May 22, 2017

Florida Early Stage Capital Conference: And the winners are ...

SiteZeus  Tampa - First Place $75 000

The Florida Venture Forum and Space Florida announced the three top winners of the 10th Annual 2017 Florida Early Stage Capital Conference and Space Florida’s Accelerating Innovation prize, held at the Omni ChampionsGate in Orlando on May 19.  A total of 22 Florida-based companies from across the state and a variety of industry sectors were selected to present before an audience of investors, deal professionals and entrepreneurs. Ten startups from South Florida participated.

A panel of judges reviewed each selected company’s presentation and supporting materials. The top three cash prize winners were:

First Place $75,000 - SiteZeus, Tampa (www.sitezeus.com), pictured above, the new evolution in location intelligence, driven by exceptionally engineered big data systems and unparalleled data visualization technology.

Second Place $50,000 -  Auxadyne, Keystone Heights (www.auxadyne.com) has an exclusive licensing agreement with FSU for the design, manufacture and distribution of the first commercially available auxetic foam in a variety of medical device and protective equipment applications.

Third Place $25,000 - Admiral, Gainesville (www.getadmiral.com) offers an advanced adblock analytics and automatic revenue recovery. They provide a multi-faceted platform that enables publishers to size and solve the unique adblock problem presented by their unique userbase.

The 22 presenting companies were selected from a statewide pool of more than 130 applicants by a committee of active Florida venture capitalists and other investors. Space Florida provided the Accelerating Innovation prize money totaling $150,000.

“The Forum’s Early Stage Capital Conference set a few important records in 2017: our largest-ever number of applicants, record overall attendance and the largest investor attendance in the event’s 10-year history,” said Kevin Burgoyne, President and CEO of the Florida Venture Forum. “We take these milestones as very positive indicators of an increasingly robust and well-rounded early stage ecosystem. We congratulate our winning companies, and thank Space Florida for their strong support.”

In conjunction with the 2017 Early Stage Capital Conference, The Florida Venture Forum  also announced the three winners of the 7th Annual 2017 Statewide Collegiate Business Plan Competition, also held on May 19. A total of 13 universities from a cross section of Florida brought their top students to compete for best in the state. The top three winners were:

 Winner: Sensatek Propulsion Technologies, Reamonn Soto - Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Fort Lauderdale

First Runner Up: Logentix LLC, Randy Lopez - Florida Polytechnic University, Lakeland

Second Runner Up: Spared, Ryan Lockwood - University of Tampa

 

 

May 10, 2017

Boca Raton-based Modernizing Medicine attracts $231 million in funding

ModMed

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

Health-technology company Modernizing Medicine announced Wednesday that Warburg Pincus, a global private equity firm focused on growth-stage companies, has invested $231 million into the company.

The funding will be used to provide liquidity to existing shareholders, fund further expansion and support future strategic endeavors, said Daniel Cane, CEO of the fast-growing Boca Raton-based company. “It’s a great firm, a great fund, it’s good people ... With this investment we infused some additional jet fuel into our company to be able to execute even more aggressively, to be able to hire and innovate and bring great products and solutions,” Cane said in an interview Wednesday.

Modernizing Medicine currently employs 550 people and is booking $100 million in annual revenue. “If there was any doubt that you could found and scale a company in South Florida, hopefully those doubts are now erased,” Cane said.

Founded in 2010 by Cane and Dr. Michael Sherling (pictured above), Modernizing Medicine has been one of the recent tech success stories in South Florida. Cane, a serial entrepreneur who earlier in his career co-founded and exited education-tech company Blackboard, met Sherling, his future co-founder, in the doctor’s office.

Modernizing Medicine’s flagship product is EMA, which is a mobile, cloud-based, specialty-specific electronic health record system now used by more than 10,000 providers at thousands of specialty practices nationwide, and the company now offers a full suite of products and services including practice management, revenue cycle management, telehealth for dermatology, analytics and more. Before this latest mega-round of funding, Modernizing Medicine had raised about $100 million, including $38 million in 2015.

“We’ve been quiet the last year but we’ve been executing,” said Cane. “We have an incredible team and we continue to grow. We still serve only a handful of specialties – we remain focused – but we do more within each specialty than we ever have in the past.” 

Cane said the latest round of funding will allow it to pursue strategic objectives that not only benefit physicians and their practices but also the patient. “We are building a lot of mobile patient engagement applications, looking at ecommerce, looking at telemedicine,” he said. That includes investing in technologies that streamline “prior authorization” to allow more patients to get the treatments they need faster, said Cane. In ecommerce, there are other opportunities to streamline processes that complement a patient’s treatment, and telemedicine has particular potential to take off in dermatology, Modernizing Medicine’s largest specialty with about 6,000 providers, Cane said.

Modernizing Medicine now has three South Florida locations, its main headquarters in the Research Park at FAU, a temporary space in the Boca Raton Innovation Center while its new space there is being built out, and a Weston office. “We are always hiring,” said Cane. Indeed, more than three dozen job openings are listed on Modernizing Medicine’s webite, including for engineers in product development and product management, as well as for positions in marketing, sales and legal.

Fred Hassan, managing director of Warburg Pincus and the former CEO and chairman of Schering Plough, and Amr Kronfol, Warburg Pincus principal, will join Modernizing Medicine’s board of directors. “We see meaningful opportunities for the company’s continued growth and acceleration of existing products and initiatives, and we look forward to partnering with Dan, Michael and the entire management team,” said Andrew Park, principal of Warburg Pincus.

Founded in 1966 and headquartered in New York, Warburg Pincus, with an active protfolio of more than 140 companies, has more than $44 billion in private equity assets under management. Warburg Pincus has been an active investor in the health technology sector, with current investments including DocuTAP, Helix, Intelligent Medical Objects, Specialists On Call, and A Place For Mom.

Nancy Dahlberg: @ndahlberg

May 09, 2017

Magic Leap settles lawsuit with executive claiming gender bias, 'boys club' culture

09magicleap_CPJ

By Marcia Heroux Pounds / Sun Sentinel

Plantation-based Magic Leap has reached a confidential settlement of a gender bias lawsuit filed by a former executive, Tannen Campbell.

Campbell alleged in a federal court lawsuit that she was hired by the CEO to make the cutting-edge technology company less of a “boys club,” but her efforts were met with resistance. A former vice president of strategic marketing at the privately held technology company, Campbell sued Magic Leap in February.

Notice of the settlement was filed on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale and signed by Judge William P. Dimitrouleas. Terms were not disclosed. The lawsuit now is expected to be dismissed.

December 28, 2016

Magic Leap commits to creating 725 high-paying jobs in Broward

06magicleap_CPJ

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

Magic Leap officially announced on Wednesday that is will expand its operations in Broward County, creating 725 high-wage positions and making a capital investment of $150 million.

The South Florida technology company said it selected Broward County for its R&D Center of Excellence over locations in Texas and California. Magic Leap received $9 million in government incentives, in an effort by the state of Florida, the city of Plantation, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance and Broward County. “Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County is proud to be the home of Magic Leap and its transformational technology,” said Bob Swindell, president and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance.

With locations in Plantation and Dania Beach as well as offices around the world, Magic Leap is developing a mixed-reality platform to enable people to seamlessly experience the real and virtual environments together. The company’s virtual retinal display technology superimposes 3D computer-generated imagery over real world objects. Magic Leap was founded by Rony Abovitz, who also co-founded Mako Surgical in Davie and is a University of Miami alumnus.

The incentives package has been in the works for about a year, and the $150 million capital investment will be for its Plantation facility. Magic Leap broke ground on its 260,000-square-foot campus in Plantation last fall and has begun moving in. The new headquarters and manufacturing facility is in the former Motorola campus. Magic Leap employs about 800 globally and between 200 and 300 in South Florida. The company currently lists about 175 openings in Plantation and Dania Beach.

“Our new location in Plantation will create many new jobs in the area, and we hope to continue to grow and expand our efforts over the coming years. We see Florida as an emerging hub for both technology and creativity, and we at Magic Leap are inspired by events such as the first launch to the moon, which happened right here in Florida just a few decades ago. Florida is a place where people can dream, and where amazing things can happen,” said Abovitz, in a statement on Wednesday.

To fund its innovation, Magic Leap raised $1.4 billion from investors including Google, Alibaba and others, a record in Florida. “Now it’s heads-down for us and we will be accelerating everything. We are super-focused on our getting first product out and getting it right, and letting it speak for the company. We know we have to deliver against high expectations,” Abovitz said earlier this year.

The secretive company, which hasn’t released timelines or launch dates on its product development, hit media turbulence earlier this month: Tech publication The Information reported that some former employees say its development is behind schedule and that some technology the company invented couldn’t be applied to its consumer product, thought to be spectacles. Management changes followed. New Chief Marketing Officer Brenda Freeman, formerly of National Geographic, recently responded in Recode that Magic Leap “is absolutely on track” and “racing toward launch.”

To be sure, Magic Leap’s commitment to creating 725 jobs in Broward paying an average of $92,066 — twice Broward County’s average annual wage — over a five-year period would make a large bump in South Florida tech employment. Florida is home to more than 26,000 IT companies employing nearly 250,000 professionals; nearly 80,000 people work in information and communications technologies in South Florida. Still, in a Bloomberg study released last week, Florida ranked 34th out of 50 for innovation measures including R&D, patent activity and science and engineering degree holders. 

Nancy Dahlberg: @ndahlberg

December 20, 2016

Young innovator to watch: Felipe Gomez del Campo of Weston

 

Gomez-del-campo-fullsize

 

Felipe Gomez del Campo one of four innovators nationally chosen for U.S. Department of Energy’s new entrepreneurship program

He’s been recognized as a rising energy innovator in Forbes “30 under 30” and honored at the White House as an emerging global entrepreneur by President Barack Obama.

Next up for Case Western Reserve University graduate student Felipe Gomez del Campo: He was selected as one of four innovators nationally to participate in a new two-year entrepreneurship program at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Illinois.

On Tuesday in Chicago, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz joined U.S. Senator Richard Durbin and officials from DOE to announce Gomez del Campo and the three other participants in Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI), the Midwest’s first entrepreneurship program to embed innovators in a national laboratory.

All four were selected to embed at Argonne for two years to access the lab’s scientific expertise, world-class facilities and mentorship to develop their innovative technologies.

“For an entrepreneur/ technologist, this is huge because the future is never certain,” said Gomez del Campo, a native of Mexico City who is from Weston, Florida. “You never know when you’re going to run out of money, if you'll be able to find more, what technological problems you're going to run into, etc. Joining the first cohort of CRI means that I don't have to worry as much about fundraising, and I can fully commit to developing the technology and get it to market.” 

CRI is part of a new initiative to accelerate the development of sustainable and energy-efficient technologies and drive manufacturing growth by helping startups and innovators reduce development costs and risks. A panel of judges selected the inaugural cohort of five Chain Reactions innovators from more than 100 applications.

Applicants for CRI came from 22 states. About half were with startups; the rest were students, professors, postdocs or members of industry. The four recipients represent Colorado, Indiana, North Dakota and Ohio.

Gomez del Campo, a graduate student in aerospace engineering at Case Western Reserve, is founder and CEO of FGC Plasma Solutions LLC, a Cleveland-based company that is developing a novel fuel injector for jet engines and gas turbines. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Case Western Reserve in 2016.  

The other three technologies in the first CRI cohort: a novel radioisotope battery made from nuclear waste; membrane-free electrochemical devices; and carbon material synthesis through sustainable bio-manufacturing methods.

Argonne National Laboratory, with a staff of 1,600 scientists and engineers, is the largest federally funded research and development facility in the Midwest. The CRI program provides the selected entrepreneurs dedicated laboratory and office space, support securing additional project funds, research and development assistance and access to a broad innovation ecosystem.  

Gomez del Campo was honored as an emerging global entrepreneur by Obama at the White House in 2015 and was selected by the State Department to represent the United States at the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit.

He earned a spot on the Forbes “30 under 30” list for 2016 in the energy category, the “Who’s Who to Watch in Technology” by Crain’s Cleveland Business and as one of Mexico’s six extraordinary young people by GQ Mexico. He also has been named a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Aerospace, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.

FGC Plasma Solutions is working on a fuel injector that incorporates plasma to better control combustion in jet engines and gas turbines. By reducing fuel consumptions during idling, fuel savings of between 1 percent and 5 percent per flight are possible. The technology will also enable benefits from lower emissions, increased fuel flexibility and improved reliability.

Gomez del Campo said he will likely start the CRI program in late January or early February. CRI is a one-year commitment that can be extended to two years. He is working on his master’s in aerospace engineering, swims on the Case Western Reserve swim and dive team and works part-time.

“Even though I will be at Argonne, I will still be working on my thesis — which is on my technology incidentally — and taking classes online to finish my master’s,” he said. “Although it means a lot of changes for me and I will miss CWRU a lot, it is a fantastic opportunity and I am very excited.” 

- Submtted by Case Western Reserve University 

December 13, 2016

Boatsetter reels in $13 million in funding to fuel marketing, operations

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

Aventura-based peer-to-peer boating marketplace Boatsetter reels in a round of funding in its quest to dominate a young industry. 

BaumgartenBoatsetter announced Tuesday that it has completed $13 million of Series A funding that will help the company aggressively expand its sales and marketing efforts as well as broaden and accelerate its operations in the United States. The investment round includes existing and new investors, including Great Oaks Venture Capital, Stanford University DAPER Fund, ZG Ventures and Peninsula Ventures. 

Last year, competitors Boatsetter, founded by South Florida marine and tech industry veteran Andrew Sturner in 2014, merged with Cruzin, founded by serial entrepreneur Jaclyn Baumgarten in 2012 in San Francisco but already with a large presence in South Florida. Baumgarten (pictured here) became CEO of the combined company and Sturner is executive chairman. Like others in the boat-sharing economy, Boatsetter attempts to make the boat rental experience as seamless as booking a room on Airbnb. But Boatsetter differentiates itself by giving users access to a large network of licensed captains in addition to a global roster of boat rentals for yachting, cruising, fishing or sailing, many through marinas it partners with. 


“We've taken boating from being a rare pastime for a fortunate few boat owners to being a universally accessible lifestyle activity for anyone with a smartphone and a credit card,” said Baumgarten. Boatsetter is expected to host 10,000 high quality rental boats, activate 200 marinas and connect boating enthusiasts to 2,000 captains in 2017, she said.

Andy Boszhardt Jr., partner at Great Oaks Venture Capital, said he has watched for some time Boatsetter's growth in the boat sharing sector. “We're thrilled that its team of marine industry heavyweights and tech startup veterans is making a global push for renters to experience the yacht life, this time from just about anywhere in the world,” he said. “Boatsetter's best-in-class marketplace tool is, without doubt, an outstanding player in the sharing economy.”

Boatsetter raised a $5 million seed round earlier this year and about $2 million before that, according to venture capital database Crunchbase.

December 12, 2016

JetSmarter raises $105 million to fuel growth plan

Jetsmarter

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

JetSmarter’s growth plan is hitting cruising altitude, powered by a large round of new funding from high-profile investors.

On Monday, the Fort Lauderdale-based private jet marketplace announced that it raised $105 million from existing and new strategic investors.

Existing investors in the new round include the Saudi royal family and entertainer Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter. New investors include an Abu Dhabi-based growth equity fund; strategic partner JetEdge, a large-cabin private jet operator; KZ Capital, a London-based venture capital firm; and a Qatar-based private equity fund. The Series C equity financing round is still open and the company will release additional details when it closes, founder and CEO Sergey Petrossov said.

In venture-capital speak, the new funding makes JetSmarter a “unicorn,” a private company valued over $1 billion. JetSmarter says the new funding brings it to a $1.5 billion valuation.

Sergey2JetSmarter was launched in 2013 by Petrossov, a 2009 University of Florida graduate and native of Russia. Much like Uber lets consumers use their smartphone to summon a vehicle, JetSmarter offers a mobile app that lets users charter an entire jet, travel on a private jet shuttle or create their own shared charter. It doesn’t own jets but works with a network of charter companies. Annual membership fees start at $11,500.

The additional capital “will enable us to continue domestic and international growth and expand our member community. It will allow us to gain access to more inventory and carrier partners around the world, in addition to launching new JetShuttle routes in key cities that are crucial for our members. We remain dedicated to making travel fun again,” Petrossov said.

Specifically, Petrossov said JetSmarter plans to go into India, China and South America. JetSmarter already flies into cities in the United States, Europe and the Middle East, and will also be expanding to more cities and adding routes in those regions.

In addition, JetSmarter plans to start a social network so members will be able to talk to each other and do things together in cities where they travel, Petrossov said. That will include ground experiences developed by JetSmarter.

“We are building out curated experiences for our members at restaurants, lounges and hotels, all done through additional experiences. The way I like to describe it is the future country club... The country club of the future is coming to you,” he said.

JetSmarter has about 6,700 members and aims to grow that by three times in 2017, Petrossov said. “We’ve had over a million downloads, and have a half a million users registered that are waiting around for new cities and flights to go live.”

The company offers four flight services, both scheduled routes and on-demand, where members create their own flights on their own schedule. Most innovative is its shared services for both customized, on-demand flights and its scheduled JetShuttle services on 50 routes on three continents. (The most popular route is Florida to New York, with 25 flights weekly.) The company also offers JetDeals, last-minute flash sales that pop up on “empty legs.”

“The majority of our flights are member initiated,” Petrossov said.

To be sure, JetSmarter isn’t flying solo. In the past couple of years, variations of the jet-sharing business model have launched, aimed at bringing the world of the super rich to the merely wealthy. Wheels Up, for instance, runs a membership-based private airline from Miami and other cities, including recently offering service to Havana. NetJets pioneered fractional jet ownership. Some companies, such as West Palm Beach-based BlackJet, whose investors included celebrities and an Uber co-founder, have already been grounded.

JetSmarter has expanded rapidly in the last two years and now has about 260 employees worldwide, with about 110 of those in South Florida, Petrossov said. The company's website currently lists 17 open jobs, including a vice president of engineering; all but five  were based in Fort Lauderdale.

JetSmarter moved into new headquarters in the Broward Financial Center in downtown Fort Lauderdale this fall. It also has offices in London, Dubai, Zurich and Moscow.

In February, JetSmarter announced it had secured $26.1 million in funding from existing investors, including the Saudi royal family, and announced earlier this year that former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge had joined its board. Last year it raised $20 million in financing and $6.2 million before that, according to venture capital database Crunchbase.

Along with the new financing round, JetSmarter has appointed Bradley Stewart, XOJET president/CEO and senior adviser to private equity firm TPG, to its board of directors. The announcement comes off the heels of JetSmarter’s recent partnership with XOJET, designed to expand its private jet offerings for members across North America.

Nancy Dahlberg: 305-376-3595, @ndahlberg

 

December 11, 2016

Endeavor taps Miami's Powerful Yogurt to join global network

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

Endeavor, a nonprofit that supports and accelerates selected high-impact entrepreneurs, has chosen a young Miami food company to join its global network.

Powerfulyogurt1Powerful Yogurt, led by Carlos Ramirez, is now the 16th Endeavor Miami company, after being selected Friday at Endeavor Global’s 68th International Selection Panel in Palo Alto, Calif., this week. Endeavor Entrepreneurs receive services that include mentorship and access to capital, global markets and talent.

Ramirez raised seed funding and launched Powerful Yogurt in March 2013 after years as a marketing and strategy consultant for global companies. He helped launch or expand other food products around the world, including Greek yogurt. He wondered why no one was branding the product for athletes.

Although it has since expanded its focus, Powerful Yogurt was the first company to market dairy products to the needs of active men. “But then women were saying I’m powerful too, where’s my Powerful Yogurt? We evolved the brand to be genderless. It’s more about if you work out and you need to refuel, here’s a Powerful Yogurt,” said Ramirez, a Venezuelan native who received his MBA from University of California Berkeley.

Today, 60 percent of Powerful Yogurt’s customers are female and Powerful Yogurt is positioning itself to take a bigger bite of the $8 billion yogurt market with a full lineup of accessible high protein, gluten-free, all-natural products made with Greek yogurt, including bars, drinks, shots and even an oatmeal launched in Walmart this year, Ramirez said. The company is selling products in 5,000 locations, including grocery and specialty stores mainly such as Whole Foods, Walmart and Kroger mainly in the northeastern U.S., as well as in Ireland, the United Kingdom and the Middle East.

Powerful Yogurt, based at WeWork, is trying to raise $3 million to $5 million to scale the company, he said. A team of 9, it is looking to hire in marketing, sales and operations.

“From day one working with Endeavor Miami, I got a lot of help with connections and investors and it’s been a nice surprise. … They added value to my business immediately,” said Ramirez, who is looking forward to working with the global network.

Powerful Yogurt is also the fifth food and beverage entrepreneur in the Endeavor Miami family. Others are My Ceviche, DeliverLean, ginnybakes and most recently Pincho Factory. In an Endeavor Miami study last year, Endeavor found that food and beverage is one of five areas that could sizzle for entrepreneurial activity in South Florida because the ingredients are already here: a foodie culture, expertise, a talent base and educational opportunities, as well as a strong healthy and green trend to ride upon.

Endeavor’s ISP is the culmination of a rigorous three-day selection process where panels composed of top global business leaders, entrepreneurs and investors interview candidates about their business model, leadership potential and timing.

“I'm excited to welcome another Endeavor company into our F&B portfolio. Carlos received great advice and contacts throughout the selection process and we're looking forward to continue to support his scaling phase,” said Laura Maydón, managing director of Endeavor Miami..

Endeavor now supports more than 1,200 high-impact entrepreneurs across 25 countries. Endeavor Miami launched in 2013, with funding from the Knight Foundation. For more information on Endeavor Miami, or to nominate South Florida entrepreneurs, visit www.endeavormiami.org.

November 15, 2016

CareCloud raises $31.5 million to compete in changing healthcare market

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

In CareCloud’s world, when you walk into your physician’s office, you aren’t handed that ubiquitous clipboard but rather a tablet and you enter your information — just once. And after the appointment, your doctor can serve up a bill for the growing portion not covered by your insurance with a transparent, consumer-friendly way to pay.

To that end, CareCloud, a Miami-based management platform for high-growth medical groups, announced Tuesday it has raised $31.5 million to finance its continued growth. Investors include a diversified financial services leader, The PNC Financial Services Group, and commerce technology giant First Data Corporation. Blue Cloud Ventures joined as a new investor and led the round.

With this capital injection, CareCloud has raised about $102 million since its founding in 2009. The company’s prior investors participated in the new Series C financing round, including Norwest Venture Partners, Intel Capital, Tenaya Capital and Adams Street Partners. Earlier this year, the company previously entered into a $15 million debt financing agreement with Wellington Financial and that was included in this round.

ComeeThe homegrown healthcare technology company will use the new capital to rapidly grow its team and its clinical and financial platform, said Ken Comée, who took the helm as CEO in April 2015.

“We are seeing more and more that patients are becoming payers. Our deductibles are rising faster than ever. Where just a few years ago we were paying a $20 or $30 co-pay, 4 percent of our overall bill, now we all face potentially thousands of dollars a year in medical deductibles,” said Comée, in an interview Monday.

“Doctors are ill-equipped to have that consumer-oriented point of sale, and that is where we are focusing our growth — the patient payment side of healthcare technology,” Comée said, adding that the company released a research paper Tuesday on the trends. “We’re modernizing the healthcare experience for both physicians and patients at the precise point where care happens — the medical practice.”

CareCloud’s cloud-based platform streamlines workflow for medical practices — everything from electronic health records to accounting and insurance to patient interaction — and is tailored to medical groups focused on expanding operations, especially in cardiology, general surgery, orthopedics, dermatology, ophthalmology, neurology, internal medicine, urology and family medicine specialties. “You need a technology platform that is flexible with tools as easy to use as we see in banking, shopping and our other everyday activities,” Comée said.

CareCloud, founded by Albert Santalo, currently manages more than $4 billion in annualized accounts receivables. CareCloud now has nearly 300 employees, about 200 of them in Miami, said Comée. He declined to disclose revenues, only saying that the company is selling to multiple growing multi-million-dollar practices.

Previously, Comée was CEO at Cast Iron Systems, a cloud integration company acquired by IBM. He was also CEO of PowerReviews, a leader in product ratings and reviews, also acquired, and CEO of Badgeville, a gamification startup. Before assuming the helm of CareCloud, he was a CareCloud board member, investor and operational adviser for three years.

While the $20 billion-a-year marketplace is crowded with competitors, Comée said many of the traditional players still use 20- or 30-year-old technology. “They aren’t growing; they are not taking on new business,” he said.

To be sure, the fast-moving tech company has suffered growing pains with reports of layoffs and turnover in the past three or four years. Still, Comée said CareCloud has hired 118 people since he came aboard. In August, the company held an inaugural weekend hackathon for the company and community with cash prizes, and ended up hiring three people.

Nancy Dahlberg: @ndahlberg

Read more: From 3 to 300 - CareCloud hires three from hackathon and looks to hire a dozen more

November 11, 2016

MDLIVE makes change at the top; new CEO at helm

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

Fast-growing telehealth provider MDLIVE announced a change at the top on Friday.

Longtime health-tech executive Scott Decker will be chief executive officer of the Sunrise-based company effective Monday. Current CEO and founder Randy Parker will become chief business development officer and continue to serve on the board of directors.

“We are on the cusp of a technology-enabled consumer revolution in healthcare not dissimilar to what has been experienced in retail, travel, and banking. I was immediately impressed by the vision, technology platform, partnerships and team that Randy has assembled at MDLIVE,” Decker said in a statement. “Having the opportunity to jump into the middle of this incredible growth story and help the team evolve to the next level was something that I couldn't pass up. I believe the rapid adoption of virtual care models over the next few years has the potential to dramatically change the healthcare landscape and MDLIVE will be a key catalyst in that change.”

Decker joins MDLIVE with nearly 30 years of experience as both an innovator and health information technology leader. Most recently, he served as CEO at HealthSparq, where he built the industry's first cloud-based shopping/transparency platform for healthcare consumers. In four years, HealthSparq grew from startup to servicing 70 health plans and 70 million Americans and was recently recognized as 196 on the 2016 Inc. 5000 list of America’s Fastest Growing Companies. Prior to HealthSparq, he held CEO and president roles at NextGen Healthcare and HealthVision.

MDLIVE has grown along with the explosive telehealth sector, where the doctor is a click away. The company’s virtual healthcare service covers more than 22 million people for the 2017 health plan year and encompasses the full spectrum of medical conditions. To fund its growth, MDLIVE has raised more than $73 million in venture capital financing. In May, MDLIVE said it added access to behavioral health services through its partnership with Walgreens.

“I take great pride that our accelerated growth allows us to attract a high quality professional like Scott to take the helm, bringing added dimensions of leadership and experience to our executive team. I’ve known Scott for many years and am confident he is the right person to lead MDLIVE into this new stage,” said Parker, who founded MDLIVE in 2009.