📬 Southern Startup Report: August 15 — August 29, 2018

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. Subscribe here to get the SSR delivered to your inbox.

More and more, cities across the South are catching the eye of Silicon Valley startups and investors. As you’ll see below, a number of California companies have recently chosen to expand their offices to Southern cities like Atlanta, Nashville, and Raleigh.

The number of recent rounds and upcoming events also seems longer than ever before, a sure sign that although summer is winding down, the regional startup scene keeps heating up.

~ Mallory Whitfield, Director of Marketing at LookFar, a New Orleans-based software development studio.

New Orleans, LA — The 19-year-old New Orleans-based travel tech company iSeatz is expanding their team of software engineers and product managers, while former New Orleans Entrepreneur Week 2015 Big Idea winner ORA Estuaries has been chosen as a finalist for the MIT Solve Challenge for Coastal Communities. Idea Village’s Director of Entrepreneur Services, Emily Egan, has been named one of New Orleans CityBusiness magazine’s Women of the Year. The National Science Foundation recently awarded a spot in its prestigious I-Corps program to MTE Solar, a University of Alabama research team which is supported by their New Orleans area industry mentor, Molly Kramer of Model Content.

Atlanta, GA — ATL continues to be a hotspot for new headquarters, as Blavity announced they will be using part of their recent Series A round to open a new office in the city. UPS also just announced the launch of Ware2Go, a new technology company and digital platform that will be headquartered in Atlanta. Software startup Itential announced plans to expand by 50 or more people within the next 6 to 12 months. Atlanta-based machine learning software startup Predikto was recently acquired for an undisclosed amount, while Cotiviti, a provider of payment accuracy and analytics-driven solutions focused primarily on the healthcare industry, has been taken private and acquired by Verscend Technologies for $4.9 billion. Local startup Eletype, which garnered promises of investment from TechSquare Labs after pitching at Atlanta Startup Battle last spring, is headed to pitch at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco soon.

Austin, TX — Dating and networking app Bumble recently announced a new fund focused on investing in early stage, female entrepreneurs, while Capital Factory will be honoring their own commitment to diversity in tech when they award $100K this fall at their Women in Tech Summit. (The link to apply by September 14 is in our Upcoming Deadlines section below.) MassChallenge Texas recently awarded $500K in equity-free cash prizes to the top 8 startups of their inaugural cohort. Most of the big winners were in the healthcare and clean tech fields. Legal tech startup DISCO has announced they are movingtheir corporate headquarters from Houston to Austin.

Charleston, SC — The 10th cohort of the The Harbor Entrepreneur Center’s accelerator program kicked off recently, welcoming eight early-stage startups including eFundYourHealth, a crowdfunding platform for alternative medicine; ERG Payroll & HR, an HR solutions provider for small businesses; Juiced Charging, a company that develops mobile group charging batteries; and RVMR.Unltd, a software and hardware development company that is currently developing a social streaming service called .UNLTD.

Dallas, TX — Local tech startups are beginning to attract more investments from the region’s wealthy family offices, according to a partner in the city’s new Capital Factory branch. After securing their Series A round just 3 months ago, Dallas insurance startup Bestow has expanded their platform to 32 states. Istation, a local edtech company with a 20-year history, recently announced a new partnership with Boulder Learning to pilot a new speech recognition technology during the 2018–2019 school year which will allow teachers to save time and focus on teaching. Seed fund and venture capital retail accelerator RevTech announced their latest cohort, which includes two Dallas-based startups: Vessel and GuestX.

Nashville, TN — Atlanta isn’t the only Southern city that’s a hotspot for Silicon Valley startups to choose as their HQ2. San Francisco-based Wonolo, an online staffing marketplace, recently raised $13 million in Series B financing and announced they’ll soon open a second office in Nashville. Launch Tennessee recently announced the recipient of the first investment from their $1.71M impact fund: sustainability-focused ridesharing tracking platform Hytch will receive a $150K commitment.

Orlando, FL — The City of Orlando awarded $65K to 16 different projects that support its tech entrepreneurial community. StarterStudio, Startup Weekend Orlando, and Catalyst Startup Coalition were just a few of the organizations that received grants as part of the new Orlando Technology Community Support Pilot Program. Florida Funders, an early-stage VC fund based in Tampa, recently merged with Florida Angel NEXUS, an Orlando-based organization that invests in early-stage, high-growth ventures.

Raleigh, NC — Fintech startup Even announced that they’ve chosen Raleigh as their new East Coast headquarters, while Durham-based startup Shoeboxed has been acquired by San Antonio-based Earth Class Mail for an undisclosed sum. Nearby in Charlotte, Queen City Fintech named the six new members of their ninth cohort, which were chosen from more than 100 applicants. Half of the companies chosen — Collateral Velocity (Charlotte, NC), ImpactCents (Charleston, SC), and iTrust (Atlanta, GA) — are based in the South. MercuryGate International, a Cary, North Carolina-based provider of transportation management system solutions, was acquired by Summit Partners for an undisclosed sum.

“PUT YOURSELF IN THE GAME! As an entrepreneur, we can be our own worst critic at times. Don’t take yourself out of the game by thinking you are not ready, your product isn’t perfect, or your pitch isn’t quite good enough.

Get out of your head and out into the real world and talk to people about your business. Let your passion and confidence shine and amazing things will start to happen.”

~ Jennifer Turnage, Co-founder and CEO of myBeeHyve, Wilmington, NC

Jennifer Turnage is an entrepreneur, advisor, author and speaker with more than 25 years of operational, financial and leadership experience in the technology and professional services industries, including serving as the Chief Financial Officer for eight investor-backed SaaS companies with five successful liquidity events.

Atlanta, GA — Bark — $9M Series A

Atlanta, GA — Funding University — $5M

Atlanta, GA — GigaMonster — $45M

Atlanta, GA — PowerSpike — $500K

Austin, TX — Consero Global — $50M

Austin, TX — infinite io — $10.3M Series B

Austin, TX — ListingSpark — $2M Series A

Austin, TX — New Knowledge — $11M Series A

Austin, TX — Plnar — $3.9M Series A

Birmingham, AL — Clutch! — $683.3K Seed

Charlotte, NC — 704Games — undisclosed

Conway, AR — Eyenalyze — undisclosed

Dallas, TX — RollKall — $1.5M Seed

Durham, NC — SpokeHub — $2M Seed

Fort Lauderdale, FL — Velocity Solutions — undisclosed

Houston, TX — Expedi, Inc. — $2.25M Seed

Miami, FL — MyRentHero — undisclosed seed

Nashville, TN — SimplifyASC — undisclosed

Palm Beach Gardens, FL — Bridge Connector — $5.5M Series A

St. Petersburg, FL — 5X5 Technologies — $4.4M

Tampa, FL — Continuity Logic — $7.85M acquisition

Tampa, FL — Financial Information Technologies, LLC — undisclosed

August 30 — Atlanta, GA — Launchpad2X Women Entrepreneurship Program Application Deadline

August 31 — Atlanta, GA — Ascend2020 Pre-Accelerator Application Deadline

August 31 — Austin, TX — HBCU@SXSW Scholarship Application Deadline for College Students of Color

September 1 — Dallas, TX — Accenture HealthTech Innovation Challenge Application Deadline

September 3 — Miami, FL — Startup Palooza Pitching Application Deadline

September 4 — Nashville, TN — Nashville Entrepreneur Center’s Diversity Scholarship Application Deadline

September 7 — Chattanooga, TN — Startup Week Chattanooga Event Host Application Deadline

September 9 — Chattanooga, TN — September CO.STARTERS Cohort Registration Deadline

September 9 — New Orleans, LA — PitchNOLA: Education Application Deadline

September 10 — Birmingham, AL — Alabama Launchpad 2018 Startup Competition Cycle 4 Deadline

September 10 — Durham, NC — $50K NC IDEA SEED Grant Application Deadline

September 14 — Austin, TX — Capital Factory $100,000 Women in Tech Challenge Application Deadline

September 15 — Atlanta, GA — Startup Runway Foundation $10K Grant Application Deadline

September 15 — Tampa, FL — Tampa Bay Wave Post-Accelerator Program Application Deadline

September 17 — New Orleans, LA — 7th Annual BioChallenge Pitch Competition Application Deadline

September 17 — Atlanta, GA — Southeast BIO 2018 SEBIO Awards Nominations Deadline

September 30 — Jacksonville, FL — PS27 Ventures Leadership Week Application Deadline

October 4 — Austin, TX — SXSW Pitch Application Early Deadline

August 29–30 — Nashville, TN — 36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival

August 29-September 1 — Atlanta, GA — Atlanta Black Tech Week

August 30 — Lafayette, LA — Get Started Medical Pitch Competition

September 1 — Clarksdale, MS — Community Business Pitch Competition

September 5 — New Orleans, LA — The Geography of Innovation Conference: The BioMedical District

September 6 — Baton Rouge, LA — PitchBR

September 6–7 — Atlanta, GA — BlockChainConf

September 7 — Winston-Salem, NC — Triad Startup Demo Day

September 12–13 — Raleigh NC — CED Tech Conference

September 13 — Baton Rouge, LA — Tech Park Academy: Engagement, No Ring Required

September 13 — Jackson, MS — Mississippi Innovators Hall of Fame Awards Gala

September 14 — Houston, TX — Tech to Wealth Tour: Houston Edition

September 20 — Raleigh-Durham, NC — Bunker Labs’ The Muster RDU

September 21 — Charlotte, NC — Healthcare Innovation Conference

September 21–23 — Atlanta, GA — EthAtlanta Blockchain Hackathon

September 25 — Knoxville, TN — Innov865 Week Pitch Competition

September 26–28 — Houston, TX — Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing

September 27 — Atlanta, GA — Simply SaaS Forum

September 28 — Atlanta, GA — TiECON

September 28 — Pensacola Beach, FL — ITEN Wired Career Expo

September 29 — West Palm Beach, FL — STEM Innovation Awards

September 29–30 — Houston, TX — startherenow Women’s Startup Weekend

September 30 — Miami, FL — Startup Palooza

September 30–October 7 — Atlanta, GA — Atlanta Blockchain Week

October 1 — Austin, TX — Women in Tech Summit

October 1–2 — Pensacola Beach, FL — ITEN Wired Conference

October 1–3 — Braselton, GA — Silicon Y’all SaaS & Internet Summit

October 3 — Boca Raton, FL — Research Park Annual Awards & Celebration Of Entrepreneurship

October 3–5 — Atlanta, GA — A3C Music, Tech & Culture Conference

October 4 — Austin, TX — ATX Startup Crawl

October 5–6 — Mobile, AL — Ten65 Tech

October 14 — Atlanta, GA — Atlanta Startup Awards

October 16–17 — Atlanta, GA — Venture Atlanta

October 17 — Gulfport, MS — Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Consortium Pitch Night

October 19–21 — Boca Raton, FL — Palm Beach Tech Hackathon

October 22–24 — Atlanta, GA — BuiltTech Week

October 22–26 — Chattanooga, TN — Startup Week Chattanooga

October 25 — Charleston, SC — DIG on the 1/2 Shell

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. Subscribe here to get the SSR delivered to your inbox.