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Creative Industries

6AM City to double size, featured as top tech startup

Creative Industries
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The Tech Tribune recognized four Greenville companies in its lineup of 2021 Best Tech Startups in South Carolina with telehealth titan Chartspan and data service provider Green Cloud Defense seizing the first and second respective spots but with close competition from two rising Upstate stars.

Katana Safety and 6AM City, both founded in 2016, were the newest Upstate additions to the top 10 list after the latter company announced its expansion plan to double its size by reaching into more than a dozen new markets.

Katana Safety uses a siren and panic button attached to a phone that notifies the company’s emergency response center and the user’s friends or family to help prevent sexual assault and other emergencies.

6AM City, started by Greenvillians Ryan Johnston and Ryan Heafy, serves as a local news aggregate and platform for the Greenville area under the name GVLtoday, as well as the Columbia; Charleston; Asheville; Raleigh, N.C.; Chattanooga, Tenn; Lakeland, Fla.; and — the newest addition — Nashville, Tenn.

According to Monday’s GVLtoday report, Richmond, Va., is the newest market on the startup’s May horizon among around a dozen others set to launch this year. Michael Mazzara, the company’s new vice president of expansion, will take the helm of the company’s new PickMyCity initiative to help propagate new markets and secure new investment, according to a news release.

The startup has raised almost $4 million since its founding, with 95% of the funding sourced from angel investors within its markets, including Greenville’s VentureSouth, according to the release.

The company currently has more than 300,000 subscribers.

Chartspan, founded in 2012, and Green Cloud Defense, founded in 2011, were also featured in The Tech Tribune’s 2020 and 2019 Best Tech Startups in South Carolina lists.

All companies considered for the list are also independent, privately-owned businesses that have been open for at most 10 years and have received at least one round of funding.

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