Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

Knoxville Business News Tennessee Mountain Scenery Background
March 26, 2024 | Tom Ballard

Southeast Shoutouts | Significant money for a coal-impacted community in nearby Kentucky

After five years, Embarc Collective in Tampa has already served 220 Florida-based start-ups, which have created nearly 1,000 net new jobs.

From Pineville, KY:

Officials in Bell County near the Tennessee-Virginia-Kentucky border are no doubt celebration after the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that a local project was one of five selected to share up to $475 million in funding to accelerate clean energy deployment on current and former mine land.

Known as the Lewis Ridge Project, the goal of the initiative is to convert a former coal mine to a closed-loop, pumped-storage hydroelectric facility with the potential to dispatch up to eight hours of power when needed, such as during times of peak demand or extreme weather events. This project will support the increase of local tax revenues that have decreased steadily since the 1970s and create approximately 1,500 construction and 30 operations jobs. It will also provide enough energy to power nearly 67,000 homes.

According to an article in the Middlesboro News, the project will cost $1.3 billion with DOE providing $81 million. Rye Development serves as the selectee and plans to prioritize local hiring through partnerships with several unions and the Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College.

More information can be found here.

From Spartanburg, SC:

As Power Up Spartanburg nears the end of its first full year assisting small and minority businesses in Spartanburg County, the initiative is adding three new business development programs. Operating under the OneSpartanburg Inc. umbrella, Power Up Spartanburg is dedicated to providing the resources and expertise small and minority businesses need to thrive and grow.

The three new programs are:

  • Power Up Securing Contracts, a supplier-readiness program designed to equip small and minority businesses with the knowledge and resources they need to do business with large companies and corporations.
  • Power Up Experts which provides small and minority businesses access to vetted subject matter experts in accounting and finance, human resources, legal, and marketing.
  • Power Up University, a partnership with local colleges and universities to provide hands-on courses through which small and minority business-owners can gain the knowledge to start or expand a business. Spartanburg Community College and the University of South Carolina Upstate are offering courses and curriculum for this program.

From Greenville, SC:

The City of Greenville has named Sam Konduros to serve as the inaugural President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Greenville City Economic Development Corporation, the organization created to handle the city’s economic development efforts.

He brings to the role extensive experience in the economic development field, having previously served as President and CEO of SCBio, the leading advocacy and economic development organization for the state’s life sciences industry, and also in the same roles for the Upstate SC Alliance, a regional economic development organization focused on the 10 counties of the the Palmetto State’s Upstate.

From Tampa, FL:

Embarc Collective, a start-up based, is celebrating the fifth anniversary of its globally recognized program supporting Florida-based technology and tech-enabled entrepreneurs and start-up teams. Launched in 2019 with 25 member companies, Embarc Collective has gone on to serve 220 Florida-based start-ups, which have created nearly 1,000 net new jobs.

Since its launch, the nonprofit organization has delivered more than 6,000 hours of one-on-one coaching to its  membership and nearly 400 workshops specifically curated to address the goals and challenges of the Embarc Collective star-tup community. In 2020, Embarc Collective opened its physical facility in downtown Tampa, creating a central landing zone for the local tech community. In 2023, the organization was ranked as one of two start-up support organizations in North America recognized as a top program in the world by UBI Global, a Swedish benchmarking study.

From Miami, FL:

IDB Lab, the innovation lab of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, and TechnoArt, the global platform for the growth of technology start-ups, are launching Miami LAC Gateway, the alliance’s first program specifically designed for Latin American and Caribbean companies that want to venture into the U.S. market. U.S.-based companies looking for expansion opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean will also benefit from the support of IDB Lab and TechnoArt.

By establishing a strategic base of operations in the city of Miami, start-ups will be able to grow their businesses by leveraging IDB Lab and TechnoArt’s networks of contacts. The program will facilitate entrepreneurs’ connections with local investors and start-ups, accelerators, service providers and experts in the companies’ business areas, which will foster growth opportunities and help entrepreneurs acquire new clients, identify strategic partners and access capital to enable their business growth.

Also from Miami, FL:

Endeavor Miami has announced 10 companies selected for its Spring 2024 ScaleUp cohort. The entrepreneurship organization’s four-month long for growth-stage companies offers mentorship, access to capital, and an extensive network of industry leaders and peers. The cohort companies represent Fintech, Enterprise Software, Mobility and Supply Chain, and Healthcare, reflecting South Florida’s economy’s broad spectrum of innovation. Fifty-three percent of the participants are from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds, and 20 percent are women founders. More important, the 17 entrepreneurs participating in the cohort have raised more than $35 million in funding, enabling expansion across the Americas and Europe. Together, these companies have collectively seen a 250 percent growth rate and generated revenue of more than $17 million in 2023, with expectations of exceeding $41 million in revenue this year. They employ nearly 240 people.


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