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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.
I hope you're hanging in there and staying healthy. I noticed that I'm not alone in craving simplicity during this time. I recently removed a lot of apps and turned off many of the notifications on my iPhone, and a few days afterward saw that Atlanta Tech Village founder David Cummings was doing the same sort of digital simplification

Tech startups across the country are feeling the effects of coronavirus, with layoffs and furloughs continuing to happen. Jon Atkinson, CEO of The Idea Village in New Orleans, recently wrote a detailed op-ed about how startups and emerging tech companies are falling through the cracks of relief efforts.

In spite of the tough times for many, as you'll see below there are plenty of startups who are helping out and seeing growth during this time. The Southeast has lots of biotech and healthcare technology companies who are stepping up to the plate during the pandemic, as well as other startups who are making it easier for people work and connect virtually. 

Wherever you are in that spectrum, I hope that your mind and body stay healthy. All of life's moments are ephemeral, both the good and the bad. This too shall pass.
~ Mallory Whitfield,
Editor of the Southern Startup Report for LookFar, a New Orleans-based software development studio.
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Southern Startup News: March 19 - April 8, 2020

New Orleans, LA - A number of New Orleans startups and tech companies have stepped up to offer help in the time of COVID-19: health tech startup DOCPACE has made their platform free to help stop the spread of COVID-19, while rasa.io is offering their email platform for free and Align is offering free access to their Huddle Tools. Digital marketing firm Search Influence is offering free consulting sessions to businesses impacted by COVID-19, and The Idea Village, in partnership with trepwise, are offering free one hour strategy sessionsLevelset has teamed up with lawyers from its construction attorney network to answer questions and offer free legal advice to contractors, and local restaurant delivery app D’livery Nola is suddenly busier than they’ve ever been. The Tulane Business Model Competition recently went virtual; 360VR Technology (based at the University of Delaware) won the $75,000 grand prizeGNO, Inc. recently announced a new database initiative, GNOpivot, to connect local businesses that are pivoting to serve our community’s immediate needs. Biz New Orleans has been surveying more than 500 local business leaders including LookFar's own founder Chris Reade about how they are dealing with the challenges of the pandemic. The INNO 2020 conference is going virtual on the previously scheduled dates of April 28-29 and will be completely free of charge. Cara Stone recently released the 2020 Louisiana Venture Capital Report, showing that companies in Louisiana raised over $130M across 33 deals in 2019.

Atlanta, GA - Atlanta-based early stage venture capital firm Overline recently announced the initial closing of $17.5 million of its Overline Seed Fund I LP. Fintech unicorn Kabbage has furloughed a “significant number” of employees, while plenty of Atlanta startups are still hiring. Google for Startups is has shifted its Atlanta Founders Academy program to an entirely online format. Atlanta-based meeting scheduling software company Calendly is offering integrations with Zoom and GoToMeeting free of charge through June 30, while call analytics platform CallRail is offering a two-month free trial to all new customers. Biotech company GeoVax Labs provided an update on its COVID-19 vaccine development program, while BioIQ is releasing a saliva test for COVID-19 this week.

Austin, TX - Austin-based research and development company Astrotech Corp. is developing a new breath test for COVID-19, while health tech startup Everlywell's plans to launch at-home testing for COVID-19 have shifted, due to FDA pushback and the need for more test supplies for hospitals and healthcare professionals. Austin-based Spruce is expanding its services to include sanitization and disinfection services for apartment buildings and multifamily properties. Austin-based cybersecurity startup SpyCloud has shed light on how hackers are targeting food delivery services during this time. Layoffs and furloughs in Austin's tech scene are rampant, with RigUp, Capital Factory, Pivot3, Kazoo, DISCO, OutboundEngine, The Guild, and Yonder among the many companies who are making moves to reduce their workforce expenditures. Austin-based Aurea Software is acquiring Redwood City, CA-based BroadVision, while a handful of Austin startups, like emergency communications startup AlertMedia, are continuing to raise money and expand.

Baton Rouge, LA - Local startup Mintor, a networking tool for entrepreneurs, was accepted into the Austin-based Newchip Accelerator program. Mintor founder Kasra Khalili also recently launched a new web app to make it easier to track all of the webinars and virtual events that are popping up. Add your favorites at app.webbli.co. Local video game publisher and Louisiana Technology Park member, Feenx Games, is currently hosting a seven-day virtual game jam where individuals and teams are making a prototype video game. 

Birmingham, AL - Alabama startups are providing much-needed innovations during this time. Birmingham-based MOXIE has designed an app that allows medical professionals to monitor a patient’s ventilator from outside their room via a smart device app. Babysitting app Wyndy has partnered with UAB to provide childcare for medical personnel who are essential to combating the COVID-19 outbreak. 2018 Rise of the Rest winner Mixtroz is now offering virtual mixes that allow virtual event organizers to break their group of 50-1000+ into thoughtfully curated small groups of 3-10 and instantly invite them to virtual meeting spaces where they can connect. Swell Fundraising is ramping up efforts to help nonprofits, and INFLCR and IMMEDIATE are offering their services for free during this time.

Dallas, TX - Dallas-based AT&T is teaming up with local startup Xenex Disinfection Services to utilize robots and UV light to destroy viruses and other deadly pathogens on surfaces at hospitals. The DEC Network, along with more than 100 business support partners, recently launched a new resource platform called Let’s Grow North Texas Business. The DEC Network has also launched Fast Start Mentoring Program to connect entrepreneurs with business veterans to get the support they need. Peer-to-peer lending platform Zirtue is teaming up with corporate partners like AT&T and UT Southwestern Medical and adding more ways to help people lend and borrow funds. Dallas-based Blockit has made its online patient scheduling tool free for any licensed healthcare provider in order to increase the efficiency of COVID-19 testing, and telehealth cloud platform MyTelemedicine is launching a COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool.

Jackson, MS - Sales are up significantly for Bilal Qizilbash's EasyKale, a 100% USDA-certified organic powdered kale in an easy “shake-on” container. Qizilbash was slated to be the first Mississippi company to ever pitch at SXSW, but instead he'll be pitching EasyKale at SXSW in 2021. The company has also been awarded the $100K New Technology Award from Innovate Mississippi and Mississippi Seed Fund. The 2nd Annual MagnoliaJS Conference, Mississippi's only developer conference, will be held fully remotely April 15-17. The virtual conference is free to attend and will feature speakers from companies like Netflix, Google, Amazon, Mailchimp, and more.

Nashville, TN - Eleven entrepreneurs will be joining the Nashville Entrepreneur Center's latest Project Music accelerator program. LaunchTN is partnering with Tennessee’s COVID-19 Unified Command to create the Tennessee Innovation Crowdsource Platform, which will connect companies and entrepreneurs with solutions and resources related to the current crisis. One Chattanooga-based startup is helping mariners to track COVID-19 data from a ship's bridge in real-time, while Knoxvillians Brandon Bruce and John Bruck have recently published the first-ever “Startup Knox Ecosystem Guide.”

Raleigh-Durham, NC - Chapel Hill-based venture capital firm TrueBridge Capital Partners has closed its second direct investment fund at $190M, with plans to target growth-stage tech firms. Software firm Pendo is staying optimistic and preparing for economic rebound by continuing hiring efforts. NC IDEA recently announced the 27 SEED grant semi-finalists, who were narrowed down from 142 competitive applications; NC IDEA is also launching a new fundraising effort to assist early stage entrepreneurs in North Carolina. Durham-based mobile health data firm Validic has launched a tool to track COVID-19 symptoms in real-time and remotely. Joules Accelerator, which works with clean energy-focused startups, has announced their sixth cohort. Charlotte, NC-based Defiance Ventures has acquired Tavve, a Raleigh, NC-based cybersecurity and ITOA company. On the southeastern coast in Wilmington, Jim Roberts (founder of Wilmington’s Network for Entrepreneurs) has launched a new online resource for local, early-stage tech entrepreneurs called 91OMG.biz.

Tampa, FL - The CEO of Clearwater-based cybersecurity unicorn KnowBe4 is preparing for growth; perhaps it's because he knows that malicious emails and phishing attempts are on the riseTampa Bay Wave has launched an emergency loan program to help startups during the coronavirus pandemic. A number of Tampa Bay startups have seen exponential growth amid the pandemic, including DocClocker, TAO Connect, Cohesion Education, and Immertec. St. Petersburg-based marketing startup InsideOut is hiring 150 local employees in the next six months, and they are among many Tampa Bay tech companies who are still hiring nowLunchpool's event virtualization services are also booming. Predictive analytics firm Lumina is putting its artificial intelligence-driven platform and crowd-sourcing app to work to help government officials and healthcare providers predict the spread of Covid-19. Tampa startup Natural Nipple is working to boost the medical supply pipeline of PPE. Local startup founder Balaji Ramadoss of Edgility Cognitive Healthcare is offering free toolkits to help hospitals and health systems with the fight against coronavirus, while also spending his evenings sewing masks for medical professionals.

Recent Rounds
Atlanta, GA - Demand Driven Technologies - $3.6M Seed 2

Atlanta, GA - RoadSync - $5.7M Series A

Atlanta, GA - Sonar Software - $1.6M

Austin, TX - Airbrake - $11M

Austin, TX - AlertMedia - $15M Series C

Austin, TX - Atmosphere - $5M

Austin, TX - Diligent Robotics - $10M Series A

Austin, TX - Living Security - $5M Series A

Austin, TX - SourceDay - $12.5M Series B

Boca Raton, FL - Honorlock - $11.5M Series A

Brevard, NC - Earth Renewable - $900K


Chapel Hill, NC - CData - $20M Series A

Chapel Hill, NC - Keona Health - undisclosed

Dallas, TX - IFM Restoration - $10M Series A

Dallas, TX - ReCode Therapeutics - $80M Series A

Durham, NC - NextPlay Careers - $235K

Durham, NC - PatientPay - $6.15M

Durham, NC - Teamworks - $25M Series C

Melbourne, FL - Nohbo - $3M Seed

Miami, FL - Mozper - $770K Seed

Miami, FL - SportsEdTV - $3M Series A

Orlando, FL - ViewStub - $100K Seed

Raleigh, NC - Plant Health Care - $2.3M

Raleigh, NC - Second Nature - $16.4M Series C

Raleigh, NC - ZynBit - $250K 

Winston-Salem, NC - Swipeby - $1M
Upcoming Deadlines
April 10 - Houston, TX - gBETA Accelerator Program Application Deadline

April 12 - Tampa, FL - Tampa Bay Wave's TechDiversity Accelerator Application Deadline

April 15 - Atlanta, GA - Comcast NBCUniversal SportsTech Accelerator Application Deadline

April 15 - Durham, NC - NC IDEA LABS Application Deadline

April 15 - Raleigh, NC - Impact Partner Grant Proposal Deadline

April 17 - Conway, AR - Conductor's 10X Growth Accelerator Application Deadline

April 17 - United States - Launch With Goldman Sachs Black and Latinx Entrepreneur Cohort

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

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 mwhitfield@lookfar.com
April 9 - the CO (Jackson, TN) - Virtual Spark Plugs: Pivot your Brand

April 9 - Atlanta Tech Village (Atlanta, GA) - Virtual Golden Seeds Office Hours

April 10 - Atlanta Tech Village (Atlanta, GA) - Online Only Pitch Practice

April 10 - Valor Ventures (Atlanta, GA) - Pitchfest: Pitch A VC Via Zoom

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

April 14 - Capital Factory (Austin, TX) - 2nd Annual Black In Tech Summit

April 14 - Atlanta Tech Village (Atlanta, GA) - Virtual Workshop: How To Be An Effective ParentPreneur While Social Distancing

April 14-16 - Tech Talent South (Charlotte, NC) - Proximity Digital Conference

April 15 - Knoxville Technology Council (Knoxville, TN) - Virtual Workshop: Boost Your Intellectual Property IQ with Vance VanDrake

April 16 - The Idea Village (New Orleans, LA) - Virtual Community Content Series: Preparing to Fundraise in A Cash Crisis

April 16 - Nashville Entrepreneur Center (Nashville, TN) - Virtual Workshop: How to Leverage Your Advisory Board, Investors, & Investment Lawyer

April 16-17 - MagnoliaJS (Jackson, MS) - MagnoliaJS 2020 (REMOTE) 2nd Annual Developer Conference

April 22 - Joules Accelerator (Charlotte, NC) - Digital Twin Accelerator Virtual Meet & Greet

April 22 - The Ion (Houston, TX) - Ion Startup Demo Day (Virtual Edition)

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

LookFar: strategic software development for startups.

Copyright © 2020 LookFar, All rights reserved.


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