This is the weirdest start to any year I can remember. 
I don’t know about you, but I’m still feeling the weight of last week’s events at the U.S. Capitol Building. I’m sure you get plenty of D.C.-centric news elsewhere, so we won’t dive too deep into politics for our first edition of The Spark this year.

That said, tech is playing a 
big role in some of the ongoing breaking news in our country – which we’ll explore in our first story this week.
And at a different level of government, Miami mayor Francis Suarez has taken the lead in welcoming thousands of new transplants to his city during the mass “techodus” from Silicon Valley.

There’s startup magic in the making in Magic City
 right now as it continues to explode onto the national scene as a top tech ecosystem. Today’s email pulls back the curtain to reveal the secrets of Miami’s success while giving you a sneak peak at some of the other Unvalley tech hubs ready to blow up big (in the best way possible).
Just be sure to browse some of the latest funding and acquisition news in today’s Exploding With Opportunity section.

There are a few new $100 Million rounds
, an interesting acquisition in the nonprofit tech sector, and announcements from some of the hottest startups in cities like Atlanta, Baltimore, Houston, and Indianapolis.
Scroll down to dig into this year’s biggest news in the Unvalley tech world:
  • 💻Big Tech vs. Insurrection
  • ☀️Miami Heats Up
  • 🔑More Unvalley Opportunities
– Matt


THIS WEEK’S TOP STORIES

💻 Big Tech vs. Insurrection

Last week, as the news of the invasion of the U.S. Capitol broke, citizens around the world raised questions about how tech companies can and should confront misinformation and extremism on their platforms. This raises larger questions about the role tech can and should play in social justice and civic integrity in America.
Since the insurrection, big tech has taken steps to respond to those accused of inciting the invasion, and to try to prevent further violence. Headlines include things like:
  • Facebook has stated it will remove content that includes the phrase “stop the steal.”
  • Twitter has permanently banned Donald Trump from their platform. Facebook and Snapchat have blocked his access at least through Inauguration Day (January 20th).
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) suspended all services to the social network Parler, which was attracting a large community of pro-Trump users after Twitter’s ban on the President.
  • As tensions remain high, officials in Washington D.C. have asked people not to travel to the area for the upcoming inauguration on January 20th. In response, Airbnb announced that they will cancel and refund D.C. reservations during the week of the event.
Here at Powderkeg, our hearts are heavy with what we’ve witnessed in the last week, but as a community we are hopeful for a brighter future. As Matt shared last Thursday on LinkedIn, “If we take the time to process this, help each other through this, remember it and learn from it—I’m confident we will come out of this stronger. 🇺🇸”

☀️Miami Heats Up

Miami’s getting hotter (pun intended). In the past month, the VC community has been abuzz with conversation about Miami – and it’s no wonder. Miami has been laying the groundwork for becoming a global tech hub for over a decade, and they’ve recently attracted their fair share of Silicon Valley CEOs and other heavy hitters.

Check out #MiamiTech’s manifesto, featured in last week’s Miami Herald, describing the values and vision of this city’s vibrant tech community.

Miami’s breakout success as a tech hub is a great example of ecosystems benefit from adopting a “rising tide lifts all ships” mentality.

Miami’s mayor, Francis Suarez, is 100% on board for this growing trend. Take a peek at his viral tweets expressing his support for entrepreneurs who want to relocate to the Magic City.

Thinking about moving to Miami in 2021? Check out this great thread from Auston Bunsen for all the deets on the Miami tech scene (and his best tips for living and thriving in Miami).

We’ve got over 100 Miami tech companies in our searchable Powderkeg Tech Culture Directory. Check it out today to find exciting new opportunities in this up-and-coming city.

View the Tech Directory >>

🔑More Unvalley Opportunities

Unvalley in it for the long haul. Even U-Haul has noticed the “techodus” trend. In their recent list of top states for migration growth in 2020, Tennessee came in #1 for the first time!
Show me the money. Pitchbook’s latest data from December pointed to massive shifts in the VC community in 2020. For the first time ever, Silicon Valley venture capital investments dropped to less than 20% of the total VC for the year. Most experts say that this trend means living and working in the Bay area is no longer mandatory for startup companies who need funding – and that’s great news for founders and tech talent alike (including those in SF).
The New York Times also published a piece on the future of office spaces, now that remote work has become mainstream. Now workers have a choice about where they can live and work, and the Times predicts that fast-growing companies will be able to attract talent from anywhere they want.
Looking for warm winters? Brent Beshore, founder and CEO of Permanent Equity, asked Twitter users for suggestions on tech hubs that have warm winters. Replies included references for cities like Blacksburg, Virginia, and San Diego.
Romeen Sheth’s tweet about Atlanta’s growing startup scene (think CalendlyGreenlight, and Kabbage!) continues to generate buzz and visibility for this Unvalley tech hub.

💥EXPLODING WITH OPPORTUNITY

Top fundings, acquisitions, and IPOs between the coasts.

Arlington, VA

Atlanta, GA
  • SalesLoft, a sales engagement platform, announced it has raised $100 million in a new round of funding, bringing its valuation to $1.1 billion.
  • Springbot, an all-in-one e-commerce marketing platform built for small businesses, announced it has closed $14M in financing led by Sterling National Bank.
Baltimore, MD
Brentwood, TN
  • Kindful, a nonprofit software platform known for its best-in-class third party application integrations and online fundraising tools, acquired by Bloomerang, an Indianapolis-based donor management software firm founded in 2012. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Houston, TX
  • NuProbe, a genomics and molecular diagnostics company specialized in ultrasensitive sequencing panels, announced the closing of its oversubscribed $42M fundraising. The lead investors for this financing round are BioTrack Capital and Yonghua Capital.
Indianapolis, IN
Miami, FL 
  • HealthSnap, a company that created a remote patient monitoring and analytics platform for virtual chronic disease management, announced it has raised $4 million round of financing. The investment from Tampa-based Florida Funders brings the company’s total funding to $6.5 million to date.

STARTUPS STILL HIRING

Know someone looking for a new gig? The economy is unpredictable right now, but startups in the middle of the country are still hiring.

We have a few of our Top Powderkeg Picks below:

Boston, MA:
  • Validity, an email success platform, is hiring an Account Executive, Content Marketing Manager, Sales Development Representative, Software Engineer, Senior Security Engineer, VP Engineering and VP Marketing Demand Generation.
Chattanooga, TN:
  • FreightWaves, a logistics media company, is hiring a Tech/Startup Writer, Sonar Account Executive, Site Reliability Engineer, Senior Software Engineer, Senior Editor, Global Trade Tech, Media Sales Executive in Training, Maritime News Reporter, Manager of Business Development, Journalist, Driver Issues & Regulations, Front End Developer, Customer Success Manager, Business Development Representative, Audio Engineer in Training, and an Audience Development Manager.
Durham, NC:
  • Validic, a technology platform designed to provide access to digital health data, is hiring Software Engineer II, Software Engineer, and Mobile Software Engineer II.
Indianapolis, IN:
  • hc1, the bioinformatics leader in precision testing and prescribing, is hiring a Service Delivery Manager, Sales Manager, Software Architect, VP Product Development and several engineering roles.
  • CleanSlate, an AWS advanced consulting partner, is hiring a DevOps Strategy Consultant, DevOps Engineer, Docker Solutions Architect, Associate Java Consultant, Sr Java Consultant, JavaScript Consultant, Senior Business Development Executive, AWS Cloud Architect, Sr. Salesforce Consultant, MuleSoft Developer, and MuleSoft Integration Solutions Architect.
  • analytic.li, a workforce analytics company that helps employers make better, data-driven decisions, is hiring a Full Stack Developer Indianapolis, Business Analyst, Application Developer, VP, Sales and Marketing, Sales Development Representative, Marketing & Communications Specialist, and Account Executive.
  • Zylo, the an enterprise SaaS management platform, is hiring a Commercial Account Executive, Lead Software Engineer, Revenue Operations Analyst, and Senior Software Engineer.
Nashville, TN:
  • Branch Insurance, a bundled home & auto insurance powered by community, is hiring Sales Manager, Community Builder – Sales Agent, and Email Marketing Specialist.
Saint Louis, MO:
  • GadellNet, a team of exceptional IT experts, is hiring an Application Management Engineer, Client Site Engineer, Network Engineer, Onsite Systems Engineer, Service Desk Engineer and Strategic Sales Consultant.
Seattle, WA:
  • Blink UX, a user experience professional services consultancy, is hiring a UX Researcher, Sr. Mixed Methods UX Researcher, Senior Systems Designer, Research Director, Freelance UX Researcher, Freelance Design Technologist, UX Designer, Senior UX Designer, Senior Project Manager, Freelance Visual Designer, Freelance UX Designer, and Adobe Analytics Analyst.
Tampa, FL:
  • Kyra Solutions, a provider of government technology solutions, is hiring a .NET developer, Salesforce Architect, Desktop Technician, Salesforce Financial Consultant, Account Sales Executive, Tolling Solution Practice Leader, Java Developer, and Business Analyst.
Washington, DC:
  • Upside Business Travel, a digital travel management platform, is hiring a Senior Full Stack Engineer, Full Stack Engineer, and an Assistant Controller.

This email was curated by Meg, Casey, Nichole, and myself from the Powderkeg team. These are just some of the amazing stories happening in the Unvalley.

Got 30 seconds? Share some interesting tech news with us by hitting reply to this email. The Powderkeg team will share the best stories in an upcoming virtual event, on social, or in a future email.

Let us know!

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