Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

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March 11, 2024 | Tom Ballard

Southeast Shoutouts | NC Rural Center invests $32 million in 10 venture firms

The Jacksonville Venture Competition (JVC) returns for its second year this week, with a roster of entrepreneurs, innovators and industry leaders set to speak and two pitch competitions.

From Across the State of North Carolina and Beyond:

A North Carolina venture capital program has announced that it has made a $32 million combined investment in 10 firms across the U.S., including several in the Tar Heel State.

The NCInvest program is an initiative implemented by the NC Rural Center — a Raleigh-based nonprofit working to improve rural areas across the state through efforts that boost business opportunities, build leaders, and strengthen entrepreneurs. NCInvest is backed by the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), a venture capital and debt lending program managed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

According to an article in Charlotte Inno, the 10 venture capital firms selected for phase one of the investment include RevTech Labs of Charlotte; IDEA Fund of Chapel Hill; LeVert Ventures of Durham; Resilient Ventures of Durham; Nex Cubed HBCU Founders Fund of San Francisco; Symphonic Capital of Oakland, CA; Third Sphere of Miami; Wocstar Capital of New York City; Latimer Ventures of Baltimore; and 100KM Ventures of Washington, DC.

NCInvest’s $32 million will be poured into NC-based entrepreneurs, with at least 54 percent of funds designated for early stage businesses and founders that identify as Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Individuals (SEDI). The 10 venture funds selected have pledged to invest more than $90 million to support and grow underserved NC start-ups.

From Raleigh, NC:

With last week’s passage of new regulations by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) related to reporting requirements for public companies, Triangle Inno reports that a Raleigh-based company is well-positioned for growth.

The rules related to greenhouse gas emissions did not go as far as originally proposed, but the data required in order to accurately report a company’s own carbon footprint is enough of a challenge that local firms see opportunities. Greenplaces, a 40-person company, could be in prime position to benefit from the new rules, as the start-up offers a platform to keep track of sustainability data.

The rules adopted are described in this SEC news release.

From Birmingham, AL:

Innovation Depot has opened applications for its five-week program named Voltage that helps entrepreneurs decide if their idea has legs.

According to the announcement, the idea stage program requires no previous tech or entrepreneurship experience. Before individuals spend tons of time and money on building a minimum viable product (MVP), Voltage helps future founders assess the feasibility and viability of their start-up idea.

The sessions are held outside of the traditional 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. working hours. To apply, click here.

From Jacksonville, FL:

The Jacksonville Venture Competition (JVC) returns for its second year this week, with a roster of entrepreneurs, innovators and industry leaders set to speak at the annual conference.

The two-day event, presented by the Jacksonville Business Journal, will take place March 12 and 13 at the West Club at EverBank Stadium and include two pitch competition, presentations, and networking opportunities. Laura DiBella, Enterprise Florida Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and JaxChamber President Daniel Davis will be keynote speakers at the event. Other speakers include Tony Cho, CEO of Future of Cities; Joey Sanchez, Senior Director of Ecosystems at Houston-based innovation hub The Ion; Dr. Charles Bruce, Chief Innovation Officer at Mayo Clinic; and Jason Dean, Jacksonville Jaguar’s Production and Network Systems Manager.

The two pitch competitions — one between students at local universities and the other between several start-up companies that could lead to an investment of up to $1.2 million.

From Tampa, FL:

More details have been announced about an announcement we posted two weeks ago about a $250,000 award to the Tampa Bay Wave organization from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In a partnership with the University of South Florida and the St. Petersburg Innovation District, the Wave will use the funds to create the BlueTech|X Accelerator.

From Other Communities in Florida:

  • Endeavor Miami is accepting applications for its EndeavorLab cohort for Black founders. The organization will select 10 companies and connect them with resources and mentorship to help fuel their growth. Apply here by May 5.
  • The Tampa Bay Innovation Center has launched its “Climate Tech Accelerator.” According to the Center, the “program is focused on assisting climate and sustainability-focused technology ventures with their product and go-to-market strategy. Unlike most accelerator programs that focus on polishing your pitch, marketing, or raising money this program takes an ‘inside-out’ approach: We prepare your company not to just ‘look ready’ but to ‘be ready’ to attract customers, investors, and partners.”





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