📬 Southern Startup Report: May 30 — June 13, 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.

Whoever said that business slows down in the summertime clearly wasn’t from the South. As the temperatures rise, things are also heating up for Southern startups.

Entrepreneur Magazine recently spotlighted 20 companies that investors are watching closely and a number of Southern startups made the cut alongside major players like Amazon and SpaceX. Keep a close eye on Tethis and Pendo from Raleigh, NC, Trumbull Unmanned and dearduck from Houston, TX, and Planet Fundraiser from Birmingham, AL.

Fresh off the heels of their Rise of the Rest Road Trip, Revolution has launched a new career network featuring 1,000+ non-Silicon Valley tech jobs. And if your own tech career involves Software-as-a-Service, make sure to attend one of the upcoming events hosted by Simply SaaS in Atlanta, or join the conversation in their Slack channel. Organized by Atlanta Ventures, Simply SaaS is a community of SaaS professionals in the Southeast who are striving to progress their company or career.

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

New Orleans, LA — Austin-based software company Accruent announced plans to open a new office in New Orleans, adding 65 local employees this year and up to 350 by 2020. The University of New Orleans was recently awarded $195K to develop Louisiana’s first so-called “cyber range,” an advanced training facility for cybersecurity and operations that simulates real cyber threats in a contained virtual environment. Meanwhile, the New Orleans BioInnovation Center has received an $88K federal grant to continue their work as a healthcare accelerator, and one of their startup clients, Instapath, recently took home $20K at the JEDCO Challenge pitch competition. Another local startup that competed there, Dig, has been accepted into the MassChallenge Boston accelerator.

Atlanta, GA — Amazon’s search for a second headquarters has created a “halo effect” in Atlanta, as numerous tech companies have chosen to move or expand to ATL in recent months, with Opendoor being one of the latest to announce a new Atlanta expansion. In a recent analysis by FitSmallBusiness.com, Atlanta beat out San Francisco and New York to be named the #1 city in the U.S. for startups. The Advanced Technology Development Center at Georgia Tech recently announced a new health tech program they’ll be launching next month, with support from health IT company NASCO. Unfortunately, all that growth puts a big target on the city’s back, and it turns out that the damage for Atlanta’s recent cyberattack is even worse than the city first thought, with the damage now totaling $9.5 million.

Austin, TX — Earlier this week venture capital firm BuildGroup announced that it has raised $330 million aimed at investing in approximately 10 emerging software companies during the next five years. Edtech company Civitas Learning announced their acquisition of ClearScholar, an Indianapolis-based student engagement startup, while Techstars announced the 10 companies that will be joining their 2018 Impact program in Austin. Airbnb said that it has paid more than $15.3M in home sharing and short-term rental tax revenue on behalf of Texas homeowners in the last year, wildly exceeding the $8M Airbnb projected a year ago.

Charleston, SC — This week brought the unveiling of Blackbaud’s new world headquarters on Daniel Island. At the new 360,000-square foot, eco-friendly campus, the company plans to welcome 300 new jobs over the next five years and host employee-led STEM education programs, which will teach local elementary school children how to design and code.

Charlotte, NC — The on-demand dog walking startup The Waggle Company made 2 big announcements this week: they’re changing their name to Skipper to reflect the company’s broader vision of shaping the future of pet care services, and they will soon be expanding to a second Southern city — Austin, TX. Charlotte-based growth equity firm Frontier Capital has been stepping up their SaaS investing, recently marking their 5th deal in 10 months.

Dallas, TX — Two Dallas companies are teaming up in a deal that could revolutionize the trucking industry. Fleet management SaaS provider Omnitracs will begin offering advertising technology from Dallas startup DriveAds to its fleet owners.

Greenville, SC — The Southeastern Medical Device Association (SEMDA) recently announced the formation of an alliance with six individual state medtech and life science advocacy groups: BioAlabama, Bio Florida, Georgia Bio, ncbio, Life Science Tennessee and SCBIO. Their goal is to collectively promote and advocate for the Southeastern region, in order to compete against major medtech hubs in California, Minnesota and Massachusetts. At their SEMDA 2018 Medtech Conference last month, Atlanta based Micro C Imaging won $10K at the early-stage PitchRounds competition.

Orlando, FL — A student startup out of the University of Central Florida recently got a shoutout from Bill Gates, who praised Limbitless Solutions for their custom-designed bionic arms for children, which are produced at no cost to their families. The City of Orlando is aiming to incentivize more tech-focused events, announcing an application period for grants of up to $10,000 for organizations planning such events. Orlando tech startup Askedoo, which is like a video version of Yahoo answers, launched last July and expects to break 100,000 downloads as early as the end of this summer.

Nashville, TN — Music City’s own digital payments processor i3 Verticals has filed for an $80 million IPO, while Middle Tennessee State University announced that they’ve received a record $287 million software donation from Siemens which will give the school access to technology used to develop and manufacture robotic systems in a wide range of industries.

“Its not enough to set goals and identify priorities. You have to be able to track them easily. With my earlier businesses, I spent too much time manually tracking priorities — in Word, Excel and Powerpoint — time we could have spent in the actual execution of priorities. The idea was right, but the tools we chose were too time-consuming and too cumbersome to share information.

If I could go back, I’d tell myself to keep it simple. Track progress against priorities daily, but use software that everyone has real time access to. Something that provides complete organizational transparency and accountability. Of course, we use Align — it keeps us focused and accomplishing our ultimate goals.”

~ Doug Walner, CEO of Align Technologies, Corp., New Orleans, LA

Align is a cloud based business operating system designed to keep you on the path to executing your plans. Align recently announced plans to hire 35 people over the next 18 months after securing nearly $2.2 million in a recent round of early stage financing.

Atlanta, GA — OutSystems — $360M

Atlanta, GA — Truck IT App — $3.15M

Austin, TX — 101 Commerce Inc. — undisclosed Series A

Austin, TX — Altr — $15M

Austin, TX — Eventador — $3.8M Seed

Austin, TX — HeatGenie — $6M

Austin, TX — Medici — $22M Series A

Austin, TX — Pingboard — $5M Seed

Austin, TX — SeriesX — $2M

Austin, TX — Strangeworks — $4M Seed

Austin, TX — Unchained Capital — $2.95M Seed

Chattanooga, TN — FreightWaves — $13M Series A

Clearwater, FL — FairWarning — $60M Growth Capital

Dallas, TX — Neighborhood Goods — $5.75M

Dania Beach, FL — Plum — $10M Series B

Durham, NC — Precision BioSciences — $88M

Durham, NC — StrideBio, Inc. — $15.7M Series A

Houston, TX — Homebase — $20M Series B

Palm Beach Gardens, FL — Bridge Connector — $4.5M Seed

Raleigh, NC — Valencell — $10.5M Series E

June 15 — Chattanooga, TN — Idea Leap Grant Application Deadline

June 15 — Fort Worth, TX — Fort Worth Business Plan Competition Deadline

June 20 — anywhere — Dreamit HealthTech and UrbanTech Accelerator Deadlines

June 20 — Jackson, MS — Mississippi Coding Academies Registration Deadline

June 30 — Atlanta, GA — TiE Atlanta Top Entrepreneurs Awards Nominations

June 30 — Conway, AR — 10x Cyber Accelerator Application Deadline

June 30 — anywhere — 2019 Global Good Fund Fellowship Application Deadline

July 1— anywhere — MIT Solve Challenges: Coastal Communities, Teachers & Educators, Frontlines of Health, Work of the Future

July 13 — Austin, TX — $100,000 Smart Cities Challenge Application Deadline

July 15 — Lafayette, LA — Accelerate South Healthcare Accelerator Deadline

July 20 — Nashville, TN — WeWork Nashville Creator Awards Nomination Deadline

July 22 — New Orleans, LA — Propeller’s Startup Accelerator Deadline

August 1 — Atlanta, GA — A3C Music Tech Startup Spotlight Application Deadline

August 1 — Chattanooga, TN — Dynamo Founders Camp Application Deadline

August 3 — Atlanta, GA — Venture Atlanta Call for Presenting and Showcase Companies

August 15 — anywhere — Girls in Tech’s AMPLIFY! Women’s Pitch Competition Deadline

June 15 — West Palm Beach, FL — Golden Palm Awards

June 15–16 — Raleigh, NC — Cryptolina Blockchain Conference

June 15–17 — Atlanta, GA — TERMINUS Conference + Festival

June 21–22 — Atlanta, GA — We RISE Tech Conference

June 21–22 — Research Triangle Park, NC — IoT Live Slam ’18: Internet of Things Conference

June 26 — Orlando, FL — VentureScaleUp Accelerator Spring 2018 Demo Day

July 5 — New Orleans, LA — BlackTech Weekend NOLA

July 5–6 — New Orleans, LA — NOLAVATE Black Inclusion Innovation Conference

July 6–13 — Birmingham, AL — Birmingham Innovation Week

July 12 — Birmingham, AL — imerge 2018 Innovation Conference

July 13 — Birmingham, AL — Sloss Tech

July 13 — New Orleans, LA — Shark Tank Casting Call for

Diverse Entrepreneurs

July 23–25 — Alpharetta, GA — AgTech Conference of the South

July 26 — Fort Lauderdale, FL — Sup-X: The Startup Expo

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

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.

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