June 21, 2017

Kairos receives follow-on investment from New World Angels

Kairos

New World Angels announced this week that it has invested $347,500 into a planned $2 million Series B round of Miami-based Kairos.

The round is aimed at funding Kairos’ continued expansion of its human analytics SaaS platform.  Combining facial recognition with emotion analysis and demographic information, Kairos provides developers the building blocks to add the benefits of facial analysis to any product, app or service, helping businesses solve security, marketing and other challenges.

“We are grateful to New World Angels for their on-going support through funding and business advice," said Kairos CEO and founder Brian Brackeen in a news release.  "We are excited to have their additional support to expand our product and marketing efforts to build Kairos into a leading supplier of human analytics to retailers, advertisers, consumer marketers, as well as security, healthcare and mobile workforce providers.”

NWA President and Kairos Board member Steve O’Hara added: “Since its pivot from a single payroll product to a provider of facial recognition, demographic and emotion analytic API’s and SDK’s in 2015, Kairos has shown the flexibility, creativity and resolve needed to build a new business.   This is our third investment in Kairos having led the Series A offering and supported the subsequent convertible debt offering. “

New World Angels is a group of 68 accredited private investors  providing equity capital to early-stage entrepreneurial companies with a strong presence in Florida.  Since 2014, NWA has invested over $10 million into these companies.

 

June 20, 2017

4 South Florida startups advance to finals in WeWork Creator Awards

BM cover tech hub 4 d epf

WeWork today announced that four Miami entrepreneurs have been selected as finalists for The Creator Awards South Regional Final on June 27 at ACL Live in Austin, Texas. Chosen from a pool of more than 2,000 applicants from all across the South, these finalists, along with approximately 30 others, will present before a live audience and compete for financial awards, which range from $18,000 up to $360,000.

“We’re beside ourselves to be accepted by the WeWork Creator Awards to compete against what we know is a massive community of exceptional thinkers, inventors, entrepreneurs: creators,” says AlulA co-founder Thomas Byrd. “To be recognized for our vision to be fellow ‘creators’ by WeWork and the Creator Awards, an organization centered on creators is humbling to say the least.”

Byrd and his founders were inspired by the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. They wanted to find out how this was possible and prevent it from happening again in the future. The team has worked over the past two years to find a simple and affordable crowdsourcing method of retrieving aircraft data to make air travel safer and more efficient.

This will not only help track planes location but will also help with collect data for environmental research and help improve air travel over all -- shorter flights, cheaper flights and less burning of fossil fuels.

According to previous winners, these awards can be a game changer for companies and organizations looking to reach the next level.

Jill Bigelow, founder of a company making products for new mothers called Pelv-Ice, says her company’s prize money “allowed us to launch our sales team expansion sooner than anticipated.”

“It’s going to allow us to take advantage of a bunch of opportunities that we were going to have to skip before we won,” says Bigelow. “It will certainly help us scale faster.”

The AlulA team is at the stage where they are ready to begin product testing. “We have completed the prototype for the small box to allow our vision to become a reality,” explains Byrd. “ With the winnings we could put these small boxes on aircrafts and immediately impact flight safety and climate change research. This, we feel is the least we can do out of respect for those who lost loved ones on MH370, and the future of our planet.”

In addition to the pitch competition and awards show, the Creator Awards involves masterclasses with celebrity influencers, a career fair, pop-up market with local food vendors and live music. Creators from Austin, Houston, Dallas, Miami, Atlanta, San Antonio, Santa Fe, to name a few, will be competing. 

Subsequent events will take place in North America, Europe, and the Middle East. Winners from each event will come together for the global finals, to be held at Barclays Center in New York City on November 30.

Complete List of Miami Finalists

Launch: Businesses or nonprofits that have launched but are still learning ($72K - $180K)

AlanaAt Alana Athletica, we focus on combining four factors that we think are currently not intertwined into any women™s active-wear brand in the market – quality, price, women empowerment, and social responsibility. We design and manufacture premium quality yoga pants that enable empowerment for ALL women (regardless of size, race, background, age, etc.) at an affordable price, and we do so by employing and empowering women abuse survivors in Sri Lanka who are joining our all-women production facility - all while giving back to deserving local communities.

AlulA - Inspired by the tragic disappearance of Malaysia flight MH370, we have innovated a system to stream black box data in real time affordably from planes in flight. This allows safer air travel, as well as enabling the ability to predict and fix critical aircraft components before they fail. This makes air travel safer and more affordable!

Scale: Proven record of success and are ready for the next level (Awards: $180K - $360K)

Debris Free Ocean (nonprofit) - We provide in-classroom education about marine debris, host adventure cleanups, host zero-waste lifestyle awareness events, provide sustainability consulting services to businesses, and propel pro-ocean legislation. While providing all of these services, we ensure that our messaging is positive and uplifting so as to motivate individuals to take action towards cleaner oceans on a daily basis. We consider ourselves a warm and inviting environmental group, specifically positioned to captivate audiences who may ordinarily not appreciate aspects of the environmental movement.

Viera Academy - Viera Academy is a free college prep platform that helps students gain admission to college by maximizing their academic development and providing a personalized application strategy. We conduct a proprietary analysis of students' academic profile, personal interests, and financial need to recommend colleges and create an individualized month-by-month action plan.

- Submitted by WeWork

Meet the finalists of the American Entrepreneurship Awards; winners announced Friday

The American Entrepreneurship Award, a non-profit that aims to support American start-up businesses and entrepreneurs, will announce the selected winners of their business plan competition at their second annual ceremony taking place Friday, June 23, 2017. The awarded entrepreneurs will win business services, mentorship, and a share of $250,000 towards their businesses.

The American Entrepreneurship Award will work with their partner, Miami Dade College to present the awards. The ceremony is set to take place at Tuyo, Miami Dade College’s acclaimed restaurant located on the top floor of the Miami Culinary Institute. The event will commence with a cocktail reception at 6:00pm – 7:30pm followed but the presentation of awards at 7:30pm.  

“We’re excited for these tremendous companies who’ve shown the courage to apply and make it this far through the process. I truly believe entrepreneurship can be a catalyst for helping individuals and families achieve economic self-sufficiency. The skills and knowledge one has the opportunity to gain through their entrepreneurial pursuit stands to enhance their viability. The American Entrepreneurship Award exists to aid these business owners and help them harness their true potential.” Said Christopher Upperman, CEO of the American Entrepreneurship Award.

The finalists are... 

* UX Gofer (com): a user research platform that empowers startups and enterprises to create innovative experiences for their customers. Make better design decisions by incorporating live user feedback through our guided usability tests.

* PIERCE Plan (com): a SaaS LMS licensing and delivery model to automatically track academic requirements in real time so high school student-athletes are eligible for scholarships to play college sports, prepared to compete in the classroom, and positioned to succeed in life.

* VITAL On Demand (com): dietician-approved, nutritious and delicious meals and snacks delivered in under 15 minutes for a $1 delivery fee. They serve the professional lunchtime crowd the most flavorful, nutritious meal faster and for a lower delivery fee than anyone else.

* Full Circle (co): a platform where people can purchase products and services that ideally memorialize their deceased – both humans and pets. The company empowers people with the products and services that help them honor their loved one the way they deserve, and helps them through the grieving process.

* SOP Technologies (com): provides cities with innovative solutions to manage and protect the environment. The company's mission is to Stop Ocean Pollution, and it works towards this goal by developing cost-effective physical and digital technologies to prevent trash and contaminants from entering waterways.

* Ustaff: an on-demand healthcare staffing platform that serves as a conduit for healthcare facilities and healthcare professionals to directly connect, in order to service their scheduling and staffing needs.

* Major Marketplace (com): an online marketplace for minority businesses and those who want to support them. They curate local and international products and services made and offered by passionate creators, bridging conscious buyers to minority businesses.

* Arslin.com (arslin.com): provides consumers with a dealership-free online platform for purchasing of used cars.

* Smart Barrel (co): an Internet of Things (IoT) company that builds and designs products focusing on the construction industry. Smart Barrel products are physical field products that are introduced into the jobsite to assist and enhance the communication between Office and Field personnel.

* Cargo42 (com): a digital marketplace for local trucking committed to reduce empty miles for trucking companies and to offer lower freight rates for Less than Load (LTL) shippers.

Prior to the ceremony, The American Entrepreneurship Award will host a small business expo located next door to Tuyo, at the Idea Center at Miami Dade College. Doors to the expo will open at 4pm and will host a multitude of Miami’s local business support services such as Neighborhood Lending Partners, Beacon Council, and Venture Café among others.

All members of the community are encouraged to attend both the expo and ceremony. Both events are free of charge and open to the public.

Past American Entrepreneurship Award winners from Miami-Dade County are:

* StatLab Mobile (com): a complete mobile laboratory with the capabilities to test blood and urine samples on site at any location. Their goal is to provide quality blood testing for the insured and the uninsured at a fraction of the traditional cost.

* ValueDoc (valuedoc.com) a free online health and wellness marketplace where cash or self-pay patients find local, quality, pre-screened doctors offering basic services, like dental cleaning, cardiology consultations, MRI, urgent care visits, plastic surgery, physical therapy, acupuncture, skin consultation, etc., at discounted prices of up to 80% off retail.

* CourtBuddy (com): an automated legal matchmaking system that pairs consumers and small businesses with solo attorneys for a-la-carte legal services based on an individual’s budget.

 To learn more about the American Entrepreneurship Award, please visit: www.americanaward.com.

 

- Submitted by AEA

June 04, 2017

Startup Spotlight: PartyTap is at your service

Party1

PartyTap CEO Jordan Hamilton of Miami shows off his PartyTap app on Thursday. On the app, hosts can order bartenders, waitstaff, photographers, videographers and other staff needed for an event. Bryan Cereijo bcereijo@miamiherald.com

Startup Spotlight: PartyTap

Headquarters: Miami

Concept: A party and event staffing app that allows anyone to order staff with a few taps on a smartphone.

Story: After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in upstate New York, Jordan Hamilton moved to sunny Miami to attend Florida International University’s hospitality/tourism management program and worked as a private chef for extra cash. “I would very often get requests to bring bartenders, waitstaff and photographers with me for larger events and was surprised my clients didn’t have a good place to get these services. That’s when I would search Google to call each company, compare reviews, compare pricing, and it would take days or sometimes weeks to confirm,” Hamilton said. “It was that ‘apple on the head’ moment I thought of a platform where people could open their smartphone and order party staff like they would order an Uber.”

Party2Hamilton shared his app idea with one of his private chef clients, Sarah Lacharlotte, one evening after an event, and she became his first investor and co-founder. So he hung up his chef’s hat, and it took him about a year to design and develop the PartyTap app, with the help of WorkN, a tech company from Atlanta, and teams in India and Hungary.

PartyTap essentially democratizes party staffing by pairing up private party planners and small companies with bartenders, waitstaff and other service providers so that individuals and smaller organizations can easily put together the same type of events large corporations with big budgets can. The app saves time and money by offering bartenders, servers, photographers, DJs and cleanup services in one place, with preset pricing so you know what you are paying before booking, whether it’s months in advance or even just six hours. Coming later this month to the app: catering and valet services. All PartyTap’s staff are vetted and hand-selected to ensure they are the best fit for the job. After the event, they are rated 1-5 stars so PartyTap can monitor how each staff member is performing.

“With this app you simply open it, select the staff you need, add your credit card and send the request. You are updated in real time with staff who accept your request and that’s it. What would have taken multiple phone calls and days of planning now takes less than five minutes and a couple taps on our app,” Hamilton said.

The free app is available on the Apple App and Google Play stores. PartyTap makes a percentage of each transaction booked on the app. PartyTap is servicing Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, and Hamilton is launching in Aspen and Las Vegas — two big party markets — in the next couple of months as he begins a national expansion. “Expansion into key markets like Las Vegas, New York City, Atlanta, Aspen, Los Angeles and San Francisco will really help us do some damage in the party/event staffing space,” Hamilton said.

Launched: Jan. 15, 2017, on Apple App Store and Google Play

Website: www.partytap.com

Management team: Jordan Hamilton, founder and CEO; Sarah Lacharlotte, co-founder.

No. of employees: 2 employees and 400-plus contractors who work for the app (DJs, bartenders, photographers, valet, catering and waiters).

Financing: $85,000 raised from friends and family last year. Currently raising a seed round, aiming for $250,000 to $500,000.

Recent milestones reached: In South Florida, more than 400 service providers have joined the app, which has been downloaded more than 2,100 times. Revenue spiked 550 percent from March to April on services booked through the app and that momentum continued through May, Hamilton said.

Biggest startup challenge: Driving awareness about the app.

Next step: Expanding into key markets. Hamilton is raising seed funding to help fuel existing growth, increase marketing, hire city managers and recruit staff for expansion cities.

NANCY DAHLBERG

Follow  @ndahlberg on Twitter

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May 31, 2017

Blackstone invests in Broward tech startup Entic

Entic

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@MiamiHerald.com

When a satisfied customer becomes an investor, that’s a good day for any early-stage company — especially when that customer is a giant private equity firm.

Entic, a South Florida technology company that helps commercial building owners save energy, announced Wednesday that it has received a strategic investment from Blackstone.

Blackstone has used Entic’s technology to provide operational efficiency and energy savings at several buildings owned by the firm’s real estate funds, including Park Avenue Tower in midtown Manhattan and the Howard Hughes Center in Los Angeles. “We’ve closely followed Entic’s track record for some time as part of a search for a best-in-class energy analytics platform,” said Don Anderson, executive director for Blackstone.

Entic CEO Carlos Diaz said the investment will help accelerate six-year-old Entic’s growth plans. Blackstone will also provide the company support and expertise from Blackstone’s Real Estate and Innovations teams. Before the deal with Blackstone, Entic had attracted about $13 million in investments and provided services to about 65 properties, according to the Wall Street Journal. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.

“Blackstone’s investment and decision to deploy our technology are together a major recognition of our success in reducing energy waste and increasing operational performance in commercial buildings,” said Diaz, a seasoned software architect who co-founded the company with Manuel Rosendo, an HVAC industry veteran (pictured above).

Entic, headquartered in Pembroke Pines with more than 45 employees, uses real-time data analysis of major energy-consuming systems to provide prescriptions for improving building operations. Its longtime customers include Marlins Park and the Diplomat Resort & Spa.

 

May 23, 2017

FAU Tech Runway selects 5th accelerator class

Fau

Florida Atlantic University’s Tech Runway has selected its fifth and largest Venture class of startup and early-stage companies to participate in its business accelerator program.

This year, four companies will receive a $25,000 non-equity grant, participate in a 16-week intensive boot camp, engage in a rigorous year-long mentoring program with a team of five accomplished business mentors, and will be provided a workspace for one year. The four companies are:

·    Videopura LLC is a video services company with patent-pending technologies to reduce the bandwidth necessary for video services.

·      Tap2Open LLC is a secure, convenient, and easy way for residents and guests to gain access to gated communities via smart devices. Tap2Open allows residents and invited guests enter a gated community or secured door at the push of a button on their smart phone or device.

·  Ridgeback Network Defense Inc. delivers enterprise network security by turning the tables on hackers, dynamically counter-engaging the adversary, causing them to absorb the expense of attack and eliminating them as a threat.

·      Hubspring Health is an innovative software company founded by physicians focused on solving several of the chronic problems plaguing our industry. Hubspring provides a cure for these chronic conditions and enables healthcare organizations to embrace the future with its innovative and powerfully flexible platform, The Hub.

In addition, 16 more companies were awarded based on various tracks including, community, student and faculty. This will give them many of the same benefits as the prior four companies, minus the $25,000 grant. Six companies are still in the process of being selected and confirmed, however, the 11 companies already identified are: Two Degrees Inc.; ScaleWize; Land of Zorth; WAHspace; Bacon Boxes; SlideMap; PAPER; STAX; Gaming Frog; MMP Biopharma Inc.; and PQSecure Technologies LLC.

“A record number of companies entered the 2017 FAU Tech Runway Launch Competition. They significantly raised the bar, in terms of their quality and breadth represented,” said Rhys L. Williams, associate vice president for research and the managing director for FAU Tech Runway. “Consequently, this year’s winning Venture Class will be expanded by 50 percent to 21 companies.  After they complete our year-long program, many of these companies will no doubt make a profound impact upon the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Under the purview of the FAU Division of Research, Tech Runway is a public-private partnership formed to foster technology start-ups and early-stage companies. Since its inception in late 2014, 205 jobs and 76 internships have been created; 39 FAU students have been employed; 136 corporate partnerships have been created; more than $8 million in revenue has been earned; and more than $19 million investment capital has been raised.

“FAU Tech Runway serves as a core entrepreneurship hub for Florida Atlantic University and as a key resource for the regional technology eco-system,” said Daniel C. Flynn, FAU’s vice president for research. “As the program matures, it will continue to launch thriving, innovative companies that are ready for their next stage of growth, contributing to the university and the state’s economic vitality.”

For more information on FAU Tech Runway, visit techrunway.fau.edu.

- Submitted by FAU Tech Runway

 

May 18, 2017

South Florida companies team up: Paymentez buys majority stake in SpeedETab

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

SpeedetabHomeSometimes startups should team up to take off.

SpeedETab, a Fort Lauderdale startup that enables customers to order and pay for food and drinks from their smartphones, and Paymentez, a Miami-based payments platform for goods and services in Latin America, did just that.

On Thursday, Paymentez announced that it has acquired a majority stake in SpeedETab. The partnership marks Paymentez’s entry into the U.S. market. SpeedETab’s co-founders, Adam Garfield and Ed Gilmore, will continue to run SpeedETab and its current team of 11.

Under terms, of the investment, SpeedETab will implement Paymentez’s technology to expand the SpeedETab app. Garfield said SpeedETab will also have access to Paymentez’s top tech team of about 25 to 30 engineers. Financial details were not disclosed. 

Juan Franco, CEO of Paymentez, said that together they will offer “a superior mobile commerce experience.”

“Our strategy for the USA is 100 percent aligned with SpeedETab’s. The U.S. has always been interesting to us — my co-founder and I live in Miami — and especially when it comes to mobile ordering, there is a market readiness here that surpasses that of Latin America. The space is moving so fast, we felt we would be much more successful building upon what SpeedETab has already done and incorporating our technical capacity, [point-of-sale] integrations and lessons learned in Latin America,” said Franco, who has been watching SpeedETab’s growth for more than a year.

SpeedETab, which launched in mid-2015, provides an app-based mobile ordering, mobile payments and analytics platform for the food service industry. The fast-growing startup powers mobile ordering and payments at more than 200 U.S. locations, including Panther Coffee, Zaro’s Bakery, Gregory’s Coffee, Toby’s Estate, and the Adrienne Arsht Center.

“It’s never easy for a founder to part with a majority stake in their company, but Ed and I felt this was an opportunity for us to position ourselves as a major player in the mobile ordering and mobile payments market,” said Garfield, who will be showcasing SpeedETab at the National Restaurant Show in Chicago next week. “Juan and the Paymentez team bring to SpeedETab a tremendous amount of strategic value — from strong channel partnerships to essential point of sale integrations – and their addition to SpeedETab propels us forward exponentially.”

Founded in 2010 by serial entrepreneurs Franco and Jaime Roldan, Paymentez is a leading monetization platform for micro transactions in Latin America. Paymentez has about 50 employees across Latin America and five in Miami.

“We started Paymentez in Brazil, Mexico and Colombia and today have presence in seven countries in Latin America. ... Last year, in partnership with MasterCard, we launched a mobile ordering app that is now being used by the most relevant merchants in the region,” Franco said.

Nancy Dahlberg: @ndahlberg

May 13, 2017

Tech Talk: Magic Leap, Alta5, upcoming deadlines & more

NewronyBy Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

The secretive Magic Leap may be fund-raising again, and with that may pull a $6 billion to $8 billion valuation out of its hat. That’s from sources of the tech blog BackChannel.

According to BackChannel, part of Wired Media Group, Plantation-based Magic Leap is raising a Series D funding round led by Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba. It’s not sewn up yet though. That’s from sources of tech writer/editor Jessi Hempel, who also wrote one of the first long features about the augmented reality tech company with very little about its actual technology (that NDA, you know) about a year ago in Wired.

If this funding news is true, the cash runway may have shortened up a bit. About 15 months ago, Magic Leap raised $793.5 million led by Alibaba, on top of $592 million previously raised from Google and other VCs, for a total of nearly $1.4 billion on a $4.5 billion valuation – and that’s for a company that had yet to reveal its technology to the world. At the time CEO Rony Abovitz said that money would take the company through commercial launch.

“This funding allows us to accelerate the move from product development to pilot manufacturing, manufacturing and commercial launch,” Abovitz told me in a phone interview at the time. “But beyond that, this gives the company a very long-term runway – effectively we can be sustainable. We may not need to raise capital again – it doesn’t mean we won’t – but it gives us the ability to think well beyond the initial product launch.”

Magic Leap still hasn’t launched a product, nor announced a timeline, but the fund-raise could suggest a launch is imminent – or not. In what may be another sign: Abovitz called on developers and artists to sign up to work on new content for the platform, via Twitter. Abovitz has said Magic Leap will launch its head gear when it’s ready, and with mixed reality content to wow the world.

In other Magic Leap news, as reported earlier this week, the mixed reality company has settled itse gender discrimination lawsuit, claiming a boys club culture among other things, for undisclosed terms.

Whether or not the big ML raise materializes in 2017, it will be a good year for South Florida funding. Boca Raton-based Modernizing Medicine saw to that this week, raising $231 million in funding from private equity firm Warburg Pincus and bringing its total funding to some $330 million.

Rocco

In other Miami tech news, Alta5 vaulted into the spotlight at its 500 Startups Demo Day in San Francisco on Thursday night, scoring favorable press out of the gate for the Miami-based fintech startup, which created an automation platform for individual investors. The live-streamed event attracted more than 500 investors, said Alta5 co-founder Rocco Savage (pictured above, pitching at Demo Day). TechCrunch called Alta5 one of the top eight in the batch of 41 500 Startup companies. Mattermark ranked the batch of 41 companies and found Alta 5 to have the third highest Mattermark Growth Score of the batch.

[READ MORE: Alta5 joins 500 Startups to bring automation to your online brokerage account]

Miami’s Court Buddy, a legal-tech startup also part of 500 Startups’ Batch 20 that pitched Thursday (and a former Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge winner), made the top 25 in Mattermark’s ranking. (Court Buddy co-founder Kristina Jones shown below pitching)

Courtbuddy

Considering that 500 Startups had 2,000 applicants, and just 41 were chosen for the cohort, and two of them were from South Florida, that’s a pretty good showing for Miami tech in Silicon Valley.

Deadlines coming up

WIN Lab Miami, Babson’s eight-month accelerator program for women-led businesses, is now accepting applications for its second cohort through 5 p.m. May 19 (the deadline was extended. Check out its FAQs page here and its application page here.

The first Smart & Sustainable Neighborhood Development Executive Training Program is taking place at FIU Urban Studios June 9-23. The cost is free for the 25 small business professionals selected and includes valuable accreditations if the course and exams are completed. Read more about it here. The deadline is Monday, May 15.

StartUP FIU is taking applications for cohort 3 of its Empower accelerator. The deadline is June 11. Find out more about Cohort 2’s Demo Day and where to apply for Cohort 3 here.

Nancy Dahlberg: @ndahlberg

 

May 03, 2017

StartUP FIU Pitch Day for cohort 2 of Empower accelerator is May 9

Supfiucohort2 (20)

 

StartUP FIU, the university-wide initiative in innovation and entrepreneurship at Florida International University (FIU), announced today the companies to pitch at their Spring Pitch Day on May 9.

The pitch event connects venture capitalist and angel investors with a group of the most disruptive companies in South Florida. The event features FIU students, faculty/staff, alumni and members of the Miami community whose companies span innovation in consumer products, medical devices, social networks and cloud computing. This group represents the second cohort of the 14-week StartUP FIU Empower Accelerator program.

“I am truly inspired by the discoveries and innovations that are coming through StartUP FIU's Empower Accelerator and especially by the startups that will take to the stage on May 9,” said Emily Gresham, Cofounder of StartUP FIU and an Assistant Vice President of the University. “One of the missions of StartUP FIU is to commercialize the intellectual property developed here in South Florida and each cohort brings us closer to that objective.”

The 14 companies that will pitch at Graham Center Ballroom on May 9 include:

·       Benbo: The most interactive, simple and easy to use business networking app that will help you create, customize, exchange and scan business cards.

·       Boatrax: Boatrax facilitates the logging experience for boat owners with a mobile app that allows them to organize their logs and share them with local service providers.

·       Cargo42: Cargo42 is a marketplace for trucking committed to reducing idle time and capacity.

·       Clutch Couture Bags: Clutch Couture Bags is a designer handbag rental service that is changing the way fashion-lovers experience luxury.

·       Extreme Weather: A national network of weather education-entertainment-resilience centers. Visitors will experience dangerous weather through immersive, experiential technologies.

·       Give Wink: First ever subscription box service for grandparents, delivering an assortment of age appropriate essentials and goodies on a bi-monthly basis.  

·       Master Honey: We empower low-income women to start their own micro beekeeping business and sell us the urban honey they produce for commercialization.

·       MmMaps: Public Transportation for Tourism

·       NIROS: NIROS Technology Inc. is developing a safe hand-held optical scanner to help wound care specialist image under the skin, to improve prognosis in wounds healing process

·       Renu Shops: Redesigning retail, Removing blight, and Empowering communities with reused shipping containers.

·       SkillCourt: SkillCourt application helps you create, perform and compare through our wireless LED Target pads.  

·       StealthSimulation: Bridging the gap between healthcare education and technology by engineering solutions for clinical simulation.

·       Viera Academy: A free Test-Preparation Playground, mentored by Guinness record holders committed to helping students play, learn and train like Champions do.

·       Wrocket: Teaching organizations recruit Millennials in their language! Candidates and recruiters video, swipe and chat themselves to the perfect match

 Click here to reserve your tickets for Pitch Day. For ongoing coverage of StartUP FIU, follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram or view curated content via the hashtag #StartUPFIU.

Applications for StartUP FIU’s Cohort 3  are currently open. You can apply at startup.fiu.edu to be a part of the Empower Accelerator.

StartUP FIU, a university-wide initiative, has two programs currently in operation. StartUP FIU Empower Accelerator is a formal14-week program and StartUP FIU FOOD is a year-round food incubator. A third program, StartUP FIU West Kendall, an incubator focusing on software and hardware technology, will open later in 2017.

- Submitted by StarUP FIU

10 South Florida startups selected to present at Florida Early Stage Capital Conference

The Florida Venture Forum has selected 22 Florida-based or operating companies to present at its 10th annual 2017 Florida Early Stage Capital Conference, and nearly half are from South Florida.

“We continue to receive applications from high quality early stage companies from all regions in Florida and we received a record number of applications again this year,” said Jennifer Dunham, partner at Arsenal Venture Partners, chair of the conference selection committee and a board member of the Florida Venture Forum. The conference is being held at the Omni ChampionsGate in Orlando on May 19.

In addition to company presentations and other programming, the conference award a total of $150,000 in cash awards presented to the first, second and third place winning companies, provided by Space Florida.

Presenters were selected from a pool of over 130 applicants by a committee of active Florida venture capitalists and investors. Selected companies will present to an audience of investors, other deal professionals and entrepreneurs.

The presenting companies from South Florida will be:  

Boatyard, Fort Lauderdale (www.boatyard.com), is the world's first on-demand marketplace for recreational boating. Their app provides boat owners with the ability to order fuel, boat washing, service and captains directly to their boat with a few clicks on their mobile device.

Caribu, Miami (www.caribu.co), is an education platform that helps parents, extended family, and mentors read and draw with children when they’re not together. The result is an engaging experience in a carefully designed, curated, and secure platform.

Honorlock, Boca Raton (www.honorlock.com), the company’s on-demand proctoring solution combines classic proctoring methods with a proprietary new method of multi-device detection. 

Kugadi, Miami (www.kugadi.com), allows security companies to move into the 22st century by enabling them with a mobile app and web based portal that makes their employees both more efficient and more accountable.

Neuro Pharmalogics, Boca Raton, is a Biopharmaceutical company developing/commercializing innovative therapies for people with rare (orphan) neurological diseases treatable by PKG signaling modification such as: Hemiplegic Migraine, Orphan Epileptic conditions, Neural Trauma (TBI, Spinal shock), and other Ischemic conditions.

Papa, Hollywood (www.joinpapa.com),  is a home health technology platform that allows members to connect to home health services in their community. They are working to simplify healthcare. Though the Papa Platform, they make it easy for members to access and manage health care services for their family members.

Rotation Manager, Miami (www.rotationmanager.com), is an online platform for hospitals, schools, and nurses to manage clinical rotation scheduling and compliance. Software as a Service.

Symplast, Plantation (www.symplast.com), is the first practice management platform that revolutionizes patient engagement from any smartphone. A complete eHealth solution for aesthetic practices, Symplast increases communication between patients, providers and staff. Fully functional on any computer, tablet, or smartphone, Symplast provides doctors the freedom to focus on what matters most: their patients.

Tender Armor, Fort Lauderdale (www.tenderarmor.com), CVV+ is a real-time, two-factor fraud prevention solution that authenticates cardholders conducting Card-Not-Present (CNP) transactions including e-commerce and phone transactions. CVV+ validates the authorized cardholder conducting the transaction, not just the payment card.

Whoop Wireless, Boca Raton (www.whoopwireless.com), their patented technology is used by major academic, hospitality, and corporate institutions to provide in-building cellular coverage at less than half the cost of a distributed antenna system (DAS).

The other companies are:

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.

Feathr, Gainesville (www.feathr.co), is a digital marketing SaaS company focused on the vertical of live events, such as trade shows and music festivals.

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.

Droplit, Melbourne (www.droplit.io), provides software development tools for hardware companies in the Internet of Things. With full-stack cloud infrastructure and rich developer tools, Droplit enables rapid development of IoT products, allowing product teams to accomplish in weeks what currently takes years.

RedTeam Software, Orlando (www.redteamsoftware.com), is a true cloud application built and optimized for construction by people that know the business. From collaboration through accountability, RedTeam is the most comprehensive project management and accounting solution for commercial construction.

GO PUCK, Sarasota (www.gopuck.com), GO PUCK’s founders invented the lithium starting battery, and patented the Supercharger technology used by Tesla Motors. Their work is found in every IndyCar, championship NASCAR & Formula 1 vehicles and recharge millions of Electric powered miles. They now have patented claims for the 1st Wearable Power device, with all the speed, safety and reliability trusted around the World.

Prime Medical, Largo (www.primemedical.com), is revolutionizing infection prevention in healthcare and other verticals with its complete line of SAF-T™ products and OEM capability. Using a patented fabric technology, SAF-T apparel and textiles retain a lasting shield of chlorine molecules after each laundering in EPA-registered bleach. Simple, superior and sophisticated, the chlorine-activated textiles are powered to continuously kill the colonization of harmful bacteria and viruses during use/wear, are completely safe, and feature next-gen color technology that will not fade in bleach.

QURE4U, Bradenton ( www.qure4u.com), the platform answers the need for health professionals to increase patient engagement. The interactive tools, patient monitoring and alerts enable providers and their staff members to more efficiently interact with patients, identify patients at risk, give better treatment, and reduce visits to the ER and hospital admissions as well as gaps-in-care.

SiteZeus, Tampa (www.sitezeus.com), the new evolution in location intelligence, driven by exceptionally engineered big data systems and unparalleled data visualization technology.

TripShock, Santa Rosa Beach (www.tripshock.com), is both B2B and B2C. For the B2B model, they provide booking solutions for activity and tour suppliers. They generate bookings through their distribution outlets and collect a commission for each confirmed sale.

NeuroInitiative, Jacksonville (www.neuroinitiative.com), 100% of attempts to stop or slow progression of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases have failed. They can change that, and in the process bring relief to 57 million patients worldwide, introduce a new way to develop effective drugs, and capture sizable portions of both the $37 billion annual pharma R&D market.

Ardusat, Salt Lake City, UT (www.ardusat.com),  creates hands-on and engaging STEM experiences on earth and in space. Ardusat’s open STEM platform provides curriculum resources mapped to national and state standards, classroom management tools for teachers, and step by step guides for students to build experiments. Ardusat has operations in Florida.

 - Submitted by Florida Venture Forum