Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

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July 25, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Southeast Shouts | ARC opens registration for its annual conference

There are also changes in the administrators overseeing some of the U.S. Economic Development Administration's technology and jobs creation programs.

From Ashland, KY:

Registration is now open for the Appalachian Regional Commission’s (ARC) 2023 annual conference titled “Appalachia Rises©: Resilience, Strength & Transformation.” It will be held September 11 and 12 in Ashland, KY, and one of the agenda items that is being promoted is a fireside chat between Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, ARC States Co-Chair, and John Calipari, Kentucky Mean’s Basketball Coach.

With a special focus on the importance of resiliency and collaboration in the region, the 2023 conference will feature partners from across Appalachia who work daily to strengthen communities by creating and expanding workforce development, growing outdoor recreation, developing entrepreneurs, and building leadership and community capacity.

The conference begins with a luncheon on September 11 and concludes with an evening of festivities on the second day.

From Durham, NC:

WRAL TechWire reports that Resilient Partners is raising a new round of funding, based on paperwork filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The target is $15 million which would build on its initial round that produced $3.5 million in 2019.

Based in Durham, Resilient Partners is focused on investment in African American founders in an effort to address the wealth gap and achieve racial equality and economic justice. Black entrepreneurs have historically had a harder time securing funding, receiving only about two percent of funds and that problem seems to be worsening. When inflation and interest rates rose last year, venture funding dropped by 36 percent overall, but 45 percent for African American founders.

From Washington, DC but of Interest Regionally:

SSTI reports in its weekly digest that the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) has recently made multiple staff appointments for its national program offices. Cristina Killingsworth is now EDA’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and External Affairs, having formerly been Chief of Staff for the International Trade Administration. This new position blends responsibility for four national programs —Tech Hubs, Recompete, Build Back Better, and Good Jobs challenges — with oversight of the agency’s legislative and public affairs activities. Eric Smith is now Tech Hubs Program Director, with Chivas Grannum filling Smith’s position as Acting Director of the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Scott Andes is now Recompete Program Director and Tech Hubs Policy Advisor, with Alex Jones taking on the role of Director on an acting basis for the Build Back Better Regional Challenge program.

From Houston, TX:

A first-of-its-kind manufacturing hub designed to “future-proof” residential, commercial, industrial, and public sector infrastructure is coming to Houston. The 130,000-square foot Resilience Manufacturing Hub will house functions such as R&D, manufacturing, and assembly for products aimed at improving the resilience of homes, office buildings, warehouses, and other components of the “built environment.”

“We are looking for any product or technology solution that can reduce the impact from the next generation of disasters . . . by helping people thrive, not just survive, in their own community,” says Richard Seline, Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Houston-based Resilience Innovation Hub which is a partner in the manufacturing hub.

Seline says the manufacturing hub, with an estimated price tag of $32 million, will directly employ about 60 people. He expects the facility to either generate or “upskill” about 240 off-site jobs. The manufacturing hub will be built adjacent to the 300,000-square-foot East End Maker Hub, which opened two years ago.

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