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.
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.
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
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
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 - Venturetech
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