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, and Club Discovery, a co-working space for innovators, entrepreneurs and technologists in the heart of New Orleans' Bywater neighborhood.
TOMORROW, March 5, is the deadline to nominate an outstanding woman in tech for the 5th annual Ada Lovelace Awards!
Nominees must reside in and/or work for a company headquartered within the 6 qualifying states: Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. Nominees must fall into one of the six award categories: Software Engineer, Tech Founder, Digital Marketer, STEM Educator, Product Manager, or UI/UX Designer. Nominate someone today!
Over the past few years, hundreds of women in our region have been honored as nominees and winners. This year's awards ceremony will take place on Tuesday March 24 during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week; tickets are available now.
P.S. I'm headed to Austin, TX next week for SXSW. I'm speaking on Wednesday, March 18 and I'll be attending as many sessions and meeting as many folks as possible. If you'll be there, let me know!
~ Mallory Whitfield,
Editor of the Southern Startup Report for LookFar, a New Orleans-based software development studio.
Southern Startup News: February 19 - March 3, 2020
New Orleans, LA - The 12th annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week is right around the corner, March 23-27, and Biz New Orleans recently shined the cover story spotlight on three local founders: Collin Ferguson, Co-Founder and CEO of Where Y’Art, Patrick Comer, Founder and CEO of Lucid, and Vignesh Krishnan, Founder and CEO of SampleChain. New Orleans Entrepreneur Week will kick off with NOEW In Your Neighborhood March 22-25, featuring 30 events across 14 neighborhoods, before NOEW Summit at the Ace Hotel in downtown New Orleans March 26-27. Tulane University’s Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is teaming up with Venture for America to host a group of 2020 VFA Fellows during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week. New Orleans was one of the very first VFA cities and has been home to 99 Fellows to date, 49 of whom are still living in the city. New Orleans-based startup Gilded has been accepted into the 2020 cohort for an accounting-focused startup accelerator. The inaugural Tech-2-Talent Youth Expo on March 14 aims to educate and inform young people and their parents about careers in technology, while Girls Who Code has announced their Louisiana summer camp dates. Lucid and Geocent are hosting a Women in Tech NOLA Happy Hour this Friday evening.
Atlanta, GA - Atlanta-based data privacy management startup unicorn OneTrust has doubled its valuation - bringing it to $2.7 billion. They recently announced a $210 million Series B funding round, just months after closing a $200 million Series A round. Verizon and Emory Healthcare have teamed up to create the first 5G healthcare innovation lab in the U.S. in Atlanta. Atlanta-based digital health company Sharecare has acquired Tennessee-based Visualize Health, while Georgia Tech's CREATE-X incubator recently celebrated its first exit: Crescendo, an AI-powered interactive music trainer. Atlanta-based B2B data tech company Synthio has been acquired by Vertify, an Austin sales and marketing software company.
Austin, TX - A recent report from The Wall Street Journal has ranked Austin as the No. 1 job market in the U.S. for the second year in a row. Three of tech’s biggest players (Twitter, Facebook, and Intel) as well as popular author and podcaster Tim Ferriss have backed out of South By Southwest due to concerns about the spread of coronavirus. Meanwhile, Austin's tech community has come together to host a Town Hall and Hackathon this weekend to develop solutions to detect and prevent exposure to the virus. Austin-based startup Hypergiant is hosting two special events during SXSW: SpaceCom and AI Collective.
Birmingham, AL - A combined $150,000 went to CerFlux and Acclinate Genetics at the recent Alabama Launchpad 2020 Cycle 1 pitch event. Learn more about the winners and other finalists. Apple CEO Tim Cook is joining local Birmingham civic leaders to launch Education Farm (Ed Farm) - a ground-breaking education initiative that seeks to increase educational equity, improve learning outcomes through technology and prepare the future workforce.
Charleston, SC - Next week, South Carolina Blockchain Week will bring together local leaders, industry professionals, academics, developers & investors to celebrate the innovations and opportunities offered by blockchain technology. The inaugural SC Blockchain Week takes place March 8-14, and features several days of meetings with lawmakers to advocate for the South Carolina Blockchain Industry Empowerment Act. The week will culminate with the inaugural South Carolina Blockchain Conference on March 13-14. Hosted by Palmetto Chain, the conference will feature high-profile speakers from FedEx, IBM Watson, Overstock.com among many others.
Dallas, TX - On the heels of raising a $1 million seed round, Rosy Wellness also won $25,000 at the SoGal Foundation’s Global Pitch Competition for women-led startups. More than 100 women competed in the recent Health Wildcatters hackathon, with 2 teams taking home the prize: FlexRx, a solution to allow patients to control their choice of pharmacy for their prescription and transferability, and Cancer Cruiser, a clinic-in-a-bus concept that brings healthcare closer to the consumer. Plano-based integrated digital health platform VitalTech is acquiring Pittsburgh-based senior engagement platform Breezie, while Allen, TX-based Cytracom is being acquired by PE firm Sverica Capital Management. Dallas-based Mogul Millennial, a digital media platform providing resources for black millennial entrepreneurs and corporate leaders, is joining Snapchat’s Yellow accelerator cohort and is expected to receive a $150,000 investment and office space in Los Angeles as part of the program. Kendra Scott and Amber Venz Box will be the keynote speakers at the Women of Innovation Summit, during Dallas Startup Week in April.
Houston, TX - Innovation hub The Ion is teaming up with Austin-based DivInc to advance diversity among Houston entrepreneurs. Houston-based biotech 3D printing startup Lazarus 3D won the recent Startup World Cup Texas Regional Competition. Houston-based Quorum Software, a digital transformation company for the oil and gas industry, has acquired Denver-based EnergyIQ, while BMC, a Houston, TX -based provider of IT solutions for the digital enterprise, is acquiring Detroit-based Compuware. Houston is mid-way through celebrating the Houston Tech Rodeo, a series of events that ends on Saturday, March 7.
Miami, FL - At the recent WIN Lab finale, 20 female founders were celebrated in a finale attended by about 200 people. Travel-tech startup Travelspective was the grand prize winner, taking home $5,000, while Company Combo won the $2,500 second place prize and Woxer took home the $1,000 third place. Magic Leap will host two groups of developers at its headquarters in May, providing behind-the-scenes access and helping accelerate development of apps for its wearable device. Developers can apply here for an invitation to LEAP Developer Days.
Raleigh-Durham, NC - Raleigh-based Insightsoftware recently announced its 11th acquisition since the company got its start just 2 years ago. Raleigh-based agtech startup Growers Holdings has been acquired by an Israeli firm, while on-demand car care startup Get Spiffy announced they are opening a new office in the San Francisco Bay area. The City of Raleigh is seeking proposals for its Impact Partner Grant program, which provides funding for organizations that work with local entrepreneurs and small businesses. Fourteen startups from across North Carolina will be pitching their products and services today at the Capital Connects pitch competition in Greensboro. Wilmington-based online community for beer lovers, BeerAdvocate, has been acquired by Next Glass.
Tampa, FL - A Silicon Valley based company which got its start at University of South Florida has closed another multimillion-dollar investment round; Molekule recently raised a $58M Series C round. The Tampa Bay Lightning is teaming up with Canadian company Stantec to host a pitch competition next week seeking transportation solutions in Tampa. St. Petersburg-based startup consultant James Pews of The Startup Store has named the Tampa Bay Innovation Center as the sole beneficiary of a trust currently valued at about $3 million.
Atlanta, GA - Agora Services - $2M
Atlanta, GA - BoxLock - $4.5M
Atlanta, GA - Greenzie - $750K
Atlanta, GA - OneTrust - $210M Series B
Atlanta - Toucan AI - undisclosed
Austin, TX - Acadeum - $7M Series A
Austin, TX - Eventus Systems - $10.5M Series A
Austin, TX - Olea Edge Analytics - $9M Series B
Austin, TX - Self - $20M Series C
Boca Raton, FL - PredaSAR - $25M Seed
Charleston, SC - Veravas, Inc. - $4M Seed
Charlotte, NC - Source Technologies - $2.25M
Dallas, TX - Rosy - $1M Seed
Durham, NC - Renovion - $5M
Durham, NC - Sift Media - $1.5M
Miami, FL - BucksApp - $2M
Miami, FL - Powerful Foods - $5M
Nashville, TN - axialHealthcare - $15M Series C
Nashville, TN - Blueprint Title - $8.5M Series A
Orlando, FL - OneRail - $5.8M
Research Triangle Park, NC - ImagineOptix - $5M
St. Petersburg, FL - InformedDNA - $10M
Tampa, FL - Mize - undisclosed
West Palm Beach, FL - SMArtX Advisory Solutions - $4M
March 5 - Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida - 5th annual Ada Lovelace Awards Nomination Deadline
March 6 - Vicksburg, MS - Statewide Business Pitch Competition Application Deadline
March 6 - Jacksonville, FL - 2020 FIS Fintech Accelerator Application Deadline
March 9 - Austin, TX & Houston, TX - MassChallenge Texas Accelerator Application Deadline
March 13 - New Orleans, LA - 2020 Silicon Bayou Startup Showcase Application Deadline
March 15 - Tennessee - Sync Space Spring 2020 Accelerator Program Application Deadline
March 20 - Austin, TX - $100,000 Investment Challenge at Black in Tech Summit Application Deadline
March 20 - Boca Raton, FL - FAU Tech Runway Launch Competition Application Deadline
March 20 - Memphis, TN - Sparkgap Logistics Accelerator Application Deadline
March 20 - Memphis, TN - Sky High: Smart City Accelerator Application Deadline
March 23 - Houston, TX - 2020 Ion Smart Cities Accelerator Cohort 2 Application Deadline
March 27 - Conway, AR - Health Sciences Entrepreneurship Boot Camp Application Deadline
March 31 - Atlanta, GA - 2nd Annual “Siggie” Awards Nomination Deadline
March 31 - Baton Rouge, LA - Louisiana Economic Development CEO Roundtables Application Deadline
March 31 - Atlanta, GA - Backstage Tour 2020 Application Deadline
March 31 - Dallas, TX - Backstage Tour 2020 Application Deadline
March 31 - Miami, FL - Backstage Tour 2020 Application Deadline
March 31 - Tampa, FL - Tampa Bay Wave's TechDiversity Accelerator Application Deadline
March 31 - Winston-Salem, NC - New Ventures 2020 Accelerator Application Deadline
April 5 - Birmingham, AL - Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator Application Deadline
April 10 - Houston, TX - gBETA Accelerator Program Application Deadline
April 15 - Atlanta, GA - Comcast NBCUniversal SportsTech Accelerator Application Deadline
April 15 - Raleigh, NC - Impact Partner Grant Proposal Deadline
April 17 - United States - Launch With Goldman Sachs Black and Latinx Entrepreneur Cohort
open deadline - Atlanta, GA - Apply to the Silicon Road Retail Accelerator
now-March 7 - Houston, TX - Houston Tech Rodeo
March 4 - Austin, TX - Techstars Austin Demo Day
March 4 - Greensboro, NC - 2020 Capital Connects Pitch Competition
March 5 - Atlanta, GA - Tech Talent South: Tech Talks
March 5 - Austin, TX - DivInc 2020 Champions of Change Awards
March 5 - Charlotte, NC - Charlotte Inno State of Innovation Meetup
March 5 - Dallas, TX - Dallas Diversity Innovation Summit
March 5 - Dallas, TX - Startup Finances: Preparing for Fundraising
March 5 - Jackson, MS - Innovate Mississippi Presents: CONNECT
March 6 - New Orleans, LA - Women in Tech NOLA Happy Hour
March 6-8 - Austin, TX - Hack Coronavirus: Hackathon
March 9-10 - Tampa, FL - Stantec Idea Hackathon
March 10 - Oxford, MS - North Mississippi Technology Group Meetup
March 11 - Miami, FL - HERImpact Miami Pitch Competition
March 12 - Austin, TX - DivInc's Startup Sistas Spring 2020
March 12 - Austin, TX - Texas Female Founders Day
March 13-14 - Mount Pleasant, SC - South Carolina Blockchain Conference
March 13-22 - Austin, TX - SXSW Conference - (I'm speaking! Learn more.)
March 14 - New Orleans, LA - Tech-2-Talent Youth Expo & Career Fair
March 14 - Austin, TX - ReThink Austin
March 14 - Austin, TX - SpaceCom: Space Conference and Exposition
March 15-16 - Austin, TX - Hypergiant Presents: AI Collective
March 16 - Austin, TX - Hatch Pitch Summit 2020
March 17 - Baton Rouge, LA - Pitch BR Pitch Competition
March 17 - Baton Rouge, LA - Startup Grind Baton Rouge: The Art of Collaboration, with Chris Jordan
March 17-19 - Raleigh, NC - Venture Connect Summit 2020
March 18 - Atlanta, GA - Healthcare Entrepreneur Meetup: March Meetup
March 19 - Jackson, MS - SBIR Bootcamp
March 23-27 - New Orleans, LA - New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW)
March 23 - New Orleans, LA - 2020 Silicon Bayou Startup Showcase
March 23 - New Orleans, LA - New Orleans Health Innovators Challenge
March 23-27 - Starkville, MS - MSU Startup Summit
March 24 - New Orleans, LA - 5th Annual Ada Lovelace Awards: Celebrating Women in Tech
March 26 - Jackson, MS - Women of Design + Tech Ladyship Dinner
March 26-28 - Houston, TX - Rice Business Plan Competition
March 27-29 - Wilmington, NC - Techstars Startup Weekend Wilmington
March 30 - Biloxi, MS - MS Gulf Coast Tech Startup Meetup
April 1-3 - Birmingham, AL - The Frontier Industrial Innovation Conference
April 2 - Dallas, TX - North Texas Inno's State of Innovation Meetup
April 2 - Jackson, MS - Innovate Mississippi Presents: CONNECT
April 2-3 - Vicksburg, MS - Mississippi Entrepreneurship Forum
April 10 - Mobile, AL - Gulf Coast BIZCON
April 14 - Austin, TX - Capital Factory’s Black in Tech Summit
April 15-16 - Jackson, MS - 2nd Annual MagnoliaJS Developer Conference
April 16 - Atlanta, GA - 2nd Annual “Siggie” Awards
April 16 - St. Petersburg, FL - Ignite Tampa Bay 2020
April 19-21 - New Orleans, LA - Pitch Well Event
April 21 - Baton Rouge, LA - Shattering Limitations & Daring to Thrive, with Dima Ghawi
April 22-24 - Charleston, SC - DIG SOUTH Tech Summit
April 26 - May 1 - Dallas, TX - Dallas Startup Week
April 27-29 - New Orleans, LA - INNO Conference
April 28 - Houston, TX - Cyber Hatch Pitch 2020
April 28-29 - Houston, TX - 4th Annual Houston Cyber Summit
April 29 - Dallas, TX - Women of Innovation Summit
April 30 - Dallas, TX - Digital Fight Club: Dallas Startup Week 2020
May 7-8 - Atlanta, GA - Georgia Tech Organizational Effectiveness Conference
May 12 - Dallas, TX - Backstage Capital & Arlan Hamilton Backstage Tour 2020
May 14 - Atlanta, GA - Backstage Capital & Arlan Hamilton Backstage Tour 2020
May 19 - Charlotte, NC - Chloe Capital Invest In Women Tour
July 16-17 - Greenville, SC - Data Science SC Conference 2020