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.
BIP Capital recently released their 3rd annual The State of Startups in the Southeast report, which delivers an overview of the venture capital and startup ecosystem in this region. 

The in-depth report looks at startup activity in nine southeastern U.S. states since January 2014. According to a recent article in Atlanta Inno, the report shows "more innovation and more competitive early-stage deals happening in the Southeast than ever before." Download the full report here.
~ Mallory Whitfield,
Director of Marketing at LookFar, a New Orleans-based software development studio.

P.S. In case you've ever wondered what I do in between putting together the Southern Startup Report twice a month, here's a peek at what I've been up to.
Southern Startup News:
September 27 - October 9

New Orleans, LA - Local startup Dig - The Dog Person's Dating App recently won the 1st place $50K cash prize at Purina's inaugural Pet Care Innovation Summit. LAGCOE announced the 6 finalists who will compete for $10K in the Energy Innovators Pitch Challenge tomorrow, while tech startup nDorse, a recent finalist in the 2019 JEDCO Challenge, has secured a new partnership with the Jefferson Parish Public School System. San Francisco based tech startup Bounce launched in New Orleans last week, and the Entrepreneurship Institute at Xavier University is getting ready to celebrate Women Entrepreneurship Week 2019 on October 22. STEM NOLA founder Dr. Calvin Mackie recently received the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Board’s Chair Phoenix Award, citing in his acceptance speech that "STEM access is a social justice issue through and through." A new STEM learning center is opening this month in the New Orleans suburbs: Code Ninjas learning center will teach children computer coding and problem-solving skills, while building video games.

Atlanta, GA - Atlanta, GA-based woman-led venture capital firm, Valor Ventures, recently announced the first close of its second fund, with a target of $25 million for the fund in total. The fund has already closed two investments: Atlanta-based Capway, a digital banking and financial education app that targets the under- or unbanked; and Dallas-based Physician360, an on-demand prescription platform. Atlanta's mayor has announced a two-year, $5 million plan to make the city's streets safer for e-scooters and bikes, while Atlanta-based app iAccess, which launched earlier this year and won the Social & Culture award at the SXSW Accelerator Pitch competition, helps people rate and review the accessibility of different venues.

Austin, TX - A professor at The University of Texas has been awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in chemistry. John B. Goodenough, along with M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino, was awarded the prize “for the development of lithium-ion batteries”. A number of Austin-based tech companies have been acquired in recent weeks: Threatcare was acquired by Tampa cybersecurity firm ReliaQuest, real estate software platform RealSavvy was acquired by AI platform OJO Labs, and sales software startup Olono was acquired by Boston-based InsightSquared. Austin, TX-based provider of cloud-based enterprise work management software, Upland Software, has also acquired Altify for $84M in cash. Silverton Partners, an early-stage venture capital firm based in Austin, is raising $120M for its latest fund.

Baton Rouge, LA - Eleven companies - ACT One Health, Block Lawncare, Crimer, Debtle, Don’t Get Mad Get Paid, Gilded, Moxey, On Scene Services, Pass It Down Inc., Relief Telemed, and The Youni Company - have been chosen as semi-finalists for the BREW 2019 High-stakes Pitch Competition. The startups will square off at a live pitch event on November 15 during Baton Rouge Entrepreneur Week. Tickets for the full week of events are now available. Baton Rouge tech startup Omnidek, an all-in-one business portal, is planning to expand. The startup is looking to raise another $2 million Series A round this year and plans to hire 25 more people in the coming months.

Durham, NC - Twenty-three semi-finalists from across the state have been selected for the 28th SEED grant cycle by NC IDEA, a private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic advancement in North Carolina. The semi-finalists were narrowed down from from 182 competitive applications received by the organization. Recipients of the $50K grants will be announced in mid-November.

Greenville, SC - One of the Top 10 angel investment groups in North America, VentureSouth, recently announced that it has closed its third sidecar investment fund, the VentureSouth Angel Fund III, at a record pace, reaching its maximum target size of $5 million. The fund will target 15-20 early-stage investments in Southeastern companies, primarily within the manufacturing, logistics, and healthcare sectors. The organization will also soon be hosting the annual VentureSouth Summit on December 4. The event will consist of five educational sessions to help entrepreneurs, investors, economic developers, folks in higher education, financial sector professionals, and others understand the unique intricacies associated with the world of early stage capital formation.  

Jackson, MS - At the recent 2019 Mississippi New Venture Challenge Pitch Competition, 30 competing startup founders from all over the state of Mississippi faced off, competing in three different categories for $3000 each. EasyKale LLC, which offers a USDA-organic powdered kale nutritional supplement, took the first place cash prize in the Post-Revenue competition. Healthtech startup MiCare Path won the Pre-Revenue category, while the Student Competition winner was Kaylin Brassfield’s Crystal Game Works, which develops story-driven video games and graphic novels for a young female market. The company has already released 20 games with over 35,000 downloads. A full list of winners and runners-up can be found here.

Memphis, TN - Next week the Startup of the Year Summit will take place on October 14-16 in downtown Memphis. The Summit is an annual conference and global startup competition, now in its seventh year, but this is the first time the event will take place in downtown Memphis. The conference is tailored towards creating opportunities for startups, investors, established brands/corporations that will cultivate connections aimed at growing businesses. The event will culminate next Wednesday with the Startup of the Year Finals, where 5 startup finalists (narrowed down from 100 startups in attendance) will pitch for up to $100K in possible investments.

Recent Rounds
Atlanta, GA - ControlRad - $15M Series B

Atlanta, GA - SaaSOptics - $12M Series B

Austin, TX - Diligent Robotics - $3M Seed

Austin, TX - Everyware - Series A, undisclosed

Austin, TX - Place Technology - $3M

Austin, TX - SparkCognition - $100M Series C

Austin, TX - Tenfold - $7.5M Series C

Charlotte, NC - Cloosiv - $1M Seed

Dallas, TX - Polte - $12.5M Series A-2

Dallas, TX - Razberi Technologies - $5.8M

Durham, NC - Momentum - Series A, undisclosed

Durham, NC - Ribometrix - $7.8M

Houston, TX - BrainCheck - $8M Series A

Miami, FL - Papa - $10M Series A

Miami, FL - The Whole Coffee Company - $11M Series A

San Antonio, TX - CyberFortress - $3M Seed

Tampa, FL - Corestream - undisclosed

Wilmington, NC - NCino - $80M

Upcoming Deadlines
October 11 - Little Rock, AR - ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator 2.0 Application Deadline

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

October 13 - Tampa, FL - Tampa Bay Innovation Center Entrepreneurship & Investment Challenge Application Deadline

October 19 - Plano, TX - VentureTech Fintech Registration Deadline

October 24 - Atlanta, GA - Nomination Deadline for Atlanta Startup Awards

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

November 22 - Dallas, TX - Impact Ventures’ Minority-Focused Technology Accelerator Application Deadline

ongoing - Dallas, TX - Apply to Speak at Dallas Startup Week 2020
Upcoming Events
October 10 - Research Triangle, NC - Startup Summit 2019

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

October 14 - Atlanta, GA - Techstars Atlanta Demo Day

October 14-16 - Memphis, TN - 7th Annual Startup of the Year Competition & Summit

October 15 - Austin, TX - Latinx in Tech Summit

October 16 - New Orleans, LA - The Idea Village Fall 2019 IDEAinstitute Mini-Demo Day

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 17 - New Orleans, LA - Tech Talent South Company Crawl

October 17 - Tampa, FL - Innovation Gathering

October 18 - Orlando, FL - Synapse Orlando

October 18-20 - Atlanta, GA - HackATL

October 18-20 - Nashville, TN - Techstars Startup Weekend Nashville, HBCUvc

October 19-25 - Chattanooga, TN - Startup Week Chattanooga

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

October 22 - New Orleans, LA - Women Entrepreneurship Week 2019

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

October 24 - Conway, AR - IdeaFame Live Pitch Competition

October 24 - Jackson, MS - Mississippi Capital Conference

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

October 24 - Shreveport, LS - Tech to Market | Accelerating Speed to Market

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

October 25 - Houston, TX - Climathon 2019: Hacking Solutions to Houston’s Climate Challenges

October 29 - New Orleans, LA - Angelbeat New Orleans with Amazon & Microsoft Keynotes

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 - Austin, TX - Veterans in Tech Summit

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 - Atlanta, GA - Atlanta Startup Awards

November 21-22 - Raleigh, NC - Rural Assembly

November 21-22 - Charlotte, NC - Venture135 FinTech Conference

November 22-24 - Orlando, FL - Startup Weekend Orlando

December 4 - Greenville, SC - VentureSouth Summit, 2019 Venture Carolina Education Conference 

December 5 - Miami, FL - SaaStr + 500 Startups Miami at Art Basel

LookFar: strategic software development for startups.

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