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NFL HOFer Champ Bailey Creates Smart Masks, Partnership for Inclusive Innovation Announces $250k Grant, Venture Summit Virtual Connect West Discount

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Partnership for Inclusive Innovation Announces First $250,000 Grant for Pilot Program

The  Partnership for Inclusive Innovation, with the support of Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, has announced its first funded pilot program, theClubhou.se: Mesh Network. This organization aims to empower entrepreneurs and provide resources to create new businesses in traditionally under-resourced communities.

The pilot was competitively selected and will receive $250,000 to expand its existing efforts in Augusta, Ga., to four other Georgia cities, which will be determined by a feasibility study launched by Make Startups, a division of theClubhou.se, in early 2021.   

theClubhou.se: Mesh Network will provide hundreds of Georgia innovators and entrepreneurs with better access to accredited entrepreneurship training, robust digital collaboration statewide, and seed capital.

Throughout 2021, the program will partner with local colleges and universities to train and provide certification for approximately 250 entrepreneurs, which the organization projects will result in 500-800 jobs throughout Georgia.


CHAPEL HILL – Concierge health. A year after setting up second headquarters in North Carolina, personal health startup Well Dot is getting ready to scale. The firm, which has home offices in Chapel Hill and Newton, Massachusetts, announced it landed $40 million in first-round funding. Read more.

CHATTANOOGA – Joining forces. FourBridges Capital announced today the acquisition of Nashville-based Color Burst Landscapes by American Landscaping Partners LLC. FourBridges negotiated the terms on behalf of Color Burst, the Frank F. Chalfont Trust and longtime co-owner Brian Edwards. Get the deets.

CHARLOTTE – Dream deal. Backed by a $37 million investment from one of the world’s top investment firms, Kryo, the fast-growing Charlotte-based parent company of the sleep technology company ChiliSleep, is merging with a Pittsburgh company. It too focuses on sleep-related tech. Tech it out.

AUSTIN – Stealth mode. Uhnder Inc, which has been quietly developing innovative digital radar technology that serves as an alternative to lidar, has raised $45 million in series C funding as it gathers new customers and expands its team. Get the deets.


Fintech Generations is one of the premier fintech and insurtech thought leadership conferences in the United States. Each year, they host the top leaders and innovators from around the world to discuss the industry’s most pressing topics, and facilitate strategic networking among 1,000+ attendees.

Dates: June 7 – 11, 2021
Venue: 100% Virtual
Session Formats: Keynote, Fireside Chat, Panel Discussions & Attendee Breakout Room


Meet the Football Hall of Famer Bringing Smart Masks to Students

NFL Hall of Famer Champ Bailey noticed an important opportunity to make a difference when it comes to using technology to keep the most vulnerable people safe. 

While pro athletic leagues built ‘bubbles’ and used other tools to keep players safe, Bailey works to deploy networks of Smart Masks across schools to keep students safe. 

Initially, Bailey worked with Georgia and Florida-based Modern Radio pre-COVID, but the partnership evolved into a natural opportunity to help school districts. “When COVID first hit, like most people, we were all trying to find a big pivot to do. We had a lot of projects where we’re doing air quality monitoring for some of our industrial customers,” Laron Walker, co-Founder and CTO of Modern Radio, said. “And that led to the kind of ideation behind the Smart Mask product.” 

Tonight on SOUTH POD, find out how startups are using Saas technology to grow their companies. This Thursday we are re-airing DIG SOUTH Virtual Tech Summit Speaker Session with Jason Vandeboom, Founder & CEO of ActiveCampaign, and Martin Angert, Partner at Susquehanna Growth Equity

Join us at 8 PM EST tonight on the DIG SOUTH Facebook page to watch!

Become a DIG NATION member today to connect with top tech talent and access year-round content like this at digsouth.com.


DIG NATION is excited to announce our sponsorship and invite members to join us at Venture Summit Virtual Connect West

Network online with more than 1,500 VCs, Corporate VCs, angel investors, industry executives and founders of venture backed, emerging and early-stage companies at Venture Summit Virtual Connect West next March 16-18, 2021.

Presented by youngStartup Ventures, the event will feature ‎one-on-one networking (online), more than 150 VCs as speakers and judges, venture panels, startup workshops, and presentations by more than 100 innovators.

REGISTER HERE to receive 20% off early-bird rates with the discount code: DIGVIP

Venture Summit Virtual Connect West Details

Check out a partial roster of over 220 VCs that participated at the most recent Virtual Summit, November 2020.

In addition to providing access to leading Investors, the conference will feature more than 100 pre-screened venture backed, emerging and early stage companies seeking capital, and hardcore networking.

Get Noticed > Get Funded > Grow Faster

A select group of more than 100 Top Innovators will be chosen to present their breakthrough investment opportunities to an exclusive audience of Venture Capitalists, Corporate Investors, Private Investors, Investment Bankers, and Strategic Partners.

Apply to Present / Nominate a company:

For more information or to be considered for one of the Top Innovator slots click here.

Seed Pitchfest:

If you are a seed stage company seeking angel funding of less than $1M (and have raised less than $300,000) click here to apply for the Seed stage track.