/living/food-drink/mouthful-blog/article76936067.html#storylink=cpy
No matter what you like or where you live, this summer almost certainly has a festival for you. Below are the 30 American summer festivals we’re most excited about.
Where: Durham, North Carolina
Why Go: One of the most eclectic festivals in the country, MoogFest blends both mainstream and cutting-edge acts with panel discussions that explore progressive ideas. Some of this year’s speakers include Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo, Chuck Lightning from Janelle Monáe’s Wondaland camp, while Gary Numan, Laurie Anderson and GZA perform nighttime sets. With the recent statewide passage of controversial North Carolina state laws that discriminate against LGBT persons, MoogFest’s eclecticism is particularly relevant. “The liberation of LGBTQ+ is wired into the original components of electronic music culture,” the organizers wrote in a statement posted on the festival site. “We will use the podium, the stage and the dancefloor to manifest a world of inclusivity and compassion.”
Must-See Acts: Odesza, Grimes, Miike Snow, Gary Numan, GZA, Laurie Anderson, Explosions in the Sky, Blood Orange, SunnO))), Oneohtrix Point Never, the Orb, Actress, Daniel Lanois, DΔWN, Floating Points Ensemble, Kode 9, Tim Hecker, Tory Lanez