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April 25, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Southeast Shoutouts | Two Middle TN companies pitching at “Dig South Tech Summit”

Mr. Bray Labs of Murfreesboro and Raise Financial on Nashville are two of 18 companies selected for the Summit's "Wild Pitch" event.

From Charleston, SC:

Two Middle Tennessee companies have been invited to take the stage Thursday during the Wild Pitch event portion of the “Dig South Tech Summit” that begins its two-day run with a reception on April 26. The two are:

  • Mr. Bray Labs, an animation and post-production company based in Murfreesboro and focused on helping its clients tell a story, develop a series, build a digital product, or better understand their clients; and
  • Raise Financial, based in Nashville and focused on addressing the broken long-term wealth creation system for young Americans by building new types of financial products using tested investing methodology rebuilt to meet the current generation’s unique constraints.

They are two of 18 companies – the majority from North or South Carolina – that were selected for the Wild Pitch portion of the Summit. Described as “the South’s Capitol of Capital,” the pitch event allows early and growth-stage start-ups to pitch to a live audience of top-shelf investors, founders, tech executives, and other business leaders.

From Huntsville, AL:

GeneCapture, an emerging company developing a novel point-of-care pathogen diagnostic platform, recently won the “Nunn-Perry Award” from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Small Business Programs. The award recognizes excellence in the DoD Mentor-Protégé Program, which is designed to assist small businesses with technical and organizational skills to prepare for DoD contracting.

GeneCapture, an associate company on the campus of HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, is developing a rapid, portable multi-pathogen detection system for far-forward and remote environments where warfighters are vulnerable to infection. The platform also addresses a wide variety of applications in public health, biothreat, and rural health needs. Tec-Masters Inc., a defense contractor in Huntsville, served as GeneCapture’s mentor during the multi-year program. The award criteria are based on milestones achieved, revenue growth, workforce growth, and impact on the armed services.

From Atlanta, GA:

Axle, which uses artificial intelligence and automation to streamline insurance verification, has raised a $4 million seed funding round led by Gradient Ventures, an artificial intelligence-focused firm launched by Google in 2017. Y Combinator also invested. According to Atlanta Inno, Axle launched less than a year ago and says it has grown its network to hundreds of insurance carriers. In its news release, the start-up wrote the following: “We bridge the gap between insurance lines and their parallel industries through a universal API (application programming interface) for insurance data, enabling our clients to make business decisions in seconds instead of hours.”

From Research Triangle Park, NC:

RTI International is stepping up its efforts to boost childhood development with a new “Center for Thriving Children.” And an executive at the independent nonprofit research institute, which says it is “dedicated to improving the human condition,” didn’t mince words when asked why RTI launched the center. “The triggers for the establishment of the Center were two-fold,”  Katherine Merseth King, director of early childhood development at RTI, told WRAL TechWire for this article. Those factors are:

  • The increasingly dire circumstances of millions of children around the world, driven by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., millions of children orphaned) and the highest-ever number of children (36.5 million) forcibly displaced by violence and conflict, such as the Ukraine war; and
  •  The passage of the “Global Child Thrive Act” mandates the U.S. government to include early childhood development interventions in U.S. foreign assistance programs. RTI sees opportunities to improve the implementation of the Global Child Thrive Act and seeks to spur innovation—through cross-sectoral collaboration—that generates measurable, positive outcomes for children and their families. Children can’t wait.”

From Washington, DC:

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will host its second annual “America’s Seed Fund Week” from May 15 – 18. This series of virtual events connects start-ups and small businesses working on advanced technologies to the country’s largest source of early-stage funding.

To launch the celebration, SBA will host its 2nd annual “America’s Seed Fund Startup Expo” from 2 to 5 p.m. EDT on May 15. It’s a showcase of some of the nation’s top emerging start-ups and their technology developed through the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs, also known as America’s Seed Fund.

Those who register for the full week of events will automatically be registered for the Expo. More information and a link can be found here.

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