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43 posts from December 2014

December 31, 2014

Raise a glass as we look ahead to 2015 in South Florida tech

I don’t know about you, but I get tired of all the “stories of the year” that proliferate like cat videos around this time. But a certain amount of look-back is necessary to look ahead and this has been one interesting year in South Florida tech and entrepreneurship.

I looked back on my end of the year column for 2013 where I pointed out green shoots in the areas of mentorship, visibility, funding, the maker movement and youth education. Green shoots in all those areas are thriving and some have become healthy branches. For example, new resources for mentorship and acceleration now include, to name a few, Miami Dade College’s Idea Center, Florida Atlantic University Tech Runway, the Microsoft Innovation Center at Venture Hive and Endeavor Miami. In funding, beyond Magic Leap’s phenomenal raise, five or six new early-stage funds are now calling South Florida home and others are in the works, as efforts continue on many fronts to move a sliver of South Florida’s significant wealth into startups and early-stage companies.

So what are this year’s green shoots that could grow stronger in 2015? Let me know your thoughts – I see many, but here are a just a couple.

Corporate involvement: While the Knight Foundation kick-started and now is continuing to fuel the current South Florida tech hub movement with more than 90 investments, it’s notable that we are starting to see much more corporate involvement. A few examples: Goldman Sachs funded the well-regarded 10,000 Small Businesses program, and made a $5 million investment into the program at Miami Dade College that is about to begin its fourth cohort and open to the community. Beyond the significant check, Goldman Sachs executives take part in the curriculum and mentoring. Microsoft chose to locate its first Microsoft Innovation Center in the U.S. at Miami’s Venture Hive and has already held 50 events and workshops for the community there, including office hours for mentoring. Citi used Miami as a launching pad for its Global Citi Mobile Challenge, and in December it launched a meetup series on Fintech in Miami. Dan Sachar of Highnote Foundry is exploring the role of corporations in the startup culture at an upcoming breakfast event.

Supported by the Knight Foundation, the new LaunchCode, a St. Louis nonprofit that expanded to Miami this month, is all about corporate involvement as it matches tech talent with companies. In fact, if all corporations that hire IT workers are not involved the model doesn’t really work, says Jim McKelvey, co-founder of Square who founded the nonprofit. In a few short weeks, LaunchCode has already signed on 21 companies, said Mariana Rego, who is running LaunchCode’s Miami operation.

One region: Who could forget the Internet firestorm over Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine’s tech-hub comments that opened the year? He was talking quite literally about the role of the city of Miami Beach, but it sounded as if he was talking about the region. The mayor said he learned a lesson about communication (and also quickly got to know Rokk3r Labs ... and has become a strong supporter of the movement) but perhaps there is even a greater lesson here as the area efforts to brand itself a technology hub: We are a tri-county region with each area taking part. (And although the phrasing inevitably pops up in out-of-town media, we are not “Silicon Beach” or even worse, "the next Silicon Valley," "the Silicon Valley of the East Coast" or any other variation -- there is only one Silicon Valley). For proof that a significant amount of our early-stage action happens in and around Boca Raton, look no further than the “Startup Spotlights,” “Early Stage Companies” and “Funding” categories on Starting Gate (and the quarterly venture capital recaps).

The counties to the north are home to success stories such as Citrix and fast-growing companies like Modernizing Medicine. Events such as ITPalooza in December, with 2,000 attending at Nova Southeastern, or the Gold Coast Venture Capital Association’s Meet the Angels event in August that drew more than 500 to Boca, seem to underscore a thriving tech and entrepreneurial scene. It’s also notable that Miami mega-event eMerge Americas went out of its way to make its inaugural conference a tri-county event, and that will be evident this year also, its organizers say. We are stronger together.

These are just a few trends I am seeing, and to be sure challenges remain. Yet, on the education front, South Florida saw a mini-explosion of coding school options come onto the scene. And two very recent encounters made me feel particularly good about the future, as they point to the power of early education.

The Miami Herald runs an annual charitable project called the Wish Book. My story was about Nathan Hagood, a talented teen in all things tech at North Miami Beach Senior High who needed help with college expenses. After the story ran, FIU offered a scholarship to the teen. “After the holiday, we’ll arrange for him to come over and see what we’re doing. I certainly hope he’ll choose to come to FIU and Honors,” said Lesley Northup, dean of FIU’s Honors College who extended the offer. While Nathan is applying for scholarships at various schools in and out of South Florida, it is great to see a local university step up to try to keep home-grown talent here.

And recently I wrote about the entrepreneurial journey of the co-founders of the cyber-security firm Guarded Networks, which after a couple of sales and name changes became part of SilverSky and then most recently BAE in a $232.5 million acquisition. I focused on the story of the original CEO who stayed with the company through all the transitions. But one of the other co-founders, Brian Otte, reached out to me after the piece ran. In a nice way, he conveyed that the journey as I told it missed a key point: the power of education.

Otte moved to the U.S. when he was 8 and said he is a proud product of the Miami-Dade County Public School System. Otte, now the director and head of sales at ProfitStars, who graduated from Florida State University and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School, told me: “As I have traveled in my career, I am taken aback at the negative perception the rest of the country seems to have on our school system as a whole. Frankly, I think it prepared me not just scholastically but from a social perspective as well. I got the opportunity to grow up in a melting pot and was blessed with great teachers along the way who motivated me to excel. ... In my case, I owe my journey to them.”

Happy New Year, dear readers,  and cheers to more success stories in 2015.

Nancy Dahlberg

 Posted: Dec. 31, 2014

December 30, 2014

Inaugural Miami Bitcoin Hackathon is set for Jan. 9-11: the details

By Gianni D’Alerta


South Florida non
profit technology group Blockchain Beach will be hosting its inaugural Miami Bitcoin Hackathon. This three-day event at The LAB Miami in Wynwood starts with a reception and registration event on Friday, Jan. 9, and ends with an award ceremony on Sunday, Jan. 11.  Coders will be competing from around the tri-county area for prizes and awards in a number of categories relating to Bitcoin and crypto-currencies technology development.

Registration for the event is accompanied by a kickoff party frequented by the best and brightest in the South Florida tech scene. During the commencement ceremony, time has been allotted for networking, presentations from local experts, and business pitches from members of the local startup community. After the reception event, programming teams will begin their hacking on the following morning at 8:00 AM. Lunch and dinner will be provided to hackers, and is being supplied by event sponsors. Sunday is the final day of the event, which consists of a short morning spent on polishing the prior days code, and will be followed by presentations to the judges at 1:30. Results of the judges panel will be revealed at 4:00 PM, and will be followed by an after-party. Entry is free for all participants, as well for event spectators.

Blockchain_beach-9cac35978d9ac024641dd577d521c6caWith Miami's proximity to Latin America, and its existing infrastructure in banking and finance relations with South and Central America, Miami's community leaders are focusing on bringing attention to the region amongst crypto-currency advocates and industry leaders. The Blockchain Beach committee, which is managing the event, have recruited participants from all sectors of the local fintech economy. Notable attendees to the event include representatives from a number of the leading crypto-currency projects, including Angel Leon of the "Open Bazaar" team, and Chris DeRose of the "Counterparty" project. As crypto-currency grows from its roots as a computer science "proof of concept", and into a full-fledged remittance and payment industry, the organizers of the event believe that it is vital for Miami to remain competitive with similar institutions in New York and California.

Chris DeRose, one of the events competitors, discussed why he’s participating in the event: "People have a rudimentary understanding of this technology, and really have no concept of just how transformative Bitcoin technology will be. My hope is that by participating in events like this one, I can show members of the financial community that there are major innovations coming to their businesses". Prizes for the winners of this year's event total over $17,000 in cash (paid in Bitcoin of course), along with hand-outs and giveaways for all participating teams.

The primary sponsor of the Miami Bitcoin Hackathon is Bitstop, which is coming fresh off the heels of a "Most Disruptive Startup" award at the 2014 Refresh year-end awards ceremony. Corporate sponsorship comes from BitPay, Coinkite, Tally Capital, and the Knight Foundation. Local educational institution partners include Miami Dade College, University of Miami and Wyncode.

The Miami Bitcoin Hackathon is merely one of a number of Bitcoin themed events in Florida, happening in near-succession. The hackathon has been timed to occur two weeks after the Bitcoin Bowl in St. Petersburg, FL, and one weekend before The North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami.  The winner of the hackathon will be invited to pitch a business idea at the startup session during the subsequent Bitcoin conference. Bitstop organizer Douglas Carrillo is quick to stress the point "This hackathon is merely one step in the direction we're heading for 2015. Fans of fintech can start looking forward to a really significant year in the development of Miami, and Blockchain Beach."

For more information on the hackathon, visit the www.miamibitcoinhackathon.com website for details, rules, and a hacker registration form.

Gianni D'Alerta works as a director at ActivePBX (a local Hosted PBX phone company). In his free time, he is a Crypto Currency champion and helps with the Miami Bitcoin Meetup / Facebook Groups. He is one of the founding members of the soon to be launched non-profit Blockchain Beach.

Posted Dec. 30, 2014

 

Modernizing Medicine buys California company, expanding services

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

In a move that could significantly expand its business, Modernizing Medicine, creator of a cloud-based, specialty-specific electronic medical records system, announced Tuesday that it has acquired a California company.

Modernizing Medicine, based in Boca Raton, developed and markets the Electronic Medical Assistant, or EMA, an iOS and Android application already used by nearly 5,000 physicians in eight healthcare specialties, including dermatology, ophthalmology and orthopedics. EMA makes it easy for physicians to record notes during an exam, see past records, make a diagnosis, order prescriptions and lab work and make a report for patients all in a couple of minutes. Its purchase of Aesyntix Health, a privately held company based in Roseville, Calif., will enable Modernizing Medicine to provide billing, inventory management and group purchasing services to its physician customers in addition to EMA. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Aesyntix serves medical practices with three specialty-specific offerings: Aesyntix Billing Solutions for revenue cycle management, Aesyntix Inventory Management and Aesyntix Physician Network, a medical group purchasing organization.

To stand out in the crowded field of electronic health records, Modernizing Medicine’s CEO believes it is all about specialization.


Michael Sherling and Dan Cane “This acquisition takes us into services that are very different but very complementary ... and we know our clients want a one-stop shop,” said Daniel Cane, who co-founded Modernizing Medicine with Dr. Michael Sherling (both pictured here). “It’s further proof that the more specialized we become, the deeper and more complete our offerings can be and we can fend off larger companies that have generic offerings.”

Cane said that combining specialty-specific revenue cycle management with EMA can create more efficient, streamlined billing processes at the point of care to help reduce denials, monitor and maximize reimbursements, decrease the cost of collections and increase revenue for providers. “It means there is a single source for services, systems and support plus an opportunity for greater efficiencies and cost savings when customers choose combined offerings,” he said.

Modernizing Medicine recently closed $15 million of a $20 million fund-raising round, bringing its venture capital funding to date to about $50 million. The company now has 248 employees. The Aesyntix acquisition gives Modernizing Medicine a California office, and the 20 employees from Aesyntix will continue to work there, Cane said.

Modernizing Medicine also has been developing an IBM Watson-powered app, called schEMA, designed to help dermatologists offer optimal treatment options. As an enhancement to EMA, schEMA will combine the best of EMA’s big-data processing with Watson’s cognitive ability to help doctors by answering medical questions at the point of care. It’s part of IBM’s $1 billion project to bring Watson to the masses.

Follow Nancy Dahlberg on Twitter @ndahlberg.

Posted Dec. 30, 2014

December 29, 2014

Startup Spotlight: Rehydrate

ZackGottfried

 

Rehydrate

Headquarters: Boca Raton

Concept: Rehydrate is the healthy alternative sports drink because it contains no sugar, no calories, no caffeine, no fat. It also contains three times the electrolytes and two times the vitamins of the competition. The company says it is safe for athletes, outdoor workers, children and pregnant women and is good for colds/flus and helps with hangovers.

Story: The idea for Rehydrate came to Zack Gottfried in 2008 during summer drills in West Virginia where he coached Division 1 college football for West Virginia University: “The drill was to run up and down a steep hill after workouts, in the hot summer sun with not much of a breeze. One of my quarterbacks, Jarrett Brown, experienced a full body cramp. We gave him two 32-ounce bottles of a popular sports drink to no avail. He needed to be hospitalized.”

Turns out, most of the popular sports drinks were developed almost 50 years ago. “Our way of life and our training regimen has changed considerably over that time. I thought there just had to be a better way,” Gottfried said. In doing informal interviews, he discovered that children were consuming large amounts of sugar in their sports drinks.

“They were ingesting 34g of sugar in each bottle, which is the equivalent of over two candy bars. I worked with experts and came up with an ideal formula … with 14 great tasting flavors,” Gottfried said.

Launched: Production of Rehydrate began in July.

Management team: Zack Gottfried, CEO; Scott Covitz, VP Sales; Bradley Raxenberg, VP Finance, Patrick White, Sr. VP of Marketing and Product Performance; Jarrett Brown, Sr. VP of Health & Nutritional Excellence; Coley White, Sr. VP of Promotions and Athletic Development for Rehydrate Corporate.

Website: www.drinkrehydrate.com

Financing: Family and friends investment of $100,000. Raising a $250,000 founders round.

Recent milestones: Launched production in July; executed an agreement with a Florida distributor covering 2,900 stores; product selling in more than 100 stores including 7-Elevens in Florida; executed an agreement with the largest beverage distributor in West Virginia; opening 500 new stores in January in West Virginia; launching two new flavors, orange and blue mountain; executed partner agreements with athletes. West Virginia University declared the product its official drink for football and is bringing it to its bowl game Dec. 29.

Biggest startup challenge: Educating marketing buyers for chain retail stores. From the buyer’s perspective, it’s the old adage if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Yet, consumers are demanding healthy products, and employers want healthy workers to combat high insurance costs.

Next steps: Continue infiltrating the convenience store market via guerrilla marketing, college students hired as brand managers and strategic social media, and developing a distribution network.

Advisor’s view: John Carson, the former president of Cadbury Schweppes North America — which owned Snapple and RC Cola — has been helping the company for about a year, attracted by the passion and determination of the team. He has seen much progress in product development, packaging and leveraging contacts in the sports industry (some of whom are on Gottfried’s management team).

His advice: A category dominated by major brands is a tough place to start, so the team needs to continue to be very focused on why they are different and how they are different — a better-for-you sports drink that tastes good, too.

“Don’t be frightened of being a David against Goliath,” Carson said. “Retailers can grudgingly admire a David if you have done your homework really well. You owe it to yourself to be polished and really know your story, and you have to look at everything through your customer’s point of view.”

Posted Dec. 29, 2014

December 28, 2014

Entrepreneurship Datebook

Tech eggWith the event calendar quiet this week, here are a few events coming up in the next month:

CORPORATIONS AND STARTUPS, PARTNERING FOR GROWTH: Presented by Highnote Foundry in partnership with the Knight Foundation, event includes breakfast, a moderated panel and an open forum, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Jan. 8, Westin Colonnade in Coral Gables. RSVP required for attendance: RSVP@highnotefoundry.com

BITCOIN HACKATHON AND CONFERENCE: This inaugural Miami Bitcoin Hackathon, with prizes of $10,000, $3,500 and $1,000 paid in bitcoins and presented by the tri-county Blockchain Beach initiative, will be held Jan. 9-11, a week before the North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami Beach Jan. 16-18. Info: www.miamibitcoinhackathon.com (free hackathon); btcmiami.com (conference).

SMALL BUSINESS EXPO: Free to attend, Small Business Expo brings together thousands of business owners and decision-makers to network, attend workshops and shop from vendors, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 15, Miami Beach Convention Center. Info: www.thesmallbusinessexpo.com/miami

SHARK TANK CASTING CALL: As part of the Small Business Expo (information above), there will be a ABC Shark Tank casting call Jan .15. More info: www.thesmallbusinessexpo.com/sharktank/

ENTREPRENEUR GROWTH CONFERENCE: Free conference by Entrepreneur magazine covers topics from capital raising to online marketing, 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 4, Miami Beach Convention Center. Register: http://entrepreneur.com/events/registration/38

STARTING GATE

Keep up with startup news and community views on the Starting Gate blog on MiamiHerald.com/business.

 Posted Jan. 28, 2014

December 26, 2014

Awesome Foundation monthly grant goes to creative 9th grader

Sunnythebear

Awesome Foundation's Miami chapter awarded its latest monthly $1,000 grant to a 9th grader, proving you are never too young to have a good idea and launch it.

Sunny The (3D) Bear is a new children's book series authored by Ransom Everglades student Daniel Freedline. The books, in English and Spanish, are designed to be quick, bedtime stories read by parents to their children, ages 3-7. The books, which also include coloring books, can be downloaded via the website.

The website also has a large and growing gallery of 3D scans (characters and scenery from each book), allowing kids to play with these objects on their computer or tablet. The 3D files are downloadable and can be printed, allowing kids to create their own toys.

The first volume is freely downloadable at www.SunnyTheBear.com. Additional volumes are available at 99 cents each, which includes not only the PDF of the book, but a separate PDF of the coloring book version. More volumes are already planned.

The deadline to apply for one of Awesome's monthly grants is the 15th of every month. The Miami chapter launched in January 2013 and is  looking to fund awesome projects that touch everything from technology to education, art to social media, innovation and far-out creativity. Find out more here.

 Posted Dec. 26, 2014

December 23, 2014

New coders wow a standing-room only crowd at The LAB Miami

Wyncode pitch day

 

By Juha and Johanna Mikkola

Wyncode’s Pitch Day Tres brought together a standing room only crowd of over 250 people to the LAB Miami on Thursday night.

Pitch Day is quickly becoming a rite of passage for junior developers entering the Miami tech scene. It’s incredible to see the support and interest from the Miami tech community. We’re thrilled to see the quality of apps the Wyncoders are creating and that several of them already have interviews lined up!

The twenty-one Wyncoders of Cohort 3 had five minutes each to demonstrate the web apps they conceptualized and built during the last two weeks of their nine weeks at Wyncode.

Four expert panelists -- Jim McKelvey (Square & LaunchCode), Tom Lackner (.CO and POP), Zach Weiner (Cloud.com at Citrix) and Tobias Franoszek (Kipu Systems)  -- gave the students pointed feedback and selected the winning project, which was Interque, by Ray Braaf and Todd Metheny.

Try the web apps for yourself:

 Fanvio - Anuvis Mejia, Isaac Weinbach, Mark Nater
Interque - Todd Metheny, Raymond Braaf
Cruiseit - Shahana Batthacharya, Jessica Hunt
EatHow - Abraham Orellanes, Celeste Morford
ChordBuddy - Antonio Carballeira
JobCannon - Mike Nahabedian, Alex Mckeown
Twelve - Dan Kreiger
PawsForMiami - Peter Ovelmen

 For photos of each presentation, check out Wyncode’s Pitch Day album on Facebook.

Meme.menu, a start-up co-founded by four Wyncode alumni, introduced an award given to the two students from the graduating cohort who most embody the spirit of Wyncode. The award includes 3-months of co-working space at The LAB Miami and mentorship from Meme.menu’s team. The inaugural award went to Anuvis Mejia and Ray Braaf.

We made a few announcements, including:

  • * The launch of Wyncode's three part-time programs in February 2015, including iOS development, NodeJS and Digital Marketing.
  • * Plans for an additional location at General Provision in Fort Lauderdale next year  -- stay tuned for details.
  • * A Spanish language version of the Immersive Web Development course.

Also, Wyncode Academy graduate Walter Latimer recently tied for first place in HackerRank’s Bootcamp CodeSprint.

“I loved representing Wyncode and the MiamiTech community in the HackerRank CodeSprint”, Walter said. “It's cool to know I was able to do so well with the foundations I learned at Wyncode and work experience I gained at CareCloud, especially without a computer science degree."

Walter is now paying it forward as a Teaching Assistant at Wyncode. His performance in the CodeSprint is exciting for Wyncode and for MiamiTech, as he was up against students from many established code schools - including New York’s Flatiron School, Hackbright Academy and the Turing School of Software and Design.

Wyncode's next cohort a The LAB Miami begins on Jan. 12 and just five seats remain. Interested students should apply online at www.wyncode.co by clicking ‘Apply’.

Juha and Johanna Mikkola are co-founders of Wyncode.

Wyncodewinner

Judges Tobias Franoszek (Kipu Systems), Tom Lackner (.CO and POP), Zach Weiner (Cloud.com at Citrix) and Jim McKelvey (Square & LaunchCode) with winners Todd Metheny and Raymond Braaf of Interque (center),

Posted Dec. 23, 2014

December 22, 2014

Collaborative Boating launches social app for boaters

Collaborative Boating announced the launch of Tidalwavez, the company’s third digital platform designed for recreational boaters.   The free smartphone app, available in the Apple App Store, allows boaters to connect with each other and share information while out on the water.

Designed by boaters for boaters, Tidalwavez allows users to create a profile, share location information and images, fishing hot spots, marine life sightings, raft-ups, hazards and more, the company said.  Boaters can coordinate schedules for a day on the water, see what friends are doing and where, share tips on the hottest restaurants and bars and locate area landmarks and resources, said Andy Sturner, CEO of Collaborative Boating, based in Aventura.

The company's other products  include BoatSetter, a new mobile marketplace offering a luxury peer-to-peer boat rental service, and  CaptainsWanted.com,   a network offering captains the ultimate resource to market their skills to the world.

Posted: Dec. 22, 2014

Venture Hive announces next accelerator class: 10 from 7 countries

DSC_0018

From Barcelona to Sarajevo, from Buenos Aires to Bangalore, the startups accepted this week into Venture Hive’s next accelerator class once again represent a United Nations of innovation.

As part of the accelerator at Venture Hive, an entrepreneurial education company in downtown Miami, the companies will get $25,000 no-equity grants, an intensive 13-week accelerator program that starts in late January, mentoring and free workspace for six months. Venture Hive, founded by Susan Amat, draws companies from around the world that are innovating in industries Miami-Dade is strong at: travel/hospitality, healthcare, creative industries, fintech and trade/logistics. The program will finish in late April with “The Swarm,” where the companies will present their startups to a room full of investors and community supporters.

Ten companies, five of them from Latin America, were chosen from among 400 applications from more than 40 countries. “We had to make some very tough decisions because there were so many outstanding companies applying,” said Nelson Fonseca, partner at Medina Capital who helped judge the applicants. “The most exciting thing for me is to see the strong interest from innovative entrepreneurs from all over the world in coming to Miami. This bodes well for the continued development of the Miami ecosystem.”

Venture Hive, which also has an incubator, is home to 31 startups from 21 countries and also offers both onsite and virtual programs for high school students in partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools. To expand services for its startups, it recently partnered with DLA Piper law firm and Disruption Corporation. In its first 18 months, Venture Hive has created 62 jobs, according to an economic impact study on Miami-Dade County conducted by the Miami DDA. Venture Hive is supported by Miami-Dade County, the DDA and Miami WorldCenter.

The 10 new accelerator companies selected for Venture Hive’s third class are:

Cinemad, from Buenos Aires:Interactive videos for converting viewers into customers.

Clicky, from Cordoba, Argentina:An online booking platform for sports facilities.

FanJam, from Chattanooga, Tennessee:Fantasy basketball contests for cash.

Helpjuice, from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina: An auto-updating knowledge base platform allowing companies to scale support and deliver instant answers to customers.

Paganza, from Montevideo, Uruguay: A bill-paying app for the Latin American market.

PRX Control Solutions, from Caracas:Solutions for the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, reducing the expense of pharmaceutical treatments in health plans.

Quotanda, from Barcelona, Spain: A student financing marketplace democratizing access to education.

Referrizer, from Deerfield Beach:A total solution to generate new customers and keep existing ones loyal.

Rock N Roll Games, from Buenos Aires:The gaming company for making brands rock.

TommyJams, from Bangalore, India: Innovative technologies to revolutionize live music entertainment.

See related story and photos of the Microsoft Innovation Center inside Venture Hive.

Posted Dec. 22, 2014

December 20, 2014

FAU's Tech Runway soon taking applications for next accelerator class

FAU Tech Runway_Pano 2

Tech Runway, Florida Atlantic University’s new entrepreneurship program, is getting ready to launch its second accelerator class. Tech Runway will choose five South Florida startups; the application period is Jan 1-31 on techrunway.fau.edu.

The program is housed in a 27,000-square-foot collaborative workspace in Boca Raton (pictured above and below) designed for housing, educating, mentoring and funding startup companies from inception through venture funding. Selected startups, who do not have to have FAU ties, receive office space for a year, a 16-week accelerator boot camp, a team of mentors and a seed grant of $25,000. Tech Runway, supported by a $1 million state grant and $3 million from FAU, is led by CEO Kimberly Gramm, director of the Adams Center for Entrepreneurship at FAU.

“We have tremendous assets in our region — successful entrepreneurs who are sharing their significant wisdom with startups and giving back to the community and students,” Gramm said when Tech Runway was launched. “We are integrating the entrepreneurial world with the university world … to help create not only successful startups but a knowledge-based workforce.”

 Read more about Tech Runway here.

FAU Tech Runway_Pano 1

Posted Dec. 20, 2014; photos from Tech Runway