Innovate Charlotte x gWen present:

Seed the South Capital Summit 

Elevating The Southeast's Entrepreneurial Frontier


Location: The Casey by Beau Monde
1837 N Tryon St #102, Charlotte, NC 28206

We’re Back – And Bigger Than Ever.

Experience the resurgence of Seed the South, a vibrant 2-day capital summit in Charlotte, NC, reuniting entrepreneurs, investors, and ecosystem partners across the dynamic Southeast region.

Innovate Charlotte proudly presents the comeback of Seed The South, reclaiming its role as Charlotte's official capital summit after a COVID hiatus. This year's event is bigger than ever.

Merging two premier initiatives, including our former Charlotte Innovation Summit, we've crafted a high-powered, venture capital event. Over two days, we're cultivating connections among founders, funders, and support organizations. Seed The South aims to unite ecosystem stakeholders to empower emerging talent and ignite innovation in the region. Trust us – you won't want to miss this!

What to Expect

Over 2 action-packed days, you will:


Gearing up to fundraise? Amplify your venture in our high-powered Pitch Competition and Startup Showcase at Seed the South. Capture investor attention and forge connections to elevate your business.


From insightful panel discussions with diverse startup ecosystem partners to informative presentations from subject matter experts, you can be sure to learn a thing – or several – to level up your business, expand your skill set, and become a better leader. 


With hundreds of industry leaders in attendance, Seed the South offers opportunities to make meaningful connections and strategically expand your network. Engage in multiple dynamic networking sessions and gain insights from inspiring conversations over the course of two days.


Feel the energy at Seed the South! Immerse yourself in lively events, from the Founders & Funders Welcome Party to the premiere of the award-winning capital movie, "Show Her The Money," after the summit and to close out Charlotte Innovation Week. Join us for an electrifying celebration of innovation.


Day 1
Day 2
9:00 AM

Mindful Pitching – A Guided Meditation for Founders Pitching

Brooke Daniels, Founder & CEO, Holistic Hustler

9:15 AM

Doors Open // Startup Alley

10:00 AM

Summit Kickoff & Opening Remarks

Emcee: David Hunt, Founder, Framewrk
Juan Garzón, Managing Director, Innovate Charlotte
Sam Smith, Chief Revenue Officer, Virtual StrongBox

10:30 AM

Funding The South: 2024 Outlook

Moderator: Liz Brigham, Director, Hurt Hub @Davidson
Mark Flickinger, COO, BIP Ventures
Brandon Shelton, Founder & Managing Partner, TFX Capital
Matt Dunbar, Cofounder and Managing Director, VentureSouth

11:15 AM

Showcase Pitches

  • Vectra Automation Inc
  • Caboodle Home Solutions
  • Greens Health
  • Flux Hybrids
  • Tax Titans
11:45 AM

Lunch & Startup Alley

1:15 PM

Standups & Startups

Robert E. Daniel, Founder & Chief Comedy Officer, Standups & Startups

1:30 PM

Showcase Pitches

  • MRGN
  • Candlelit Care
  • Momtech Inc.
  • Vectari
  • Rehicle
2:00 PM

Show Her The Money Movie - Trailer

2:10 PM

From Seed To Scale: Founder Insights on Scaling Success

Moderated by: Rob Cummings, Advisor, Investor, Exited Founder
Joe Giordano, CEO and Cofounder, Payzer
Justin Adams, CEO, Aiwyn
Christine Nicodemus, CEO, Wayhaven

2:50 PM

Networking // Coffee Break // Startup Alley

3:20 PM

Showcase Pitches

  • Fashivly
  • Asterion AI
  • BuilderComs
  • Outsyde
  • She Raises Capital
3:50 PM

Keynote Address

Karl Rectanus, Educator | Advisor | Operator | Optimist

4:30 PM

Founders & Funders Welcome Party

8:30 AM

Investor Breakfast (Investor Badges Only)

Ben Hicks, Attorney, Wagner Hicks PLLC

9:00 AM

Mindful Pitching – A Guided Meditation for Founders Pitching

9:15 AM

Doors Open // Startup Alley

10:00 AM

Day 2 Opening Remarks

Emcee: David Hunt, Founder, Framewrk
Juan Garzón, Managing Director, Innovate Charlotte

10:15 AM

Investor Panel: Decoding VC Investment Criteria

Moderated by: Ben Hicks, Attorney, Wagner Hicks PLLC
David Jones, General Partner, Bull City Venture Partners
Zakiya Alta Lee, Senior Associate, IDEA Fund Partners
Trevor Kienzle, Managing Director, Correlation Ventures

11:00 AM

Inside The Board Room - Fireside Chat

Ashley Gautreaux, Partner, CreativeCo Capital
Tyler Traudt, Cofounder & CEO, DebtBook

11:45 AM

Lunch & Startup Alley

1:15 PM

How We Seed The South As A Region

Moderated by: Allyson Eman, CEO, Venture Atlanta Sam Davidson, CEO, Nashville Entrepreneur Center
Kelly Rowell, CEO, CED
Matt Bell, Director, SC Launch at SCRA
Blake Patton, Founder and Managing Partner, Tech Square Ventures

2:00 PM

Big Pitch

  • Leantime
  • Storybutton
  • Salus CM
  • Stork Exchange
  • mPATH Health
2:45 PM

Standups & Startups #2

3:00 PM

Big Pitch

  • Spot
  • Gilly AI
  • ServeScape
  • HANK.ai
  • Wildcard
3:45 PM

Big Pitch Deliberation and Selection

Emcee: Tami McQueen, CMO, BIP Ventures
Mark McDowell, Managing Partner, Charlotte Fund
Stephanie Alger, Head of Strategy, Risk, and Analytics - Vista Credit Partners
Ashley Gautreaux, Partner, CreativeCo Capital
David Stunja, COO, PetScreening
Andrew Ashur, CEO & Founder at Lucid
Christine Nicodemus, CEO, Wayhaven

4:00 PM

Closing Thoughts

Juan Garzón, Managing Director, Innovate Charlotte

Seed the South is perfect for:

Trailblazing Startups

Early-stage and growth-stage companies looking to accelerate their growth.

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Regional Investors

Investors scouting for the next big idea while connecting with top regional founders.

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Ecosystem Partners

Strategic ecosystem partners who are ready to support local talent and fuel the entrepreneurial spirit in the region.

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Emerging Leaders

Founders and aspiring entrepreneurs seeking knowledge, connection, and inspiration from local legends and industry leaders.

Hear From Other Innovators

Join Our Email List

Whether you’re looking to scale your startup, support promising ventures, or connect with local entrepreneurs, this is the place to be. Join our email list to stay updated with info on the summit.

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Seed the South Mission

Female and minority owned startups have historically struggled to receive funding. Our mission is to improve the entrepreneurial ecosystem by connecting investors to local startups, especially elevating underestimated founders.

How it Started

Seed the South was created by Samantha Smith, the founder of Vishion. In the summer of 2017, Smith started pitching her mobile app idea, a color search engine, to every event in town – some with no other women.

Frustrated with the lack of diversity and local opportunities for startups to connect with investors, she created Collective Hustle – a Charlotte investor and startup coalition looking to improve the Queen City's entrepreneurial ecosystem by elevating underestimated entrepreneurs and investors.

"People were hungry for this type of content in the Queen City."

As we grow our startup ecosystem, what if we make Charlotte the hub for diversity? 

We selected the best founders to showcase their companies. About 50 percent of participating companies have at least one underestimated founder on their team. Seed the South gives us the platform to showcase just how powerful inclusion and diversity in innovation can be.

Samantha Smith
Founder of Seed the South

"Charlotte Innovation Week represents a pivotal moment for Charlotte’s entrepreneurial scene."

By merging the Innovation Summit with Seed The South, we're amplifying our commitment to fostering collaboration, driving innovation, and empowering our diverse community of entrepreneurs. Together with Seed The South, we're creating an unparalleled platform to showcase the boundless potential of Charlotte's startup ecosystem.

Juan Garzón
Managing Director, Innovate Charlotte

Companies Presenting At Seed The South

Big Pitch

The Showcase

Startup Alley

Investors That Will Be At Seed The South

Presented By

Innovate Charlotte

Innovate Charlotte (InCLT) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to enhance, elevate, and accelerate entrepreneurial success in the greater Charlotte region. Our focus is on cultivating an intentionally inclusive and high impact ecosystem that stimulates innovation, economic growth and societal change. Innovate Charlotte seeks to serve as the ecosystem connector — a central hub from which diverse stakeholders’ efforts can be synchronized to maximize collective impact.


gWen, Growing Women Entrepreneurs Network, is a Charlotte-based non-profit that aims to accelerate growth for women entrepreneurs in the Southeast region by cultivating a founder-to-founder community centered around connections, education, mentorship, reciprocity, and access to funding opportunities.