Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

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March 01, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Southeast Shoutouts | Life science news and start-up opportunities

Two Florida-based accelerators and Emory University's "RAISE Forum" are accepting applications.

From Virginia:

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin on Tuesday announced $66.7 million in grant funding for three life sciences projects in the Commonwealth. All are part of the “Biotechnology, Life Sciences and Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Cluster” that is a priority within Virginia.

  • The University of Virginia’s Institute for Biotechnology will receive $36 million to accelerate genomics/gene therapies and drug delivery technologies through incentives designed to attract 150 research scientists.
  • The City of Roanoke will receive $15.7 million to create an advanced laboratory incubator to develop new biotechnology companies across southwestern Virginia.
  • The Virginia Biotechnology Research Partnership Authority will receive $15 million to support the construction of a life sciences lab building in the Virginia Biotech Park and to develop end-to-end manufacturing capabilities advancing the pharmaceutical manufacturing cluster in the Greater Richmond-Petersburg region.

From the Palmetto State:

Zylo Therapeutics, based in Greenville, won the pitch competition that concluded the “SCBIO 2023 Conference” and received the cash prize of $5,000. The Upstate start-up created and patented “Z-Pod” technology through a powder that can mix with a wide variety of topical creams to enable sustained release properties and increased dosing abilities of those creams. The technology could include enhanced targeting of pores and increased payload and effects of the topical creams without the need for a patch.

According to this article in the Charleston Regional Business Journal, the other competitors were:

  • Pensievision, a Charleston-based start-up that developed 3D imaging technologies using the same technology found in NASA’s space telescopes to pre-screen for and identify cervical cancer; and
  • Elevate Therapeutics, which pitched its ePAL app that helps terminal patients and hospice employees work together to navigate palliative and end-of-life care with a goal to reduce anxiety and fear and improve quality of life.

From the Sunshine State:

Two accelerators are now accepting applications.

  • Florida Power & Light Company is accepting applications for Cohort 3 of its “35 Mules” program which is described as an “innovation hub” offering entrepreneurs resources to scale their businesses. Those accepted will receive: (1) a non-dilutive $100,000 cash grant; (2) access to Fortune 200 subject matter experts; (3) leadership and entrepreneurial coaching; and (4) rent-free workspace. Application deadline is March 17, and the link to apply is here.
  • Tampa Bay Wave’s “TechDiversity Accelerator,” powered by Nielsen Foundation, is a 90-day program designed for early-stage technology companies that are 51 percent owned, controlled, and operated by people of color, women, veterans, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, or a combination. Other eligibility requirements include: (1) dedicated management of at least two full-time people; (2) ability to travel to Tampa at least three times during the 90-day program; (3) proof of market validation; and (4) a viable business plan. Here’s a link to the application; deadline is March 31.

From Atlanta:

Emory University’s 16th annual “RAISE (Retention and Advanced Investment for the Southeast at Emory) Forum” is accepting applications from post-revenue start-ups based in the Southeast seeking funding between $500,000 and $5 million. The invitation-only event connects start-ups and top-tier investors from the region.

The webpage notes that “The ‘RAISE Forum’ community has a healthcare bias, as well as seeking innovative technology. However, companies in every growth category are encouraged to fill out our simple screening form for consideration.”

Application deadline is March 20; here’s a link.

From Greenville, SC:

Erik Weir, Principal of WCM Global Wealth and Managing Partner in WTA Media, has launched the “$30K PowerUp Competition” as a way to encourage more entrepreneurism in the Palmetto State by offering residents cash awards, mentoring, and feedback.

“The pandemic years have been some of the most challenging for business-minded people, yet many of the those who came out better and stronger were people who reinvented themselves through an entrepreneurial endeavor,” Weir was quoted as saying in this Upstate Business Journal article. “This is a perfect opportunity to dream big, be creative, and take that first big step needed to launch that new endeavor.”

Interested parties may apply online until May 15 to be considered for one of three prizes, funded by Weir.

From Tallahassee:

Florida State University (FSU) recognized the fastest-growing companies owned or led by its alumni during the 6th annual “Seminole 100 Celebration” last week. The recognition event is powered by the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship in partnership with the FSU Alumni Association. The event honors FSU’s entrepreneurs and allows them to share valuable business insights with each other.

From Houston, TX:

Students at Rice University will have a new opportunity to have a taste of entrepreneurship this summer. The Liu Idea Lab for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, or Lilie, has established a new start-up accelerator program called the “Summer Venture Studio” that “will empower student teams to accelerate their ventures and hit escape velocity.” That’s according to Lilie Executive Director Kyle Judah. Students accepted into the new program will work full-time with Lilie’s one-on-one mentorship, programming, and up to $15,000 in equity-free funding per team — all provided in a dedicated co-working space.

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