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Fall Brings Accelerated Growth for Startups

by Maija Ehlinger

While this fall is shaping up to be another Zoom-filled, socially distanced season across the Southeast, many startups are using this time to hone their ideas and get their product pitches ready for upcoming competitions and conferences. 

Here are a few of the programs that you should know about as we head into fall. 


Create-X’s Launch program builds upon Georgia Tech’s “evidence-based entrepreneurship model” that is ingrained in the academic culture. Over the summer, 70 teams joined the 12-week accelerator program to build their product and ideas into pitch-ready, market-ready companies. 

While 2020 teams did not participate on campus, Create-X Launch’s associate director Rahul Saxena told Hypepotamus that COVID actually helped grow the entrepreneurial spirit on campus. 

Hybrid-learning, while it has its challenges, lowers the opportunity cost with lower living expenses and flexibility to participate [in Create-X] remotely,” Saxena said. 

Create-X’s Demo Day on September 3 showcased student and alumni teams working in industries varying from app development to virtual reality. The teams selected over the summer will continue on with Create-X throughout the year as they continue to build. 

Some companies, like Capacit, were born to address pandemic-specific problems brought on by social distancing guidelines. But many of the 70 companies are taking on issues that have impacted communities well before 2020.

VeriCrypt, an AI platform designed to fight bias in the news, has already announced a partnership with Bloomberg News to help boost editor confidence and newsroom objectivity. 

MatchMakr is streamlining the process behind the 12 million unique applications sent out each year for medical residency programs and graduate schools.

Other student-led companies include Enlight, which is transforming how learning to code is taught online, and Bloks, the startup making it easier for entrepreneurs to bring their app ideas to life without needing to code. 

All pitches are recorded here: AI & Data Analytics, IoT and Smart Cities, Fashion, Food & Social Apps, Software, EdTech & Art, and Health and Personal care

Engage Ventures 

As Create-X teams begin their academic semester, several other accelerators around the Southeast are just getting started. 

Engage Ventures launched their sixth cohort this week. Selected participants will create “individualized Enterprise Go-To-Market plans to break into and scale within the Fortune 500,” according to Engage’s statement. 

Teams come from across the US and span a variety of industries, including several Georgia-based companies looking to take on problems found in sustainability, food waste, and retail in the post-pandemic world.

Photo from Engage

The full list of companies are: 

Atlanta-based Cloverly, which is developing a sustainability-as-a-service API for e-commerce companies to offset their carbon footprint. 

Cresta, born in the Bay Area, is an artificial intelligence platform designed for call centers.

North Carolina-based Fluree is a Web3 platform designed to improve data security and portability. 

Atlanta food waste management company Goodr is working to reduce food waste and eliminate hunger.

Atlanta-based OTHRSource is building a gig worker platform that helps emerging retail brands scale with a national network of brand helpers.

Virsec, out of San Jose, is an application security company. 

Atlanta-based Voxie is working to connect retailers with customers via text messages. 


Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator 

Techstars Alabama announced its latest cohort this week. A full list of selected companies can be found here, but highlights of Southeastern-based companies include: 

Birmingham’s Ashipa Electric, whose team is developing energy solutions for Africa and the Carribean Islands. 

Conduit, a cloud-based electrical system mapping based out of Birmingham.

Atlanta-based Resilient Power Systems, which is working to decrease the costs associated with infrastructure upgrading.

Birmingham’s TruSpin, which is transforming nanomaterials manufacturing for insulation, textiles, and energy storage.

ShipShape AI, out of Austin, is building a smart home management solution : Smart home solutions management from Austin, Texas.


FYI: Techstars Atlanta will have their Demo Day this October. 

Between the Atlanta Startup Battle, Venture Atlanta, and a slew of Demo Days for various accelerators, many startup founders seem ready to take on the uncertainties of Fall 2020 with a polished pitch deck and an eagerness to grow.

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