Have you heard the phrase, “the rise of everywhere?” 💥 

Here at Powderkeg, this term makes us smile.

Pitchbook recently predicted that in 2021, Silicon Valley will make up less than 20% of all VC deals – a number that would’ve been unheard of 10 years ago.

The tech community is talking about it everywhere these days (yes, including on Clubhouse 👋)

Over the next few years, the geographic range of VC investments will continue to expand – and funding will continue to rise for cities between the coasts. 

Union Squares Ventures co-founder and popular blogger Fred Wilson dubbed this phenomenon “the rise of everywhere,” and you can scroll down to read his take on these encouraging trends for Unvalley founders.

This week, we’ll also discuss the climate-friendly U.S. city now dubbed the “Wall Street of the South,” and how Apple’s major new initiative will support minority entrepreneurs, as well as Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

So take a break from watching GameStop stock today and dig into this week’s top stories:

  • 💰 Wall Street of the South
  • 🌊 Changing Tides for VC
  • 📈 Minding the Funding Gap

– Matt

P.S. We have a few new resources in the Ignite Your Full Potential section today, including a poll and an exclusive webinar on economic relief from our friends at CLA and gener8tor on Jan 29. RSVP here.

💥THIS WEEK’S TOP STORIES 

💰 WALL STREET OF THE SOUTH

Follow the Benjamins. We’ve been talking a lot here in The Spark about Miami attracting tech companies  – but as it turns out, there’s also evidence that this warm and friendly Florida hub is pulling in financial firms. 

Some experts are even calling Miami the “Wall Street of the South,” as welcoming weather, low tax rates, and beautiful golf courses pull in financial firms looking to relocate away from New York.

Companies like Blackstone Inc. and Citadel are putting down roots by adding branches or relocating their headquarters to Miami, and rumor has it that even financial giant Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is considering a move to the Sunshine State. 

In the meantime, Miami mayor Francis Suarez wants to turn the city into a hub for cryptocurrency, prompting bitcoin blogger Scott Melker to hint that he might think about returning to his former home. 

Check out the Powderkeg Tech Culture Directory to peruse dozens of the hottest startups in Miami. Or you can join the discussion on Twitter. 

🌊 CHANGING TIDES FOR VC

Tipping point for Unvalley VC. Recently the National Venture Capital Association and Pitchbook reported Silicon Valley’s sharp drop in seed and angel investments, compared to 2019. For 2021, all signs point to other American cities getting more of the funding pie for their startups.

Recently, Union Squares Ventures co-founder Fred Wilson blogged about the changing tides in the startup scene, saying:

“There is no question that the Bay Area is losing some talent to other markets but I don’t think that is anywhere near the most important thing…Silicon Valley will remain a mecca for talent and tech for as far into the future as I can see. What is more important is the rise of everywhere. In the most recent Pitchbook 2021 predictions, they project that Silicon Valley will make up less than 20% of all VC deals in 2021. The way that happens is not less funding in Silicon Valley. The way that happens is way more funding everywhere else.” 

Now that VC dollars are spreading outside Silicon Valley, cities and towns in other areas of the country can experience the benefits of the tech industry – like economic growth, social progress, and additional jobs. As podcast host Karen Forster stated, that’s “…a win for everyone.” 

Chat with us. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the rise of everywhere. Write to us on Twitter at @PowderkegCo and let us know what you think. 

📈 MINDING THE FUNDING GAP

Apple’s promise for HBCUs. Apple recently announced a new set of projects as part of its multimillion-dollar Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI). 

The initiative seeks to eliminate systemic barriers to opportunity and fight the injustice faced by communities of color. Apple’s plans include an innovative learning hub for HBCUs and additional venture capital dollars for Brown and Black entrepreneurs.

VCs shift their stance. In Morgan Stanley’s annual survey of VCs, over two-thirds of firms reported they are more likely to invest in multicultural-founded companies in 2021. There’s still a long way to go in the fight against inequities in the startup world, but these survey results are encouraging.

Sherrell Dorsey, the founder of The Plug (an important news platform focusing on Black tech data and innovation) urged more companies to take action to address these inequities by providing VC funding, mentorship opportunities, startup training, and career opportunities for communities of color.

Check out previous issues of The Spark for additional coverage of efforts to decrease bias and offer more opportunities for Black, Brown, and female founders. 

💥 EXPLODING WITH OPPORTUNITY

Top fundings, acquisitions, and IPOs between the coasts. 

Atlanta, GA

Calendly, a free online scheduling service, raised $350 million from OpenView Venture Partners and Iconiq.

You can join the conversation about this raise and Atlanta’s startup scene on Twitter.

Austin, TX

Darwin Homes, a real estate technology startup, has received $15M in Series A funding led by Canvas Ventures.

Dublin, CA

Amber Solutions, a startup looking to commercialize digital control of electricity, raised $8.5 million in a Series B round.

El Segundo, CA

Sidecar Health, a ‘Self-pay’ insurtech startup hits unicorn status with $125M Series C funding

Mission, KS

ShotTracker, which captures basketball stats in real-time, raised an $11 million round led by Verizon Ventures and Evertz Technologies Limited.

Mountain View, CA

Bloomreach, the leader in commerce experience™, announced its acquisition of Exponea, and an investment of $150 million from Sixth Street Growth.

Orlando, FL

Yac, an asynchronous voice messaging platform for remote teams, has raised $7.5 million in a new round of funding.

Check out the chatter and follow the founders on Twitter.

San Francisco, CA

Fast, a startup that provides online checkout and identity products, announced that it has closed a $102 million Series B, led by Stripe. 

Tampa, FL

SOMA Global, a public safety software company, has received a $22.5 million investment from Weatherford Capital.

Toronto, ON

BlackCart, a try-before-you-buy platform for eCommerce stores, has closed a $8.8 million in Series A funding led by Origin Ventures and Hyde Park Ventures Partners.

Waltham, MA

TScan Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company, has closed an oversubscribed $100 million Series C financing.

Washington, DC

Hurdle, a digital mental health platform company, has closed a $5M Series Seed financing co-led by 406 Ventures and Seae Ventures.

You can learn more about this startup and its investors here on Twitter.

💥 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. 

Check out a few of our Top Powderkeg Picks below:

Companies who are hiring:

Austin, TX:

  • Iris Telehealth, a telepsychiatry company that provides mental health care to clinics and hospitals using video conferencing technology, is hiring VP of Enterprise Sales – Remote, Enterprise Account Executive – Remote and more. 

Charlotte, NC:

  • Kingsmen Software, a software development company that crafts high-quality custom software, is hiring a Cloud Engineer Team Lead.

Durham, NC:

  • Validic, a technology platform designed to provide access to digital health data is hiring multiple Software Engineering positions. 

Indianapolis, IN:

  • STANLEY Security, Leading global provider of electronic security solutions that promote a safer, healthier tomorrow, is hiring a Lead Software Engineer and a Learning & Development Director.
  • Purpose HQ, a data-driven solutions for talent-related problems, is hiring in Business Development.
  • Boardable, an affordable, easy-to use board management software built to help nonprofit boards schedule, meet, and communicate is hiring Senior Software Engineer, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Director, Operations and more.
  • The Kennected Network, a marketing software company that automates lead generation, conversations, and relationships, is hiring Marketing, Support and Sales positions.

Nashville, TN:

  • Core10, solves the financial industry’s most critical technology challenges in the US at a fraction of the typical cost, is hiring SalesForce Senior Software Engineer, Senior C# Software Engineer and more.

Tampa, FL:

  • Immertec, a real time virtual surgery training – allowing surgeons to perform real-time surgical training events streamed live in virtual reality, is hiring a Full Stack Senior Software Engineer.

Washington, DC:

  • Upside Business Travel, the only digital travel management platform with no booking fees, contracts, or spend requirements, is hiring an Assistant Controller, and multiple Full Stack Engineering roles.

Need to optimize your resume for opportunities like these? Get feedback using our new resume review tool.

💥 IGNITE YOUR FULL POTENTIAL

Get the lowdown on even more compelling companies, stories, and events to help you reach your full potential…

Poll of The Week:

“Once the pandemic is over, what office model will you prefer?” See results and weigh in >>

Economic Relief Unpacked:

Join CLA and gener8tor for a webinar on economic relief on January 29th. RSVP now >>

The Buzz on Twitter: 

Atlanta-based investor and podcaster Romeen Sheth breaks down the momentum in Atlanta tech by the numbers. Join the conversation >> 

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This email was curated and created by Nikki, Meg, Casey, Beth 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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