Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

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February 27, 2024 | Tom Ballard

Southeast Shoutouts | North Carolina in this week’s spotlight

News items range from a rapidly growing start-up focused on senior care with a twist to a new event and a 40th anniversary.

From Raleigh, NC:

Looking for someone to care for an aging parent or relative? The answer might be found through CareYaya, a Raleigh-based healthtech platform that was founded in 2022 and has grown to thousands of student caregivers nationwide. Today, the rapidly growing company operates at more than 25 universities in 10 states.

The student caregivers are vetted through interviews, background checks, and community reviews. They are paid between $15 and $25 per hour and also receive hours of patient care experience that can be used to bolster their resumes when applying to medical school or medical programs.

The latest expansion seems to be focused on “senior rich” Florida.

From Research Triangle Park, NC:

The North Carolina Biotechnology Center is turning 40 years old. Founded in 1984, NCBiotech was the first organization of its kind and served as a catalyst for technology-based economic development in life sciences. When it was founded, there were about five life sciences companies in the state. Today, that number is 830, employing 75,000 workers and generating $88.3 billion in statewide economic activity. The life sciences sector in the Tar Heel State generates $2.4 billion in combined state and local government revenue and provides well-paying careers, with an average annual wage of $112,000, nearly double that for North Carolina’s overall private sector workforce.

From Charlotte, NC:

Charlotte Inno reports that Innovate Charlotte is hosting a combination of two events – the “Seed the South Investor Symposium,” last held in January 2020, and the “Charlotte Innovation Summit,” launched in 2022.

The new event is named the “Seed the South Capital Summit” and will be held May 14-15 at The Casey by Beau Monde as the headliner event for this year’s Charlotte Innovation Week. The Summit will feature speakers, panels, networking opportunities, a start-up showcase, and a pitch competition where founders can compete for one of two investments of $50,000 each by the Charlotte Fund, a local venture capital (VC) firm. A panel of VCs will select one funding award, and the other investment will be chosen by a panel of founders.

According to the article, Innovate Charlotte is organizing the Summit with support from the Growing Women Entrepreneurs Network (gWen), a Charlotte-based organization that drives growth for women entrepreneurs in the Southeast region.

Application deadline to pitch is March 31 at this link.

From Florida and Louisiana:

Three organizations – two in Florida and one in Louisiana – were among 16 recipients that shared a total of $3.9 million in funding to help small businesses improve climate resilience in communities across the nation. It is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Ocean-based Climate Resilience Accelerators program.

  • In Florida, Tampa Bay Wave Inc. was awarded $250,000 for its “Catching the Blue Wave: Accelerating America’s Ocean Economy” initiative, while the Seaworthy Collective in Miami received $249,848 for its “The Upwell Collaborative Accelerator” program.
  • In New Orleans, The Idea Village Inc. was awarded $250,000 to support its “CLIMATEx Accelerator Program.”

The funding is designed to support businesses developing ocean observation technologies and information services, such as forecasts and digital apps, to enhance climate resilience.

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