Seeking A Fortune Through Search Funds

May 5, 2014

Alex Livingston graduated from Harvard Business School last year. He was offered a pretty sweet job at a startup, but he turned that down in favor of something a lot more ambitious.

He's 27 years old, and he wants to be a CEO, not in 15 years but now. He and his business school classmate, Eddie Santillan, knew they wanted to run a company together. They just didn't know which company. So they went to investors and asked them to be their partners — to give them some money so they could find a company to buy. If the company did well, the investors would, too.

Weeks after issuing recalls for safety problems in some of its most popular cars, GM says it needs to fix defective fuel gauges that can give SUV drivers little or no warning their vehicle might run out of fuel. GM's latest recall potentially affects 51,640 SUVs that were built in 2013.

A picture of a woman using a tablet next to the SAS Analytics U logo.

A Cary-based software company is offering a free service to university students and professors.

SAS Analytics U will allow them to use statistical tools to manage data, identify trends, and make decisions in their research and class work. Analytics U also allows them to share their work in online communities.

In the Meantime Temporality and Cultural Politics / Duke University Press


The idea that the world is getting faster is fairly common claim but what does that really mean?  How does our perception of time affect our bodies and our communities? Sarah Sharma, professor of media and cultural studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, examines how labor changes the way people experience time. 

Greensboro City Council
City of Greensboro

In a unanimous vote, the Greensboro City Council agreed Tuesday that its definition of a sexually-oriented business was too broad.

The problem stems from some businesses not realizing they were sexually-oriented. Spencer's, (the black light infused, sort-of-ironic t-shirt and chain wallet store often found in malls) was cited by the city as violating it's definition of "sexually-oriented." Of course, Spencer's pushed back, arguing that the items in its store that are explicitly for adults can also be found in a drug store.

NC Department of Commerce

Big changes are coming to the state commerce department.

A new public/private non-profit will be taking over some of the duties of recruiting new business to the state next year. But critics of the N.C. Partnership for Prosperity say similar efforts in other states have failed. Host Frank Stasio talks to 

   about the controversy.

Wood Pellets
Credit: Wikimedia

  The European Union recently set an aggressive goal for 20 percent of its energy to come from renewable sources by 2020. They turned to the American South as the primary supplier of wood pellets, a renewable alternative to coal. But some environmentalists claim pellets are not a viable carbon-neutral resource and the pellet industry is fostering environmentally hazardous logging practices.

Downtown Raleigh Skyline / flickr

North Carolina's technology and finance industry is attracting a Wall Street firm to the Triangle. 

The company Ipreo says it plans to hire 250 employees at an office in Raleigh by 2017.  Ipreo got nearly $4 million in incentives from the state in exchange for meeting hiring and investment goals in North Carolina. 

Ipreo president and COO Kevin Marcus says the growing firm wants to recruit analysts from nearby universities.

"We want to be able to attract talent and have a steady stream available to us," Marcus says.

Cover of 'Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks' by August Turak.
Columbia Business School Publishing

Augie Turak is a successful businessman with two software companies under his belt. For the past 17 years, he’s studied the business strategies of a group of Trappist Monks living in South Carolina.

BBC Radio 4, via Flickr

Margaret Thatcher is as divisive in death as she was in life.  Even as many around the world mourn her loss this week, others celebrate it.  London police are bracing for protests and possible violence at her funeral.

Julia Scatliff O'Grady attended several time management seminars before she started to teach them.  Neither the experience of being a student or a teacher satisfied her interest in how we use time. So she studied several people with unique relationships to time and wrote the new book, "Good Busy: Productivity, Procrastination and the Endless Pursuit of Balance"

North Carolina is the fourth best state in the country for business, according to a new survey from CNBC.

Asma Khalid: According to the CNBC study, North Carolina performed particularly well in the transportation and workforce categories.  Lew Ebert is the president of the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce.

With Congress back in session U.S. Senator Kay Hagan is touting a bill she says will help small businesses. Jeff Tiberii reports.

Jeff Tiberii: The Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act of 2012 is expected to come up for a vote this week. Hagan says the legislation has bipartisan support and will accomplish two things.

Kay Hagan: The first is an income tax credit on new payroll. And this is either through hiring new people or increasing current wages and there will be a 10-percent income tax credit to the small businesses.

Businessman Kevin Trapani will tell you that his company, Redwoods Group, does well by doing good.  Redwoods Group recently won an award that validates his claim. B-Lab, an organization that certifies socially responsible companies known as B-corps, named it one of the “Best Companies for the World.”

Walmart Express
Leoneda Inge

There are five new Walmart stores in North Carolina that might make you do a double-take.  They’re mini Walmarts popping up in rural communities, miles away from the nearest Walmart Supercenter.  They’re called Walmart Express and some say they are designed to compete with your corner “dollar” stores that are shining in this down economy.

Leoneda Inge:  We all pretty much know what a Walmart “Supercenter” looks like, aisles for days.  Well, Walmart Express stores run 10 to 15-thousand square feet.   That’s one- tenth the size of a supercenter.

Strip Clubs Pony Up For The DNC

Jun 28, 2012

It's not just city officials and business leaders rolling out the red carpet for the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. So is the adult entertainment industry. The same thing is happening in Tampa, the site of the Republican National Convention. As WFAE's Tanner Latham reports, strip club owners, managers, and dancers are all hoping to cash in on the excitement.

Durham-based Quintiles has had a strong presence in China for 15 years. Now it is building a headquarters there to serve nearby Asian countries.

Leoneda Inge:  Quintiles is building a 14-million dollar regional headquarters in Shanghai. The bio-pharmaceutical services company that manages clinical trials already has a presence in Beijing and Hong Kong.  Phil Bridges is a spokesman for Quintiles.  He says it was time to significantly expand lab testing capabilities in China.

Clothing manufacturer Ralph Lauren has announced it will expand in North Carolina.

Jeff Tiberii: The company plans to add 500 jobs by the end of 2017 while also investing about $100 million. Ralph Lauren is the city’s fourth largest employer and will have nearly 2,000 local workers after these additions. Governor Bev Perdue says the growth is a positive sign for the economy.

The new quarterly survey by Duke University and CFO Magazine shows most CFOs are ready to hire.

Leoneda Inge:  The new global business outlook survey shows most chief financial officers plan to expand their firm’s workforce by an average of two-point-five percent.  Campbell Harvey is a Finance Professor at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. He says that’s huge.

A new survey released by UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School shows significant managerial and gender gaps on the perception of how women business leaders are developed.

The debate over a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and civil unions includes its potential economic impact.

Twenty-five years ago – pivotal reports were released focusing on major issues confronting the South.  They found that despite improvements in the high school and college graduation rates and technological advances, the South still lingered behind other regions.  A report released yesterday by U-N-C’s Global Research Institute sets out to follow-up on the Southern agenda and makes recommendations to improve national AND global competitiveness. 

Community leaders in Durham, Orange, Chatham and Person counties are meeting tomorrow to get an idea of what the future holds in business, education and other sectors.

The regions in North Carolina weathering the economic storm the best these days are the Charlotte region and the counties surrounding Raleigh.  Mark Vitner is the chief economist for Wells Fargo.  He says just like the nation, the North Carolina economy is stuck in a slow-growth mode.