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.
It's that time of year again! Nominations are now open for the 5th annual Ada Lovelace Awards

Over the past few years, hundreds of women in our region have been honored as nominees. This year's awards ceremony will take place on March 24 in New Orleans; tickets are available now.

Do you know an outstanding woman working in the tech industry? 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. Submit your nominations now; the deadline is March 5. 
~ Mallory Whitfield,
Editor of the Southern Startup Report for LookFar, a New Orleans-based software development studio.
Southern Startup News: February 5 - 18, 2020

New Orleans, LA - Local travel tech company iSeatz announced that they processed more than $4 billion in bookings, the highest amount in the company’s 20 year history. Chloe Capital recently made a stop in New Orleans on their #InvestInWomen tour. In partnership with ECMC Foundation, they deployed $275,000 to women-led startups during the event held at The Shop At the CAC. The Valentine's Day holiday had local dating startup Dig – The Dog Person’s Dating App back in the news. Dig CEO Leigh D'Angelo was featured as an industry leader in the international Global Dating Insights Power Book 2020Microsoft’s Xbox Game Studios announced it will host a hands-on game development camp in New Orleans later this year; applications open on March 9. Registration is now open for the 12th annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, to be held March 23-27, while INNO has started announcing their lineup of speakers for their April 27-29 conference. StartUp St. Bernard is now accepting applications (until February 24) for their 6th annual $100,000 entrepreneur challenge. A new report from online lending marketplace LendingTree shows that New Orleans has the youngest entrepreneurs in AmericaLoyola University will be offering an undergraduate degree in cybersecurity beginning this fall. "Louisiana appears to be lacking in access to capital, investor networks and accelerators that help startups understand how to successfully scale their business," a report from the Louisiana Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council recently said.

Atlanta, GA - Atlanta’s Black tech ecosystem was recently featured on the front page of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (h/t to Rodney Sampson for bringing this to my attention.) Atlanta-based startup Incluzion is currently seeking folks willing to invest at least $100 in their platform, a diversity-focused "Upwork" connecting companies with Black, Latinx and Women freelance talent. The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) has announced its annual list of the Top 10 Innovative Companies in the state of Georgia. Serial entrepreneur and Atlanta Tech Village founder David Cummings is the latest inductee into the Technology Hall of Fame of Georgia. CREATE-X, an entrepreneurial program at Georgia Tech, was recently awarded support through Amazon’s Alexa Fund to invest in student startups. The Siggie Awards, an event honoring the early-stage investors helping to grow Atlanta’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, announced that it is accepting nominations now through March 31.

Austin, TX - One of Austin’s most active venture capital firms, LiveOak Venture Partners, has added 4 Austin startup executives to its new advisory program. Austin-based Upland Software has acquired Localytics, one of the startups in Techstars Boston’s inaugural cohort, for $67.7 million in cash. ATX-based mobile apps and ads platform company Digital Turbine recently acquired Mobile Posse, an Arlington, Va.-based mobile ad platform, for $66 million. Concordia University Texas is now home to the first collegiate eSports team in Austin. Renu Robotics, a San Antonio, Texas-based robotics company focused on the solar energy industry, is currently raising funding (with minimum investments starting at $100) on Austin-based MicroVentures. Startup hub Capital Factory, in partnership with DivInc, recently announced the next $100,000 Investment Challenge at the upcoming 2nd Annual Black in Tech Summit; the application deadline is March 20. Capital Factory also recently released their 2019 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion report. A partnership between Austin Community College, WatchHerWork, and GotSpot, Texas Female Founders Day on March 12 will be a full day of content, experiences, networking and insights curated specifically for women building high-growth companies all over Texas. The event is free for attendees, but space is limited. Founders can apply to attend at

Dallas, TX - After recently raising $500K in pre-seed funding, Dallas startup FlyLine is launching their new mobile app which promises to save members up to 60 percent off of retail flights. Two Plano-based tech companies are breaking records: CarOffer, a used car bidding platform, reached $60 million in monthly sales within the company's first six months. Plano-based Tyler Technologies announced it passed $1 billion in annual revenue last year, for the first time in its history. A team of MBA students from Texas Christian University recently won the regionals in the invitation-only 2020 Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC); they will compete in the global finals next month. 

Raleigh-Durham, NC - Co-working community HQ Raleigh recently created a list on their blog of diversity, equity & inclusion focused entrepreneurial resources in Raleigh. Seven early stage startups will be joining the fourth cohort of the RIoT Accelerator Program this spring. Charlotte-based financial technology investment firm, Carolinas Fintech Ventures, recently raised $1.1 million; they are looking to raise $15 million total. A local edtech startup, SkoolAide, recently changed its name to “Ascend” as it focuses on expanding its goal-setting software for high school students. Charlotte-based Spanish-language newspaper La Noticia has been chosen to participate in Facebook’s accelerator for news organizations.

Tampa, FL - Tampa recently hosted the Synapse Summit, which featured a keynote from Clearwater Beach native and Spanx founder Sara BlakelyBlue Halo Biomedical, an Orlando medical device company, won the $10,000 equity investment 1st prize at Pitch Madness at the Synapse Summit. Highlights of the event also included University of South Florida President Steve Currall speaking on the importance of ‘organized innovation’ and Florida's agricultural commissioner talking up the potential of hemp as an economic driver. Clearwater-based healthcare entrepreneur Kunal Jain has launched The Indus Equity Partners, a $10M angel fund focused on global companies in growth mode. Tampa Bay Wave and Embarc Collective are launching a new program for Florida women entrepreneurs that is backed by a $500K grant from JPMorgan Chase; sign up here to get email updates about the new program.

Club Discovery: co-working space in New Orleans Bywater
Recent Rounds
Austin, TX - Praetorian - $10M Series A

Austin, TX - PurPics - $920K

Austin, TX - Swivel - $8M Series A

Austin, TX - The Zebra - $38.5M Series C

Austin, TX - Your Fare - $2.4M

Clearwater, FL - Digital Media Solutions - $757M

Dallas, TX - Cysiv - $26M Series A

Dallas, TX - DocSynk - undisclosed

Dallas, TX - FlyLine - $500K Pre-Seed

Dallas, TX - Securonix - $11.9M

Dallas, TX - Tricolor - $30M

Dallas, TX - Worlds - $10M Series A

Durham, NC - NeuroTronik - $120K

Durham, NC - restor3D - $4.3M

Fort Lauderdale, FL - MyBundle.TV - $1M

Miami, FL - Carevive Systems - Series C

Orlando, FL - flexEngage - $1.045M

Plano, TX - iDonate - $8.7M

Raleigh, NC - GroundTruth Ag - $600K

St. Petersburg, FL - Spirion - $20M
Upcoming Deadlines
February 21 - Atlanta, GA - Atlanta Inno Tech Madness Nomination Deadline

February 21 - Austin, TX - Austin Inno Tech Madness Nomination Deadline

February 21 - Charlotte, NC - Charlotte Inno Tech Madness Nomination Deadline

February 21 - Charleston, SC - DIG SOUTH Tech Summit Wild Pitch Application Deadline

February 21 - Dallas, TX - North Texas Inno Tech Madness Nomination Deadline

February 21 - Miami, FL - HERIMpact Miami Pitch Competition Application Deadline

February 21 - Tampa, FL - Tampa Inno Tech Madness Nomination Deadline

February 23 - Atlanta, GA - WBENC Student Entrepreneur Program Application Deadline

February 23 - Little Rock, AR - Delta Innovation Fund Application Deadline

February 24 - St. Bernard Parish, LA - Startup St. Bernard $100K Competition Application Deadline

February 25 - Austin, TX - Texas Female Founders Day Application Deadline

February 28 - Greensboro, NC - NorthState Tech Lab Application Deadline

February 28 - Wilmington, NC - NC BIONEER Venture Challenge Application Deadline

February 29 - New Orleans, LA - Pitch Well Event Application Deadline

March 1 - Austin, TX - Ford Female Founders Lab Application Deadline

March 2 - Durham, NC - NC IDEA MICRO $10K Grant Application Deadline

March 2 - Durham, NC - NC IDEA SEED $50K Grant Application Deadline

March 2 - MIT Solve Digital Workforce Challenge Deadline

March 5 - Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida - 5th annual Ada Lovelace Awards Nomination Deadline

March 6 - Jacksonville, FL - 2020 FIS Fintech Accelerator Application Deadline

March 9 - Austin, TX & Houston, TX - MassChallenge Texas Accelerator 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 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 - 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

open deadline - Atlanta, GA - Apply to the Silicon Road Retail Accelerator
Upcoming Events
February 19 - Atlanta, GA - Atlanta Startup Convos: February Meetup

February 19 - Houston, TX - Houston Angel Summit

February 19 - Tampa, FL - State of Innovation: Startups to Watch 2020

February 19-21 - Atlanta, GA - DevNexus 2020

February 20 - Baton Rouge, LA - Tech Park Academy: How to Create a Winning Pitch Deck

February 20 - Dallas, TX - Startup World Cup Texas Regional Competition

February 20 - Houston, TX - Rising Stars in Houston Health Tech

February 20 - Johnson City, TN - 2nd Annual Entrepreneur Summit of the Appalachian Highlands

February 20 - Tampa, FL - SVP Tampa Bay Fast Pitch

February 20 - Tampa, FL - Talents, Rebels & Disruptive Innovation: An Evening with the Fintech Revolution

February 21 - Durham, NC - Women Investing in Women Changes Everything: A Conversation with Valor Ventures

February 21 - Tallahassee, FL - Remote Life + Innovation Hub Tour

February 25 - Nashville, TN - 2020 Tennessee Entrepreneurship & Innovation Legislative Reception

February 26 - Austin, TX - Blockchain and Digital Transformation in Health 2020 Symposium

February 27 - Montgomery, AL - Alabama Launchpad Startup Competition (Cycle 1 2020)

February 27 - Nashville, TN - Project Healthcare Startup Showcase

March 1 - Knoxville, TN - What’s the Big Idea 48 Hour Launch Finale

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 - Dallas, TX - Dallas Diversity Innovation Summit

March 5 - Dallas, TX - Startup Finances: Preparing for Fundraising

March 5 - Jackson, MS - Innovate Mississippi Presents: CONNECT

March 11 - Miami, FL - HERImpact Miami Pitch Competition

March 12 - Austin, TX - Texas Female Founders Day

March 13-22 - Austin, TX - SXSW Conference - (I'm speaking! Learn more.)

March 14 - Austin, TX - ReThink Austin

March 16 - Austin, TX - Hatch Pitch Summit 2020

March 17-19 - Raleigh, NC - Venture Connect Summit 2020

March 18 - Atlanta, GA - Healthcare Entrepreneur Meetup: March Meetup

March 23-27 - New Orleans, LA - New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW)

March 26-28 - Houston, TX - Rice Business Plan Competition

April 1-3 - Birmingham, AL - The Frontier Industrial Innovation Conference

April 2 - Jackson, MS - Innovate Mississippi Presents: CONNECT

April 10 - Mobile, AL - Gulf Coast BIZCON

April 14 - Austin, TX - Capital Factory’s Black in Tech Summit

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 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

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

LookFar: strategic software development for startups.

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