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.
Startup Genome recently released their 2020 Global Startup Ecosystem Report, including their rankings of the top cities for startups. A few Southern cities made the list, with Austin, TX at #19, Atlanta, GA at #23, and Dallas, TX and Miami, FL tied for #31. This year they also added a list of the Top 100 Emerging Ecosystems from around the world, with Research Triangle, NC coming in at #10. From across the South, here's who else made that list: Tampa Bay, Houston, Charlotte, Orlando, Nashville, Jacksonville, and Wilmington. 

CB Insights has also released a report detailing The United States Of Venture Capital. According to their new report, the most active VCs investing in tech across the southern region are Alabama Futures Fund, Florida Funders, Innova Memphis, BIP Capital in Georgia, Innovation Catalyst in Louisiana, Cofounders Capital in North Carolina, Good Growth Capital in South Carolina, Five Elms Capital in Arkansas, and Silverton Partners in Texas. Unfortunately, Mississippi was one of only 2 states in the nation that has no VC investors that met the report's criteria. 
~ Mallory Whitfield,
Editor of the Southern Startup Report for LookFar, a New Orleans-based software development studio.
Southern Startup News: June 25 - July 8, 2020

New Orleans, LA - The recent 3rd annual Black Tech NOLA conference broke attendance records, reaching nearly 5,000 viewers over 3 days; recordings of the virtual conference along with job listings are available at blacktechnola.comResilia founder Sevetri Wilson (who announced a $8M Series A in May) was featured on the cover of Biz New Orleans magazine as part of a list of 10 local New & Notable leaders; co-founders Denis Petrov and Andrey Stanovnov and NO/LA Angel Network managing director Louisa Smith also made the list. The Idea Village is launching The Southeast Health Innovation Tour, in partnership with Sopris Capital and Adaptation Health. The tour promises to connect early-stage healthcare entrepreneurs with access to capital, contacts in Medicaid, and opportunities to scale; applications close August 7. Local college student David Price is gaining national attention for his product Safety Pouch, which aims to make traffic stops safer for both drivers and law enforcement. New Orleans based startup Don’t Get Mad Get Paid, which helps women collect their back child support, was recently selected to join Duke Law Tech Lab‘s pre-accelerator program. Battery startup Advano announced a new 30,000 square foot headquarters within the University of New Orleans Research & Technology Park. Dig, the dating app for dog lovers, recently won a grant through HubStars' Million Dollar Dating Project

Atlanta, GA - A new free, 12-week program for aspiring entrepreneurs is kicking off next month: Atlanta Tech Village has created Start It Up Georgia to offer weekly virtual lessons, small accountability groups, and a demo day where thousands of dollars in seed funding will be available to the top startups. Atlanta-based privacy and security platform OneTrust recently acquired Integris Software, a Seattle-based startup. Milletech Systems, a woman-owned software solutions and services company, has announced plans to bring more than 450 tech jobs to Atlanta. Co-working space Switchyards will be offering a free 1-year membership to 100 Black-led non-profits in the Atlanta area.

Austin, TX - Austin’s Black tech workers are demanding change from within, a recent article from Austin INNO shares, with IBM strategist and consultant Lawrence Humphrey spearheading a movement called Tech can do better. Code2College is aiming to raise $1.5M by July 31 for their Vision 2024 program to help Black and Hispanic women launch their STEM careers; learn more about funding the program. Edtech startup A Cloud Guru announced a significant milestone: it has achieved $80 million in annual recurring revenue along with signing a significant number of new customers, while business is also booming for shipment tracking platform Shipwell. Austin-based Hypergiant Industries announced a partnership with the United States Air Force to develop a new type of satellite that can be easily updated and reconfigured in space. Austin startup Liveoak Technologies has been acquired by DocuSign in a $38M all-stock transaction.

Charleston, SC - One of the biggest startup conferences in the South is back and this year it's virtual: DIG SOUTH Virtual Tech Summit will take place July 23-24. The live-streamed event will provide multi-channel opportunities to network and connect live throughout the Summit and feature 50+ speakers and 30+ sessions on topics like business growth, emerging tech, and digital marketing. Learn more and register.

Chattanooga, TN - The second cohort of the CO.LAB HealthTech Accelerator recently launched. Eight startups will work together virtually to accelerate innovation in the healthcare and benefits industries, and six of them are based in the South: Articulate Labs (Dallas, TX), EDP Biotech Corporation (Knoxville, TN), Medicare Pathfinder, Inc. (Atlanta, GA), Qardian Labs (Knoxville, TN), Vascugenix (Little Rock, AR), and Xcellent Life (Lexington, TN). 

Dallas, TX - For the first time, Dallas landed a spot in Startup Genome's rankings of the top global startup ecosystems, tying with Miami for 31st place. NTX INNO recently interviewed a number of Black founders from the Dallas area, including Mandy Price of Kanarys, Maxie Taylor of GoodieBoxx, and Stephen Lewis of HomematchX, about the disparities they've faced as entrepreneurs. Shipping startup TuSimple has plans to make Dallas an autonomous trucking hub by the end of next year, while Dallas-based digital hiring platform OutMatch is helping companies to remove bias during the hiring process. 

Houston, TX - Houston accelerator program The Ion recently hosted a virtual demo day for the second cohort of their Smart and Resilient Cities Accelerator; the four startups that pitched were Re:3D, Water Lens, S2G Energy, and Eigen Control. Four Houston entrepreneurs have teamed up to create Founder's Compass, an online masterclass for people who have a business idea but don't know what to do next. 

Jackson, MS - Underrepresented founders will soon have more funding and support in Mississippi, thanks to a new program from Innovate Mississippi. Beginning on July 14, they will host weekly webinars plus 1-on-1 office hours as part of the new Women and Minority Entrepreneur Development Program. The new program includes the LaunchFund, which provides zero-interest seed loans, ranging from $2,000 - $5,000, to low-income startup founders to fund the earliest stages of development. 

Miami, FL - Virtual reality unicorn Magic Leap will soon have a new CEO: Peggy Johnson comes to the role from Microsoft. Venture capital firm Lightship Capital, led by entrepreneurs Candice and Brian Brackeen, recently announced a new $50 million fund to invest in underrepresented founders. Miami is a hotspot for education technology (Miami EdTech even offers an accelerator that is custom tailored to edtech startups), so it's no surprise that startups like Mojochat, a language learning startup, and Storypod, a screen-free edutainment device for toddlers, are taking off.

Raleigh-Durham, NC - Raleigh startup TerMir beat out 70 emerging startups to win $100K at the inaugural AgTech Innovation Competition hosted by Alexandria LaunchLabs. Five biotech startups (CasTag Biosciences, Immvention Therapeutix, PhosphoGam, Praetego and TreeCo) will represent Durham at LaunchBio’s upcoming national pitch event, while four legal technology startups (Don’t Get Mad Get Paid, JusticeText, People Clerk and Yo Tengo Bot) have been selected for Duke Law Tech Lab’s pre-accelerator program. The NC Technology Association will host a State of Technology virtual conference on July 23-24, and six of the state's startups will be showcased: Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Floodlight Software, Gina Health, Protopia, SmartFox Technologies and Tango Legal. Entrepreneurial organization NC IDEA has announced that they are seeking applications from individuals to serve on their new North Carolina Black Entrepreneurship Council. Get Spiffy is opening up their on-demand car care service for franchising.

Tampa, FL - Tampa Bay’s startup scene was ranked among the top 30 emerging startup ecosystems in the world according to a recent report by Startup Genome. A new training program is launching on July 20 to address jobs gap in cybersecurity, thanks to The Undercroft, while edtech company Presence is helping colleges & universities bring students back to campus safelyTampa Bay Wave recently kicked off their latest TechDiversity Accelerator cohort with a virtual event that included a leadership panel conversation on how to build diverse ecosystems. Mental health support startup Cope Notes won the $5K grand prize at the recent St. Pete Pitch Night

Recent Rounds
Atlanta, GA - FraudScope - $7M Series A

Atlanta, GA - Layr - $5M Seed

Atlanta, GA - PrizePicks - $850K

Atlanta, GA - Vital4 - undisclosed seed funding

Austin, TX - AgencyKPI - $5M Series A

Austin, TX - OJO Labs - $62.5M

Austin, TX - OnlineMedEd - $5M

Austin, TX - Riders Share - $2M Series A

Austin, TX - Tiff’s Treats - $15M

Austin, TX - Verimos - undisclosed

Chapel Hill, NC - Eton Solutions - $11M

Cornelius, NC - Barvecue - $780K

Dallas, TX - Work Shield - $4.11M Series A

Durham, NC - The Looma Project - $1.1M

Frisco, TX - Trivie - $5M Series A

Raleigh, NC - K4Connect - $21M Series B

Research Triangle Park, NC  - Innatrix - $225K SBIR Grant

Tampa, FL - Telepathy Labs - $6.6M

Wilmington, NC - Apiture - $20M

Winstom Salem, NC - F5 Sports - $2.1M

Winston-Salem, NC - Plakous Therapeutics - $1.7M SBIR Grant
Upcoming Deadlines
July 10 - Atlanta, GA - Atlanta Tech Village's It Takes A Village Pre-Accelerator Application Deadline

July 10 - Austin, TX - DivInc's 2020 Social Justice Innovation Accelerator Program Application Deadline

July 21 - Tampa, FL - Tampa Bay Wave TechWomen Rising Accelerator Application Deadline

July 24 - Florida - Reshaping Health Access Challenge Application Deadline

August 2 - Georgia - Start It Up Georgia Application Deadline

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

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

August 28 - Atlanta, GA - Venture Atlanta Virtual Showcase 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
July 13 - MS Gulf Coast Tech Startup - July Meetup (online)

July 14-15 - Capital Factory (Austin, TX) - Fed Supernova Innovation Conference

July 15 - Palm Beach Tech (Palm Beach, FL) - South Florida Tech Virtual Career Expo

July 15 - The Nashville Entrepreneur Center (Nashville, TN) - Dell for Entrepreneurs: Raising Money in a Crisis

July 15 - Tampa Bay Inno (Tampa, FL) - Virtual State of Innovation: The Future of Funding in a Post-Covid World

July 16 - Valor Ventures (Atlanta, GA) - COVID-19 and the Re-invention of Venture Capital

July 20-23 - Capital Factory (Austin, TX) - Founders Academy Essentials

July 21 - Valor Ventures (Atlanta, GA) - Markups and Multiples: Seminar for Venture Capital Investors

July 23 - Capital Factory (Austin, TX) - Capital Factory Community Showcase

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

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

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

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

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

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

LookFar: strategic software development for startups.

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