Startup Roundup: Who is the “Southern Silicon Valley”?

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The Birmingham Skyline. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

Over the past few years, Alabama has welcomed scores of new startups, both from the state and abroad. In fact, Forbes has studied Birmingham’s bid for the moniker of the “Southern Silicon Valley”. If you want to stay in the loop on startup news in Alabama, you’re in luck. The Bama Buzz is starting a bi-weekly “startup roundup” to keep an eye on new and promising companies in the state. Let’s get started!

What’s new in Birmingham?

Boulo Solutions completes Regulation D seed round funding for $500K

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Delphine Carter, Founder and CEO, Boulo Solutions. Photo via Boulo Solutions on Facebook

Contact205.543.8058Website | Email | FacebookInstagram

Boulo Solutions, the Birmingham-based startup led by Delphine Carter, recently completed a Regulation D seed round of funding of $500K—a big leap that will help propel the company into five new markets this year.

Boulo Solutions is a digital staffing platform that helps connect businesses with women, mostly mothers, who are rarely found on other staffing platforms. And through Vicinity Capital, you can invest in local, promising startups—even if you don’t have millions of dollars in your portfolio.

“This round of investment will fuel Boulo’s sales strategy and get the platform past its early stages. In the next year you’ll see us expanding into five new markets and really evolving our platform capabilities, setting us up for the next phase of Boulo’s strategy to help women stay in and return to the workforce. The markets where we will be actively marketing to recruit women and businesses are Birmingham, AL; Jacksonville, FL; Columbus, OH; Cleveland, OH; Indianapolis, IN; Nashville, TN; and San Antonio, TX.”

Delphine Carter, Founder and CEO, Boulo Solutions

Landing raises $100M in funding

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Through Landing, members have access to cute apartments like this across the country. Photo via Landing on Facebook

Contact: 415.231.1701 | Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

In late 2019, Shipt founder and entrepreneur Bill Smith announced his next project, Landing, which aims to simplify the short-term rental market for working professionals. Through Landing, members have access to a network of 10,000+ apartments throughout the country. For instance, members can lease an apartment in one city and relocate to a new Landing property with 30 day’s notice. With the increase in professionals working from home, Landing fulfills a niche for professionals looking for the freedom to work remotely.

Recently, Landing secured $45M in equity capital, along with $55M in debt financing. This $100M in funding bolsters the $30M in funding that Landing secured in late 2020. Although the startup is headquartered in San Francisco, Landing was born in Birmingham and retains severals offices in the area.

New student-led HooverCamp teaches kids to code

Contact: Website | Facebook | Twitter

In 2019, three high school friends—Shaams Nur, Leo Song and Victor Song—decided to get together to inspire and teach children how to code. Their venture, HooverCamp, teaches children ages 8-14 how to code while instilling valuable entrepreneurial and leadership skills to help them succeed in the future.

So why HooverCamp? According to co-founder and president Shaams Nur, HooverCamp aims to give schoolchildren the opportunity to dip their feet into the fields of coding and entrepreneurship.

“Of course, we don’t expect our 9-year-old students to create the next Microsoft during a five-day-long camp; we simply want to reveal the possibilities in technology and business to them. On top of that, the skill sets taught in these two courses provide students with a competitive edge in both professional and personal aspects of life, even outside of career paths in technology or business.”

Shaams Nur, Co-Founder and President, HooverCamp

Huntsville makes big strides in the New Year

GeneCapture working on rapid-testing for pathogens

Genecapture
The GeneCapture team (Paula Kolle, Sr., Peggy Sammon and Krishnan Chittur, PhD,.) after winning at Alabama Launchpad in 2016. Photo via GeneCapture

GeneCapture256.327.0942 | Website | LinkedIn

Huntsville-based, two-time Alabama Launchpad winner GeneCapture is developing a ground-breaking solution to the need for rapid tests to detect pathogens. With their patented CAPTURE (Confirm Active Pathogens Through Unamplified RNA Expression) technology, GeneCapture can detect bacteria, viruses and other pathogens at the source. That’s right—CAPTURE technology eliminates the need to send samples to an off-site lab for results.

According to Co-Founder and CEO Peggy Sammon, GeneCapture is refining their prototypes for field testing in 2021. Once complete, GeneCapture’s tool will be able to rapidly screen for hundreds of pathogens within an hour—for less than $20.

Huntsville and Birmingham team up

Advancing Sight Network and Kailos Genetics create OcularGeneScreen

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Two Birmingham- and Huntsville-based companies are joining forces to help study genes associated with eye diseases. Photo via Advancing Sight Network on Facebook

When Alabama works together, we win. Just ask Birmingham-based Advancing Sight Network and Huntsville-based Kailos Genetics. The two companies recently teamed up to help medical researchers find and develop new treatments and cures for blinding eye diseases through OcularGreenScreen. OcularGreen Screen is a new genetic screening panel which utilizes eye tissue from post-mortem eye donors to identify genes associated with eye diseases such as:

  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
  • Glaucoma.
  • Fuch’s Dystrophy.
  • And more.

“Our goal is to restore eyesight for the grandparent who can no longer see their grandchild’s face or the person who’s lost their independence due to incurable vision loss, the development of a cure brings hope for a bright future.”

Dr. Gregory Grossman, Chief Scientific Officer, Advancing Sight Network

Know about startup news in your community?

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Working on a tech startup in Alabama? Reach out to us at hello@bhamnow.com to let us know! Photo via UnSplash

Did we miss a promising startup in your community? Let us know! Reach out to our team at hello@bhamnow.com to let us know who to keep an eye on in your neck of the woods. We look forward to highlighting the tech talent throughout Alabama!

Who do you think is the “Southern Silicon Valley? Tag us @thebamabuzz to let us know, and be sure to follow The Bama Buzz on FacebookLinkedIn & Instagram for the latest!

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Nathan Watson
Tennessee native who fell in love with Birmingham during college. Graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 2019. Passionate about Birmingham and its continued growth.
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