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By Nikki Cabus

Boca-based startup Guiltless to Go awarded funding on Entrepreneur Media Elevator Pitch reality show

Read Time 3 Minutes

South Florida startup, Guiltess To Go, pitched their startup on the reality show Elevator Pitch and received funding from one of the prestigious investors. 

In each episode of the show, entrepreneurs are challenged to pitch their business to a panel of investors. If the team of investors like what they hear, the business owner is invited into the board room to see if they can strike a deal. The entrepreneurs can’t see the investors or their reactions as they pitch.

After each pitch, the investors each vote whether they want to hear more from that entrepreneur or not. If the investors likes what they hear, the elevator doors open to reveal the boardroom, and the business owner/executive is invited into the board room to discuss further and negotiate. Contestants have the chance to walk away with life-changing funding, mentorship from the smartest minds in business and a personal and brand-defining moment.

Founder, Lucie Allaire, made her 60 second pitch in an elevator to the prestigious panel of investors which included Kim Perell, Serial Entrepreneur and CEO of, Marc Randolph, Co-founder and first CEO of Netflix, and Logan Stout, Keynote Speaker and Best-Selling Author of Grit Factor. The board room of judges wanted to hear more.

Guiltless To Go is a technology company that has developed an ordering platform and app that makes healthy on-demand ordering easy. The app allows users to filter, search, and order from nearby grocery retailers and restaurants by diet types, ingredients, allergies, calories, and price for either pick up or delivery so users can “order smarter, eat healthier, and guilt-less”.

Powered by AI technology, Guiltless To Go curates its own set of menus from nearby restaurants, applying specifications and modifications to menu items to create a wider variety of less guilty, diet-friendly options. This way, users can stick to their dietary restrictions or lifestyles with less thinking, more time, and fewer distractions.

After her pitch and a round of intense questioning, Lucie thought she had missed the opportunity when all investors decided to pass for one reason or another with the common feedback being that the startup was still a little too early. Lucie had requested $500k for 7% of the company.

As she began to walk back to the elevator empty-handed, Lucie was called back into the board room by Netflix Co-founder March Randolph.

Marc told Lucie, “For a $500k investment for 7% of the company, you are just too early, but I think you’re close to being able to prove the premise so I’d be happy to write a check for $25k at the existing valuation.” To which Lucie responded, “Absolutely! Let’s do it.”

“As Marc pulled me back into the room my heart jumped with hope and anticipation of what he would say next…then as he proceeded to offer me a smaller check, I was elated to be getting any offer at all considering a minute earlier I thought I was leaving without a deal,” said Lucie.

And just like that, a deal was made. Congratulations, Guiltless To Go and South Florida Founder, Lucie Allaire.

To watch the Guiltless To Go pitch and learn more about how Lucie scored an investment, read her interview with Entrepreneur staff writer here

By Nikki Cabus

Climate Tech startup Blue Frontier hosts official ribbon cutting in new Boca Raton headquarters

Read Time 4 Minutes

On October 26th, Blue Frontier held their official Open House and Ribbon Cutting in their new Boca Raton headquarters.

Blue Frontier is revolutionizing air conditioning for commercial buildings. The company is the developer of patented solutions for hyper-efficient comfort space conditioning, low-cost energy storage, and smart IoT controls to aggregate its air conditioners as distributed energy resources for use as a Utility-Managed Virtual Power Plant.  Blue Frontier’s first product addresses the 5 through 10-ton commercial packaged rooftop air conditioner market with a drop-in replacement offered under an HVAC-as-a-Service subscription-based business model.

Through exclusive invites, guests in attendance included City of Boca officials, members of the Economic Development department, and other important members of the Clean Tech industry and local technology and innovation leaders. The event featured a ribbon-cutting ceremony, speeches from Blue Frontier CEO, Dr. Daniel Betts, and from Andrew Duffell, MBA, President of Research Park at FAU, a tour of our facility as well as drinks and hors d’oeuvres for all.

“When we were looking for a headquarter, Boca Raton was top in our list. Boca Raton is a beautiful and diverse city, which gives us access to an extraordinary, skilled, and highly educated labor pool. Also, Boca Raton is green and celebrates its natural environment. The beaches, trees, parks, and pathways keep us always in contact with our company’s most important stakeholder: our planet. We are lucky to be here,” stated Dr. Daniel Betts, CEO of Blue Frontier.

“We have been showcased in the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, MIT Magazine, and Scientific American, amongst other national and international media outlets. Our unique, ultra-efficient, energy-saving technology has won several prestigious awards, and this is just the beginning of our commitment to “Make Heat Waves Go Away.”

Blue Frontier’s systems address every major issue associated with present-day air conditioning with a ground-breaking replacement for Packaged Rooftop Units that dominate the commercial buildings air conditioning market:  

  • Eliminates high Global Warming Potential (“GWP”) refrigerant with breakthrough liquid desiccant technology
  • Dramatically reduces AC electrical consumption by 50-90% depending on weather and usage
  • Eliminates peak electrical demand by integrating energy storage with a proprietary saltwater solution, which allows AC to intelligently store and use excess renewable energy
  • Enables early replacement of traditional ACs with HVAC-as-a-Service, a business model designed to speed market adoption by removing capital investment requirements

In August of 2022, Blue Frontier announced that it has raised a $20M Series A equity investment led by Bill Gates-founded Breakthrough Energy Ventures, or “BEV,”  2150 Urban Tech Sustainability Fund and VoLo Earth Ventures. Blue Frontier’s commercialization partner, Modern Niagara, also participated in the funding round. The Series A financing has accelerated Blue Frontier’s plans to bring its product to market, thereby helping to propel the company towards its goal of creating gigaton reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by decarbonizing building cooling.

Founded by Bill Gates and backed by many of the world’s top business leaders, BEV has raised more than $2 billion in committed capital to support cutting-edge companies that are leading the world to net-zero emissions. BEV is a purpose-built investment firm that is seeking to invest, launch and scale global companies that will eliminate GHG emissions throughout the economy as soon as possible. BEV seeks true breakthroughs and is committed to supporting these entrepreneurs and companies by bringing to bear a unique combination of technical, operational, market and policy expertise. BEV is a part of Breakthrough Energy, a network of investment vehicles, philanthropic programs, policy advocacy and other activities committed to scaling the technologies we need to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

VoLo Earth Ventures seeks to accelerate the new energy economy by addressing the planet’s climate crisis at its roots and providing first-in funding and hands-on leadership to early-stage climate tech companies. VoLo Earth strives to grow, propagate, and capitalize on climate solutions with an intent to deliver superior investment returns and quantifiable carbon benefit.

Dr. Daniel Betts had commented, “We are delighted to receive the support of some of the highest-profile cleantech funds who share our vision of driving decarbonization both in the power grid and beyond – into the buildings where we live and work. Our partnership with these sustainable investors enables the immense global environmental impact of our technology – to bring affordable, efficient, sustainable air conditioning with low-cost energy storage to buildings around the world – and to reduce the cost to utilities of supplying carbon-free electricity for cooling.”

Jessica Del Vecchio, Economic Development Manager for the City of Boca Raton, stated, “We are so pleased to officially welcomed Blue Frontier, Inc. to their new HQ in the Park at Broken Sound in the beautiful city of Boca Raton. With their recent raise of $20MM from Breakthrough Energy Ventures (Bill Gates’ VC fund) this company’s technology is disrupting and revolutionizing the air conditioning industry. We’re lucky to have this clean tech company based in Boca Raton and congratulate them on their beautiful new space.”

To learn more about Blue Frontier, visit



By Nikki Cabus

Bluegreen Vacations to be Acquired by Hilton Grand Vacations

Read Time 3 Minutes

Bluegreen Vacations Holding Corporation (NYSE: BVH) (OTCQX: BVHBB) or “Bluegreen Vacations” announced November 6th, 2023 that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Hilton Grand Vacations Inc. (NYSE: HGV) (“HGV”) for a total enterprise value of approximately $1.5 billion.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Bluegreen Vacation’s stockholders will receive $75.00 in cash for each share of the Company’s Class A Common Stock and Class B Common Stock that they hold at the time of closing of the merger. The all cash transaction is inclusive of net debt.

In the 1970’s, Alan B. Levan founded the predecessor to Bluegreen Vacations Holding Corporation, and it has been a diversified holding company for over 50 years. During that time, it previously held controlling interests in IRE Financial Corporation (former NYSE) (real estate funds), Bank Atlantic (former NYSE) (100-branch bank), Levitt Corporation (former NYSE) (America’s oldest homebuilder), BBX Capital Corporation (Real Estate: multi-family housing, industrial, affordable housing; chocolate/confections; manufacturing) and more recently, became the holding company for Bluegreen Vacations in 2020. BBX Capital was spun out into a separate public company in 2020.

With headquarters in Boca Raton, Florida located at the Boca Raton Innovation Campus, or “BRIC,” Bluegreen Vacations has become a well recognized leading vacation ownership company with 49 Club Resorts and 24 Associate Resorts. It proudly develops, markets, and operates a system of high-quality vacation ownership resorts in selected vacation destinations such as Orlando, Panama City Beach, Las Vegas, the Smoky Mountains, Myrtle Beach, Charleston, the Branson, Missouri area, Nashville and New Orleans, among others.

Alan Levan, the Company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, “Today’s announcement represents another exciting chapter for Bluegreen Vacations. Combining with HGV will create an even more compelling vacation ownership offering, continuing to provide our owners and guests with enjoyable and unique experiences across a broader range of world-class destinations. I am extremely proud of the entire Bluegreen team for helping build Bluegreen into a leading vacation ownership company.”

“I’m excited to enhance the breadth and quality of our already best-in-class vacation ownership and experiences offering with the announcement of our agreement to acquire Bluegreen Vacations,” said Mark Wang, president and CEO of Hilton Grand Vacations.

“Bluegreen Vacations has a strong track record of demonstrated organic growth, a dedicated customer base of more than 200,000 members, and boasts key lead-generating strategic partnerships that will broaden our reach and diversify our tour flow. Along with our long-standing relationship with Hilton, this highly complementary combination will also unlock additional upside by leveraging the infrastructure we have built over the past few years with the launch of the Hilton Vacation Club brand, our HGV Max membership offering, the HGV Ultimate Access experiential platform. I’m particularly excited about the opportunity to enter into a new relationship with Bass Pro Shops and its actively engaged, loyal community of outdoor enthusiasts. We’re confident that our members and guests will all significantly benefit from the combination of these exceptional organizations.”

Closing of the transaction is subject to the approval of the Company’s stockholders and other customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. Subject to the satisfaction of the closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close during the first half of 2024.

It is expected that HGV’s management team, including President and CEO Mark Wang, chief financial officer Dan Mathewes, and chief operating officer Gordon Gurnik, will continue to serve in their current roles in the combined company upon closing the transaction. The transaction is expected to increase HGV’s membership base from 525,000 to more than 740,000 owners and its resort portfolio from 150 to nearly 200 properties.

Credit Suisse Securities and Wells Fargo are acting as exclusive financial advisors to the Company, and Stearns, Weaver, Miller is acting as legal counsel. BofA Securities is acting as the exclusive financial advisor for HGV, and Alston & Bird LLP, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Foley & Lardner LLP, are acting as legal counsel.

By Nikki Cabus

FAU’s Research Park celebrates recipients of the Annual Awards & Celebration of Entrepreneurship

Read Time 6 Minutes

On October 18th at the Boca West Country Club, the Research Park at Florida Atlantic University® celebrated the recipients of its Annual Awards & Celebration of Entrepreneurship.

Since its thirtieth anniversary in 2015, the Research Park at FAU has been celebrating distinguished contributors to its mission of promoting scientific research and development in affiliation with Florida Atlantic University and fostering economic development in Palm Beach and Broward counties. Each year, impactful contributions and greater potential for the future can be seen: South Florida has a vibrant, diverse economy ahead, driven by the work of all these distinguished recipients, partner organizations in the Research Park, and others.

The Research Park at Florida Atlantic University® is home to technology companies and research-based organizations working to support the research and development activities of Florida Atlantic University and to foster economic development and broaden the economic base of Broward and Palm Beach counties. The Research Park at FAU hosts Global Ventures, an international soft-landing center for second-stage technology companies and FAU Tech Runway, a South Florida public-private partnership that serves as a hub to accelerate technology development and incubate startup companies.

The Research Park at FAU is a 70-acre destination for R&D companies to thrive, established in 1985, it is widely regarded as South Florida’s laboratory for new entrepreneurial ideas and technologies. The Research Park at FAU is governed by the Florida Atlantic Research and Development Authority, an independent special district created by Palm Beach and Broward counties in partnership with Florida Atlantic University.

This year’s awards are made as the South Florida region experiences record-setting growth, facing new challenges, and benefiting from stronger regional institutions. Florida Atlantic University has emerged as a regional healthcare leader, addressing the need for better, more accessible healthcare. Technologies developed at the Research Park at FAU help provide more predictable, positive outcomes and they are made as more people recognize the virtue and strength of diversity in our society and economy.

Each year, friends and stakeholders – business, government and academic leaders – of the Research Park at FAU gather to celebrate the achievements of the entrepreneurs and innovators who make the Park community stronger. Approximately 200 leaders from the business, academic and governmental fields strengthen relationships and share ideas for the future.

This year’s honorees are:

Bob Swindell | Chair’s Distinguished Service Award

Mr. Swindell was appointed to the Florida Atlantic Research and Development Authority, which governs the Research Park at FAU, in 2005 by the Broward County Commission; he went on to serve with distinction for eighteen years, including twice as chairman. Swindell was appointed president & CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance in 2009 where he has led the strengthening of Broward County’s economy and become a universally respected servant leader and authority across industries and sectors.

A lifelong Broward resident, Swindell has served in several business and community leadership roles, including leading the American Red Cross during and after Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Since that time, he has been appointed to statewide roles by governors Martinez, Chiles, Bush and Scott. Bob’s knowledge and guidance have been indispensable to the development of the Research Park at FAU.


Michael Allison | Distinguished Leader

Mr. Allison distinguished himself as a leader in every role he took on. From leading student government at Ohio State University where he earned his law degree, to coaching young football and baseball players, to leading at both Office Depot as Executive Vice President of Human Resources, and at Burlington as Executive Vice President & Chief Administrative Officer, to leading the Florida Atlantic Research and Development Authority. Allison’s leadership style was to empower those around him to achieve their full potential, having done so with his own life.

Allison joined the Authority in retirement, as a commitment to his community. Later, when he came out of retirement and consulting at Allison Consulting, which he created in 2018, to join Burlington, he maintained his commitment and he led the development of the Research Park at FAU’s current strategic plan through extensive collaboration during his unprecedented three years as chairman of the Authority. He helped so many see, pursue, and achieve their own potential, including himself. Sadly, Michael untimely passed away on August 11, 2023, and this award is made in memoriam.


Robert Colton, M.D. | Distinguished Entrepreneur 

Dr. Colton is the co-founder and Chairman of Thema Brain Health (Thema), a Research Park at FAU-based company. Thema is revolutionizing how the world approaches cognitive brain health. Over the last five decades, tremendous progress has been made in the prevention and treatment of all major diseases of aging except for Alzheimer’s Disease. While aging is inevitable, Thema Brain Health is on a mission to ensure that cognitive decline is not.

Before founding Thema, Colton was the co-founder and chairman of ClearlyDerm, a multi-location easy access dermatology company. ClearlyDerm currently has five locations in South Florida with twelve dermatologists, nine nurse practitioners and physician assistants and 100 employees. Prior to founding ClearlyDerm, Colton conceptualized and co-founded MDVIP, the largest concierge medicine company in the United States; he sold MDVIP to Procter and Gamble in 2009. Today MDVIP’s more than 1,100 affiliated physicians serve more than 385,000 patients nationwide. Colton’s contribution to South Florida’s innovation and knowledge economy has already been distinguised, and his entrepreneurial energies continue with Thema.


Siri Terjesen, M.D. | Distinguished Researcher

Dr. Terjesen is Associate Dean, Research & External Relations, founding Executive Director of the Madden Center for Value Creation, and Phil Smith Professor of Entrepreneurship at Florida Atlantic’s College of Business. She is a nationally recognized expert in higher education, strategic management, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy. She was nominated by the president of the United States to serve as one of 15 voting directors to the National Board for Education Sciences (NBES) which advises the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences. Terjesen serves as a reviewer for the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 project and the Swedish and Norwegian governments’ higher education agencies, and as advisor to the World Bank, Kauffman Foundation, and a variety of think tanks.

Terjesen’s research on entrepreneurship, corporate governance, and strategy includes over 80 articles, 2 books, many white papers, and manuscripts (Kauffman Foundation, World Bank, and U.S. Small Business Administration, for example). She is amongst the world’s top 2% most cited scholars (Clarviate) and has over 13,000 citations in Google Scholar. Terjesen’s distinguished work has inspired several Research Park and Global Ventures companies to get further involved with Florida Atlantic’s work and her research has helped innovate companies’ strategies.

Read more about Dr. Terjesen here.


Canada-Florida Chamber of Commerce | Distinguished Organization 

The Canada-Florida Chamber has partnered with the Research Park at FAU since before the creation of Global Ventures, the second-stage entrepreneur support initiative to attract and grow innovative technologies in South Florida. Through its innovative programming, relationships, engaged membership and trade missions, the Canada-Florida Chamber has contributed to the growth and success of Global Ventures. Several entrepreneurs have learned about Global Ventures through the chamber’s events and programming, resulting in two Canadian companies expanding their offerings with Global Ventures, and a robust pipeline of prospects.


The Awards & Celebration of Entrepreneurship is made possible by the investments of Palm Beach County and the City of Boca Raton in the Research Park at FAU’s programs and by the support of Gold Partner Florida Power & Light and 35 Mules and Silver Partner Kaufman Rossin. Innovation Partners include: 2TON, Baptist Health, Banyan Development, Boca Raton Airport, CBIZ, CohnResznick, Comcast, FAU College of Engineering & Computer Science, FAU Executive Education, HGreg, Invest: Palm Beach, Lorium Law, PEBB Enterprises, People’s Trust Insurance Company, Neptunya Ocean Power, Seascoast Bank and the BV Group at UBS.

To learn more about the FAU Research Park, visit

By Nikki Cabus

ADT completes sale of commercial business for $1.6 billion

Read Time 3 Minutes

On October 2nd, ADT announced the completion of the divestiture of its commercial security, fire and life safety business unit to GTCR.

GTCR LLC is a leading private equity firm, based in Chicago, with over 40 years of deep sector expertise. They purchase the ADT commercial business for $1.6 billion.

The net proceeds of approximately $1.5 billion significantly reduced the company’s net debt and leverage upon the closing. All net proceeds will be used for debt redemptions and repayments, expected to occur during the current quarter. As previously announced, the commercial business unit will be reported as discontinued operations beginning in the third quarter of 2023 for current and historical periods. ADT will provide further information as part of its upcoming third quarter 2023 earnings conference call.

Strategic Rationale:

  • The transaction supports ADT’s journey to be the premier provider of smart home and residential solar solutions by leveraging our strategic differentiators: innovative offerings, unrivaled safety and premium customer experiences.
  • With a stronger financial profile, ADT will be better positioned to prioritize investments that we believe will drive profitable, capital-efficient revenue growth for the long term.
  • At the close of the transaction, ADT plans to use the net proceeds from the transaction for debt reduction, resulting in a meaningfully lower leverage profile, improved margins and strong free cash flow generation.

Financial Impacts:

  • Represents an attractive EV/Commercial Adjusted EBITDA multiple of approximately 11.2X1 including the estimated allocation of corporate costs.
  • Estimated cash interest savings from debt paydown approximately offsets the impact of divesting the commercial business.
  • Upon completion of the sale, ADT plans to use the net after-tax cash proceeds of approximately $1.5 billion for significant debt reduction, accelerating long-term leverage goals and improving our leverage ratio from the current level of 3.7 down to 3.3.
  • ADT’s capital allocation priorities remain unchanged; the company does not plan to change its quarterly dividend.

Jim DeVries, ADT President and CEO, said, “The decision to divest ADT’s commercial business is a value-enhancing transaction that focuses our portfolio on growth opportunities in our consumer markets. The sale enables ADT to monetize the commercial business at an attractive valuation and accelerate our debt reduction goals. With greater financial flexibility, we will be better positioned to grow through our strategic differentiators and innovative offerings, including our partnerships with Google and State Farm. We will continue our journey to be the premier provider of safe, smart and sustainable solutions that meet the evolved definition of what safety means to consumers today.”

DeVries continued, “This transaction is mutually beneficial for ADT and ADT Commercial, which will benefit from GTCR’s support and expertise, positioning the business to continue providing best-in-class solutions and services to its customers. We thank the entire ADT Commercial team for their hard work and look forward to seeing them grow.”

“ADT Commercial has established itself as an innovative leader in providing the critical safety services that businesses need to protect their day-to-day functionality,” said David Donnini, Managing Director and Head of Business & Consumer Services at GTCR. “We are very proud to once again partner with the leadership team of ADT Commercial to continue to invest in the platform and deliver the solutions its customers have come to expect. ADT has done a tremendous job in further developing this segment in recent years and we are excited to help drive the business forward in its next chapter of growth.”

ADT provides safe, smart and sustainable solutions for people, homes and small businesses. Through innovative offerings, unrivaled safety and a premium customer experience, all delivered by the largest network of smart home security and rooftop solar professionals in the U.S., we empower people to protect and connect to what matters most. For more information, visit

By Nikki Cabus

FIU & FAU student duo wins $10K to develop wearable tech

Read Time 4 Minutes

South Florida students Laura Garcia (FIU) and friend Juan Fortich (FAU) win $10k to develop their wearable technology. 

The new company using sensor technology to help athletes perform better won the first prize in the 15th annual FAU Business Pitch Competition. The company develops small wearable pods that allow athletes to be healthier and maximize performance by improving their form in real time.

Laura is a health and fitness buff and was left frustrated as she trained for her first half-marathon in Yosemite.

“On top of spending months working on my physical endurance, I had to ensure my form was correct and my technique was on point to avoid any injuries,” says the computer engineering student, who is also a member of the FIU Honors College and Startup FIU. “It was during this grueling experience that I realized there had to be a better and more effective way to train,” Laura continued.

It is often said that necessity is the mother of invention, and Garcia’s months of physical training gave birth to the idea for DashOne.

Wanting to translate the challenges she faced during her marathon training into a creative solution, Garcia and Fortich doubled-down on their idea for wearable tech and began conducting market research to learn more about her target audience’s needs.

Garcia credits her time spent at StartUP FIU, the university’s dedicated innovation hub, with instilling a foundational knowledge of what entrepreneurship is all about. That consequently inspired her as she mulled her senior class project, a requirement for all College of Engineering seniors.

Garcia is quoted on the Startup FIU site stating, “What I like best about StartUP FIU is that it allows me to be surrounded by an amazing community of ambitious, talented and brilliant people that are passionate about being changemakers in the world regardless of industry or major. StartUP FIU has also taught me the value of seeking and discovering new insights when approaching complex problems.”

“Determined, creative and tech-savvy, Lara is emblematic of the future-ready student StartUP FIU produces,” says Emily Gresham, Assistant Vice President of Research, Innovation and Economic Development and a Co-Founder of StartUP FIU. “Our experiential programming, dynamic learning communities and dedicated mentorship prepares students for success after graduation, and arms them with the self-confidence, skills and knowledge to help them excel.”

Laura partnered with her friend and Florida Atlantic University  student, Juan Fortich, to build DashOne. The pair’s prototype device has two components: a wearable sensor that can attach to different parts of the body, such as the torso, knees or ankles, and a mobile app that tracks and analyzes a workout in real time.

“Our goal is to reach competitive runners looking for real-time feedback on their stride, technique and form,” said Laura. “Most injuries happen due to poor form and running posture,” she explains. “While other devices focus on output and biometrics, such as a person’s stride or pressure when hitting the pavement, DashOne homes in on a runner’s form, which is critical to achieving peak performance.”

Garcia and Fortich started to develop the prototype in January 2023. Fortich was able to get the duo entered into Florida Atlantic University’s Business Pitch Competition where they won first place – and a $10,000 prize.

The annual FAU Business Pitch (formerly Plan) Competition is hosted by the College of Business, Adams Center for Entrepreneurship with support from local partners and sponsors. The competition encourages FAU students, faculty, staff and recent graduates to pitch their game-changing idea for a chance to fund their new ventures.

Along with prize money, teams compete for legal and business services, preferred access into the FAU Tech Runway Venture Program and the opportunity to present their business pitch to local angel, venture capital groups and more. Competitors have the opportunity to meet and network with successful entrepreneurs. Resources are provided to aid students in the creation and implementation of their businesses. Students will gain valuable skills and experiences to be successful.

“This year, the competition was the largest and best we’ve hosted,” said Kevin Cox, Ph.D., associate director of the Adams Center. “We expanded the finalists, given the large number of high-quality applications. The judges agreed that the competitors and pitches were excellent, making it especially difficult to select the winners.”

Named in recognition of Florida Atlantic University graduate and serial entrepreneur Scott H. Adams, the Adams Center for Entrepreneurship brings students, faculty and the community together to fuel the innovation needed to create new venture opportunities in the ever-changing global marketplace.  The mission of the Adams Center for Entrepreneurship at the DeSantis Pavilion is to create and educate entrepreneurial leaders who find sustainable solutions to economic and social problems. The goal of the Adams Center is to prepare FAU students in business, science, engineering, and all disciplines who are looking to become entrepreneurs through business ownership or through venturing.

Additionally, they have raised $5,000 by participating in the Blackstone Launchpad Fellowship, hosted by FIU’s Pino Entrepreneurship Center. The dynamic duo also competed in the semifinals of Draper Competition for Collegiate Women Entrepreneurs, one of the largest collegiate entrepreneurship competitions in the nation.

Garcia and Fortich plan to continue perfecting the prototype so DashOne can start raise enough capital to bring the unique device to market.

“DashOne has allowed me to step into rooms that I never expected to be in, connect with and inspire other students to pursue their own passions through entrepreneurship, and make the most out of FIU’s diverse resources and network before graduation,” Garcia says. “For that, I’m incredibly grateful.”

Click here to learn more about the other pitch competition winners and their companies. 

By Nikki Cabus

4Geeks Academy and Boca Code announce merger and plans to expand tech education in Florida

Read Time 5 Minutes

4Geeks Academy, a leading coding bootcamp in Miami, is thrilled to announce its merging with Boca Code, a respected coding school in Boca Raton.

South Florida Tech Hub sat down with 4Geeks Founders, Marcelo Ricigliano and Alejandro Sanchez, and Boca Code Founder, Todd Albert, to discuss this newly formed relationship.

4Geeks Co-Founder, Marcelo Ricigliano, opened the conversation by stating that “Boca Code is a respected and engaging coding school that I had been following for the last few years. The first time I met Todd I let him know he was doing a great job for technical education in Boca Raton and South Florida. This is a great day for everyone involved!”

This strategic merger marks a significant milestone in the evolution of both institutions and promises to enhance the landscape of technology education in the state. With their international headquarters already based in Miami and another Florida location in Orlando, Boca Raton will become the third location in the Florida for 4Geeks Academy.

Marcelo shared that he and Alejandro have dreamed of making 4Geeks a reference in Florida for those wanting to change careers into technology.

Under this new alliance, Boca Code students and alumni will now become part of the 4Geeks family. Prospective learners and the broader community interested in coding education will gain additional access to a wider array of educational resources, courses, and career opportunities. By joining forces, 4Geeks Academy and Boca Code aim to better serve the rapidly growing tech community across the state. 

“Internally, we always talked great things about Boca Code’s results and approach,” Marcelo admits. “This merger aligns with our mission of making quality coding education accessible to all and will enable us to provide even more comprehensive, industry-relevant training to our students.”

Boca Code students are heavily involved in the community through organizations such as South Florida Tech Hub, attending and volunteering for Hackathons, conferences and supporting local entrepreneurs such as with the pitch scoring app they built for last year’s Ignite Florida Startup Summit. Although based in Boca Raton, Boca Code students attend meetups and networking events across the region from Miami-Dade to Indian River.

Alejandro Sanchez, Co-Founder of 4Geeks added, “The job that Todd has done was always followed by us. We really like everything he was doing at Boca Code. It’s really exciting to do this and welcome everyone to 4Geeks Academy. I’m sure it will be an extraordinary experience.” 

He continued, “The Boca Code curriculum is very thorough and are still digesting it. My first reaction when seeing it, was to keep it. We want to take the best from both schools offering students additional options as well as ensure the best possible educational content.”

4Geeks currently offers a more concentrated curriculum around mobile web development with courses in Full Stack Coding Bootcamp, Data Science and ML, and Blockchain and Web3 while Boca Code code curriculum is a little more broad offering courses such as Software Engineering Career Track, Data Analytics and Python, AR / VR and Game Development, Intro to Web Development, Intro to JavaScript and Node.js, and React.

4Geeks is known for offering a unique value, (quality + methodology + financing options + price) aimed to scale among the best coding bootcamps in the state and this will certainly keep them on track to achieving that goal. During the transition phase, Todd Albert, Founder of Boca Code is expected to continue teaching some of the classes.

Boca Code founder Todd Albert added, “Partnering with 4Geeks is a great deal for us. Their team, credibility and experience will drive our community to great standards and outcomes; also, they align well with what we’ve been working to build at Boca Code. I’m happy to be a part of this journey and ready for new challenges to come.” 

Todd is currently the Bootcamps Sub-Committee Chair of the Tech Talent Committee pulling together industry, higher education, bootcamps across the region. 4Geeks is also a part of the Miami Talent Coalition supporting the expansion of tech education connections in Miami. With the merger, Alissa Landra, Campus Manager at 4Geeks will be joining Todd as the South Florida Tech Hub Bootcamps Sub-Committee Co-Chair, helping further connect Miami efforts to the entire region.

Alissa shared that, “Across the United States, 4Geeks has graduated more than 70 cohorts, more than 2,000 graduates, and 35% of those graduates are women. We want to push more women to take our program!” This sentiment is shared across both organizations who have worked with other partners and nonprofits to aid in access and financial assistance to their programs creating more diversity in the tech landscape.

4Geeks Academy and Boca Code share a commitment to providing top-tier coding education as well as making this education accessible to underserved and underrepresented groups of people in the community. 4Geeks has worked with organizations such as United Way Miami and Miami Dade College to offer education to those who may not have access otherwise. Boca Code has built a long-standing relationship with TechStrong Group, a Boca Raton-based media and events company, who provide scholarships to students through the “Engineer the Change” program. 

This merger brings together the expertise and resources of both organizations, resulting in improved learning materials and support for students. Students will gain access to a wider range of coding languages, technologies, industry-focused courses, and even scholarships and financial support. Graduates will also benefit from an expanded professional network, providing more opportunities for career growth across the South Florida region. 

For more information about the merger or to inquire about enrollment opportunities, please visit  or contact (786) 416-6640.

By Nikki Cabus

The Center for Arts & Innovation announced world renowned architect for Boca Raton project

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Just this month, The Center for Performing Arts & Innovation held a press conference announcing Renzo Piano Building Workshop as the design architect selected for the future site.

The search for The Center’s architect attracted incredible international interest from renowned firms contending for the coveted title of Design Architect. After 22 design firms responded with interest in the project’s RFP, The Arts & Innovation Building Committee, led by Board Member Camilo Miguel, Jr. of Mast Capital, assessed each proposal through an extensive selection process accounting for factors such as project capacity, market fit, exclusivity, and more.

The committee selected 10 finalists after which four internationally acclaimed firms were ultimately shortlisted. Of the four finalists, three were prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize winners: Foster + Partners (London), OMA (Rotterdam) and RPBW Renzo Piano Building Workshop (Paris/Genoa).

The Pritzker Architecture Prize, often referred to as “architecture’s Nobel” and “the profession’s highest honor,” is awarded each year to a living architect or architects whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision, and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture. This speaks to the regional and global significance of this tremendous project.

“The selection of these firms was based on their incredible contributions to architectural excellence, their tremendously compelling proposals that resonated with the essence of our project, and, most importantly, their keen understanding and enthusiasm for the significance of this legacy project for our city, region and the world at large,” said Andrea Virgin, PE, LEED AP, Chair and CEO.

September 6th, 2023 will mark a notable milestone for The Center for Arts & Innovation and equally The City of Boca Raton. Over five years ago, Andrea Virgin came up with the idea for The Center and just last ear the Boca Raton City Council approved the plans. Held at the Mizner Park Amphitheater, the site where The Center will be built, plans for the future site seemed to grow some legs when the Design Architect, Renzo Piano Building Workshop or “RPWB” was announced.

“We have been a city very long known for the visionary who was Addison Mizner, we have established our first hundred years as a city on the pillars of this great man,” Virgin said. “Today, we gather to honor that past, but too, just as Mizner did, inspire the future, to build upon those pillars for our greater tomorrow and the architect we selected will undoubtedly do that for us in a way that honors our great heritage.”


Renowned design architect Renzo Piano was born 1937 in Genoa, Italy to a family of builders. Renzo studied architecture at the University of Florence and Polytechnic University of Milan. In 1970, he received his first international commission, for the Pavilion of Italian Industry for Expo 70 in Osaka, Japan which he collaborated with his brother Ermanno and the family firm. After receiving great admiration for his work, this was a catalyst for the rest of his career and foundation for The Renzo Piano Building Workshop established in 1981.

In addition to his most notable design award, Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2013, Piano also received The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Gold Medal and the Sonning Prize, among man others. Piano brings extraordinary experience, skills and talent to each design project. As one of the world’s most sought-after architects, Renzo Piano engages in only two to three new projects per year.

Alongside visionaries, local press and media, and local elected officials including The City of Boca Raton Mayor Scott Singer, The Center for Arts & Innovation announced their most significant project milestone to date. Next,

“Culture and art are essential—they shape our society, improve our quality of life, influence our behavior in making us more human, and help us to better connect with one another. The programming of The Center and its architecture must play in harmony, so that the project becomes a cultural and artistic destination.” Antoine Chaaya, Partner in charge of the new project.

To learn more about The Center for Arts & Innovation, visit

By Nikki Cabus

ModMed doubles down on efforts to empower young girls in tech with Pace Center for Girls Broward

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ModMed and Pace Center for Girls Broward double down on their efforts to empower high school girls and promote the technology industry. This collaboration seeks to inspire the next generation of female technologists and expand their horizons when it comes to career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

ModMed’s Women in Innovation & Technology, or “mmWIT,” is focused on advancing women in STEM fields by fostering diversity and inclusion within the tech sector. mmWIT is an Employee Resource Group that provides support, mentorship, and resources to empower women in technology-related careers. This program develops and enables women to lead and innovate as they grow in their professional careers. mmWIT hosts educational panel discussions, mentoring events, networking gatherings, book clubs and community outreach programs. Through mmWIT, ModMed strives to establish a strong community for women to reach their highest potential.

Pace Center for Girls envisions a world where all girls and young women have power, in a just and equitable society. Founded in 1985, Pace provides free year-round middle and high school academics, case management, counseling, and life skills development in a safe and supportive environment that recognizes and deals with past trauma and builds upon girls’ individual strengths. Dedicated to meeting the social, emotional, and educational needs of girls, Pace has a successful and proven program model that has changed the life trajectory of more than 40,000 girls and is recognized as one of the nation’s leading advocates for girls in need.

For more than four years, mmWIT and Pace Center for Girls Broward have worked hand in hand to champion women in STEM.

An early effort was mmWIT’s 2018 Fashion Show to raise funds for the Pace Center for Girls Broward. ModMed’s employees received a casting call and the response was amazing. As if strutting their stuff down the catwalk for a good cause wasn’t enough, the model who sold the most raffle tickets won a prize: an outfit they wore on the runway. That event raised over $4000 for the Pace Center for Girls.

Their joint efforts are designed to introduce high school girls to the vast potential of a tech career and encourage more women to pursue opportunities in this dynamic industry. By broadening the perspectives of young women, this collaboration not only advances women in STEM but also motivates them to explore the myriad of possibilities available at forward-thinking companies like ModMed®.

Headquartered in Boca Raton, ModMed is transforming healthcare around the countryy by placing doctors and patients at the center of care through an intelligent, specialty-specific cloud platform. With our electronic health records (EHR) and practice management (PM) systems, and our patient engagement and revenue cycle management (RCM) services, our all-in-one solution empowers specialty medical practices by providing clinical, financial and operational software solutions. Our staff physicians help to develop products and services for allergy, dermatology, gastroenterology, OBGYN, ophthalmology, orthopedics, otolaryngology, pain management, plastic surgery, podiatry and urology practices, as well as ambulatory surgery centers.

The “Life After High School” Event: Inspiring and Equipping the Next Generation

The “Life After High School” event is a standout collaboration between mmWIT and Pace Center for Girls Broward. Esteemed women from the technology industry come together to share their insights and personal journeys with the students. The panel discussion covers a wide range of essential topics, including effective communication skills, professionalism in the tech industry, the transition from high school to the professional world, and the art of collaboration with individuals from diverse backgrounds. Through these discussions, the aim is to provide the young audience with the valuable knowledge they need to seize limitless opportunities and excel in their chosen paths.

Rose Anderson, Career & College Readiness Coordinator at Pace Center for Girls Broward, expressed her enthusiasm for the collaboration with mmWIT, saying, “This event perfectly aligns with our mission to empower girls and equip them with the necessary skills and confidence to thrive in their future careers. We are immensely grateful to ModMed for their unwavering support and commitment to advancing women in STEM.”

The panelists, accomplished women with diverse backgrounds in technology, will leverage their expertise and experiences to engage and inspire the Pace girls. Through this event, ModMed and Pace Center for Girls Broward aim to provide young women with the skills and confidence they need to flourish in their future careers.

Breaking Barriers

Girls aspiring to enter the tech field sometimes struggle due to factors such as the lack of visible role models, gender stereotypes and biases, a lack of support and encouragement, and the challenge of maintaining work-life balance. To address these issues, it is important to provide girls with mentorship, promote diversity and inclusivity and ensure equal access to education and resources.

The collaboration between mmWIT and Pace Center for Girls Broward represents a significant stride toward creating a more inclusive and diverse tech industry. By inspiring and empowering high school girls, this collaboration aims to pave the way for a new generation of female technologists who will drive innovation and contribute to a more equitable future. Together, they are dismantling barriers, breaking stereotypes, and creating a brighter and more inclusive tomorrow for women in technology.

Jodi Sherman, senior manager of customer success operations at ModMed and the President of mmWIT, shared her views on how the collaboration with the Pace Center for Girls Broward is making a difference. Sherman stated, “By sharing our experiences and knowledge, we hope to ignite the passion and curiosity of these high school girls, encouraging them to pursue careers in the technology industry. We firmly believe that by increasing the representation of women in STEM, we can drive innovation and create a more inclusive and diverse future.”

By Nikki Cabus

Boca Raton-based GRUBBRR partners with national firm on gas station ordering tech

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Today, GRUBBRR, a global self-ordering solutions and POS systems provider, announced a new partnership with Dover Fueling Solutions (“DFS”) allowing customers to purchase much more than just gas at the pump.

The Boca Raton-based GRUBBRR is a cutting-edge provider of self-ordering solutions and POS systems provider at the forefront of self-ordering technologies. GRUBBRR’s award-winning eco-system, including kiosks, mobile ordering, POS, online ordering, KDS, contactless smart lockers, and more, are proven to help businesses maximize revenue, decrease labor costs, and solutions are adaptable and beneficial to a multitude of businesses, and power both enterprise-level and small and medium businesses across verticals such as quick-service restaurants, fast casual restaurants, petro / convenience stores, stadiums, movie theaters, casinos, micro-markets, retail and more.

Dover Fueling Solutions (“DFS”), a part of Dover (NYSE: DOV), is a leading global provider of advanced customer-focused technologies, services and solutions in the fuel and convenience retail industries with annual revenue of over $8 billion. The company delivers innovative equipment and components, consumable supplies, aftermarket parts, software and digital solutions, and support services through five operating segments: Engineered Products, Clean Energy & Fueling, Imaging & Identification, Pumps & Process Solutions and Climate & Sustainability Technologies. Based in Illinois the company has been in business for over 65 years with a team of over 25,000 employees collaborating with customers to redefine what’s possible.

The partners will launch a self-ordering solution, DX Market™ powered by GRUBBRR, within the DFS Anthem UX™ platform on the Wayne Ovation® fuel dispenser.

“To maximize profitability, merchants need to reduce friction in the checkout process and engage consumers in new and innovative ways,” said Sam Zietz, CEO of GRUBBRR. “Our software is designed to streamline the ordering process and provide a seamless customer experience, creating a one-stop-shop solution that empowers retailers to grow revenue through improved consumer retention and increased basket size.”

DFS’s collaboration with GRUBBRR will generate increased revenue for fuel retailers by providing them the opportunity to offer customers the convenience of ordering food and shopping for products while pumping gas. DX Market powered by GRUBBRR will also enable retailers to offer customizable promotions and upsell opportunities with video and static content. This cutting-edge experience delivers on the transgenerational consumer expectation that fueling stations are becoming increasingly automated and featuring more self-checkout options.

“DFS Anthem UX is a powerful tool for retailers to drive foot traffic into their stores and increase sales for promoted items,” said Kurt Dillen, VP Global Business Development at DFS. “Integrating GRUBBRR’s self-ordering technology into DFS’s Anthem UX platform, DX Market will enable customers to make purchases before stepping into the store, allowing for a quicker, more streamlined experience and increased satisfaction. With many gas station owners making a majority of their money in retail, we expect a meaningful impact on revenues.”

“As a customer-centric company, DFS seeks to enhance the fueling experience and provide value-added solutions,” said Kendra Keller, Vice President and General Manager, North America at DFS. “The integration of GRUBBRR’s self-ordering software into the Anthem UX reinforces our commitment to providing our customers with the best overall experience while at the pump. The self-ordering solution also simplifies the order fulfillment process for store operators, improving operational efficiency for the benefit of not only the consumer, but the retailer as well.”

“Consumers expect frictionless shopping experiences, both online and in-store,” said Farshad Tafazzoli, Chief Strategy Officer at GRUBBRR. “We’re honored to be selected by DFS as their self-ordering solution to enhance consumer convenience. As gas stations and convenience stores make this digital transition, GRUBBRR is proud to optimize the customer journey.”

DX Market powered by GRUBBRR is set to roll out initially in select fuel stations across the United States, with plans for global expansion in the future.


By Nikki Cabus

FAU Tech Runway announces the 16 startups of cohort 12

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FAU Tech Runway® recently announced the 16 companies accepted to participate in the 12th cohort of its Venture Program.

FAU Tech Runway is a South Florida public-private partnership that serves as a hub to accelerate technology development and incubate startup companies. The Venture Program provides the most promising startups and talented entrepreneurs in South Florida with an opportunity to join a year-long program that offers resources from FAU’s Innovation and Business Development pipeline, entrepreneurial instruction, structured team-based mentoring, networking, marketing and capital-raising assistance, co-working space, events, intern support, and other vital programs.

Companies accepted into the Venture Program must have strategic alignment with FAU’s research focus areas, including drone technologies; educational technologies; environmental science; marine science; ocean engineering; neuroscience; healthy aging; big data analytics; artificial intelligence; machine learning; cyber security; sensing; and smart systems.

The 16 companies in Venture Class 12 are:

  • Clinical Fitness provides a safe environment where clients can be guided and educated by medical professionals in the proper use of gym equipment.
  • DashOne is a developing wearable tech that empowers athletes to improve their form and performance in real time through reinforcement cues and in-depth analytics.
  • DealHero, LLC is a web platform designed to connect military, veterans and first responders with businesses that support them by offering deals and discounts on their products and services.
  • Glowby Lightbulbs are patent-pending, long-lasting, rechargeable lightbulbs for places where running wiring is impossible or impractical. Install lighting fixtures anywhere and have easy, instant light that can last years before requiring a recharge.
  • Housing Nonprofit is a platform connecting renters with housing grants to purchase a home. Their technology analyzes the requirements for all incentives to buy a house and allow users to check eligibility for all programs via a single form.
  • HUMM STAFFING is an app platform that connects healthcare professionals with hospital shift work.
  • Integral Vista Solutions is a company that provides innovative technological solutions to improve the efficiency and profitability of residential service companies.
  • Kastaco connects talent such as models, actors, voice-over artists, singers and musicians with valuable opportunities.
  • MM COMMUNICA INC is a digital public relations firm dedicated to helping small businesses and personal brands improve their reputation and authority online.
  • Printed Patio uses concrete 3D printing to generate bespoke landscape and architectural features.
  • Puttrax 360 is golf’s first AR gaming and training experience for putting, where computer vision technology automatically tracks and scores every putt.
  • RideGuide is an app that provides a highly customized library to educate drivers on the proper use and operation of features and technology in their cars using videos, searchable manuals and how-to guides.
  • SecureTec ID is a software mobile application that uses biometric data gathered from contactless fingerprints for the community and policing. It also provides identification and additional intel, utilizing numerous databases, to promote and encourage safety.
  • Telly College LLC empowers students to maximize their college experience, by use of daily on- and off-campus events with voting and attendance stats.
  • Therapy in a Click aims to establish a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that uplifts mental health care accessibility by offering free virtual therapy sessions with licensed mental health professionals to high school students within Palm Beach County.
  • Wisp Energy LLC (WE) will employ a proprietary Dual Axis Wind Turbine (DAWT) using advanced AI and ML to improve wind turbine performance, adding variables to the wind interaction and yielding improvements of more than 30 percent in efficiency and/or ROI.

Venture Class 12 participants join a robust community of fellow entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, instructors and top-level support professionals.

FAU Tech Runway® is a public-private partnership formed to incubate and accelerate early-stage technology-based companies, under the purview of FAU’s Division of Research . Applications for the next cycle of the Venture Program will open in Fall 2023.

For more information on FAU Tech Runway® Venture Program, visit

By Nikki Cabus

Autonomous vehicle company Guident receives funding through Florida-Israel Innovation Partnership

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Boca Raton-based, Guident, a leading autonomous vehicle teleoperation company, has announced that it has been awarded funding for a groundbreaking project under the Florida-Israel Innovation Partnership program, together with its valued Israeli partner, NOVELSAT.

Guident commercializes patented technology to enable safer autonomous vehicles and devices by providing industry-leading AV remote monitor, control, assistance, and passenger support services. Guident and NOVELSAT, a global leader in content connectivity, partnered earlier this year to develop an innovative always-on, ubiquitous remote monitor and control solution for autonomous vehicles and devices.

NOVELSAT is a leading provider of next-generation content connectivity solutions. Powered by innovative technologies, our broadcast and broadband solutions are transforming networks’ capabilities to expand growth potential and to drive new experiences on any device, anytime, anywhere. Our high-performance products for satellite and terrestrial content connectivity include integrated video solutions and highly efficient broadband connectivity solutions, and best-in-industry content security solutions. Transforming data and video delivery with new levels of performance, efficiency, agility, and security, NOVELSAT empowers mission-critical and demanding applications for the mobile, media, entertainment, government, and mobility markets.

The solution combines space communications and augmented intelligence technologies to ensure optimal safety and security for autonomous vehicles and devices, enabling remote monitoring and operation at any time and place. This integration of NOVELSAT’s satellite-based space connectivity technologies and Guident’s human-in-the-loop AI technologies will provide reliable and high-speed bi-directional connectivity. This connectivity enables continuous, high-quality video streaming to monitor autonomous vehicles remotely and, when necessary, to allow remote control of the vehicles to resolve various edge cases. Additionally, the connectivity will provide real-time audio and video communication with passengers, pedestrians, or first responders, ensuring the highest level of safety for autonomous systems, which is a crucial factor in the deployment and management of such systems.

The cooperation between the companies opens the door for new markets and revenue opportunities by offering a new level of autonomous systems safety for a wide range of applications: transportation, delivery, agriculture, hospitality, mining, logistics, and more.

The grant being awarded is for the purpose of developing a safer Remote Monitor and Control Center (RMCC) for the monitoring, management, and backup control of terrestrial autonomous vehicles, with the assistance of satellite communications. This innovative approach is aimed at providing redundant, continuous monitoring of autonomous vehicles. Additionally, space communications provide a mobile network connectivity alternative in areas with low signal or no terrestrial mobile wireless network coverage.

“Through this extraordinary collaborative partnership, Space Florida is at the forefront of welding cutting-edge innovation with the boundless knowledge derived from scientific exploration. It thereby forges a path that shapes the very essence of the future of autonomous mobility,” stated Tony Gannon, Vice President of Research & Innovation for Space Florida.

Space Florida is an aerospace and spaceport development authority in Florida that aims to promote and support the growth of the aerospace industry in the state. Space Florida offers various advantages to leading aerospace companies and has extensive experience and expertise in the aerospace industry, providing valuable knowledge and resources to companies. The organization offers financial tools such as grants, loans, and tax incentives to help aerospace companies with their new initiatives, encouraging economic growth and development.

Scheduled to commence in early July 2023, the joint project brings together the collective expertise, resources, and vision of Space Florida, Guident Corp, and NOVELSAT. Each organization’s unique strengths will synergistically contribute to developing pioneering safety solutions for ground-based autonomous vehicles using satellite communications.

“Guident is privileged to have the invaluable support and guidance of Space Florida with their unrivaled experience and strategic location for this new initiative,” stated Dr. Gabriel Castaneda, Guident’s Vice President for AI and Research.

“This generous funding will propel us forward as we embark on the development and scale of an effective Remote Monitor and Control Solution with enhanced vehicle safety, together with our Israeli Partner NOVELSAT.”

By Nikki Cabus

Research Park at Florida Atlantic University® entrepreneur support initiative welcomes four new companies, graduates two

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The Research Park at Florida Atlantic University’s entrepreneur support initiative, Global Ventures at Florida Atlantic, is proud to welcome four (4) new companies into its incubator program which serves both international and domestic second-stage technology companies.

To be considered second-stage, a company has achieved annual sales of at least $750,000 and has at least six (6) employees. Global Ventures focuses on healthtech and smart systems technologies.

The companies, which have all opened physical offices at Global Ventures in Boca Raton, FL this year include:

  • Biobeat Medical – The first Israeli company to join Global Ventures, Biobeat’s solution uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide actionable insights for patient care. More than just analyzing the data, Biobeat also generates it, using a proprietary sensor for continuous monitoring of vital signs unique to Biobeat. For more visit:
  • Ecosign Technologies –Ecosign was established as a spin-off of Contech Brazil, a company with over 30 years of experience in the pulp and paper industry. Ecosign is committed to providing innovative solutions for diverse industrial sectors working towards a more sustainable future. Through its technological leadership the company brings constant improvements to control of process contaminants in pulp and paper, textile, agribusiness, and poultry, among others. For more visit:
  • Isolab USA – Originating in Germany with manufacturing operations in Turkey, ISOLAB dedicates itself to providing products and solutions to its customers worldwide for various applications and research activities in universities, institutions, laboratories and home use. For more visit:
  • Triangulate Labs – Based in South Florida, Triangulate Labs created Skinmap™ to find skin cancer early. Skin cancer kills someone every five minutes. When discovered early, skin cancer is easily treated. Skinmap digitizes skin to save lives. For more visit:

“The addition of so many international companies to Global Ventures brings new intellectual and financial capital to South Florida while creating job opportunities for FAU students and alumni well as existing residents. The impact is overwhelmingly positive for this region,” stated Andrew Duffell, president of the Research Park at FAU.

Companies are served within Global Ventures at Florida Atlantic for two (2) years, accessing resources at Florida Atlantic University’s campus, networking opportunities and introduction to relevant businesses before expanding out of the incubator to the South Florida business community.

This month, two (2) companies will graduate from the initiative, having leveraged its resources for growth and success, reaching new heights.

  • FloSpine – An industry leader in spinal implants, the company is graduating after securing its fourth FDA device clearance. It now has six (6) issued patents with three (3) additional patents pending. FloSpine’s staff of seven (7) includes four (4) FAU alumni. Recognized in 2022 as one of the 50 Florida Companies to Watch by GrowFL, FloSpine has built strong relationships in the South Florida healthcare community and will expand to larger facilities within the Research Park at FAU itself. For more visit:


Peter Harris, Founder and CEO of FloSpine, said, “We are extremely grateful for the guidance and opportunities we received from Global Ventures. The support from their management team has been tremendous in helping accelerate FloSpine’s growth. We look forward to continued collaboration with Global Ventures.”

  • Gustie Creative – Gustie is a leading disruptive retail solutions provider for brands, businesses, agencies and nonprofits. The company develops, markets and sells design and strategy products and services. Gustie is graduating after completing research and development, obtaining three copyrights, publishing two business workbooks and launching Create Disruptive Retail, a mobile design platform devoted to creating disruptive retail solutions for a global user. Gustie has a new office in Boca Raton and will expand nationwide. For more visit:

“While at Global Ventures, Gustie gained global recognition as a disruptive retail thought leader, and the company’s next stage of growth includes launching a SaaS learning platform for Disruptive Retail,” said Karen S. Herman, CEO and Design Director of Gustie Creative.

The Research Park at Florida Atlantic University® is home to technology companies and research-based organizations working to support the research and development activities of Florida Atlantic University and to foster economic development and broaden the economic base of Broward and Palm Beach counties. The Research Park at FAU hosts Global Ventures, an international soft-landing center for second-stage technology companies and FAU Tech Runway, a South Florida public-private partnership that serves as a hub to accelerate technology development and incubate startup companies. The Research Park at FAU is a 70-acre destination for R&D companies to thrive, established in 1985, it is widely regarded as South Florida’s laboratory for new entrepreneurial ideas and technologies. The Research Park at FAU is governed by the Florida Atlantic Research and Development Authority, an independent special district created by Palm Beach and Broward counties in partnership with Florida Atlantic University, organized under Chapter 159, Part V, Florida Statues.

To learn more about Research Park at Florida Atlantic University, visit

By Nikki Cabus

Getting to know Boca Raton-based ModMed’s new CTO Venkatesh Jayaraman

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Boca Raton-based practice technology leader ModMed® appointed Venkatesh Jayaraman (VJ) as the company’s Chief Technology Officer.

Jayaraman leads the strategic direction and technical leadership for the product engineering organization, including cloud operations.

With over 25 years of technology and software development experience, Jayaraman brings an extensive record of success in technical leadership, cross-functional product development and software architecture. He has a proven record of building business agility using Lean-Agile practices while managing large-scale enterprise organizations across multiple geographies.

ModMed is transforming healthcare by placing doctors and patients at the center of care through an intelligent, specialty-specific cloud platform. With electronic health records (EHR) and practice management (PM) systems, and revenue cycle management (RCM) services, their all-in-one solution empowers specialty medical practices by providing clinical, financial, and operational software solutions. ModMed’s staff physicians help to develop products and services for allergy, dermatology, gastroenterology, OBGYN, ophthalmology, orthopedics, otolaryngology, pain management, plastic surgery, podiatry, and urology practices, as well as ambulatory surgery centers.

“VJ’s background and experience will deliver tremendous value to our organization, as he embodies ModMed’s cultural values around aligning passion with purpose,” said Daniel Cane, ModMed Cofounder and CEO. “We have welcomed him to our team as we work together to transform how healthcare information is created, consumed and utilized to increase practice efficiency and improve patient outcomes.”

Jayaraman most recently served on the executive leadership team at Vertex Inc., where he led the cloud/SaaS transformation of the product engineering organization, including cloud operations using agile methodology, modern DevOps and site reliability engineering principles. Prior to Vertex, he was in various leadership roles at Citrix Systems and Motorola, where he built and scaled agility across a globally distributed engineering team to achieve software engineering excellence. He holds a master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Florida and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from India’s National Institute of Technology.



1. What are you looking forward to most in your new role with ModMed?
Using cutting edge technology to transform how healthcare information is created, consumed and utilized to increase practice efficiency and improve patient outcomes. Really looking forward to the opportunity to create simple workflow solutions for complex problems with valuable, meaningful impact. ModMed’s product portfolio does align passion with purpose where we can impact the lives of practice providers and patients in a big way by creating excellent software that delights them.

2. What do you love most about the healthtech industry?
The healthcare industry has always been full of untapped opportunities for technology innovation and workflow optimizations. COVID just exposed some of these opportunities in many ways. Healthcare is unique with respect to regulatory and interoperability demands. Coupled with the fact that healthcare software is only expected to benefit from the overall growth in US healthcare spend makes it a very exciting ground for making a positive impact.

3. What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter the healthtech industry?
Keep an open mind in terms of connecting their passion, skills, knowledge and experience for the various innovation opportunities that present using technologies like cloud, ML / AI, big data etc.

4. Any insight into what’s next for ModMed?
ModMed has had a phenomenal journey so far. From the initial momentum that we have gained, we are very well poised for creating our own flywheel effect to accelerate faster and faster, and gain even more momentum while building this organization for scale and growth. I am very excited by what’s to come and truly honored to be part of defining this journey.

5. From the 90s to now, what has been the biggest change you have seen in our local tech markets?
There have been quite a lot of changes in the local tech markets in the last 2-3 decades that have followed the industry trend largely. The tech industry itself has evolved from the PC computing, hardware & communications related innovations to more software based innovations with the advent of internet and cloud. Back in the 90s, we had quite a few tech companies like Siemens, IBM, Motorola etc. and they all have evolved with this changing landscape. With the advancements in cloud computing, even concepts as esoteric as Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence have become so accessible to the engineering community that they can be easily harnessed for the next generation of innovations. The core to this evolution is “business agility” and the companies that do that with the right talent and leadership thrive in the face of this changing landscape. Also, the promotion of STEM education in local schools and colleges has really propelled this pace of innovation and South Florida is on a path to excellence in making its mark in the tech industry.

6. All in on AI? What’s your thoughts on the future of generative AI in healthcare? 
Generative AI can be applied in various use cases to generate virtually any kind of content. The technology is becoming more accessible to users of all kinds thanks to cutting-edge generative AI interfaces like ChatGPT, Dall-E and Bard that can be tuned for different applications. With generative AI technology, doctors, hospitals, clinics and beyond may be able to streamline patient care and improve health outcomes with significant advantages like personalized healthcare for patients, predictive maintenance of medical devices and supporting administrative tasks to improve efficiency. Despite their promise, the new generative AI tools open a can of worms regarding accuracy, trustworthiness, bias, hallucination and plagiarism — ethical issues that likely will take years to sort out. None of the issues are particularly new to AI though. Just like any other technology, I am confident and cautiously optimistic that the generative AI would mature to bring the bigger benefits that we all aspire for.

7. No matter our role or level, we are always learning. What’s one thing – either industry-related or not – you learned in the last month?
I am a big believer of being a continuous learner while pivoting and adapting to changing landscape of needs. The mantra should be to plan the work and work the plan but be flexible and realistic to adapt for best outcomes. One of the books that I have been reading of late is Limitless by Jim Kwik. In this book, he overturns the conventional ideas of intelligence, achievement and perceived limitations with a compelling and practical handbook for change. It is based on the concept of all of us having boundless capabilities and what we make of them has everything to do with mindset and application.

8. Outside of work, do you play any sports or have any hobbies? What do you do for fun?
Yes, I play tennis, volleyball, chess etc. whenever time permits. Also, I like to read different books and spend time with my family. Love to explore and  experience the world through various travels to create a wholesome life!

9. What’s something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know?
I used to play cricket early on in my career and I received a trophy from the cricketing legend Clive Lloyd for my performance in the finals of a tournament that was played in the Central Broward Cricket Stadium in Lauderhill. Another fun fact is that I had to find a way to overcome acrophobia (thanks to the constant nudge from my daughter) to do ziplining with my family in Costa Rica recently.


Learn more about ModMed’s leadership team here. 

By Nikki Cabus

ODP Corporation expands collaboration with Microsoft to leverage the power of AI technology from Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service

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The ODP Corporation (“ODP”) (NASDAQ:ODP) announced that it is expanding its longstanding relationship with Microsoft to include Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service advanced artificial intelligence technology to enhance customer experience, drive operational efficiencies, and more effectively pursue growth opportunities.

Recognizing Azure’s immense potential, ODP has been working with Microsoft to migrate legacy systems and to build out its customer-facing platforms, including its Varis digital procurement ecosystem and Business Central integration, on Microsoft Azure. This collaboration has enabled ODP to leverage the power of Azure’s scalable cloud infrastructure, improving the speed, reliability, and security of its online services and applications.

ODP is now expanding this relationship to include Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service advanced artificial technology capabilities. Through this collaboration, ODP is harnessing the power of Microsoft Azure OpenAI, including ChatGPT hosted securely on Azure, to further improve customer experience, streamline internal operations, and position the Company to pursue growth opportunities more efficiently.

“We’re excited to expand our collaboration with Microsoft to harness the power of Azure OpenAI Services, including ChatGPT,” said Gerry Smith, Chief Executive Officer of The ODP Corporation. “This technology will enable continued transformation in our business, driving additional operational efficiencies consistent with our low-cost business model, and positioning us to deliver greater value to customers while more effectively pursuing growth opportunities. Our relationship with Microsoft positions ODP to be at the forefront of innovation, enhancing our digital capabilities and creating a sustainable competitive advantage for the future.”

The ODP Corporation (NASDAQ:ODP) is a leading provider of products and services through an integrated business-to-business (B2B) distribution platform and omnichannel presence, which includes world-class supply chain and distribution operations, dedicated sales professionals, a B2B digital procurement solution, online presence and a network of Office Depot and OfficeMax retail stores. Through its operating companies Office Depot, LLC; ODP Business Solutions, LLC; Veyer, LLC; and Varis, Inc., The ODP Corporation empowers every business, professional, and consumer to achieve more every day.

“We are delighted that ODP has chosen Microsoft Azure OpenAI service as its solution for integrating transformational AI capabilities into critical business processes and systems,” said Eric Boyd, Corporate Vice President of Azure AI Platform at Microsoft Corp. “Through our deepened relationship, we will partner more closely with ODP to take advantage of generative AI, to drive innovation, increase productivity and enhance the experience of ODP’s customers.”

ODP can now take advantage of large-scale, generative AI models with deep understandings of language and code to enable new reasoning and comprehension capabilities for building cutting-edge applications. Apply these coding and language models to a variety of use cases, such as writing assistance, code generation, and reasoning over data. Detect and mitigate harmful use with built-in responsible AI and access enterprise-grade Azure security.’

ODP and ODP Business Solutions are trademarks of ODP Business Solutions, LLC. Office Depot is a trademark of The Office Club, Inc. Any other product or company names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

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