Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

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November 28, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Southeast Shoutouts | New program launched to increase diversity in life sciences

The former Chief Operating Officer of Venture for America is the new Managing Director of Endeavor Atlanta.

From New Orleans, LA:

The New Orleans BioInnovation Center, in conjunction with Xavier University of Louisiana, has been awarded $495,000 in grant funding from the JPMorgan Chase & Co. to launch the “Advancing Diversity in Life Sciences Entrepreneurship” project. It will be used to increase access to capital for people who historically are underrepresented in the biosciences industry.

The pilot program will begin with strategic outreach planning to increase awareness and engagement with the local business investment community among potential entrepreneurs within universities,  particularly Louisiana’s historically Black colleges and universities. This will involve outreach to existing  Black, Indigenous and People of Color and/or female entrepreneurs, researchers, professors, and student innovators who demonstrate interest and aptitude for technical product development and commercialization. In tandem, the program will begin the process of building a robust network of public and private capital sources willing to support the initiative, with a focus on Louisiana State Small Credit Business Initiative funders.

Click here to learn more.

From Raleigh, NC:

Applications are now being accepted for a new round of grantmaking from the One North Carolina Small Business Program, a key source of capital for North Carolina’s emerging technology companies. A total of $400,000 is available through the program, administered by the North Carolina Department of Commerce on behalf of the North Carolina Board of Science, Technology & Innovation (BSTI).

The funds help small businesses in the state develop and commercialize innovative new technologies by helping underwrite the cost of making applications for funding under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Since 2006, the program has helped more than 400 companies in 38 counties, resulting in more than 1,200 North Carolina jobs, hundreds of high-tech products, and the generation of more than $8 billion in follow-on capital investments.

From Tampa, FL:

Tampa General Hospital (TGH) and the TGH Cancer Institute, in a partnership with Synapse, have announced TGH Innovation Challenge that seeks solutions to address the significant unmet need of cancer care in rural communities. Under the program, the winner of the competition will receive up to $50,000 in value to support a potential partnership or pilot project with the winning solution in collaboration with TGH Innoventures, the hospital’s venture and innovation arm, and the TGH Cancer Institute. This support may include information technology resources, project management, subject matter expert guidance to inform the development and enhancement of the solution, implementation costs, and strategic facilitation.

Deadline to apply is January 20 at this link.

From Durham, NC:

Phononic, based in Durham, and Vidir Solutions, a Canadian-headquartered company, have teamed up to create a game-changing solution for online grocery delivery and curbside pickup.

As described in this article from WRAL TechWire, the Vidir Powered Carousel combines Phononic’s refrigerator and freezer “totes” with Vidir’s vertical lift system, allowing grocers to easily stage and store frozen, chilled, and ambient orders together. The innovative system reduces the employee resources needed to fulfill an order, speeding up the delivery process and ensuring a seamless customer experience. With online grocery sales expected to grow by 12 percent annually for the next five years, the functionality is a boon for grocery stores looking to meet increasing demand.

From Atlanta, GA and Greenville, SC:

Two college students – one a senior at Furman University and the other a graduate student at the Georgia Institute of Technology – have launched a start-up that helps people research grant prospects. As you might imagine, it is based on artificial intelligence.

According to a recent article in the Greenville edition of The Charleston Post and Courier, Spencer Tate of Furman and Nemath Ahmed of Georgia Tech launched dotflo in March and have secured $100,000 in pre-seed funding to go forward.

As described in the article, “Traditionally, prospecting involves searching various websites like LinkedIn for potential donors, manually verifying their ability and willingness to donate, finding a way to reach them, and crafting an introductory message. With a list of names and LinkedIn pages, Tate and Ahmed said Zama, their AI tool, can do the rest.”

Another from Atlanta:

Atlanta Inno reports that the former Chief Operating Officer of Venture for America is the new Managing Director of Endeavor Atlanta. In between those roles, Eileen Lee served as Co-Founder of Atlanta women’s club and community The Lola, a co-working space across from the iconic Ponce City Market. First launched in 2017, Endeavor Atlanta is an affiliate of Endeavor Global and has supported more than 100 high-growth companies. The nonprofit provides entrepreneurs with access to markets, capital, talent and a global network of support as they scale their companies.


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