Deadline extended until May 2: Enter American Entrepreneurship Award contest now

The American Entrepreneurship Award business plan competition offers aspiring and early stage entrepreneurs the opportunity to win a share of $125,000 as well as free mentorship and business support services. The competition is available to entrepreneurs currently living in, currently operating in, or who plan to open or expand their businesses to the areas of The Bronx, New York and Miami-Dade County, Florida.

To enter this competition, please visit: http://www.AmericanAward.com/ and click the “Register Here” on the page. Follow the instructions to create a profile and you will be taken to the online application. Once you complete the online application, you will be entered into the contest.

The deadline to complete your application is  now 11:59 p.m. May 2 so start your application today!

For any questions about the application or the award please contact: info@americanaward.com

April 04, 2017

Knight invests in 6 projects aimed at advancing Miami tech, entrepreneurship

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation on Tuesday announced new funding for six projects aimed at advancing Miami as an inclusive tech and innovation hub, from web development scholarships for low-income students to Miami’s first full-scale Maker Faire. The grants total $741,000.

Here are the projects receiving funding:

Digital Grass ($186,000) – Digital Grass aims to strengthen the region’s startup community by sharing the stories of South Florida’s entrepreneurs and hosting programs that educate entrepreneurs on topics related to business development.

International Women’s Forum ($105,000) – A two-day Executive Development Roundtable workshop that aims to help Miami’s rising female leaders and entrepreneurs will take place this summer. The program will focus on scaling an endeavor, building leadership skills, increasing confidence and self-efficacy and addressing risk aversion.

Miami Made ($75,000) – Miami Made supports Miami’s startup community by connecting startup founders through a series of events — including themed dinners, breakfast meetups and member-led outings — and creates a network of resources focused on helping founders thrive.

MANO ($125,000) – MANO fosters connection among Miami’s artists, entrepreneurs and tinkerers through the Miami’s first full-scale Maker Faire April 8-9 at Miami Dade College, featuring inventions and exhibits. After three years of presenting the Miami Mini Maker Faire, the event is now one of only 30 featured Maker Faires in the world. Purchase tickets for the Maker Faire Miami at miami.makerfaire.com.

NewCo ($175,000) – A one-day conference will promote awareness of emerging local employment and business opportunities. It will combine the style of an artist open studio with the feel of a music festival and connect Miami's growing entrepreneurial class with established businesses and budding startups.

Wyncode ($75,000) – Wyncode will offer full scholarships to low-income and under-represented minority students for the company’s 10-week web development boot camp teaching computer programming. After the course, students will take part in a three-month paid technical internship at CareCloud, Clutch Prep, DVLPER, Kipu Systems, Trim Agency or Watsco Ventures. Wyncode is now accepting scholarship applications to join the April 24 cohort. Visit wyncode.co/futureleaders.

“These projects ... foster local talent by supporting entrepreneurs of all kinds, while creating new pathways for innovators from under-represented groups to access resources and connect with Miami’s wider innovation community,” said Matt Haggman, Knight Foundation program director for Miami.

Over the past four years Knight has made more than 200 investments totalling more than $25 million to entrepreneurship in South Florida.

 

March 13, 2017

Startups: Apply now for eMerge Americas Startup Showcase, offering $175K in prizes

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By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

eMerge Americas, Miami’s homegrown technology conference now heading into its fourth year, is accepting applications for the June event’s Startup Showcase, which brings together entrepreneurs from around the world to compete in front of expert judges and thousands of attendees.

The eMerge Americas team traveled throughout Latin America meeting with accelerator partners and investment groups, and as part of that eMerge also hosted several startup competitions in the region. eMerge Americas CEO Xavier Gonzalez expects a number of those startups to be participating in the showcase.

“We think there will be a stronger than ever Latin American flair amongst the entrepreneurs. But at the same time, as evidenced by all the funding rounds coming out and startups bubbling up within South Florida, we think the showing and the quality from South Florida will also be stronger,” Gonzalez said. “We think it will be a good showcase of the continued evolution of the ecosystem here in South Florida and in Latin America.”

The Startup Showcase, presenting opportunities for startups to connect with investors and business leaders, is accepting applications at emergeamericas.com/startups through March 31. This year’s showcase, sponsored by Visa, will include participation from 125 startups in three tracks: Early stage, later stage and university.

All startups chosen for the showcase will be able to exhibit free of charge in the Startup Showcase area at eMerge Americas and participate in a free startup bootcamp before the conference. During the conference, they will pitch their ideas to judges for the chance to win up to $175,000 in cash and in-kind prizes, and finalists will present on stage.

The tech conference will return June 12-13 to Miami Beach Convention Center with a packed agenda of speakers and an active expo floor. WIT (Women, Innovation and Technology) Summit, launched in year two and bringing together women leaders from varying fields, and eGov, a gathering of public and private sector leaders, will also return as part of eMerge Americas. “We’ve spent the past few months working diligently to strike new partnerships and secure unique speakers to ensure eMerge 2017 surpasses all expectations,” Gonzalez said.

Last year’s conference, featuring Tony Hawk, Colin Powell, Ray Kurzweil, Monica Lewinsky and others, attracted about 13,000 attendees.

Follow @ndahlberg on Twitter.

 

 

February 25, 2017

Blacktech Weekend draws hundreds to talk about tech and capital raising, make connections

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A standing-room-only crowd piles in to hear Michael Seibel of Y-Combinator, Sarah Kunst of Proday and Angela Benton of NewME (shown below) open Blacktech Weekend at Venture Café in CIC Miami Thursday. More photos at bottom of story. Photos by Nancy Dahlberg

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By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

It was billed as an opportunity to “break bread and make bread.” Blacktech Weekend was certainly that and a whole lot more.

Black startup founders, investors, techies and community builders flew in from Silicon Valley and all over the U.S. to meet and mingle with Miami’s entrepreneurship community for talks, panel discussions, meals, bus tours, community outreach activities and parties during the event Thursday through Saturday at various locations around the city. On the main stage at the Little Haiti Cultural Center and the evening before at CIC Miami, the talk was capital raising, getting the message out, social impact and building inclusive ecosystems.

I’ve been to a lot of conferences, and the speakers usually bolt after their talks. Not at Blacktech Weekend. Each talk on stage – heavy with personal stories and advice -- came with substantial Q&A time, and the conversations continued after, in the halls, over lunch, on the buses, at the bars. Many of the speakers stayed for the entire conference.

That’s by design, said Blacktech Weekend’s founders Felecia Hatcher and Derick Pearson, who also co-founded Code Fever, an organization for inclusive coding and entrepreneurial education. The speakers list was curated and the event put together so that attendees received many opportunities to meet – and be inspired by – some of the luminaries of the industry. These are the stories that don’t get told, they said. And along the way, attendees also get their burning questions answered and, most importantly, begin building a relationship with potential investors, mentors and strategic partners.

But let’s get down to a few highlights:

“This is not a game where everyone wins. … You need to know that’s the world you are going into. I tell founders all the time, 99.9 percent chance of failure,” Michael Seibel, CEO of Silicon Valley’s Y-Combinator, one of the world’s preeminent startup accelerators, and co-founder of Justin.TV/Twitch and Socialcam, told the standing-room-only opening night crowd at Venture Café at CIC. He said in the last two years YC has funded more than 100 black and Hispanic founders.

More truths he shared: “I’ve seen every idea. Ideas are irrelevant. You are judged on execution and the number 1 way to prove that you can execute is by executing.”

Entrepreneurs succeed in fund-raising by developing leverage – by getting people to fear them as opposed to love them, he said. How to do that: Build and launch something without money. Have the right team, and there better be engineers on it, he said. And in the beginning, it’s ok if just a small group of people love your product.

“Good founders can give me a picture of the future that I can believe,” Seibel said. “And the second that I believe your version of the future, you have leverage. … I’m a little bit afraid if I don’t get behind this.”

Startups are your opportunity to change the world, but make sure you are working on a problem you really care about, he advised.

Sara Kunst, founder of Proday, and Angela Benton, founder of NewME, the first accelerator for entrepreneurs of color, got even more real: “You have to go above and beyond, and that’s the reality we are in,” said Benton, now a Miami resident who is looking to expand programming here.

The stats are sobering: Under-represented minorities in tech number in the low- to mid- single-digit percentages, and it’s about the same for senior leadership, according to statistics released last year at SXSW. Only 1 percent of VCs are black and about 1 percent of VC money goes to black founders.

Women of color who have been funded are an especially rare breed. Kunst said there are just 13 black women founders in the nation have raised a million dollars or more in venture capital.

For seed funding, if you don’t know a lot of rich people, Kunst recommends applying to accelerators, even those in obscure places such as the Midwest, because they generally provide funding. F6s.com has a good list of accelerators, she said.

Richard Kerby is vice president of Venrock, an early stage VC fund that invests in tech and healthcare companies, writing checks from $500K to $10 million. He said he listens to the founder’s vision, and then thinks, if that team can execute the vision, how will the world be impacted? If he likes the answer to that, he dives deeper into more traditional venture measures around team and product.

“As for team, I look less at your education background and look more to understand your raw intellect. I look less on your experience and more at your great market knowledge of your category. In product, I look at the value you provide to your end customer,” he said during the conference on Friday at the Little Haiti Cultural Center. For consumer products, engagement and retention is super important, he said.

Chris Christmas, founder of KeepLivin, reminded the audience that’s it’s not all about the exit.

“Everything is not about raising money and selling … Stay in your communities and grow jobs … Let’s be about economic development in our communities.”

KeepLivin  is a digital health company that aims to increase health equity in communities where health disparities exist. “Our job is to bring digital technology to the community and we are starting in barbershops, salons and churches,” he said. “We go to the streets; we meet the customers where they are at.”

For example, KeepLivin takes telemedicine to churches and to families with members in the Caribbean, so they can be seen by a board-certified physician.

KeepLivin was part of the first cohort of Startupbootcamp Digital Health in Miami, and Christmas said he found Miami to be a perfect ecosystem to grow keeplivin.org.

“Innovation is a social process, and it is one that it is fueled by conversation, collaboration, storytelling and it thrives when everybody’s included,” said Leigh-Ann Buchanan, executive director of Venture Café Miami, who led a panel discussion about inclusive ecosystems.

Leslie Miley, a returning Blacktech Week speaker who has held engineering leadership roles at Slack, Twitter, Apple and Google, said the onus is on the black community to get the positive stories out on social media platforms. “It’s about changing the narrative that is being told. .. [On social media] we should be talking about our accomplishments, talking about what we do.” Taking a page from the alt-right’s success getting its message out, he said, “Just publish information, just publish it. Link to our positive stories and have them go viral.”

Indeed, Hatcher said the reason for starting Blacktech activities was because, “We want to make sure everyone gets a seat at the table, or can build their own … table.”

Saturday brought about 40 conference goers into the streets via a bus tour of black history and innovation in Miami and others mentored youth entrepreneurs at the Overtown Youth Center. Blacktech Weekend, supported by the Knight Foundation and a number of other sponsors, was a warm-up to the main event, the third annual Blacktech Week, this year being held Sept. 25-30. If you missed the weekend event, much of the content was taped and some has been put up on social media (Refresh Miami posted Seibel’s talk on its Facebook page) and, as in the past, other talks will be released by Blacktech Week over next couple of weeks. You can catch up on the conversation at #BTWKND17.

READ MORE:

Blacktech Week receives $1.2 million in Knight funding to expand entrepreneurship programs

WLRN Q&A with Felecia Hatcher

Numbers don't lie: Silicon Valley still has a diversity problem

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Blacktech Weekend day 2 speakers at Little Haiti Cultural Center include Richard Kirby of Venrock, with Derick Pearson, above. Below, Chris Christmas of KeepLivin and panels on social media and inclusion below. Photos by Nancy Dahlberg

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February 21, 2017

#Miamitech on immigration: 'Now is not the time to shut the door."

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By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

Everymundo, a fast-growing Miami tech company, was and continues to be built by immigrant talent.

That’s even reflected in its company name. Recently the Everymundo team proclaimed its message from the windows of their downtown Miami office – “We are immigrants. Everymundo.”

Today, Everymundo, which develops and licenses marketing automation software and solutions to airlines and joined the Endeavor network of high-impact Miami companies in 2015, has 54 full-time employees in Miami and 30 of them were born outside the United States. A quarter of them are working for Everymundo on professional visas, said CEO Anton Diego.

Diego was born in Moscow and raised in Havana and Spain before moving to the U.S. in high school. “My story is just another story of the fabric of Miami.” For Diego, a biography of Andy Grove, the founder of Intel who was a Hungarian immigrant who survived Nazi Germany and communism in Hungary, proudly sits on his desk. “Without immigration, Silicon Valley wouldn’t exist ... He never made excuses, he just wanted to grow a business and employ people.”

Without the visas, Diego would not be able to recruit the top talent Everymundo needs. Miami has a growing tech community and talent base but can not yet supply the levels of senior level talent these growing companies need, a sentiment echoed by Alexander Sjögren, chief technology officer at YellowPepper, a Miami-based company pioneering mobile banking and payments in Latin America. Sjögren, a Swede who lived and worked in Latin America, moved to Miami in 2012 on an H-1-B visa to work with YellowPepper. He said about 90 percent of YellowPepper’s Miami workforce is foreign-born.

Statistics bear this out. Two out of every three engineering degrees in the U.S. are granted to foreigners. Nearly half of Fortune 500 companies established in the early 2000s were established by the foreign-born.

Johanna Mikkola, the Finnish-Canadian co-founder of Wyncode, a coding education company that is also part of Endeavor, said her company would not be as successful placing their 400 graduates in junior developer jobs at tech firms without senior level talent on staff, often immigrants, that enable companies to hire, train and nurture younger local talent. recently, Wyncode announced it will be partnering with a Swedish company to grow its impact in Miami. They were part of a panel opening up a one-day Urbanism Summit that explored issues from climate change to sustainability to urban food deficits at Palm Court in the Design District on Tuesday.

“Now is not the time to shut the door,” said Ted Hutchinson, Florida organizing director for FWD.us, who moderated the event. FWD.us, which has an office in Wynwood, is a bi-partisan national advocacy organization that was started in 2013 by Silicon Valley tech titans. “FWD is committed to finding solutions to fix immigration and part of that is raising awareness of immigration and immigrants’ contributions to tech and the entire economy of Florida.”

About 54 percent of Miami area businesses are founded by immigrants, Hutchinson said, and about one in four in Florida. But behind the numbers are people.

“We’re truly about the American Dream,” said Diego. “We want to make a difference in this city. We need to be able to recruit outside the United states and look South. Some of our top developers come to the U.S., they bring their families ... and they teach junior developers their skills. The reality is that Miami today lacks AI and big data experts, these are the fields we play in. We need to find ways to them to Miami, to bring their families to Miami. They improve our world.”

And it’s for the long term, Diego said. “We want to build a company our kids will want to work in.”

READ MORE

Why mobile payments is leap-frogging in Latin America

Wyncode coding school raises $1 million to fund growth and next phase

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Panelists from the Miami tech community talk about their need for attracting top tech talent via immigration at the Urbanism Summit in Miami on Tuesday. At top, Everymundo displayed the message "We are immigrants" in its downown office windows recently.

 

February 13, 2017

Miami Finance Forum, Knight plan half-day entrepreneur event Feb. 24

The Miami Finance Forum and the Knight Foundation are hosting "Mapping Miami’s Financial Future 2017: Key South Florida Leaders Driving Entrepreneurial and Business Success" at the Four Seasons Hotel at 1435 Brickell Avenue from 12:30pm – 6:00PM on Friday, February 24.

This 2nd annual signature event will focus on providing insights and first-hand accounts from key leaders instrumental in shaping the business and entrepreneurial landscape in South Florida.  Early registration is $125 per person for members and $175 per person for non-members by 2-22-17. To register online, visit www.miamifinanceforum.com.

“The Miami Finance Forum continues to break new ground for its innovation and ongoing support of the financial, entrepreneurial and investment communities in Miami and the rest of South Florida,” said Gregory M. Santín, Chairman of the Miami Finance Forum. “Our partnership with the Knight Foundation (KF) includes a series of events focused on startups, early stage, high growth companies and entrepreneurship. This is one of a series of events focused on integrating the Miami Finance Forum community with the entrepreneurial ecosystem which KF has made such an impact in establishing and fostering within our community.”   

More than 200 people are expected to attend including startups, early and later stage companies, entrepreneurs from sectors such as healthcare, technology, manufacturing, retail and other industries as well as finance and banking professionals, C-level executives, legal and accounting professionals and all sub-segments of the finance community in Miami and South Florida.

The Emcee of the event is Tom Hudson, Vice President of News & Special Correspondent for WLRN Radio. The event begins with a welcome and memoriam to former MFF Chairman Raul Valdes-Fauli, followed by the Opening keynote speaker - Albert Santalo, Founder, Chairman & Chief Strategy Officer of CareCloud, and lunch.  Two panel discussions held after lunch will include commentary from successful women executives from diverse sectors along with entrepreneurial innovators sharing their personal journeys of business building.  The Closing keynote speaker is Victor Mendelson, Co-President of Heico Corporation, followed by networking and cocktails.

The ‘Characteristics of Success: Perspectives of Accomplished Women’ panel will feature:

*Jane Wooldridge, Business & Visual Arts Editor, The Miami Herald –    Moderator

 *Alice Bravo, Director, Miami Dade Department of Transportation and Public   Works

*Carla Curiel, Co-Founder, Lanugo

*Pamela L. Kohl, Executive Vice President, Chief Products and Marketing          Officer, Banco de Brasil Americas

*Rachel Loeffler, Global Head of Investment Banking & Private Equity       Solutions, S&P Global Market Intelligence

*Julie Neitzel, Partner, WE Family Offices

The panel entitled ‘Entrepreneurs: Moments and Mentors’ will feature:

*Matt Haggman, Miami Program Director, Knight Foundation – Moderator

*Murilo Amaral, Co-Founder, Cargo42 (a winner of the MFF/KF Babson Rocket Pitch)

*Leslie Baumann, M.D., Founder, University of Miami Cosmetic          Medicine and   Research Institute

*Jessica Do Tully, Founder & CEO, Palmpress Coffee (a winner of the MFF/KF Babson Rocket Pitch)

*Juliana Fernandez, Founder, AEI (a global commercial interior design firm)

*Raul Segredo, Co-Founder and President, Avionica (an aviation communications manufacturer)

- Submitted by Miami Finance Forum

 

February 09, 2017

Blacktech Week receives $1.2 million in Knight funding to expand entrepreneurship programs

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By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

This month’s Blacktech Weekend will bring the CEO of Y-Combinator and other tech leaders to Miami, and it is just a slice of what’s to come.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation on Thursday announced $1.2 million in new support for Code Fever’s Blacktech Week and related programs that aim to expand opportunities for black entrepreneurs.

Based in Miami, Code Fever is a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting people of color to the startup and tech ecosystem in South Florida and is run by Felecia Hatcher and Derick Pearson. In 2015, with support from Knight Foundation, Code Fever launched Blacktech Week, a six-day conference that was also held last year.

New support from Knight, awarded over three years, will go toward expanding Blacktech Week programming year-round to include Blacktech Weekend and continued monthly office hours and meetups. Code Fever will also introduce VC in Residence, a new program that will invite venture capitalists to spend a month in Miami advising and guiding minority entrepreneurs.

Hatcher said these events will continue to bring together participants eager to connect, learn and explore ideas around how to grow black entrepreneurship and make sure people of color are represented in the tech industry. “The talent and the demand are there. With our new, expanded programming, we’ll be able to provide greater year-round access to networking, mentorship and funding,” she said.  

Matt Haggman, Knight’s Miami program director, believes the funding will help Code Fever expand and deepen the impact of Blacktech Week. In addition to the signature event, a regular calendar of events will ensure an ongoing presence throughout the year while helping to create “an inclusive and equitable entrepreneurial ecosystem in Miami,” he said. The lack of diversity in the Silicon Valley tech industry is a well-documented problem with little progress made.

“We are still in the early days of building a Miami innovation ecosystem, and we want to be very intentional that this ecosystem includes the whole community. We see Black Tech Week as a key part of this effort,” said Haggman, who has spearheaded Knight’s involvement in Miami ecosystem-building. “The more the whole community is involved, the more success we will have.”

The first Blacktech Weekend — a condensed version of Blacktech Week — will take place Feb. 23-25, with a focus on business development and raising capital. Speakers include the CEO of Y-Combinator Michael Siebel, Richard Kirby of Venrock Capital and Marlon Nichols of Cross Culture Ventures, and panels and presentations will be on topics ranging from pitching investors and asset framing to storytelling and building hubs for inclusive innovation.

This year, Blacktech Week will be Sept. 25-30. The event will feature speakers from around the globe, panels, an interactive tech career fair, workshops, networking opportunities, pitch competitions, and a new government-tech track. Code Fever will also expand its monthly Blacktech meetups and office hours to better connect Miami’s black entrepreneurs with advisors, mentors and investors throughout the year.

Past speakers and panelists at Blacktech Week have included NFL Champion and AsktheDoctor.com founder Israel Idonije and Magic Leap CEO Rony Abowitz (pictured below), Maker’s Row Founder Matthew Burnett, DreamIt Ventures Managing Director William Crowder, Priceline.com co-founder Jeff Hoffman and former Twitter Engineering Manager Lesley Miley (pictured above), among many others.

Additional details about Blacktech Weekend and Blacktech Week can be found at blacktechweek.com.

Over the past three years Knight has made more than 200 investments in entrepreneurship in South Florida.

Nancy Dahlberg: @ndahlberg

 

READ MORE

Blacktech Week: Innovating, scaling, giving back

Why I quit Twitter (and turned down a seven-figure severance package)

Black Tech Week spotlights pioneers, rising stars

Numbers don’t lie: Silicon Valley still has a big diversity problem

 

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February 06, 2017

23 South Florida startups selected to compete at SUP-X

Twenty-three South Florida startups have been selected as semi-finalists in the SUP-X: The StartUp Expo's startup competition in Fort Lauderdale in March.

The companies will each receive a free booth at the international conference and will be considered for the finals to compete for $50,000 in cash prizes. In total, 50 startups from 10 states and 25 cities have been selected.

The 23 selected South Florida participants are: Paywithchip, GoGig, RentLit, and Winspire from Fort Lauderdale; Slurpits from Dania Beach; The THX Co. from Hollywood; GoGym from Palm City; Pickk from Pompano Beach; Hutch.ai from Stuart; Jinglz and Carpe Solutions from West Palm Beach; Honorlock and Candidate.Guru from Boca Raton; and Project Ghost Studios, Symptify, UX Gofer, Same Day Pros, People As A Service, Emerge, Bid.Aero, Gramercy.io, Apollonix, and Cargo42 from Miami.

 “We have startups coming from all over North America and the Caribbean," said conference founder Bob Fitts of Miami, in the announcement. "The exchange of ideas, learning opportunities and chance to form relationships make for a great experience for them. It will be interesting to see who wins, but it should be a very valuable experience for them regardless.”

The two-day conference and expo will be held March 6-7 at the Broward Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale. In addition to its startup competition, SUP-X will  feature a “Diversity in Entrepreneurship Forum” and about 18 panels, speeches and keynote addresses on topics such as the importance of good design, minority access to capital, fintech and blockchain, raising capital and becoming a better angel investor.  Speakers include Scott Decker, CEO of MDLive; Carmen Castillo, founder, president and CEO of Fort Lauderdale-based SDI International; Albert Santalo, founder of CareCloud; and Rachel Zietz of Boca Raton,  who recently appeared on Shark Tank.

Tickets to SUP-X range from $59-$399. More information about SUP-X: http://www.sup-x.org/ or contact info@sup-x.org.  

 

January 17, 2017

SUP-X: The StartUp Expo to host regional finals of national hardware startup competition

SUP-X: The StartUp Expo announced that it had formed a partnership with Pittsburgh based accelerator AlphaLab Gear and that it will host the Southeast Regional competition of AlphaLab Gear’s Hardware Cup, one of the country’s most prestigious startup competitions focused on hardware.   

“We can’t wait to see who they select as finalists to compete at SUP-X,” said Bob Fitts, founder and producer of SUP-X, which is held at the Broward Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, each winter.

Six teams will be chosen from online applications to give a four-minute pitch in front a panel of Hardware Cup judges at SUP-X.  Judges will have five minutes to ask questions and the teams are judged on commercial viability, team capability and demonstrated commitment.  Regional finalists receive $3,000, a free one-year SOLIDWORKS license, as well as other prizes and a chance to win a $50,000 investment from Startbot VC at the Hardware Cup National Finals in May.  

“The growth of IoT, the falling cost of sensors, and increased access to tools and resources through makerspaces like TechShop make it cheaper, faster, and easier than ever before to get a hardware startup off the ground,” said Ilana Diamond, managing director at AlphaLab Gear. "The goal of the Hardware Cup is to find and highlight the most promising hardware startups in the nation, and we can't wait to hit the road and see what talent is out there this year."

SUP-X and Fort Lauderdale join Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Boston, Washington DC, Chicago and Austin as regional Hardware Cup hosts.  

Startups interested in applying to the regional Hardware Cup competition at SUP-X may apply at http://www.alphalabgear.org/hardwarecup/

SUP-X: The StartUp Expo is March 6-7, 2017, at the Broward Convention Center.  SUP-X is a two-day, international startup and early-stage conference at the Greater Fort Lauderdale-Broward Convention Center.    The event features a special “Diversity in Entrepreneurship Forum” to address the needs of those typically under-addressed in the startup and venture capital communities.  SUP-X will also have about 18 speeches and panel discussions on topics of interest to investors and entrepreneurs alike, as well as  its own startup competition with $50,000 in cash divided among three winners.  Fifty startups from over three-dozen US cities will exhibit at SUP-X for free.  Tickets to SUP-X range from $59-$399. 

More information about SUP-X may be found at http://www.sup-x.org/ or by contacting info@sup-x.org.

There will be a free Miami kickoff event for SUP-X with a pitch contest on Jan. 26 at Building.co. More info and to register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sup-x-2017-miami-dade-kickoff-party-startup-competition-tickets-30614306214

- Submitted by SUP-X: The StartUp Expo

Read last year's Miami Herald coverage from SUP-X here.

 

 

January 14, 2017

Flourish Media Conference to host its inaugural investment-focused conference for women of color in South Florida

Flourish Media Conference, in partnership with Florida International University, announced its inaugural investment-focused Flourish Media Conference: Where Women Do Business will take place Feb. 3-4 at Florida International University inside the Graham Center Ballroom.

FMC is the only media conference with opportunities for business funding for female entrepreneurs of color, offering them the opportunity to learn about branding, visibility and funding  through interactive workshops and panel discussions.

“Our goal is to prepare conference attendees with the knowledge, resources, and more importantly, access to willing investors, to help close the hugely disproportional female funding gap and under-representation of women of color in high-growth startup industries," said Vivian Olodun of FMC. "This conference presents the perfect opportunity to do just that.”

The two-day Flourish Media Conference offers guest lectures and workshops in two tracks. During both tracks, guests will have the opportunity to engage with successful female business owners and attend workshops with industry professionals to help propel their business to the next level. Saturday’s VIP conference attendees will have the opportunity to live pitch to investors for substantial funding.

FMC’s guest speakers range from bloggers, social media influencers, entrepreneurs and those operating in the business finance sector. Guest speakers scheduled to attend this year’s conference include Tracy Timberlake, YouTube vlogger turned six-figure video marketing strategist, who will teach conference attendees video hacks that can transform their personal branding into guru-status; and Lila Nikole, business owner and swimwear designer whose work has been featured on major media outlets including BET and VH1, Mercedes Benz Swim Week, and worn by some of the hottest pop stars and socialites. Lila will share personal knowledge and key insight on the strategies behind building a successful brand.

Tickets to attend Flourish Media Conference are $247 for the All-Access Garden Pass and $434 for Full-Access Buddy Pass. Live stream tickets are $57. For more information or to purchase tickets: www.flourishmediaconference.com.

-submitted by FMC

 

January 12, 2017

Bitcoin and blockchain tech to be talk of conference next week

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The emerging digital currency Bitcoin has had its ups and downs, but organizers of The North American Bitcoin Conference expect hundreds of attendees next week as industry experts and entrepreneurs reflect on trends in the industry. One hot trend is the mounting interest in the Bitcoin’s infrastructure technologies called blockchain, which many in the tech industry believe could disrupt any number of industries.

The conference returns Jan. 17-18 at the James L. Knight Center in downtown Miami. Now in its fourth year, it is the longest-running and most-attended financial conference for the Bitcoin, blockchain and currency industries, organizers say. Topics explored will also include investing, regulation, startups and the Internet of Things.

Offering their insights at the conference will be more than 20 speakers, including John McAfee, founder of McAfee; Jeffrey Tucker, Foundation for Economic Education and Liberty.me (pictured above speaking last year at the conference); Roger Ver, CEO, Bitcoin.com; Charlie Shrem, CEO, Intellisys; Jeff Garzik, CEO, Bloq; Reggie Middleton, CEO, Veritaseum; Valery Vavilov, CEO, BitFury; Bruce Fenton, executive director, Bitcoin Foundation; and Andrew Filipowski, chairman, Tally Capital.

“The North American Bitcoin Conference is curated to explore next-level, actionable innovation and technologies that you can start utilizing now,” said conference director Moe Levin. “We meticulously scout the best of the best, choosing fantastic speakers to teach you about the strategies they’ve developed and the technologies they’ve mastered.” Levin particularly recommends talks by Ver on volunteerism, McAfee on privacy and Tucker on liberty.

General Admission tickets for the two-day event are on sale at http://btcmiami.com/tickets/. More information on the conference: http://btcmiami.com.  

Leading up to the conference will be the free 3rd annual Miami Bitcoin Hackathon, with 20 bitcoin worth of prizes for the first 6 places, taking place at The LAB Miami this weekend. More information is here: http://www.thelabmiami.com/event/miami-bitcoin-hackathon.