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.
First off, a big thanks to Madison Hogan and Atlanta Inno for mentioning the Southern Startup Report in their list of Newsletters You Should Know About

As everyone settles into the "new normal", entrepreneurs and investors are both getting used to remote pitching. Octopus Ventures put together some tips for getting the most out of a virtual pitch.

A new global Startup Genome survey has shown that most startups don’t have enough cash on hand to weather this global pandemic. The study shows that three quarters of startups have already experienced revenue declines and have resorted to layoffs. Meanwhile, American billionaires have gotten $280 billion richer since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

How are you hanging in there? Hit "reply" and let us know what things are like in your neck of the woods.
~ Mallory Whitfield,
Editor of the Southern Startup Report for LookFar, a New Orleans-based software development studio.
P.S. I'd love to invite you to watch my new Skillshare class: "Impostor No More: A Creative’s Guide to Developing Self-Compassion, Gratitude & Authenticity" for free, now through April 30, 2020. Click here to watch now.
Southern Startup News: April 9 - April 22, 2020

New Orleans, LA - The New Orleans Startup Fund has released their 2020 Impact Report, noting that their portfolio companies generated $31.7M in revenue in 2019 alone. Last year the Startup Fund added Block Lawncare, Gilded Finance, SampleChain, and TrayAway to their portfolio. INNO 2020 takes place next week, April 28-29, as a fully virtual event and it's free to register; check out the full innovation conference agenda hereCap The Gap, on April 30, is another new free virtual conference aimed at bringing startups and investors together. Local investors offered tips for startups last week during The Idea Village’s Virtual Community Content Series. Local startup Debtle has expanded the free pilot of their cloud-based debt negotiation and settlement software to include small businesses and even individuals such as landlords who may need to negotiate past due amounts. A recent report shows that nearly 60% of all small businesses in Louisiana are in danger of closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic; this article shows how some local businesses are coping. With a myriad of funding options for small businesses and entrepreneurs grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be hard to sort through them all. GNO Inc has created a handy Coronavirus Loan Comparison chart to make it easier. Tulane University’s Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation has also put together a list of resources for COVID-affected entrepreneurs. Scale Workspace in downtown New Orleans had already been supporting 3D printing projects at Ochsner Health for nearly 5 years, and over the last month they've not only been manufacturing critical PPE equipment, but they are also publicly providing their design files for face shields and eye shields for free on GitHub and their online store

Atlanta, GA - As mentioned in our last SSR, Atlanta-based early stage venture capital firm Overline recently announced the initial closing of their first fund, and now they are encouraging seed-stage businesses from across the Southeast to pitch to them. Atlanta-based incubator, accelerator and VC firm Shadow Ventures has opened their closed platform for free to anyone and everyone. Cybersecurity video training platform Curricula is now offering a free coronavirus phishing test to help prevent more people from becoming victims of hackers. GROUNDFLOOR is launching a new stimulus program to ensure real estate entrepreneurs have the financing they need to keep their projects and businesses going. Health Connect South has launched a web portal to facilitate COVID-19 donations directly to healthcare providers across 6 Southeastern states. The Atlanta Story podcast, produced by Atlanta Ventures, recently released a new interview with Garrett Langley, CEO of Flock Safety, a neighborhood watch startup which recently raised $15.8M.

Austin, TX - Austin startup ICON, which creates 3D printed homes, is featured in a new show on Apple TV+. LAMIK, a vegan makeup line for people of color, is utilizing a virtual try-on feature to pivot its sales online. Liveoak Technologies, which offers a secure virtual business platform, is thriving amidst the pandemic and looking to potentially double its workforce this year. At a recent virtual panel discussion organized by Austin VC firm Silverton Partners, VCs offered advice for startups. MassChallenge and Stadia Ventures are collaborating to offer more resources for sports tech founders.

Birmingham, AL - Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has been awarding grants that will help that state's entrepreneurs. A $580K grant was awarded to the EDPA to support the Alabama Launchpad, and the Auburn Training Connection was awarded an $80K grant to assist in the development of a program that assists startup entrepreneurs. Birmingham native and serial entrepreneur Drew Honeycutt will serve as Innovation Depot's new CEO beginning May 1. Innovate Birmingham students will showcase their work on Virtual Demo Day tomorrow, April 24.

Dallas, TX - Dallas-based Lantern Pharma, which leverages AI and machine learning to develop cancer drugs, has filed for IPO, while, a Plano-based integrated, intelligent value stream platform, has emerged from stealth mode. RevTech Ventures, a Dallas-based VC firm focused on retail technology, has announced the recipients of their $5,000 grants for entrepreneurial solutions to help those affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Local founders James Griffin of health care software startup Invene and John Olson of Microtech Laboratories have both launched initiatives to 3D print much-needed PPE for local health care providers.

Houston, TX - Innovative health tech startups across Houston are stepping up to help, with Luminare offering a free online self-assessment test for COVID-19, Imaware creating an at-home coronavirus test for high-risk people, and Truss serving up a communication tool to help physicians interact with the family members of coronavirus patients more efficiently. This week Rice University launched new online programming for entrepreneurs dealing with COVID-19 closures, and Houston blockchain startup Data Gumbo Corp. is expanding its C-suite.

Miami, FL - The HI-HerImpact finale pitch competition for women entrepreneurs was originally slated for a live event in March, but it took place virtually last week instead. Lifetime Omics took home the $25K Growth stage first prize while the $20K second place for Growth stage went to Equality Lab, and EcoRenew Solutions also took home the $5K third place for early stage startup. Wyncode and CareerSource South Florida are partnering to offer $15K tuition grants for full-stack web development training to Miami-Dade residents who have lost their jobs because of COVID-19. Edtech company Nearpod is offering free access to thousands of schools, while Miami-based Brave Health is offering mental healthcare via telemedicine for patients throughout Florida. Fort Lauderdale-based Las Olas Venture Capital is warning that they likely won’t make any investments in the second quarter; says Founding Partner Mark Volchek: "We're advising companies to wait until 2021 to raise their next round if they can."

Nashville, TN - A new tool created by LaunchTN could prove valuable long after the pandemic. In the first week of its launch, 573 businesses registered on the Tennessee Innovation Crowdsource Platform, with 174 submitting proposals. A recent survey by the Nashville Tech Council shows that more than 30% of local IT firms are hiring and 90% have not cut their workforce. Job training tool Songboarding took home the $10K first prize at the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center's What's The Big Idea? pitch competition.

Raleigh-Durham, NC - Despite the pandemic, companies across North Carolina are still looking to fill tech jobs, and Epic Games (makers of the popular Fortnite game) is looking to raise as much as $1 billion in new capital. Asheville software startup Ecobot is also expanding with three new hires, while First Flight Venture Center has named a new presidentNC IDEA has awarded eight grants, totaling nearly $300K, to organizations throughout the state that empower North Carolinians to achieve their entrepreneurial potential. Startup hub American Underground is launching a new program to help laid-off workers pivot to entrepreneurship, while Charlotte-based startup aims to be ‘go-to’ job site for millions of workers displaced by COVID-19. Venture Connect is kicking off a 3-week online event series on May 4 that gives you access to pitches from over 90 of the region’s early-stage growth tech and life science companies. On the coast in Wilmington, Next Glass has named a new CEO and received a significant strategic investment from a Boston-based equity firm.

Tampa, FL - Clearwater-based insurtech firm Ensurem is ramping up hiring despite the pandemic, while Minneapolis-based startup VUGO is planning to relocate to the Sunshine State, after receiving a Series A investment from Florida FundersLoyal Cast is helping struggling restaurants with their mobile app for pre-paid meal pickup that enables touchless take-out. PikMyKid is looking to adapt its SaaS platform, which makes make the process for parents picking up their children after school faster and safer, to help speed up drive through testing for COVID-19. A Tampa Bay startup developing smart home control systems, Atmos Home, is shifting gears to produce a new type of ventilator to address the nationwide ventilator shortage due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Recent Rounds
Atlanta, GA - Flock Safety - $15.8M

Atlanta, GA - LocatorX - $6.6M

Austin, TX - Coder - $30M Series B

Austin, TX - Gembah - $3.3M Seed

Birmingham, AL - University Fancards - $4M Series A

Cary, NC - NeuroVice - undisclosed

Charlotte, NC - AvidXchange - $127.5M

Charlotte, NC - Cloosiv - $500K Seed

Chattanooga, TN - 3rdDegree - $160K Pre-Seed

Dallas, TX - Peak Nanosystems - $25M Series C

Durham, NC - The Climate Service - $3.82M Series A

Fayetteville, AR - AcreTrader - $5M Seed

Memphis, TN - QuikFix - $500K

Miami, FL - Overproof - $1.25M Seed

Raleigh, NC - Feedtrail - $800K

St. Petersburg, FL - Spatial Networks - $4.5M

Tampa, FL - Professional Credentials Exchange - $3.5M

Wilmington, NC - Next Glass - undisclosed
Upcoming Deadlines
May 22 - Nashville, TN - Nashville Entrepreneur Center’s Project Healthcare Program Application Deadline

June 18 - anywhere - MIT Solve Global Health Security & Pandemics Solve Challenge Deadline To Submit A Solution

July 7 - United States - MIT Solve 2020 Indigenous Communities Fellowship Application Deadline

August 21 - Baton Rouge, LA - Young Entrepreneurs Academy Application Deadline

open deadline - Atlanta, GA - Apply to the Silicon Road Retail Accelerator

rolling deadline - Dallas, TX - The DEC Network Fast Start Mentoring Program Application for Mentors and Mentees
Upcoming VIRTUAL Events
Until further notice, all events listed below will take place virtually. Below you'll find the date, host organization & their location, and a link for more information. To let us know about an upcoming virtual event, or a rescheduled in-person event, please email
April 23 - LaunchTN (Nashville, TN) - Diversity in Entrepreneurship Virtual Symposium

April 24 - New Orleans Business Alliance (New Orleans, LA) - Small Business Loans Webinar

April 24 - Valor Ventures (Atlanta, GA) - Pitchfest: Pitch A VC Via Zoom

April 24 - Innovate Birmingham (Birmingham, AL) - VIRTUAL Spring Demo Day

April 24 - The Conductor (Conway, AR) - Building Community Capacity: The Key to Effective Collaboration

April 24 - The DEC Network (Dallas, TX) - Fridays are for Founders

April 24 - Nashville Business Incubation Center (Nashville, TN) - Pivot, Protect and Profit: Financial Friday (Virtual Training Series)

April 28-29 - INNO (New Orleans, LA) - INNO 2020 Cross-Industry Innovation Virtual Event

April 28 - Atlanta Tech Village (Atlanta, GA) - Virtual Workshop: How To Perform an SEO Audit

April 28 - Atlanta Tech Village (Atlanta, GA) - Atlanta Indie Hackers Monthly Meetup

April 28 - Knoxville Technology Council (Knoxville, TN) - Virtual Networking Happy Hour

April 29 - The Ion (Houston, TX) - University of St. Thomas Students' Virtual Demo Day

April 29 - Innovate Mississippi (Jackson, MS) - Outbound Sales Strategies for Challenging Times

April 29 - Nashville Entrepreneur Center (Nashville, TN) - Tennessee Valley Mixed Reality Meetup

April 29-May 1 - Stoke Coworking (Denton, TX) - FlintConf Virtual Conference for Hipsters (creatives), Hackers (techies), and Hustlers (entrepreneurs)

April 30 - Capital Factory (Austin, TX) - Capital Factory Community Showcase

April 30 - Fulcrum Sales & Marketing (Lafayette, LA) - Cap The Gap Virtual Conference

April 30 - Knoxville Technology Council (Knoxville, TN) - KTech Women In Technology Happy Hour

April 30 - Nashville Entrepreneur Center (Nashville, TN) - Raising Capital in a Turbulent Market

May 1 - Valor Ventures (Atlanta, GA) - Pitchfest: Pitch A VC Via Zoom

May 4-21 - Council for Entrepreneurial Development (Research Triangle Park, NC) - Venture Connect Online

May 5 - Capital Factory (Austin, TX) - Capital Factory Accelerator: VIRTUAL Ask Me Anything

May 6 - Knoxville Technology Council (Knoxville, TN) - Healthcare Technology During COVID-19

May 6 - RIoT (Raleigh, NC) - Virtual Lunch & Learn - Protecting Your IoT IP with Blockchain

May 7 - Innovate Mississippi (Jackson, MS) - CONNECT Networking for Entrepreneurs 

May 7 - Nashville Entrepreneur Center (Nashville, TN) -
How Successful Startups Scale Sales and Revenue

May 7 - RIoT (Raleigh, NC) - MISSION-R Launch Event - First Response Entrepreneurs Combat COVID-19

May 8 - Capital Factory (Austin, TX) - Lunch & Learn: Startup Funding Rounds

May 8 - Valor Ventures (Atlanta, GA) - Pitchfest: Pitch A VC Via Zoom

May 8 - RIoT (Raleigh, NC) - Virtual Lunch & Learn - Intellectual Property: Why IP Strategy Matters

May 12-14 - Angel Capital Association Virtual Summit

May 13 - Capital Factory (Austin, TX) - Virtual Meetup Organizer Salon

May 15 - Valor Ventures (Atlanta, GA) - Pitchfest: Pitch A VC Via Zoom

May 18 - Nashville Entrepreneur Center (Nashville, TN) - What You Need to Know About Tech as a Non-Technical Founder

May 19 - Capital Factory (Austin, TX) - Capital Factory Accelerator: VIRTUAL Ask Me Anything

May 20 - Valor Ventures (Atlanta, GA) - Startup Runway 8th Cohort Showcase

July 13-16 - Capital Factory (Austin, TX) - Founders Academy Essentials

LookFar: strategic software development for startups.

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