Business

Citrix to wind down its Raleigh accelerator program

Citrix Systems’ accelerator program for startups, a bedrock of the two-year-old Raleigh Innovators Program that provides three months of mentoring and other support for entrepreneurial teams, has become a casualty of the business software company’s restructuring.

A spokeswoman for the California-based company, Julie Geer, confirmed Monday that the company is planning “a wind-down” of the Citrix Startup Accelerator.

However, Geer noted in an email, the Raleigh Innovators Program now in progress “is continuing and participants will receive variable grants as planned.” She also held out hope that the Innovators program will continue next year.

In addition to Citrix, the Innovators Program also is sponsored by Red Hat, Cherokee, HQ Raleigh and the City of Raleigh. Citrix has been housing the program.

“In the coming months,” Geer wrote, “we will be taking a look at plans for an Innovators Program in 2016 and beyond along with our co-sponsors.”

This year a dozen teams were chosen for the Innovators Program, including three teams of Citrix employees and one team from Red Hat.

Applications for the program weren’t limited to local entrepreneurs. Submissions came from across the county as well as overseas.

HQ Raleigh officials couldn’t be reached for comment on Citrix’s move. Red Hat had no immediate comment.

The Citrix Startup Accelerator also offers programs in California and India.

“I’m saddened to hear the future of the program is in question,” said Ryan O’Donnell, CEO of Raleigh startup EmployUs, which graduated from the Innovators Program last year. “Waiting to hear more – like a lot of people here locally.”

O’Donnell said the Innovators Program was “one of the first groups that bet on us, and it has worked out great for our company.” EmployUs, which recently raised $500,000 from investors, is planning to officially launch its software-based corporate recruitment platform early next year.

Citrix announced last week that it was planning to eliminate about 1,000 jobs — its second round of layoffs this year — and spin off its GoTo business into a separate company as part of an effort to boost its operating margins and “focus on a core portfolio of products.”

However, fewer than five employees at its Raleigh office, which employs about 600 people, were laid off as a result of the restructuring. Likewise, only a handful of Raleigh employees were affected when the company decided to cut 700 full-time employees and 200 contracts earlier this year.

Citrix established a presence in the Triangle in 2011 when it acquired Raleigh-based ShareFile. Last year, Citrix moved into a new headquarters in downtown’s warehouse district.

David Ranii: 919-829-4877, @dranii

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