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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.
As most conferences switch to virtual formats this year, it's easier than ever to participate in some of our region's most notable entrepreneurial events. 

Charleston-based DIG SOUTH Virtual Tech Summit takes place this week, July 23-24. The live-streamed event features 50+ speakers and 30+ sessions on topics like business growth, emerging tech, and digital marketing. A ticket to the summit includes 90-day access to all of the virtual sessions.

Next month, Nashville's most notable entrepreneurship event expands from a two-day, in-person festival to a 10-day, fully interactive digital experience. 36|86 Festival will take place August 17-28 and feature 40+ sessions covering topics in five different tracks: Healthcare Innovation, Music Tech & Digital Media, Creative Economy, Early-Stage Founders & Capital, and Scaling Founders & Capital. Tickets are on sale now.

Dallas-based Boss Women Media also presents their second annual Black Girl Magic Summit next month, August 15-16. The virtual conference will focus on topics like financial wellness, entrepreneurship, and money management as well as the impacts that COVID-19 and racial injustice have had on the Black community. The event will also feature a pitch competition where five finalists will pitch for up to $25,000 in grants; the deadline to apply to pitch is August 2. Register to attend here.
~ Mallory Whitfield,
Editor of the Southern Startup Report for LookFar, a New Orleans-based software development studio.
P.S. I recently created 2 new online classes to help you make the most out of your time on LinkedIn. Use the links below to watch for free until July 31:
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Southern Startup News: July 9-22, 2020

New Orleans, LA - Louisiana-based investment firm Callais Capital has led the recent $3 million Series A funding round in Nashville-based personal care company Beast Brands. The application deadline for the first Southeast Health Innovation Tour is right around the corner on August 7; The Idea Village partnered with Sopris Capital and Adaptation Health to help early-stage healthcare entrepreneurs. Business accelerator Camelback Ventures recently welcomed its newest cohort of New Orleans-based tech companies. Nonprofit tech bootcamp Operation Spark is offering a free two-week introduction to coding class, with the next one starting on August 17. New Orleans-based GCR Inc., which specializes in building software for the public sector, has rebranded as Civix to better reflect their offerings. Local restaurant group LeBlanc + Smith is testing an innovative new business model inspired by Toyota’s famous “lean production system” in order to deal with the challenges of the pandemic.

Atlanta, GA - Atlanta-based Routematch has been acquired by Uber as the latter continues its expansion into the public transit space. Techstars Atlanta Managing Director Dave Payne recently announced the 10 startups selected for the 2020 Class of Techstars Atlanta. Female-founded Atlanta-based gaming software company Amebous Labs plans to open an immersive VR gaming studio in the city, and Amazon is expanding its own footprint in Atlanta by another 1.5 million square feet. While Atlanta Tech Village founder David Cummings recently asserted that Atlanta's startup community is brimming with early stage capital, a recent report from PitchBook showed Atlanta startups reporting the lowest levels of VC funding in two years, due to COVID-19.

Austin, TX - E-commerce platform BigCommerce is planning a big IPO, while local commissioners recently green-lit a 20-year economic incentive package designed to lure the $1.1 billion Tesla Gigafactory to the Austin area. Two Texas tech companies, Galen Data and Advanced TeleSensors, have teamed up to create a touch-less monitor system for tracking the vital signs of at-risk patients. Austin-based careers site Indeed.com has told its 2,000+ local employees that it won't require them to go into any offices before July 2021. Austin-based venture capital firm S3 Ventures has launched a new curated talent network that features job listings for startups it has backed. Like elsewhere, VC activity during the second quarter is down in Austin; local startups received $257 million invested in 35 deals, a 32% decrease from last year. 

Birmingham, AL - A new nationally ranked startup accelerator program is coming to Birmingham, as gener8tor recently announced a partnership with Bronze Valley that will focus on minority-owned and women-owned startups in the Southeast; the deadline to apply for the Fall 2020 Bronze Valley Accelerator is September 7. Governor Kay Ivey recently announced the creation of the Alabama Innovation Commission, Alabama’s first statewide commission on entrepreneurship and innovation. Local tech startup Linq has launched a $5 smart bracelet to make it easy to share Black Lives Matter resources with the tap of a phone. Bham Now recently shared a list of Birmingham Black-owned startups you need to know, including SynsorMed, S.O.S. Council, TheraNest, Mixtroz, Elevators, Babypalooza, Shippi, and S(w)ervice.  

Dallas, TX - Austin-based consumer packaged goods accelerator SKU is planning to expand to the Dallas-Fort Worth area this fall; interested companies and mentors can apply now. A recent report from PitchBook shows that VC funding has continued to fall in North Texas amid the pandemic, with Q2 deals showing a nearly 50% year-over-year decline. NTX Inno has announced their 2020 Inno on Fire winners, a list of 50 people and companies that are crushing it in North Texas; a virtual awards ceremony will be held on August 20

Greenville, SC - Despite the COVID pandemic, VentureSouth, one of the largest angel investment groups in the United States, continues its investment streak. VentureSouth invested nearly $4 million in 17 early-stage companies through the first six months of the year, on par with their investment activity for this time last year. Some of the companies receiving funds included Charleston-based Sentio; GoPivot Solutions and HelloPackage in Atlanta; MemberHub, Reveal Mobile, and UVision 360 in the Research Triangle; and other companies from Jacksonville, FL to Sterling, VA.

Memphis, TN - Eight startups bringing innovation to the agricultural field have been selected to participate in a 5-week virtual bootcamp hosted by AgLaunch, the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, Sync Space, and The Biz Foundry. Participating teams will learn about agricultural markets, get access to investors and mentors and have the chance to apply for the AgLaunch365 accelerator. This year’s teams include AgriKnect, Benanova, BurgerFit, SCAREcrow Farm Tech, S&J Nanochemicals, Soil1, Sustainable Aquatics, and Veggie Mines.

Miami, FL - Financial literacy app Kiddie Kredit has secured a partnership with Equifax Foundation to promote financial inclusion and they've also raised more than $32K so far via an equity crowdfunding campaign on MicroVentures. eMerge Americas recently decided to call off this year's rescheduled tech conference; the event was originally scheduled for for March 30-31 and had been postponed until November 4-5 after the outbreak of COVID-19. Organizers are now aiming for a new date to hold the 7th annual eMerge Americas: April 26-27, 2021. South Florida startups managed to bring in $522.77 million across 31 deals in the second quarter according to a new report, though a huge chunk of that ($350 million) went directly to Magic Leap

Raleigh-Durham, NC - Two of the biggest rising stars in North Carolina's tech scene have had major wins in recent weeks: Cary-based Epic Games, the creators of hit game Fortnite, has snagged $250M from Sony in exchange for a minority stake in the company. Wilmington-based cloud banking startup nCino recently went public, with stocks soaring to 195% in IPO and placing the market value of the company around $2.8 billion. Chapel Hill-based venture capital investment firm TrueBridge Capital Partners recently closed its sixth VC fund at $600M. In Q2, North Carolina startups raised $178M despite the pandemic, with companies based in the Durham-Chapel Hill area leading the way with 10 deals and $74 million in capital last quarter.

Tampa, FL - Women-led companies received more than half of the total early-stage funding for Tampa area startups in Q2, with Telepathy Labs, Venuetize, and Base Culture bringing in a combined $18 million in funding. During Tampa Bay Inno’s recent virtual State of Innovation a group of local investors discussed the future of funding - check out the replay and takeaways here. Tampa-based SynDaver (which builds lifelike medical cadavers for education and research purposes) is launching an incubator to boost the local manufacturing industry. Edtech startup Knack has landed a $540K deal with the University of Florida to provide free tutoring for many students. 

Recent Rounds
Alpharetta, GA - Aptean - undisclosed

Austin, TX - GRC (Green Revolution Cooling) - $7M Series B

Austin, TX - Pattern Bioscience - $9M Series B-1

Austin, TX - The Helper Bees - $6M

Cary, NC - Epic Games - $250M

Cary, NC - ProAxion - $95K

Chapel Hill, NC - Sisu Pharma - $1.7M

Dallas, TX - Mercado - $2.5M

Dallas, TX - Nanoscope Therapeutics - undisclosed Series A

Dallas, TX - On the Road Garage - $3M Seed

Dallas, TX - The Equalizer Games - $100K

Durham, NC - Arbiom - $10M

Durham, NC - InSoma Bio - $202K

High Point, NC - Bien-Etre Labs - $7M

Houston, TX - ChipMonk - $150K

Houston, TX - Solugen - $30M

Miami, FL - SmartHop - $4.5M

Nashville, TN - Beast Brands - $3M Series A

Raleigh, NC - Next Century Spirits - $6M Series C

Research Triangle Park, NC - Boragen - $300K SBIR Grant

Research Triangle Park, NC - Locus Biosciences - $12.5M


Tampa, FL - Homee - $4.57M
Upcoming Deadlines
July 24 - Birmingham, AL - Innovate Birmingham Fall 2020 Cohort Application Deadline

July 24 - Florida - Reshaping Health Access Challenge Application Deadline

July 29 - Atlanta, GA - Atlanta Tech Village’s It Takes A Village Pre-Accelerator Program Application Deadline

July 31 - Nashville, TN - LaunchTN Mentor Networks Call for Proposals Deadline

July 31 - Raleigh, NC - RIoT Accelerator Fall 2020 Program Application Deadline

August 2 - Georgia - Start It Up Georgia Application Deadline

August 2 - Dallas, TX - The Black Girl Magic Summit Pitch Competition Application Deadline

August 7 - New Orleans, LA - The Southeast Health Innovation Tour Application Deadline

August 7 - Dallas, TX - SKU DFW Consumer Products Accelerator Application Deadline

August 7 - Nashville, TN - EO Catalyst Application Deadline

August 7 - Application Deadline for Included VC Fellowship

August 10 - Houston, TX - Liftoff Houston Business Plan Competition Application Deadline

August 10 - Walmart Jump Open Call for U.S.-manufactured Products Deadline

August 14 - Louisiana - Xbox Game Studios Game Camp Registration Deadline

August 16 - Baton Rouge, LA - Fall 2020 Delta I-Fund Application Deadline

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

August 21 - Chattanooga, TN - CO.STARTERS for Techies Application Deadline

August 24 - Dallas, TX - Tech Titans 5G Grand Challenge Application Deadline

August 28 - Atlanta, GA - Venture Atlanta Virtual Showcase Application Deadline

August 28 - Chattanooga, TN - CO.STARTERS Fall Cohort Application Deadline

September 1 - Florida - "Financial Literacy for Kids" Synapse Challenge Application Deadline

September 1 - Deadline to Apply to Speak at Tech Inclusion

September 7 - Birmingham, AL - Fall 2020 Bronze Valley Accelerator Application Deadline

October 30 - Austin, TX - SKU Consumer Products Accelerator Application Deadline

November 9 - United States - MIT Solve Reimagining Pathways to Employment in the US Challenge Deadline

open deadline - Atlanta, GA - Startup Runway Applications

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

open deadline - United States - Lightship Capital Twitch Pitch Virtual Pitch Contest Applications

open 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
July 23-24 - DIG SOUTH (Charleston, SC) - DIG SOUTH Virtual Tech Summit

July 23-24 - NC Tech Association (Raleigh, NC) - State of Technology Virtual Conference

July 23 - The Nashville Entrepreneur Center (Nashville, TN) - Twende Showcase

July 24 - The Nashville Entrepreneur Center (Nashville, TN) - Twende Summit

July 24 - The Nashville Entrepreneur Center (Nashville, TN) - Pitch for Good: Black Founders Edition

July 28 - Atlanta Tech Village (Atlanta, GA) - Virtual Village Workshop: Psychological Safety: Stronger Relationships within Teams

July 28 - Tech Birmingham (Birmingham, AL) - Tech Birmingham: Navigating The New Normal

July 29 - Palm Beach Tech (Palm Beach, FL) - 5 Year Anniversary Happy Hour

July 30 - Tampa Bay Wave (Tampa, FL) - How To Prepare Your Startup For Investment

August 5 - Innovate MS (Jackson, MS) - Webinar: Accounting and Tax Planning for Startups

August 5 - The Venture Center (Little Rock, AR) - Meet the 2020 FIS Fintech Accelerator Cohort

August 6 - Innovate Mississippi (Jackson, MS) - CONNECT: Networking for Entrepreneurs

August 7 - Nashville Voice Conference (Nashville, TN) - THE VOICE EVENT

August 11 - Valor Ventures (Atlanta, GA) - Building Your Startup's Board

August 11 - Dallas, TX - Tech Phenomenon: Tech and Innovation Experiences

August 15-16 - Boss Women Media (Dallas, TX) - The Black Girl Magic Summit Virtual Event & Pitch Competition  

August 17-28 - Launch TN (Nashville, TN)
- 36|86 Goes Global: A Fully Interactive Digital Experience

August 19 - Innovate MS (Jackson, MS) - Webinar: Securing your Data without Sacrificing Convenience

August 20 - NTX Inno (Dallas, TX) - NTX Inno on Fire Inaugural Awards Celebration

September 3 - Innovate Mississippi (Jackson, MS) - CONNECT: Networking for Entrepreneurs

September 8 - Southeast Life Sciences (Atlanta, GA) - Medtech Women Conference

September 12-13 - Knoxville, TN - The Maker City Summit

October 1 - Innovate Mississippi (Jackson, MS) - CONNECT: Networking for Entrepreneurs

October 21-22 - Venture Atlanta (Atlanta, GA) - Venture Atlanta Live Online

October 13-15 - Tech Inclusion 2020

LookFar: strategic software development for startups.

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