Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

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February 08, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Southeast Shoutouts | Events and announcements

Council for Economic Development in North Carolina secures $4 million donation to expand operations.

From the Magnolia State:

  • Venture Carolina, a nonprofit organization committed to connecting investors and entrepreneurs, has partnered once again with VentureSouth, an early stage investment organization, and the S.C. Department of Commerce to host the second annual “Palmetto Venture Fellowship.” The program’s goal is to increase venture capital accessibility for South Carolina-based start-ups by educating and preparing local investors. The program consists of quarterly workshops on early stage capital formation and is open to current or aspiring investors looking to gain the necessary expertise to invest in early-stage companies. Topics such as term sheets, valuations, capitalization tables, board governance, exit strategies, and proper due diligence will be covered to equip attendees with the knowledge needed to be successful investors in early-stage companies.
  • The South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) has selected “Founders First” as the theme of its annual “SCRA Summit” that will be held April 18 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. “It will be a day filled with inspiring speakers and exciting networking and learning opportunities . . . celebrating the hard work of founders who are growing our state’s innovation economy,” SCRA wrote in this save the date notice.

From Rocket City:

Two announcements from the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology.

  • The organization is accepting applications through February 15 for its BioTrain Internship Program that offers students the opportunity to connect classwork with real‐world job experience and gain skills and knowledge that will prepare them for careers in biotechnology and related fields. Summer positions are available for undergraduate through master’s level graduate students, providing experiences that range from in‐depth laboratory research to biotechnology marketing, communications and business strategy. Internships are offered through HudsonAlpha’s nonprofit research labs, educational, economic development and communications departments as well as many of the associate companies.
  • The HudsonAlpha Tech Challenge (HATCH) will be held the weekend of March 3-5 at the Paul Propst Center, 800 Hudson Way Northwest, Huntsville. It is billed as a unique event to engage the development community and take on challenges in life sciences using business strategy, software development, and technology.

From the Big Easy:

The Idea Village has announced the 13 start-up companies that will participate in its 2023 VILLAGEx high-growth accelerator program. The four-month, cohort-based accelerator “leverages the passion and expertise of New Orleanians around the globe to provide founders with the connections and resources needed to scale their businesses rapidly,” a spokesperson told Biz New Orleans for this article. The 12 participants in last year’s VILLAGEx cohort collectively raised more than $8.4 million, created more than 70 jobs and generated more than $26 million in annual revenue.

From the Tar Heel State:

Bill Spruill, the First Speaker of 2ndF, a family office focused on growing the Research Triangle ecosystem through focused execution on education, investment, and global collaboration, has made the largest single donation ever made to an entrepreneurial support organization in North Carolina. The $4 million investment was directed to the Council for Economic Development. Prior to launching 2ndF, Spruill was the Co-Founder and former Chief Executive Officer of Global Data Consortium that was acquired by London Stock Exchange in May 2022.

From the Peach State:

Panoramic Ventures, the Atlanta-based venture capital firm that held a “Startup Showdown” last September during Launch Tennessee‘s “3686 Festival,” has named a new General Partner who will also serve as Chief Performance Officer (CPO). Christy Johnson will lead the Performance Engineering practice that customizes support for key areas like product development, marketing and sales, and talent acquisition. This work increases the company’s ability to lean into their own strengths, drive revenue and optimize exit value. Between 2016-2022, Johnson served as Chief Executive Officer of AchieveIt Online, a Panoramic Ventures portfolio company. Under her leadership, the company more than tripled in revenue, and was named to the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing privately-held companies for five years (2017-2021) and Inc. Best Workplaces in 2021. She now serves as Chairperson of the Board.


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