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.
2018 has been a year of growth for Southern startups, and 2019 is looking even more promising. This recent interview with Partpic founder Jewel Burks highlights many of the reasons why regions like the Southeast are a perfect place to grow a successful startup.

David Cummings is also continuing to promote the growth of our regional entrepreneurial ecosystem, this time working with Endeavor, an international entrepreneurship organization with offices in 32 countries.

Wishing you a happy and prosperous holiday season,
~ Mallory Whitfield,
Director of Marketing at LookFar, a New Orleans-based software development studio.

P.S. Do you find the SSR useful? Let us know what you find most useful and what you’d like to see here in 2019:
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Southern Startup News:
November 29 - December 12

New Orleans, LA - This week, on-demand food delivery platform Waitr announced plans to acquire Bite Squad, a similar service based in Minneapolis, for approximately $321.3 million. Energy technology startup Voltus has begun doing business in New Orleans, promising to help reduce demand on the electric grid during peak usage times via its “demand response” software technology.

Atlanta, GA - A new Atlanta venture capital firm, Knoll Ventures, recently completed a second fundraising close for their $24 million inaugural fund, which will focus on B2B technology startups just beyond the seed stage. Atlanta’s fintech sector remains strong, as Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center recently received a significant investment from Elavon for their fintech incubator, and fintech startup Gro Solutions was acquired by a public financial software company, Q2 Holdings. The city also continues to grow as a model of diversity in tech, as Women Who Code has moved its global headquarters from San Francisco to Atlanta on the heels of a major partnership announcement with The Home Depot, while Techstars announced a new partnership with digitalundivided, an Atlanta-based entrepreneurship incubator focused on high-potential black and Latinx women entrepreneurs. CapWay, a digital banking platform which received investment from Backstage Capital earlier this year, has also announced plans to move its headquarters to Atlanta.

Austin, TX - The big news out of ATX is the latest announcement from Apple: Austin will be the site of its new $1 billion major campus. Apple already employs 6,200 people in Austin (its largest population of Apple employees outside of Cupertino), and the new campus will initially employ 5,000 additional employees in engineering, R&D, operations, finance, sales, and customer support, with the capacity to grow to 15,000. 

Jackson, MS - Mississippi’s 19th annual Accelerate: Conference on Technology Innovation took place last month, featuring a morning keynote by Jackson native Dr. Nashlie Sephus, co-founder and CTO of the startup PartPic, which was acquired by Amazon. The conference also featured a presentation on the current state of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, as well as a keynote by Leslie Smith of Epicenter Memphis, the entrepreneurial hub of the Southwestern Tennessee region.

Orlando, FL - Thanks to $1.5 million from Lockheed Martin, the University of Central Florida is creating a Cyber Innovation Lab to help train more students in cybersecurity. The U.S. Army awarded Riptide Software a $103.2 million contract to update a simulation program.

Raleigh, NC - North Carolina is increasing its foothold as a tech hub, as Advance Auto Parts announced that they will be relocating their corporate headquarters to Raleigh, a move which will add more tech jobs to the area and grow the local economy by an estimated $1 billion. Pendo also announced an expansion, with plans to add nearly 600 jobs over the next 5 years, while nearby, LendingTree is planning to expand its headquarters in Charlotte, which promises to bring more than $26 million in investment over the next 5 years. NC IDEA announced a new partnership with Localstake NC to test the appetite for investment crowdfunding in North Carolina. 

Tampa, FL - A new $300K grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Seed Fund Support, along with a $375K match from local investors, will bring Tampa and Orlando startups together. Florida accelerators Tampa Bay Wave and Orlando's StarterStudio will split the grant 50-50 and will launch the I-4 Innovation Investors Collaborative to focus on addressing Central Florida’s early-stage capital funding gaps. James Faison, organizer of The Mainframe, announced that he is in the preliminary stages of organizing a $10M venture capital fund to support black entrepreneurs with early-stage tech companies.

What I Wish I Knew Then...
"Imagination is far more important than advice. It should be informed by advice but not constrained by it. A vivid imagination is a required trait for any effective CEO, and CEOs should dedicate time to just think and imagine what comes next."

~ Marcus Cobb, CEO of Jammber, Nashville, TN

Jammber is a powerful workflow automation platform and lightweight mobile tools that are designed to fit seamlessly into the music creation process, tracking credits from the the point of creation to distribution, so creators always get paid and always get credit.
We love sharing stories from a diverse range of founders, investors, CTOs, CMOs, and other movers & shakers from across the Southern tech startup ecosystem. Contribute a quote for a future edition of our “What I Wish I Knew Then” feature.
Recent Rounds
Atlanta, GA - AVOXI - $10M

Atlanta, GA - Facilio - $6.4M Series A 

Atlanta, GA - Pindrop - $90M Series D

Atlanta, GA - Project Verte - $50M

Atlanta, GA - Snapt - $3M Series A

Atlanta, GA - VeriSolutions - $2.4M Series A

Austin, TX - Aceable - $47M Series B

Austin, TX - Enzyme Health - $1.7M Seed

Austin, TX - FlexFleet - $2.1M

Austin, TX - SourceDay - $6.5M Series A 

Boca Raton, FL - Immersive Wisdom - undisclosed

Durham, NC - Higgs Boson - $350K

Frisco, TX - EmpowerMX - undisclosed

Jacksonville, FL - AutoQuotes - undisclosed

Melbourne, FL - Alertgy - $1.2M Seed

Melbourne, FL - AVidea Group - $350K Seed

Melbourne, FL - Tomahawk Robotics - $2.4M Seed

Miami, FL - ParkJockey - undisclosed

Nashville, TN - Trilliant Health - undisclosed

West Palm Beach, FL - Edison Interactive - $10.7M

Wilmington, NC - Brilliant Sole - undisclosed 
Upcoming Deadlines
December 21 - New Orleans, LA - Silicon Bayou 100 Nominations Deadline

December 24 - Durham, NC - NC IDEA LABS Cohort Application Deadline

December 31 - Houston, TX - TMC Biodesign Entrepreneurial Innovation Fellowship Application Deadline

January 9 - Atlanta, GA - NFL 1st and Future Pitch Competition Application Deadline

January 14 - Austin, TX - Quake Capital Austin Cohort 2 Spring 19' Entrepreneur Early Decision Application Deadline

January 25 - New Orleans - Tulane Business Model Competition Application Deadline

March 24 - Conway, AR - Health Sciences Entrepreneurship Boot Camp Application Deadline

rolling deadline - Charleston, SC - DIG SOUTH Speaker Submissions
Upcoming Events
January 9 - Charlotte, NC - Seed the South Investor Symposium & Startup Pitch Competition

January 9 - Little Rock, AR - ThinkTECH the ICBA's FinTech Accelerator Kickoff Reception

January 16 - New Orleans, LA - Silicon Bayou 100 Release Party

January 18-19 - Jackson, TN - CO:hack Hackathon

January 22 - Charlotte, NC - 3rd Annual StartCharlotte LIVE!

January 23 - Tampa, FL - Tampa Bay Wave Demo Day

January 31–February 1 - St. Petersburg, FL - Florida Venture Capital Conference

February 2 - Atlanta, GA - NFL 1st and Future Pitch Competition

February 6-7 - Jacksonville, FL - Global FinTech Innovation Challenge

February 14 - Atlanta, GA - USA Hackers Challenge

March 1-3 - Jackson, MS - Techstars Startup Weekend Jackson

March 8 - Jackson, MS - Mississippi Entrepreneurship Forum

LookFar: strategic software development for startups.

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