July 20, 2016

Rightsyde Media and partners to challenge startups in pitch contest for cash and prizes

Submitted by Christopher Guzman and Marc Boulos of Rightsyde Media

Jonathan Vilma, Al Nelson, Gauthier Darrien and David Salmon will make up the judge’s panel that will grant one startup company the ultimate toolset to launch their product: a $3,000 cash prize, free Minimal Viable Product development, $1,000 worth of legal work, and $1,000 worth of social media marketing.

That’s not all— any one of the judges could bid to invest in your startup if you are extremely convincing.  

Meet the Judges: 

Jonathan Vilma is a Super Bowl winning football player and University of Miami Legend. Since leaving the NFL, he has shifted his focus to investing. He now invests in many different companies and ventures, most notably Brother Jimmy’s and Pincho Factory.

Al Nelson is a shark tank dealmaker who struck a deal with Daymond John and Mark Cuban and now works closely with Daymond John in multiple projects. He is the Co-Owner of the wildly popular House of Mac food truck and an avid investor.

Gauthier Darrien is no stranger to the startup world. After launching Uber in Miami and being the Miami city director for Velocity, Gauthier now runs his own startup.  He understands the kind of discipline and work ethic it takes to run a startup, whether it’s a well-oiled machine like Uber, or a pre-launch startup like the one he is currently working on.

David Salmon is a lawyer who specializes in startup law and on his free time he runs his own startup. David has a phenomenal understanding of what it takes to make sure a startup runs smoothly and experience in making his own startup a success as well.

Where: 8400 NW 36th St Doral, FL 33166 Suite #450

When: Thursday, July 28th

DVLPER, Salmon Legal, StartUP FIU, Tank Brewing Co., and Pipeline Doral have all teamed up with Rightsyde Media, a digital and social media marketing company, to complete this event’s lineup. All submissions come with two tickets to the event for the applicant and an associate [Editor's note: It costs  $150 to submit your startup but event organizers say that money goes to the prize pool].

You also can purchase general admission tickets to gain access to free food and drinks, tequila and beer tasting, networking, giveaways and the big pitch competition.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to grow your network and be a part of Miami’s booming startup future. You can buy your tickets today at http://rightsyde.media/start-up.


July 17, 2016

Entrepreneurship Datebook: Workshops, events in South Florida

Tech eggFounder Institute: Join an informational networking event and meet local Founder Institute graduates who will share their startup experiences, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 19, TamboWorks, 5790 Sunset Drive, South Miami. More info: http://FI.co/events

Tech Beach: Network and talk tech at monthly networker, 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, July 21, Drinkhouse Fire & Ice, 1672 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. More information here.

Fort Lauderdale Civic Hackathon: Code for Fort Lauderdale, a local civic technology group, along with coding bootcamp Wyncode, host the Fort Lauderdale Civic Hackathon (#FTLCivicHackathon) where teams will form to work on civic hacking projects, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, July 23, Axis Coworking Space, 333 Las Olas Way, Fort Lauderdale. More info on Eventbrite.

Broward Waffle Wednesday: Wynwood-based Waffle Wednesday powered by LiveNinja is expanding to Broward County with networking, presentations by startups and of course waffles, 9 to 10:30 a.m. July 27, Mad Studios, 101 NE 3rd Ave., Suite 1136. More information here.

Traditional Business vs. Franchising: Free seminar in Spanish, offered by Hispanic Business Initiative Fund (HBIF), 6 to 8 p.m. July 28, Florida Blue Center, 8895 SW 136th St., Miami. More info: 786-329-5830.

Have an entrepreneurship-related event you would like considered for the datebook? Email ndahlberg@miamiherald.com and put datebook in the subject line.


Keep up with startup news, including our recent series on food entrepreneurs,  and community views on the Starting Gate blog on MiamiHerald.com/business.

Nancy Dahlberg: @ndahlberg

June 29, 2016

Code for Fort Lauderdale to host civic hackathon July 23

By Code For Fort Lauderdale

Code for Fort Lauderdale, a local civic technology group, along with coding bootcamp Wyncode, are proud to host the Fort Lauderdale Civic Hackathon (#FTLCivicHackathon) Saturday, July 23, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Axis Coworking Space in downtown Fort Lauderdale. This event is the first locally organized civic hackathon open to developers, designers, urban planners, and creatives of all types (technical and non-technical).

“We want to create an opportunity for new ideas and collaborations to emerge,” said Rob Davis, Code for Fort Lauderdale co-organizer. “Civic Hackathons are a great way for citizens to get hands-on with civic information and meet others who share the same passion for programming and volunteering.”

Participants are tasked with pitching an idea, forming a team, and attempting to build a prototype to present at the conclusion of the event. Key Challenge themes include Transportation, Water & Outdoor Recreation, Upcycling/Recycling, Non-Profits and Open Challenge.

The City of Fort Lauderdale is a proud supporter, providing not only key open data sets instrumental in addressing these challenges, but also food, drinks, and snacks to keep teams fed and energized.

Kevin Keimel, Applications Manager for the City of Fort Lauderdale and a judge for the event added, “While this is our first involvement in a local technology event, we’re excited to see what the local community can do.”

A team of local technology leaders will act as judges and will critique final presentations on Saturday evening. Related prizes will be unveiled during the opening kick-off at 8:30 a.m.

An exciting element of the event will be the presentation of practical problems from local non-profit organizations that participants will have the opportunity to tackle. Sea Turtle Oversight Protection and The Fort Lauderdale Historical Society are just two of the participating non-profits.

At the recent National Day of Civic Hacking, hosted by Code for Miami, demonstrated projects included a data visualization using White House Promised Zones data, a Facebook Chat Bot whose goal is to make it easier starting a business in Miami, and a website for affordable housing information.

“We expect to see that same ingenuity at Fort Lauderdale’s Civic Hackathon,” Rob Davis added.

Eager Civic Hackers can register at http://FTLCivicHackathon or http://ftlcivichackathon.eventbrite.com (one per guest).

Sponsorship opportunities are available at http://ftlcivichackathon.com.


Fort Lauderdale Civic Hackathon

Date: Saturday, July 23, 2016

Time: 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Location: Axis Space Coworking, 333 Las Olas Way CU 1, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Registration: http://ftlcivichackathon.eventbrite.com

Web: http://ftlcivichackathon.com

June 26, 2016

Entrepreneurship Datebook: Workshops, events in South Florida this week

Tech eggStartup Funding 101: Do you have a business idea or product that needs funding? A Founder Institute beginner fundraising workshop, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 28, WeWork, 350 Lincoln Road. More info: http://FI.co/events

Founder Institute Graduate Startup Panel: Network with local graduates of the Founder Institute Fort Lauderdale chapter and learn about the program, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 28, General Provision, 525 NW 1st Ave., Fort Lauderdale. More info: http://FI.co/events

Dawnings: A new event with meditation and yoga, discussions with mindful entrepreneurs and healthy networking to start the day, 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Wednesday, June 29, The LAB Miami, 400 NW 26th St., Wynwood. Tickets and more info: dawnings.co

Waffles After Work: Evening networking event modeled after the weekly morning #WaffleWednesday, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 29, LiveNinja, 120 NW 25th St., Loft #301, Miami. More info on Eventbrite.

StartUP FIU: Free speaker series will feature Startup FIU Director Bob Hacker and Wyncode coding bootcamp co-founder Johanna Mikkola; will include a coding 101 session, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 30, FIU’s Ryder Building. More info on Eventbrite.

The State of Miami’s Tech Hub: Real or Hype? The second quarterly panel discussion and Q&A with tech community leaders hosted by Jurnid Sessions will be 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 30, Building.co, 120 SW Eights St. More info on Eventbrite.

StartupBlink June Networking Event: Meet new people and build your network at this StartHub Miami event, 7 p.m. Thursday, June 30, 766 W Flagler Street, 9th Floor, Miami. More info on meetup.com

Have an entrepreneurship-focused event listing you would like considered for Entrepreneurship Datebook? Email it to ndahlberg@miamiherald.com and put “Datebook” in the message line.

Starting Gate

Find startup news and community views on the Starting Gate blog on MiamiHerald.com/business.

Nancy Dahlberg @ndahlberg


June 14, 2016

Come explore the dawn of a new and more mindful Miami - inaugural event June 29

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By Demian Bellumio

As a Miami tech entrepreneur, over the last decade I have had my share of the emotional ups-and-downs that come with the “startup life.”  Founding and running a company is not only stressful, but also a very lonely experience.  Sometimes you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders, as you know that your employees, your family, your investors and even your customers, depend on you.  Your only option seems to be just to succeed, despite having all the odds against you.

In addition, year after year, I have also experienced the same frustration that is shared by many other busy professionals that juggle long workdays, busy travel schedules, endless networking events and an active family life, while trying to start and maintain a healthy lifestyle.  Dieting, exercising, or just staying relatively active seems to get harder and harder as the years go by.

But as I traveled the world, I have found that there are some people that seem to have found ways for dealing with the struggles of entrepreneurship, or have successfully cracked the code of work-life balance.  They seem to be successful while living happy and healthy lives, and inspiring others to follow their lead.  For example, I have listened to Arianna Huffington talk at DLD about the benefits of napping, watched Lebron James swear by his Yoga practice, follow Russell Simmons mindful lifestyle on social media and read the posts by my friend Loic Le Meur where he shares how meditation changed his life. 

I therefore began to get curious about what Miami had to offer in the areas of mindfulness, yoga, meditation, wellness, etc. and I was surprised about what I found.  For all the superficiality that sometimes our city is known for, there is a large and growing community of fascinating people, places and companies that are building a much more interesting and healthier Miami.  My interest in showcasing these individuals to the broader community, while gathering together other like-minded people around a fun and unique experience, has inspired me to start Dawnings.

Dawnings will be a monthly event that will take place in different locations around Miami and will aim to bring together entrepreneurs, executives, creative professionals, artists and other busy people in order to disconnect from our routines and reboot our mind and bodies.  The first event will be June 29 at The LAB Miami. 

The event will be divided in three sections.  It will start with the “Meditate” section, where during the inaugural Dawnings, local yoga master Pablo Lucero (pictured above) will guide attendees through a session that will relax the mind and body under the sunrise.  Then, during the “Educate” section, local entrepreneurs Myk Likhov (Modern Om), Patrick Hilsbos (Neuromore), and Tatiana Peisach (CPR) (all pictured below) will share their amazing stories in order to inspire attendees to build a better future.  Lastly, we will end the event with the “Liberate” section, where we will enjoy a “wellness happy hour”, complete with healthy snacks and drinks.  The first Dawnings is sponsored by Innovate Miami and is supported by LAB Miami, Senzari and WeWork.

Dawnings will start at 6 in the morning; yes, you will have to wake up while it is still dark to attend it.  Why? Because I have found that it is hard for a lot of busy people to disconnect in the afternoon, and early in the morning seems to fit their schedule better and get them ready for the workday.  But more importantly, I have always found Miami’s sunrises to be re-energizing and full of beauty, and naturally seem like the perfect backdrop to explore the “dawn of this new and more mindful Miami”.

Please visit Dawnings.co to learn more about the inaugural June 29 event. Use code Herald25 to receive 25% off the current early-bird ticket price ($25), which ends on June 15th at 11 pm.

Demian Bellumio is the founder of MIA Collective and COO of Senzari.


Headshot Myk Patrick

June 12, 2016

Entrepreneurship Datebook: Events, workshops, upcoming program deadlines in South Florida

Tech eggBrainfood with Endeavor: The speaker series features Donato A. Montanaro Jr., co-founder and CEO of tradeKing Group, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 14, The LAB Miami, 400 NW 26th St., Miami. More info: thelabmiami.com

Making the Leap from Employee to Entrepreneur: Hear advice and best practices from those who have left jobs to start their own companies, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 14, TamboWorks, 5790 Sunset Dr., South Miami. Register: http://FI.co/e/88681

How to Start a Startup in South Florida: Guest speakers at this Founder Institute - Fort Launderdale event are Randy Wood, co-founder of Citrix, and Sergey Petrossov, CEO of JetSmarter, 6:30 p,m. Tuesday, June 14, Broward College - Reubin O’D Askew Tower, 220 South East 2nd Avenue, Floor 7, Fort Lauderdale. Register at: http://fi.co/e/91671

Innovators + Executors: This matchmaking and networking event will seek to connect executors (established businesses) with creative innovators to bring advantages to both sides, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 15, C1 Bank. Wynwood, 2632 N. Miami Ave. Register at www.collabevent.com

StartUP FIU Speaker Series: Topic of free workshop by Robert Hacker is idea validation, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 16, FIU MARC Pavilion. More info here.

The Evolution of the CEO: The South Florida Technology Alliance presents a panel discussion with the CEOs of Horizon Growth Advisors, e-Builder, LearnerNation, LiveNinja and Palm Beach Software Design, 5:30-9 p.m. Thursday, June 16, FAU Tech Runway, 901 NW 35th St. Tickets: www.southfloridatech.org

Upcoming deadlines

Create Miami: Through Wednesday, June 15, Idea.me’s new Create Miami campaign is offering locals a chance to get $10,000 to make their ideas happen, with support from Knight Foundation. Apply here. Read more about the campaign here.

10KSB: The deadline to apply for Cohort 9 of the free Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at Miami Dade College is Thursday, June 16. The program is opened to established busiensses with at least $150,000 in annual revenue and four team members. Apply at http://www.10KSBapply.com

Starting Gate

What can #MiamiTech learn from the arts? Read the guest post and more startup news, such as a report about a new multi-hub incubator and accelerator program called StartUP FIU open to the community, on the Starting Gate blog on MiamiHerald.com/business.

Nancy Dahlberg @ndahlberg

June 05, 2016

Entrepreneurship Datebook: Events, workshops in South Florida

Tech eggAsk a Startup Lawyer: Next meetup to discuss best practices, obstacles and other legal topics affecting South Florida entrepreneurs, 7:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, June 7, StartHub Miami, 9th floor, 66 West Flagler St., Miami. More info: http://www.meetup.com/Ask-a-Startup-Lawyer

Founder Night Out: Network with local entrepreneurs and learn about the Founder Institute program, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 9, TamboWorks, 5790 Sunset Drive, South Miami. Register: http://FI.co/e/93721

Brainfood with Endeavor: The speaker series features Donato A. Montanaro Jr., co-founder and CEO of tradeKing Group, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. June 14, The LAB Miami, 400 NW 26th St., Miami. More info: thelabmiami.com

Making the Leap from Employee to Entrepreneur: Hear advice and best practices from those who have left jobs to start their own companies, 6:30 p.m. June 14, TamboWorks, 5790 Sunset Drive, South Miami. Register: http://FI.co/e/88681

Upcoming deadlines

Mentor Day: Mentor Day is a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to receive FREE one-on-one mentorship from industry leaders in Miami. The next MentorDay is Friday, June 17. Applications close on Monday, June 6. Apply at mentorday.co. Read more about Mentor Day here.

Startupbootcamp Digital Health: A new accelerator to Miami begins this fall, providing a three-month accelerator program, seed funding, mentorship, six months of free office space in the heart of Miami and in kind-services. Application deadline is Friday, June 10. Apply here. Read more about Startupbootcamp here.

Starting Gate

Why was Miami No. 2 in startup activity but No. 39 or 40 metro areas for startup growth? Read more about the Kauffman study’s findings and other startup news and community views on Starting Gate blog on MiamiHerald.com/business. Have an event you’d like considered for a listing? Email ndahlberg@miamiherald.com and put Datebook in the subject line.

Nancy Dahlberg @ndahlberg

June 03, 2016

White House chief data scientist to address Miami's National Day of Civic Hacking on Saturday

This just in: Dhanurjay 'DJ' Patil, the White House Deputy CTO for Data Policy and Chief Data Scientist, will give closing remarks at Saturday's Miami National Day of Civic Hacking 2016 #hackforchange.

DjAbout him: Patil joined the White House following an incredible career as a data scientist — a term he helped coin — in the public and private sectors, and in academia. Most recently, he served as the Vice President of Product at RelateIQ, which was acquired by Salesforce. He also previously held positions at LinkedIn, Greylock Partners, Skype, PayPal, and eBay. Prior to his work in the private sector, Patil worked at the Department of Defense, where he directed new efforts to bridge computational and social sciences in fields like social network analysis to help anticipate emerging threats to the United States.

He'll be giving his remarks at the end of the day and is flying into Miami specifically for this event. Read more about participating in Saturday's s Miami National Day of Civic Hacking 2016 here.

May 30, 2016

Entrepreneurship Datebook: Workshop, events May 30-June 5 and upcoming deadlines

Tech eggFounder Institute Showcase: Early-stage investors and South Florida entrepreneurs are invited to meet the most recent graduates of the Founder Institute, 7-9:30 p.m. (Private investor VIP reception at 6 p.m.) Tuesday, Broward College, Reubin O’D Askew Tower, 220 South East Second Ave., Floor 7, Fort Lauderdale, RSVPL http://fi.co/e/91701

Miami GovJam: This project-based, hands-on professional training teaches participants how to increase the efficacy of service delivery and customer satisfaction, while fostering innovation and teamwork within and outside government, Wednesday-Thursday, Miami Beach City Hall. More info: http://contexto.co/miamigovjam/

Aging2.0’s 2016 Global Startup Search: This competition is for aging-focused startups to showcase their company to an international audience; events are taking place worldwide. The Miami event will be 6:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday at BUILDING.co, 120 SW Eighth St., Miami. Tickets on Eventbrite. Apply to pitch startups at the event here: aging2.com/startup.

National Day for Civic Hacking: This event will bring together urbanists, civic hackers, government staff, developers, designers and community organizers to collaboratively build new solutions using publicly released data, technology and design processes to improve Miami communities and the governments that serve them, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, The Idea Center @ MDC, Wolfson Campus, Building 8, Fifth Floor. More info on Eventbrite.

Upcoming deadlines

Mentor Day: Mentor Day is a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to receive FREE one-on-one mentorship from industry leaders in Miami. The next MentorDay is Friday, June 17th. Applications close on Monday, June 6th. Apply at mentorday.co.

Read more about Mentor Day here.

Startupbootcamp Digital Health: A new accelerator to Miami begins this fall, providing a three-month accelerator program, seed funding, mentorship, six months of free office space in the heart of Miami and in kind-services. Application deadline is June 10. Apply here.

Read more about Startupbootcamp here.

Starting Gate

Find startup news and community views on Starting Gate blog on MiamiHerald.com/business. Have an event to list? Email ndahlberg@miamiherald.com and put Datebook in the subject line.

Nancy Dahlberg @ndahlberg

May 26, 2016

It’s all about efficiency: A conversation with SpeedETab’s cofounders

By Rhiya Mittal / RhiyaMittal@gmail.com

PicturePicture this. It’s already 6:50 pm and you just arrived to the Wynwood Art District to attend Startup Grind Miami’s monthly Fireside Chat. Only 10 minutes remain until the chat begins but you need to get your medium latte from Panther Coffee after your grueling day at work. For the average person, this may seem like quite the dilemma. But not for you! You’ve already ordered and paid for your coffee ahead of time through your SpeedETab app on your smartphone. You quickly run into Panther Coffee, snigger at the long line of eager coffee drinkers, spot an inviting to-go cup with your name on it on SpeedETab’s signature black and green mat, scoop it up, and leave the store- all in a span of two minutes. You then head on over to LAB Miami, Wynwood’s hub for entrepreneurs and innovators (and the venue for the night’s Startup Grind event), and make it just in time for the Fireside Chat, caffeinated and ready to go! You whip out your laptop and get ready to take notes on tonight’s conversation with SpeedETab cofounders, Adam Garfield and Ed Gilmore, to see how they made the magic happen.

(Side note- the above anecdote is a true story based on my personal experience/)

So, what is SpeedETab? After working long hours at a corporate finance firm in Boston, Adam Garfield would often go out with his friends to grab a beer at a local bar. It was then that he noticed a recurring problem that did not yet seem to have a solution: he would often be standing at the bar after ordering his drink, with his cash in hand, for upwards of 10 minutes, waiting for a bartender to process his order and deliver his beverage. Something had to be done. Adam and cofounder Ed Gilmore decided to take matters into their own hands and create SpeedETab, a mobile ordering app that allows users to discover nearby restaurants, order food and drinks, and pay for their order- all in one go. To retrieve their orders, users simply skip the line at their favorite venues, walk up to the SpeedETab mat by the cashiers, and pick up their items. It’s that easy! Launched in March 2015, SpeedETab has taken the South Florida region by storm and is used at over 100 venues, with plans to expand to New York soon.

NewstartupgrindProduct is king. Focus is key. In the tech environment, there are countless ways to improve a product and add new, shiny features that may seem revolutionary. However, constant feature upgrades and additions may prove to actually detract from the product itself and could be economically impractical. So how does one choose which features stay and which ones go? Adam and Ed believe that in order to be successful, a team’s main focus must be guaranteeing that its main product works efficiently and successfully while consistently delivering and achieving its ultimate goal. SpeedETab’s team focuses primarily on the ultimate user experience, for both its merchants and its clients. Before updating the app in any way, Adam and Ed ensure that the user experience will remain streamlined and reliable, as their goal is to create a frictionless connection between technology and hospitality. To do this, both cofounders constantly keep each other balanced and evaluate each change they make to make sure that the modifications will benefit the company both technologically and economically. Product success will also help in other ways. While advertising, marketing, and sales promotions do build hype around a product, the best PR comes from letting the product speak for itself. Allowing customers to share their own experiences with a product and tell their friends and families about the reasons why they love it is invaluable and extremely effective. The easiest way to make sure this happens is to have a team that focuses on the product itself, not the revenue it generates.

Healthy competition. When direct competitors are out there in the market, do not hide from them, embrace them! Your competitors will have products that serve a purpose similar to yours and may even utilize a similar platform as yours- this is extremely beneficial as it familiarizes the consumer population with your product type. For example, SpeedETab’s major competitors include other mobile ordering platforms such as the Starbucks app, Chipotle app, etc. Users who have been using these apps to order their favorite items from various venues are already educated about the benefits of mobile ordering. This reduces the efforts SpeedETab has to make to inform the public about the uses of mobile ordering, thus cutting down on promotional costs the company would have to incur. Furthermore, SpeedETab can use the fact that it has so many competitors to capitalize on the way that it streamlines mobile ordering from many venues into just one simple app. This way, instead of users having pages of mobile ordering applications on their phones, they can maximize their efficiency by just having one, SpeedETab. So remember, use your competitors’ similarities to further highlight your unique factors.

Team dynamics. To be successful in any venture, it is essential to have a diverse yet coherent team. At the inception of many startups, entrepreneurs often find themselves wearing many hats: that of a brand ambassador, marketing executive, operations director, financier, product developer, etc. While it may seem invigorating at first, this causes many entrepreneurs to burn out quickly, thus making their startup suffer. In a tech-centered business, it is often beneficial to have one cofounder who handles the business aspect and one who focuses on product development and technology. After acquiring the necessary funds, however, cofounders must recruit a structured team of specialists and delegate tasks to ensure that the company’s goals are met in an efficient manner. Communication amongst team members is necessary to make sure all team members are connected and aware of the company’s overall progress and direction. Good leaders should also focus on seeing that relationships between colleagues are both professional and amicable.

Want to gain more advice from leading entrepreneurs? Come to Startup Grind Miami’s next event on June 13. More information will be on StartupGrind.com/miami.

Rhiya Mittal is a student at the University of Miami, currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience along with minors in Chemistry, Health Sector Management & Policy, and Marketing. She hopes to work on further merging the fields of healthcare and marketing and attend medical school in the future. Reach her at RhiyaMittal@gmail.com