December 03, 2017

From 'grandkids on demand' to apps: How Miami startups are helping seniors and their caregivers

 

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlbergbiz@gmail.com

Who hasn’t worried about elderly family members and wished it was easier to keep up with them from afar?

Now there’s a slew of technology that offers better care for the seniors and peace of mind for the family caregivers. What’s more, some South Florida startups are at the forefront of this technology, fueled by advances in artificial intelligence, big data and voice technologies.

One Plantation company has a solution that tracks and analyzes a senior loved one’s activity and routines and will alert caregivers when something is out of the ordinary. Another Miami startup supplies “grandkids on demand” to help with transportation, chores and companionship. Still other local firms have rethought the daily phone call, supplied elder-friendly multilingual hospital discharge instructions, and matched up the elderly with others who have room in their homes. Yet another enhanced alerts for when your elder has “fallen and can’t get up.”

It’s a large and growing market; more than 50 million Americans are over the age of 65, and 10,000 more hit that mark every day. While that slice is now about 13 percent of America’s population, it will jump to 19 percent by 2030 — about 72 million people — according to a U.S. Census Bureau report. About $1.2 trillion is spent on healthcare for American seniors each year, according to government estimates.

Perhaps most importantly, this technology can keep seniors safe and independent, allowing them to live in their homes — their overwhelming preference, according to surveys. Some of the technology could also prevent life-changing injuries caused by falls. The big vision: empowering the elderly to live more safely on their own while easing the worries of their loved ones.

Through its mobile app, website or 800 number, Miami startup Papa provides assistance and socialization to seniors through young and enthusiastic team members called Papa Pals. It’s like grandkids on demand, said CEO Andrew Parker.

Olga DeMartino, 92, visits with Papa founder Andrew Parker and Papa employee, Valeria Sosa, 26, Nov. 14, 2017, in her Coral Springs home. Parker runs a startup called Papa. It provides “grandkids on demand” — basically college students hired to help elderly customers by taking them to hair appointments or to get groceries, or to do a little cleanup or cooking, or just to be a companion.

Parker came up with his startup idea from a personal need. Andrew Parker’s grandfather had been diagnosed with early onset of dementia that progressed into Alzheimer’s. As a family, the Parkers had a lot of difficulty managing his daily needs and supporting his primary family caregiver, Andrew’s grandmother.

Papa started as a simple concept, said Parker, who previously worked at telemedicine provider MDLIVE, which was founded by his father. “Our grandfather and grandmother need support; others must as well. There is a huge senior population that continues to grow on a daily basis. There are also a lot of amazing college students who want to become future nurses, doctors and other leaders. Let’s connect these inter-generational groups and I bet something amazing happens.”

So Parker gathered a small team and started Papa, to support his own grandfather, whom he called “Papa,” and other seniors. The service, which is insured, now has about 150 Papa Pals on board. Most are college students earning extra money.

Recently, Papa Pal Valeria Sosa, a 26-year-old Broward College student, took Olga DeMartino, 92, to her weekly hair appointment. After Sosa walked with her to the car and buckled her in, they chatted and joked about each other’s families.

Regina DeMartino, Olga’s daughter-in-law, said before they found Papa on social media, family members took turns taking time off work to take her to her appointments.

“She loves them – she finds them all really interesting and loves being with younger people,” Regina said of the Papa Pals. They walk her out of her appointment and always have an umbrella so her hair won’t get wet, she said. “If she needs help around the house, they do that too.”

On Valentine’s Day last year, a Papa Pal brought Olga a rose. “How sweet is that?” said Regina.

Like Papa, Room2Care also leverages the so-called sharing economy but in a different way. The Miami startup is creating a network of vetted private caregiver homes, which provide less expensive and more personalized care than assisted living, said Richard Ashenoff, who founded the company with Dr. Todd Florin.

Room2Care, a Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge winner in 2015, is licensed and doing business in five states – Florida, West Virginia, Texas, Arizona and California – and has over 5,000 users and growing daily, Ashenoff said.

While Room2Care and Papa use tech to connect seniors with humans for companionship, assistance and caregiving, technology steps in to help in all the other times, too.

Take CarePredict, an elder-care platform powered by artificial intelligence. CarePredict makes bracelets that help track an elderly resident’s every activity. Currently it is available only to large group senior-living facilities and home care agencies, but the company hopes to offer the device directly to consumers in the future.

In an office space above a Boston Market in Plantation, more than a dozen engineers and data scientists are quietly toiling away on computers in an office adorned with large portraits of senior citizens. In the next room, another worker is carefully assembling the devices.

Founder and CEO Satish Movva keeps a portrait of his own parents near his office as a reminder of his mission. His parents, who are now 90 and 80, live just 10 miles away. Still, despite frequent calls and visits, he couldn’t trust the answers he was getting from them about their health.

“No matter how many times I would call them during the week, when I showed up on Saturday I’d find new things I didn’t know about. It was frustrating,” said Movva. “I wanted a wearable device that would answer all the questions I have about them every day.”

Changes in activity and behavior patterns show up well before the underlying issues manifest into medical conditions, said Movva, who has been an innovator in healthcare technology for 23 years, including as founding CIO for Sheridan Healthcare. He wanted a system to observe his parents continuously but privately, so he could be alerted to changes early enough to intervene. After finding the existing technologies inadequate, he set out to develop CarePredict in 2013.

CarePredict’s application offers a summary page and more details when each category is clicked.

The idea is to monitor daily activities like eating, drinking, walking, bathing, cooking, sleeping, said Movva. “We couple that with contextual cues to surface insights like self-neglect, for example, due to depression.” The data can also help predict falls or suggest malnutrition, dehydration or infections before the senior or another person reports them.

Angel, an artificial intelligence- and voice-powered Virtual Nurse Assistant, can play a similar role. She reaches out via low tech but clinically intelligent phone conversations, said Wolf Shlagman, founder and CEO of Care Angel.

“You look at the aging market and 90 percent or so choose to age at home ... managing themselves the best they can,” he said. “Angel is meant to be an assistant that will help family caregivers by being able to simply call mom just as a nurse would, asking a series of questions.”

Angel asks a series of personalized questions such as “how did you sleep last night?,” “did you take your medication today?” and “what was your glucose reading today?” If it detects cause for concern, Care Angel alerts caregivers via app, text message or phone. “Our mission is to help millions of people take better care of their families for a fraction of the cost of anything else out there,” said Shlagman.

A basic version Care Angel is currently available for free for AARP members and through other partners such as health insurers. A feature-filled premium version will be available next year for about $9.95 a month.

In a recently finalized study with a Humana Medicare Advantage population, Care Angel received high marks from recipients and also had a substantial effect on clinical and financial outcomes. Results showed engagement of about 83 percent, a reduction of 63 percent in hospital readmissions and $496,000 in savings, said Shlagman, who previously founded and sold Consult-a-Doctor, a telemedicine company.

MobileHelp, founded in 2006 and headquartered in Boca Raton, took the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” personal emergency response system idea pioneered by Life Alert and turbo-charged it. Help can be summoned at the touch of a button worn around the neck or on the wrist; unlike the first-generation systems designed for use only in the home, MobileHelp‘s products can be used on the go since they don't require a landline phone connection. The device also detects falls so help can be summoned without a button being pressed. Its app also provides verbal medication notifications and a tracker that monitors activity levels for reports that go to caregivers.

SpeechMED is designed to demystify medical instructions. It was started by Susan Perry after her mother-in-law died of a medical mishap because she could not understand post-surgery instructions given by the hospital. The application operates in 16 languages, offering patients and their caregivers the instructions in the spoken word as well as in text in the language they understand. There’s an accompanying caregiver app, too. The SpeechMED system is being piloted at Baptist Health System.

Follow @ndahlberg on Twitter.

November 13, 2017

Miami is heating up with startups. Babson GEM report sheds light on who they are.

GEM

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

If it seems like everyone you meet is an entrepreneur these days, there’s a reason for that.

Miami has one of the highest rates of new entrepreneurial activity in the country, nearly twice the national average, according to a 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report released Monday by Babson College.

While 12.6 percent of Americans were starting or running new businesses during the past two years, 22 percent in Miami were doing so, according to the GEM report. And they are likely to be older and more educated with a higher income than their counterparts in many other cities.

Miami has long depended on small businesses more than large corporations. For the past decade, it has been a hotbed for new business creation — a trend that has caught fire as tech-related startups have increased. In South Florida, as in other areas of the country, organizations and universities have been focused on accelerating entrepreneurship with new programs, mentorship, pitch opportunities and co-working spaces. Even Babson itself has launched an accelerator for women and graduate programs in Miami recently.

 

For the first time, the highly-watched study included a city-level analysis of entrepreneurship in Boston, Miami and Detroit to provide a window into how entrepreneurship thrives locally. “It’s important to identify and monitor a city’s needs and monitor progress relative to entrepreneurship, whether that means, for example, supporting women or youth entrepreneurs or assisting ventures that introduce innovations or create jobs,” said Donna Kelley, a Babson College professor and co-author of the report.

The American Dream is alive and well, according to the study. Nationally during the past two years, more than 25 million Americans were starting or running new businesses in the United States. More than half of Americans see good opportunities around them for starting a business. That’s 57 percent versus 41 percent globally — a sharp rise from the depths of the recession in 2009, in which just 28 percent saw good opportunities.

In Miami, 65 percent perceive good opportunities around them and more ventures have international aspirations than a lot of other areas.

However, the report isn’t all sunny. Miami entrepreneurs start businesses out of necessity and don’t last more than a year more often than the nation as a whole. Miami also trails in innovation.

[READ MORE: What’s the average tech salary? How many startups are sprouting? A by-the-numbers look at Miami]

Here are some of the GEM report’s national and local findings about Americans who are starting or running new businesses:

▪ It’s not all millennials in hoodies eating ramen noodles, and that’s not because of the weather. Those most likely to start or run a new business in Miami are in the 35-54 age group and in the highest income category, above $100,000. Miami entrepreneurs are also more likely to have some graduate school education than the nation as a whole.

▪ U.S. entrepreneurs are driven most by opportunity (88 percent). Those who started businesses out of necessity nationally dropped to 11 percent. However, in Miami, nearly one in five entrepreneurs — 19 percent — are driven by necessity rather than opportunity.

▪ Thirty-seven percent of all U.S. entrepreneurs are developing and delivering innovative products or services, the highest level on this indicator in 15 years. However, in Miami, that level is just 24 percent, compared to 46 percent in Boston and 43 percent in Detroit.

▪ Miamians are most likely to start business in professional services, followed by wholesale/retail and manufacturing/transportation, the study found.

▪ The gender gap is wider in Miami — 28 percent of males versus 16 percent of females are starting or running new businesses than in the nation as a whole. Still, the slight overall rise in U.S. new entrepreneurial activity is because more women entered entrepreneurship last year than the year before, while this level has remained the same for men.

▪ Compared to national averages, Miami and Boston have more than twice the proportion of entrepreneurs who plan to have more than 25 percent of their total sales go to international markets. And in Miami, more new businesses have international aspirations than established businesses.

▪ Miamians are bullish. They are more positive about their entrepreneurial capabilities and report a lower fear of failure than the nation as a whole. More expect to add employees, too.

Now in its 18th year, GEM is the largest single study of entrepreneurship in the world. The GEM U.S. team, based at Babson College in Massachusetts, is one of 65 national research teams that conducted an annual adult population survey in their economy in the summer of 2016.

The survey results tracked similar trends found in the Kauffman Foundation’s reports, which showed the Miami metro area as No. 1 in the country for new business creation. However, Kauffman’s reports also ranked Miami near the bottom of 40 metro areas for growth entrepreneurship.

Read more about the GEM report here.

Follow @ndahlberg on Twitter.

October 19, 2017

Miami is bursting with startups. Problem is they aren’t growing, Kauffman study shows

Miami

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

Good news, bad news: Miami is exploding with startups, but they are not scaling up.

That was again the conclusion of an annual Kauffman Foundation study released Thursday that showed that the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro area ranked near the bottom of the pack for the entrepreneurial growth of so-called scale-ups, or fast-growing companies.

Still, ranking 36th out of 40 metropolitan areas nationwide for entrepreneurial growth is an improvement over 2016, when the metro area ranked 39th.

News of the index ranking comes in the same year that Miami ranked No. 1 in the nation in Kauffman’s 2017 Index of Startup Activity, a separate measure of new business creation that was released in May. Some years it ranks No. 2 or 3, but South Florida has always been in the top five of this national ranking for a decade.

The 2017 Kauffman Index of Growth Entrepreneurship used 2016 data on employment and revenues to rank states and metro areas in three areas: the rate of startup growth in the first five years; the percentage share of scale-ups that have reached at least 50 employees by year 10; and high-growth company density, or the number of private businesses with at least $2 million in annual revenue and three consecutive years of 20 percent annual revenue growth.

Miami ranked at the bottom of the pack for share of scale-ups, and in the bottom quartile for the other two categories. In Florida, Tampa (No. 26) and Orlando (No. 29) ranked higher than Miami. Only Jacksonville ranked lower, coming in at No. 40.

The top 10, in order: Washington, DC; Austin; Columbus; Nashville; Atlanta; San Jose’ San Francisco; Boston; Minneapolis; and Indianapolis.

The sobering ranking reflects the reality that the Miami area has historically had far more micro-businesses — those under four employees — than most other metro areas, and it still does. But it comes amid Miami’s ongoing efforts to address this issue and develop a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem, a process that takes time. In the past five years, the Knight Foundation has committed more than $28 million to more than 200 entrepreneurship projects and organizations in the city. Several organizations focused on scaling up companies have expanded to Miami in the past few years, including Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, Endeavor and the Babson WIN Lab for women-led companies and are already showing progress.

 

Endeavor Miami’s impact report, released last week, shows that its 16 Endeavor companies have generated 1,600 jobs and are booking $130 million in 2017 revenue. Other South Florida tech companies, too, that started in the past five to 10 years are now booking tens of millions in revenue and employing hundreds of employees, including Modernizing Medicine, CareCloud, MDLive, Chewy and Nearpod, to name a few, and a number of other startups are on their way. And it’s not only tech: Food and beverage startups have been particularly active, including Pincho Factory, already generating about $14 million in revenue.

On a national level, the Kauffman index showed, entrepreneurial growth continued to rebound from the Great Recession slump, across different industries and geographies.

“What this shows us is that, while Silicon Valley, Boston and New York City tend to grab national headlines, other areas of the country have been flying below the radar, quietly growing their ecosystems and nurturing entrepreneurial activity in their back yards,” Bobby Franklin, president and CEO of the National Venture Capital Association, wrote in the report.

The report also found that startups are growing more rapidly and reaching scale at higher rates than in the years following the Great Recession. Yet, fewer companies are growing to become medium-sized or larger in terms of employment when compared to the levels in the 1980s and 90s.

“These findings are cautiously promising. We are seeing a new model of economic development emerge — one that infuses entrepreneurship into the economy and removes barriers to starting and growing businesses,” said Victor Hwang, vice president of Entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation, in a news release. “Our research indicates that high-growth firms, particularly of young firms, are important to job, output and productivity growth. However, because businesses are creating fewer jobs, it’s more important than ever to empower people to control their own economic destinies.”

Among the 25 largest states, the five posting the highest entrepreneurial growth activity were Virginia, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts and Texas. Florida ranked 24th, the same ranking as in last year’s report.

Find the report at www.kauffmanindex.org.

Nancy Dahlberg: @ndahlberg

July 26, 2017

South Florida markets in top 5 for tech growth, CBRE report says

The Fort Lauderdale area ranked No. 2 and the Miami ranked No. 4 on CBRE’s list of tech talent momentum markets, a measurement of the change in tech job growth.

As part of its Scoring Tech Talent Report, which ranks 50 U.S. and Canadian markets according to their ability to attract and grow tech talent, the report also found that Madison, WI, had the most tech hiring momentum. Salt Lake City and Kansas City, MO, rounded out the top five.

The report found that tech job growth job creation grew faster in the past two years (2015-2016) compared with the prior two-year period (2013-2014) in 28 of the 50 markets. The Miami area’s tech talent pool grew 22.8 percent from 2015 to 2016, up from 3.7 percent in 2013-2014, while Fort Lauderdale’s talent pool grew 21.3 percent, after falling 2.1 percent in 2013-2014, the report found. Contributing to that growth are companies such as Magic Leap, which employs about 800 people in Broward County, the majority of them hired in the last 18 months.

 “South Florida has been working hard to establish itself as a hub for the technology industry, and it is exciting to see how quickly the industry is growing. South Florida is also a hot market for startups, and as demand for office space continues to increase, we are seeing more tech companies establish operations in South Florida,” said Shay Pope, CBRE’s senior vice president of advisory and transaction services.

To view the full report, visit Scoring Tech Talent in North America 2017. 

[Read more: What’s the average tech salary? How many startups are sprouting? A by the numbers look

June 12, 2017

What’s the average tech salary? How many startups are sprouting? A by the numbers look

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

As South Florida strives to develop a technology hub, here is a look at some measures of entrepreneurial and tech sector strength for the Miami area and Florida markets:

TecheggNumber of tech startups in South Florida: Hard to quantify because of the pivoting nature of startups and high failure rate, but by one measure, AngelList registrations, there are 2,761 startups and early stage companies registered on the platform, and some actively raising money, in the tri-county area. While not scientific because some of the startups are no longer active, that is up 63 percent since October 2015, when the number was 1,682, and 139 percent since 2014.

Job growth: 27.6 percent from 2012 through 2016, the top performing of the Miami-Dade Beacon Council’s seven targeted industries, according to the public-private economic development agency. By number of jobs, 10,413, technology is also the smallest of the seven targeted industries. In Broward, the tech industry employs 44,431, up 19.2 percent since 2012, according to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance.

Average salary: Software developer for applications: $78,603 (Miami-Dade); $89,148 (Broward), according to federal labor data. The Miami-Dade Beacon Council said the average tech sector salary in 2016 was $95,087, compared to $81,406 in 2012. The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance said the average tech sector salary in Broward County is $94,273.

Venture capital: Florida ranked seventh in the nation based on venture capital flows into Florida companies in the first quarter of the year, taking in $244.19 million, or 0.8 percent of the U.S. total, according to Pitchbook/NVCA’s quarterly venture capital report. Two-thirds of those dollars, $151.9 million, went to South Florida companies, ranking 14th among metro areas in the first quarter.

Patents per capita: Florida ranked 32nd for patents per capita in 2016, according to the Bloomberg Innovation Index. Miami nor any Florida city cracked the top 100 U.S. cities for patent activity, according to a 2017 Time magazine report.

Pipeline: South Florida ranks seventh in the nation for college students per capita. According to the 2015 edition of American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Profiles of Engineering & Engineering Technology Colleges, FIU placed fourth in the country for computer science degrees in the United States. It has ranked in the top 10 in the nation for the past five years.

RELATED STORY: Hatching a tech future: South Florida startups gain strength

Entrepreneurial activity and growth: The Miami metropolitan area ranked first among 40 big markets studied in new entrepreneurial activity in 2016, according to a study by the Kauffman Foundation published in May. But for growth, the Miami area ranked 39th out of 40th in another Kauffman study published in 2016. In 2016, 125 South Florida companies made the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies, down from 139 in 2015. For the state, Bloomberg’s 2016 U.S. State Innovation Index ranked Florida 34th, while the Milken Institute’s State Technology and Science Index for 2016 puts Florida in 41st place, falling four places since 2014.

Immigrant tech entrepreneurs: The Miami metropolitan area is No. 2 in the nation, behind San Jose, for the number of immigrant business owners with employees, according to a 2016 Kauffman Foundation study. Florida is third.

READ MORE: Miami area’s high-skilled workforce is fueled largely by immigrants

May 18, 2017

Miami area No. 1 for startup activity, Kauffman study finds

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

Step aside, Austin, Texas. Startup activity is bigger in Miami.

So says the Kauffman Foundation’s 2017 Index of Startup Activity, which measures new business creation. The Miami-Fort Lauderdale area ranked No. 1 among the 40 largest metro areas in the U.S., after two years of following Austin, the report released Thursday showed. The Kauffman Foundation, based in Kansas City, develops and funds global research and programs in entrepreneurship.

For the annual ranking, Kauffman’s analysts parsed government data from 2016 to determine the rate of entrepreneurs opening businesses in any given month, including the self-employed, and whether they are starting businesses because of the market opportunity rather than out of necessity. The index also measure startup density, or the number of newly created businesses that employ at least one other person per 1,000 companies.

To take the top spot, the Miami metro area ticked up in opportunity share and rate of new entrepreneurs and ticked down in startup density since the year earlier. Still, Miami’s density was second-highest in the nation, behind Las Vegas. Kauffman’s index was significantly enhanced and expanded two years ago, but over the past decade the immigrant-rich Miami area typically has ranked in the top five nationally for new business creation in Kauffman’s research.

“We saw a big increase in the Miami metro area of people who are trying their hands at entrepreneurship full time,” said Arnobio Morelix, senior research analyst at the Kauffman Foundation and one of the authors of the report. “We also see an increase in opportunity driven businesses, though it is not among the highest in the nation for this indicator.”

However, this index solely focuses on new business creation and is limited in what it shows about the entrepreneurship ecosystem. “Taking a broader view, if you look at startup activity in Miami, its new venture creation, it’s incredibly high. When we look at growth entrepreneurship, pretty low,” Morelix said.

He is talking about Kauffman’s Growth Entrepreneurship Index released last June, which measured the rate of growth in companies’ first five years, the share of scale-ups that reached at least 50 employees by year 10, and high-growth company density, or the number of private businesses with at least $2 million in annual revenue and three consecutive years of 20 percent annual revenue growth. The results of the growth index for Miami were sobering: Instead of near the top, the area ranked second from the bottom for growth among the 40 biggest metro areas in that study.

“What the data shows us is that there is strong new firm creation but not a lot of those companies are reaching high levels of growth by employees or revenue,” Morelix said. “They are getting stuck ... The gap between startups and growth is the most pronounced in the country. What it tells me is if I want to increase the entrepreneurship performance overall, I would be thinking a lot about the scale-up environment, including access to talent and access to capital.”

To be sure, several organizations are sharply focused on accelerating scale-ups, including the Knight Foundation, Endeavor Miami, new accelerators and investment groups such as AGP Miami. South Florida universities have been ramping up entrepreneurship programs and focusing on priming the tech talent pipeline as well. And while these groups acknowledge that there is still much work to do, this year has brought an increase in fund-raising and news of two multi-billion deals: the acquisition of Chewy.com and the creation of Cyxtera. The next Kauffman growth index comes out in the fall.

In the 2017 Kauffman Index: Startup Activity released Thursday, following Miami and No. 2 Austin were Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, San Antonio, New York, Phoenix, Houston and Denver. Kauffman’s data is industry-agnostic, so the businesses created range from high-growth tech startups to mom-and-pop shops and eateries and small service businesses in all industries.

Nationally, the key finding was that new-business activity inched up after two years of sharp increases from the lowest level of startup activity in two decades, said Morelix. About 30 percent of all new entrepreneurs are immigrants in 2016, the highest level in two decades. “Immigrants are twice as likely as the native born to start new companies.”

While this report did not break out demographics on a metro area level, another recent Kauffman study showed the top five metros with the highest percentage of immigrant-owned businesses of all ages with employees are San Jose, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York.

As for state trends, Florida ranked third, following Texas and California, in the Startup Activity index. The Tampa Bay area ranked 18th, Orlando ranked 22nd and Jacksonville ranked 30th. But like Miami, the state also ranks poorly for growth entrepreneurship, as it did Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. and in Bloomberg’s 2016 U.S. State Innovation Index released in January, which ranked Florida in the bottom third of states.

The new report, as well as other indexes, are available at kauffmanindex.org.

Nancy Dahlberg: @ndahlberg

Read more: Miami No. 2 for startups – but rides in second to last for scaleups

Read more: Miami’s small business economy ranks No. 10 in nation

 

April 20, 2017

Latest national data on female-led teams show little progress, but there's hope for South Florida's future

  Womeninvestimage

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

17 percent: The percentage of tech startups that have at least one female founder. That number hasn’t budged much since 2012, Crunchbase’s updated study found.

Crunchbase’s inaugural study on female founder representation of U.S.-based companies was published in May 2015; this week it published an update.

Other findings from Crunchbase, an open-source database spun out from TechCrunch that tracks startups and funders:

For companies with an initial raise in 2016, female-founded companies are weighted toward education (32 percent), e-commerce (31 percent), healthcare (21 percent) and media and entertainment (21 percent) startups.

Female-led companies are raising less as they go up the venture food chain, Crunchbase found. In 2016, companies with at least one female founder raised 19 percent of all seed rounds, 14 percent of early-stage venture and 8 percent of late-stage venture rounds. They companies raised 17 percent of seed dollars, 13 percent of early-stage dollars and 7 percent of late-stage dollars.

Let’s put that in dollars and sense: Across all funding stages in 2016, $10 billion went to companies with at least one female founder contrasted with $94 billion invested in male-only founder teams, Crunchbase found.

Read about the study here.

Anecdotal evidence in South Florida suggests the numbers may be similar in South Florida but higher in the future. From my own observations, the number of women at tech events and conferences has been growing, albeit very slowly. I would be interested to know how much Refresh Miami’s female membership has grown percentage-wise, for instance.

But there seems to be more women-led companies developing in the very early stages. South Florida now has an accelerator for female entrepreneurs – Babson WIN Lab – and organizations aimed at growing more female angel investors such as Aminta Ventures are developing here. StartUP FIU’s second cohort of its Empower accelerator, open to all, is about 40 percent women. In the Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge this year, which attracts pre-venture companies from all industries at the earliest stages, 48 percent of the entrants this year had female-led teams (either the CEO was female or the majority of the co-founding team was female), up from 12 percent in 2009. All this suggests more women-led businesses may be growing in our midst.

Stay tuned.

December 27, 2016

The Sunshine State has a stormy showing in Bloomberg Innovation Index


Vision-strategy-innovation-signpost-24720693-001By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

By at least one measure, Florida has a lot of work to do if it wants to join the ranks of innovation powerhouse states. The Sunshine State ranked 34th out of 50 in The Bloomberg U.S. Innovation Index.

The 2016 index, released last week, scored each of the 50 states on a 0-100 scale across six equally weighted metrics: R&D intensity; productivity; high-tech density; concentration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) employment; science and engineering degree holders; and patent activity.

No. 1 on the ranking was Massachusetts, which enjoyed a faster recovery from the last recession than most states and boasts a 2.9 percent unemployment rate. The state’s innovation is a potent mix of tax incentives to draw in companies, research partnerships between its big-name universities and local businesses, and the transfer of much of that research into patent-able products, said Greg Sullivan, research director at Boston-based Pioneer Institute, in a Bloomberg report.

California, Washington, New Jersey and Maryland rounded out the top five most innovative states. Arkansas, West Virginia and Mississippi are the least innovative in the U.S., the data show.

Keeping Florida from the bottom was its relatively high ranking – 11th – in tech company density, defined in this study as the the number of highly technical publicly traded companies, such as in aerospace and defense, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, software, energy etc compared to all public companies in the state. But all the other indicators were very low; Florida ranked 35th for R&D intensity, 44th for productivity, 40th for STEM concentration, 33rd for science and engineering degree holders; and 32nd for patent activity.

Florida ranked 35th overall in 2015.

November 17, 2016

South Florida small business: No. 10 in U.S. among metro areas

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

Nearly one out of every 10 adults owns a business in South Florida — the highest rate among metro areas in the United States. But just 45 percent of the region’s small businesses survive at least five years.

Because of those findings and others, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area ranked 10th in the nation for small business activity in a report released Thursday by the Kauffman Foundation.

Nationally, small business activity is on the rise in 47 of 50 states, including Florida, and in 38 of the top 40 largest metropolitan areas this year, according to the 2016 Kauffman Index: Main Street Entrepreneurship. The Kauffman Foundation, a national nonprofit, researches and supports entrepreneurship.

In South Florida, small businesses make up roughly 90 percent of the economy by many measures. The Main Street Entrepreneurship Index is an indicator of small business activity, focusing on established small businesses and trends in ownership rates. The Index measures the rate of business owners in the economy, as defined by the percentage of adults owning a business in a given month, the rate of business survival, or the percentage of firms in operation throughout their first five years, and established small business density, as defined by the ratio of established small businesses compared to the population, all based on the prior year’s data.  

The top five metropolitan areas for small business activity as measured by the index were Pittsburgh, Boston, Portland, Oregon, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

The Miami area ranked No. 10, up seven spots since 2015 (note: the rate of business survival was added to the index in 2016 so the 2015 index data was re-ranked with the new data), and it ranked high in several measures, including No. 1 in the rate of business owners, with 94 business owners for every 1,000 adults. By contrast, the lowest rate was 39 business owners in the Virginia Beach metropolitan area. For the business survival metric, Miami ranked among the bottom five at 45 percent surviving past five years. Orlando ranked the lowest with a 39 percent rate.

The report also showed owner demographic trends in states and metro areas, broken out by gender, age, nativity, race and education. Miami came up in the top five of two lists: Metro areas with the highest rates of older adult business owners (ages 55-64), where it was No. 4; and the areas with the highest rates of young adult business owners (ages 20-34), where Miami was No.1. Miami was No. 3 for the number of female business owners. In the Miami metro area, there are more immigrant-run businesses than ones run by the native born (12 percent vs 8 percent), and Hispanics had the highest level of entrepreneurship among ethnic groups.

Among states, Florida ranked 19th, up two places since 2015’s revamped ranking and brought up by Miami’s strong showing (Tampa-St Petersburg was 28th, Orlando was 37th and Jacksonville was 39th in the index).

The Kauffman Index: Main Street Entrepreneurship is part of a series on entrepreneurship reports; the first report was the Kauffman Index: Startup Activity, in which Miami ranked No. 2 in the nation for 2016 and 2015. In the Entrepreneurship Growth Index for 2016, Miami ranked 39 out of 40. The Main Street report is available at www.kauffmanindex.org.

Nancy Dahlberg; 305-376-3595; @ndahlberg

Read more: Miami’s small businesses see growth, more employees in year ahead

October 16, 2016

Building entrepreneurs: Where Endeavor sees progress in year 3

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By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

High-growth companies are “believed to create nearly all net new jobs,” although they make up a minority of companies in the U.S., according to a 2011 study for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy.

Developing a strong support system for helping increase sales at already-growing small businesses with proven business models can do more for economic development than promoting startups or luring large corporations with tax breaks, a recent Bloomberg Business article noted. Yet in Miami this year, the metropolitan area ranked No. 2 in the nation among major metro areas for small-business creation but second from last (no. 39) for growth, analyses by the Kauffman Foundation found.

Endeavor Miami, a nonprofit organization that selects, supports and accelerates high-impact entrepreneurs, aims to help grow the Miami economy by giving companies that already have traction a chance to secure a foothold and expand, Endeavor Miami Managing Director Laura Maydón said. To do that, it selects high-potential companies to support from a diverse cross-section of industries — including food/beverage, tech and healthcare — and in time, those entrepreneurs are expected to help other companies scale up. “These high-growth companies can add proportionally more jobs and wealth to our economy,” she said. 

Endeavor posted a new report this week marking progress, as well as challenges ahead, in its mission. Find it on here on EndeavorMiami.org. Here are a few highlights:

* Food and beverage has been among the most active entrepreneurial sectors, with a number of new companies gaining traction, many of them focused on healthier eating and convenient delivery. Four of Endeavor’s 15 companies are in this vertical and more are in the pipeline. Ginnybakes, for instance, launched a hospitality unit that focuses on putting its “mindfully indulgent” organic cookies and bars into hotel minibars. My Ceviche, already with a fast-casual chain, launched Zuuk, a healthy, fast-casual Mediterranean-style eatery in Brickell and at Miami International Airport. FastCasual.com, a media site for the $23.5 billion fast-casual restaurant industry segment, ranked the newest Endeavor Entrepreneur, Pincho Factory, at No. 11 in the Fast Casual Top 100 this year. DeliverLean, a fast-growing healthy-meal delivery service, employs 118, according to the report. 

[Read more: How millennial trends shape a new generation of food startups]

 * Young technology and healthcare companies are also making strides. EveryMundo, which provides airlines with proprietary technology and strategies, has commercialized two additional software solutions and signed deals with two of the top five airlines. It’s one of the eight Endeavor companies in the software, tech and IT area. In healthcare and medtech, seen as one of five key areas for entrepreneurial growth and potential global impact because of its hospital and university network already in place and its proximity to Latin America’s emerging markets. Already, three of the top 10 private employers in Miami are healthcare providers, according to the Beacon Council. In its buy-one-give-one social impact program, FIGS, a company modernizing medical apparel, has donated more than 90,000 sets of scrubs to medical professionals in Latin American, Caribbean and other emerging markets (co-founder Trina Spear is pictured above).

 * Some of Endeavor’s entrepreneurs are innovating the future of work itself. Encompass Onsite, which provides housekeeping, engineering maintenance and facilities management services, is mapping a step-by-step career path for every employee that even includes placing employees in opportunities in its partner network if they outgrow the company’s available opportunities. “We have a very deliberate and formalized way to provide our team members with new sets of skills within their chosen areas of expertise. Salaries inevitably increase as team members progress in this journey,” said CEO Marcell Haywood, who credits Endeavor with giving him a valuable advisory board. Meanwhile, Yandiki’s technology has empowered women around the world by providing them with access to work that allows for location and schedule flexibility. For instance, it partnered with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to allow more than 250,000 previously unemployed women to join the workforce working from home through an online employment program. In Saudi Arabia, many women were unable to work in gender-mixed environments. 

[Read more: It’s not all tech – five industries with strong growth potential

Endeavor Miami launched in 2013 with funding from the Knight Foundation and Endeavor Miami’s local board; Endeavor Miami was the global nonprofit’s first U.S. program. In the past three years, Endeavor has screened 265 companies, including 45 so far this year. Through an extensive selection process that culminated in judging by international selection panels, 24 entrepreneurs from 15 companies are now Endeavor Entrepreneurs, joining the global network of more than 1,300 entrepreneurs in 25 countries.

Together, these 15 companies have generated more than $100 million in revenue, up 55 percent since 2013 levels, and more than 1,500 jobs, up 70 percent, the report said. Fifty-seven mentors have donated 1,114 hours since 2013, and 20 of them sit on Endeavor Miami Entrepreneurs’ advisory boards. In addition to receiving mentorship and introductions, Endeavor companies have participated in or have been supported by programs such as EY’s Growth Navigator, Bain & Company’s “Externship” program, Harvard and Stanford business schools, and Kellogg’s executive MBA program. Maydón hopes to get more local companies involved in the next year.

Endeavor Miami banks on the multiplier effect: High-growth companies not only generate jobs, but their founders become role models and leaders in the entrepreneurship community, inspiring and mentoring future generations to think big and pursue high-growth entrepreneurship in the Miami area.

“We need to take a pause and acknowledge we’ve made progress, but there is still so much to do. This is a long-term play,” Maydón said. It’s also a team effort: “The sooner more stakeholders come together to support companies that are growing, the better position we will be in. Everyone has a place in this ecosystem.”

ENDEAVOR MIAMI

Find out more about Endeavor Miami and nominate a deserving entrepreneur for the program atEndeavorMiami.orgFind the report here.

COMING UP: ENDEAVOR GALA

Endeavor Miami is holding a gala on Saturday evening at Soho Studios in Wynwood, and all proceeds go to furthering the organization’s mission. Honored with the “Impact Award” will be Jessica Goldman Srebnick, CEO of Goldman Properties. Find out more and buy tickets at EndeavorMiami.org.

 

Nancy Dahlberg: @ndahlberg