The Southern Startup Report is a twice-monthly, curated newsletter covering the latest tech startup happenings in the American Southeast. It is produced by LookFar, a New Orleans-based software development studio.
More Southern companies and organizations are helping to shed light on our region's female entrepreneurs and what can be done to diversify and level the startup playing field. 

Embarc Collective recently launched a statewide directory for women leading and investing in technology startups that aims to narrow the gender investing gap in Florida. Durham, NC-startup InHerSight has raised $4.5 million to date for its platform which rates more than 100,000 U.S. companies on how "female-friendly" they are to work for. And earlier this year, Houston's first female-led venture capital firm, The Artemis Fund, launched with plans to invest its first $20 million fund in approximately 30 women-led companies.

It's a good time to #StartupYall!
~ Mallory Whitfield,
Director of Marketing at LookFar, a New Orleans-based software development studio.

P.S. If you find our report useful, please consider sharing it with a friend or colleague who may not already know about it.
Southern Startup News:
September 10 - September 26

New Orleans, LA - Austin, Texas-based Accruent has officially opened their New Orleans-based technology center that ultimately will house up to 350 new employees, while New York City-based legal software firm Litify announced plans to open a regional office in New Orleans by the end of 2020. Tulane University recently released the 2019 Greater New Orleans Startup Report, the first comprehensive overview of the GNO region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The full 60-page report can be downloaded here. Launch Pad Foundation, the non-profit arm of a national network of co-working spaces that began in New Orleans in 2009, has partnered with collaborative giving platform Grapevine to spread philanthropy into the Opportunity Zone Ecosystem.

Atlanta, GA - Tech incubator Atlanta Tech Village recently surpassed a major funding milestone: since opening in 2012, the incubator’s startups have raised more than $893 million in funding. Employee experience platforms onQ and Jubi announced a merger of their operations to help support enterprise clients more efficiently. Techstars Atlanta and Cox Enterprises recently announced the managing director for their new Social Impact Accelerator. Applications for the new accelerator are open until October 13.

Austin, TX - Just months after announcing plans to hire 800 people to staff a new ATX tech hub, Amazon has already decided to expand even further in Austin, leasing more office space and planning to add 600 additional jobs. Kendra Scott and the University of Texas at Austin are partnering on a new Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute which will open next spring. At the recent Women in Tech Summit at Capital Factory, a panel of founders and investors discussed how to get more funding for women-led startups.

Charlotte, NC - Charlotte-based inventory management software startup Ecomdash was recently acquired; the deal was VentureSouth’s second successful exit in 2019. Skookum, a Charlotte-based digital strategy and design firm, was also recently acquired. Local startup Vishion, which lets users search for home decor by color, recently won SoGal’s Washington DC pitch competition. BLKTECHCLT, an inclusive tech hub for entrepreneurs and technologists of color, has announced a new collaboration with New York-based educational organization Flatiron School. Charlotte-based fintech startup Freeman Capital was one of three North Carolina-based businesses that were selected to participate in a Google summit for startups with black founders. Durham-based Courtroom5 and Wilmington-based environmental startup KWHCoin were also chosen to participate.

Dallas, TX - Dallas-based global seed accelerator Tech Wildcatters has selected the 7 startups that will be joining their Fall 2019 Cohort, and announced that three of them will be establishing a home base in Dallas. At the recent inaugural Venture Dallas summit, investors from 15 states attended and had more than 150 meetings with entrepreneurs from the area. Business Lounge Dallas, the “only female black-owned coworking establishment in Texas”, is expanding its footprint in Dallas, while Hypergiant has launched their new Eos Bioreactor, an algae-based carbon capture solution that they say has the potential to be up to 400x more effective than trees in slowing global warming. 

Houston, TX - Arkansas-based VIC Technology Venture Development, which specializes in research-based startups, is expanding into Houston, while Wisconsin-based genera8tor will be launching its pre-accelerator program, gBETA, in Houston next spring thanks to a $1.25 million grant from Houston's Downtown Redevelopment Authority. Houston-based fintech company HighRadius Corp. has forged a partnership with Canadian conglomerate Thomson Reuters Corp. that will allow for rapid expansion of its SaaS platform. GotSpot founder Reda Hicks recently won $15K at the Great American Entrepreneur Challenge for her company's innovative approach to renting commercial spaces. Gotspot was also recently featured as one of 6 local innovators who are creating solutions for flooding

Nashville, TN - Just months after a $2.2 million funding round, music tech startup Jammber has acquired music rights management startup TuneRegistry in order to integrate royalty management into its workflow and business management platform for musicians. Missed out on attending last month's 36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival? Check out a list of favorite soundbites from the event, put together by the Nashville Entrepreneur Center.

Research Triangle Park, NC - Local firm Locus Biosciences, which is developing advanced antibacterial products, was recently named one of 2019’s Fierce 15 biotechnology companies by FierceBiotech. Earlier this year Locus landed a major deal with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, which is part of Johnson & Johnson, that could be worth up to $818 million. Another local biotech company which is a leader in harnessing the plant microbiome, AgBiome, Inc., has received Phase II grant funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to continue the discovery of microbes that target sweetpotato weevils, a pest which significantly threatens food crops in sub-Saharan Africa.

Tampa, FL - Tampa Bay co-working space The Ring is teaming up with Harvard University to cultivate a new innovation hub in Clearwater. A team of researchers at the Florida Aquarium is using technology to save the “Great Barrier Reef of America.” Working with researchers at the Horniman Museum and Gardens in London, the Florida research team wrote their own computer code to control the reproduction cycle, allowing them the ability to scale up and apply the research to other species of coral.

Recent Rounds
Atlanta, GA - Drum - $11M Seed

Atlanta, GA - Greenlight Financial Technology - $54M Series B

Atlanta, GA - Nview Health - $4.65M Seed

Austin, TX - Fetch - $10.5M Series A

Austin, TX - Realized - $6M Series A

Austin, TX - Smarter Sorting - $17M Series A

Austin, TX - Tethr - $15M

Austin, TX - Vertify Inc. - $750K Seed

Austin, TX - ZenBusiness - $15M Series A

Birmingham, AL - FuelFox - $2M

Birmingham, AL - Joonko Diversity - $2.4M Seed

Dallas, TX - Stealth Monitoring - undisclosed

Greenville, SC - Zylö Therapeutics - $4M Series A

Miami, FL - - $3M

Nashville, TN - Qualifacts - undisclosed 

Plano, TX - VitalTech - Series A, undisclosed

Raleigh, NC - MemberHub - $1.2M

Tampa, FL - ComplianceQuest - $36M Series A

Tampa, FL - Immertec - undisclosed
Upcoming Deadlines
September 29 - Baton Rouge, LA - BREW $100,000 High-Stakes Pitch Competition Application Deadline

September 30 - Little Rock, AR - ICBA ThinkTech Accelerator 2.0 Application Deadline

September 30 - Miami, FL - Aminta Ventures x TheVentureCity Pitch Competition 2019 Application Deadline

October 13 - Atlanta, GA - Techstars Cox Enterprises Social Impact Accelerator Application Deadline

October 19 - Plano, TX - VentureTech Fintech Registration Deadline

October 25 - New Orleans, LA - VILLAGEx Technology-Enabled Startup Accelerator Application Deadline

October 31 - Birmingham, AL - Velocity Accelerator Program Application Deadline

November 1 - Houston, TX - Project Flourish Social Impact Startup Competition Application Deadline

November 15 - Austin, TX - SXSW Pitch 2020 Application Deadline

November 19 - New Orleans, LA - INNO 2020 Call for Speakers
Upcoming Events
October 1 - New Orleans, LA - Next NOLA: Sales Tech Stack Breakfast Lightning Panel

October 1-4 - Orlando, FL - The Grace Hopper Celebration

October 2 - Charlotte, NC - Digital Summit Charlotte 2019: Digital Marketing Conference

October 2 - Greensboro, NC - InnovateNC Symposium

October 2-4 - Pensacola, FL - ITEN WIRED Summit

October 3  - Pearl, MS - 11th Annual Mississippi New Venture Challenge Pitch Competition

October 3-4 - Baton Rouge, LA - TEC Next Conference

October 4-6 - Boca Raton, FL - Palm Beach Tech Smart Cities Hackathon

October 5 - New Orleans, LA - DevFest New Orleans

October 5 - Tampa, FL - BarCamp Tampa Bay

October 8 - Atlanta, GA - Startup Runway Fall Showcase 2019

October 8 - New Orleans, LA - LeadingBiotech: South CEO

October 8-13 - Atlanta, GA - A3C Festival & Conference

October 9 - Charlotte, NC - Technology for Good: Can Smart City Tech & A.I. Transform Charlotte?

October 10 - Research Triangle, NC - Startup Summit 2019

October 13-15 - Raleigh, NC - All Things Open Conference

October 14-16 - Memphis, TN - Startup of the Year Summit

October 15 - Atlanta, GA - Techstars Atlanta Demo Day

October 15 - Austin, TX - Latinx in Tech Summit

October 16-17 - Atlanta, GA - Venture Atlanta Conference

October 17 - Atlanta, GA - Atlanta Startup Battle

October 17 - Houston, TX - 3rd Annual Ignite Healthcare Network Fire Pitch Competition

October 18 - Orlando, FL - Synapse Orlando

October 18-20 - Atlanta, GA - HackATL

October 22 - Miami, FL - Future of Logistics Tech Summit

October 23-24 - Miami, FL - Black Men Talk Tech Unicorn Ambition Conference

October 24 - Nashville - JumpCon: The Digital Sales Transformation Summit

October 24-25 - Tampa, FL - Florida Cyber Conference

October 31-November 2 - Tampa, FL - Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization 2019 Global Conference and Pitch Competition

November 2 - Boca Raton, FL - Data Science and Analytics Conference

November 4 - Charlotte, NC - Strategy Sprint Workshop

November 4-7 - Jacksonville, FL - PS27 Ventures Leadership Week 

November 6-7 - Miami, FL - Southeastern BIO Investor & Partnering Forum

November 7 - Miami, FL - Aminta Ventures x TheVentureCity Pitch Competition 2019

November 12-13 - Jackson, MS - Accelerate: Conference on Technology Innovation

November 12-15 - Baton Rouge, LA - Baton Rouge Entrepreneurship Week 

November 13-14 - Plano, TX -

November 13-15 - Lafayette, LA - Innovate South

November 14 - Lafayette, LA - Get Started Medical Pitch Competition

November 15 - Baton Rouge, LA - NexusLA High-Stakes Pitch Competition

November 18-19 - Raleigh, NC - North Carolina Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Summit

November 21-22 - Raleigh, NC - Rural Assembly

LookFar: strategic software development for startups.

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