The moment many startups have been waiting for: Florida International University’s Americas Venture Capital Conference has selected its presenting companies. Seven of the companies are from South Florida.
The presentations are a high point of the two-day conference of speakers, panels, networking and deal-making. AVCC will be Dec. 13-14 at Miami’s JW Marriott Brickell and hosted by the Eugenio Pino and Family Global Entrepreneurship Center and FIU College of Business.
More than 100 companies applied this year to present their ventures to the AVCC’s audience of venture capitalists, angel investors, consultants and entrepreneurs and compete for $70,000 in cash and prizes.
Faquiry Diaz Cala, co-chair of AVCC and president of Tres Mares Group, explained that this year the selection committee worked with leading global accelerators and incubators — such as Telefonica’s Wayra, NXTP Labs, Start-up Chile, Revista Summa and others. “With their access to new and exciting companies, they worked to put the very best of Latin America and the U.S. into the competition,” he said.
So far 25 companies representing 11 countries have been selected and confirmed to present. Three more companies will be added to the list in the coming days, said Diaz Cala. “We looked for true innovation, proven management teams and the ability to scale and become pan-regional players.”
Here are the presenting companies that will be giving five-minute pitches (South Florida companies are in red):
Cognicor, Spain: Artificial intelligence-enabled automated complaint resolution service;
eMindful, USA-Vero Beach: Develops and delivers Internet courses that reduce employee healthcare costs and increase productivity;
Ideame, Argentina: Regional crowdfunding platform for Latin America enabling any individual to access capital, services and support to launch an idea.
Kairos, USA-Miami: A facial recognition platform to identify employees clocking in on the job.
MxHero, USA/Brazil: A server side platform that allows you to create, use and deploy advanced email applications in a secure and flexible manner.
Traetelo, Venezuela: An online store that has developed the technology to unite U.S. merchants with Latin American customers.
Trapezoid Digital Security Services, USA-Miami: A digital security company focused on hardware trust for enterprise and cloud environments.
UrtheCast, Canada: Streaming live video of Earth from space.
The companies that will be giving two-minute pitches are:
AgentPiggy, Chile: A virtual piggy bank that teaches financial literacy to children.
AlmaBox, Argentina: Online beauty company that facilitates engagement between brands and customers.
aPlicativa, Costa Rica
Bevelity Design, Spain: All-in-one platform to disrupt the 3-D market.
Cinepapaya.com, Peru: A platform for online and mobile sales of movie tickets in Latin America.
Comenta.tv, Argentina: Real-time social TV guide for Latin America and Brazil.
Esenem, USA-Miami: A mobile cloud-enabled platform for legal professionals that makes communication and collaboration for cases seamless.
Fotopigeon, USA-Tampa: Bringing automation and convenience to photo sharing.
LiveNinja, USA-Miami : A video-chat marketplace that connects visitors with experts in a variety of subjects.
OnTrade, USA-Miami: B2B lead and deal generation based on matchmaking software.
PagaPraMim, Brazil: A bill-extension platform that offers consumers more time to pay their bills, avoiding late fees and cutting interest rates.
Rokk3r Labs, USA-Miami: a software development company that builds social, mobile and web products for brands and companies.
t-Art, Argentina: A crowdsourcing platform where graphic designers and artists create t-shirts.
Urbita, USA-Los Angeles/Argentina: A person-to-person marketplace for travel-related services focused on Latin America.
Zavee, USA-West Palm Beach: A Web-based social loyalty application that provides merchant-funded rewards to consumers who shop at participating local merchants and supports socially integrated reviews, news and other content.
Zeb Studios, Mexico: Mobile app production studio.
Besides the company pitches, a packed agenda awaits conference attendees. This year the conference theme is data, design and dollars. “This is going to be closer to a conference like LeWeb or TechStars than it is your usual academic conference,” said Jerry Haar, associate dean of FIU’s College of Business, director of the Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center and AVCC co-chair. AVCC, along with many other groups and events in South Florida, has an important role to play in developing the entrepreneurial ecosystem here, Haar said.
The conference will feature more than two dozen speakers, including Martin Varsavsky (pictured at right), Argentine tech entrepreneur, investor and founder of Viatel, Ya.com, Jazztel and FON; Hernan J. Kazah (pictured at left), co-founder and managing partner at Kaszek Ventures and co-founder of Mercadolibre; and Jason L. Baptiste, CEO and co-founder of Onswipe, said Demian Bellumio, COO of Senzari and the AVCC program committee member who enlisted this year’s speakers. There’s also Veronica Allende Serra, one of Sao Paulo’s most important investors in technology; Michael Jackson, former COO of Skype and now a venture capitalist; Ola Ahlvarsson, the founder of a media technology conglomerate in Sweden; and Jean-Paul Schmetz of Germany, one of the world’s premier speakers on big data, Bellumio added. “We wanted to inspire this community with amazing people doing amazing things all over the world.”
A number of the speakers have ties to Miami, including Albert Santalo, founder and CEO of Carecloud, and Peter Kellner, co-founder of Endeavor who now runs Richmond Global in South Florida.
For registration information, to buy tickets and to view the videos of the AVCC presenting companies visit: http://avcc.fiu.edu. Organizers said special discount codes are available to entrepreneurs; email or call the Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center (entrepreneurship.fiu.edu) to request a code.