South Florida Tech HubSouth Florida Tech Hub

By Adam Ross

2022 Harvard Alumni Angels Entrepreneurship Night

An event where friends of entrepreneurship come together to explore, learn and to support the startup ecosystem of South Florida. With keynote speaker Jeff Bussgang and where the winners and finalist of the Nov 2nd Pitch Competition will be announced.
AGENDA:
5:30pm Registration & Welcome Reception (in person) 6:00pm Opening Zoom for Virtual Participants
6:30pm Welcome and Opening Remarks by John A. Quelch, Dean University of Miami Herbert Business School
6:45pm Keynote by Prof Jeff Bussgang, Lecturer at the Entrepreneurial Management Unit at the Harvard Business School
7:45pm Presentations by the finalists of the Fall Startup Pitch Competition from 11/2/2022
8:15pm Award Announcements followed by Cocktail Hour

By Adam Ross

FAU Spanish language Entrepreneur Boot Camp

FAU’s Spanish language Entrepreneur Boot Camp is a fast-paced 8-week certificate course empowering Spanish-speaking promising entrepreneurs and ambitious small business owners with the tools to create successful business pitches, find financial support and design the right operation for success! The course is taught in Spanish and the textbook has been translated into Spanish. Courses will be taught at FAU’s Davie and Boca Raton campuses.

By Nikki Cabus

CITY Furniture announces equity stake in Palm Beach County-based PeakActivity

Read Time 3 Minutes

Broward-based CITY Furniture, a family-owned American furniture and mattress retailer, fine upholstery manufacturer, and one of America’s Top 20 furniture retailers, announced it has recently taken an equity stake in PeakActivity, a digital acceleration and technology services company based in Palm Beach county that enables progress for businesses at every point of their digital journey through modernization, optimization, innovation, and engineering services.

As long-time partners, CITY’s equity stake, which represents a minority position, is a win-win for both parties. For CITY, this investment solidifies their position as a pioneer in Home Tech, integrating technology into everything they do. PeakActivity will use this investment to accelerate their overall growth and fund further innovation in the home furnishings category.

With shared goals and shared financial outcomes, the partnership between the companies will be strengthened to a level they have not had previously and is a testament to the quality of the work they have done together over the past five years.

“CITY is working hard to build a world class organization that is best in class in technology. The future of the home industry and all industries hinge on technology and innovation,” said Andrew Koenig, CEO of CITY. “Our partnership with PeakActivity is more important now than it has ever been. We are convinced that taking a position in PeakActivity will accelerate our technological advantages in the market and result in a better customer and associate experience overall.”

CITY Furniture operates over twenty-two showrooms from Miami through Vero Beach, and in Southwest and Central Florida, as well as fourteen Ashley Home Store showrooms as the brand’s Southeast and Southwest Florida licensee. The company is one of the country’s top furniture retailers and continuing to grow.

As technology becomes more and more fundamental to everyday business and everyday living, CITY looks to embrace it and actively learn about the opportunities that tech provides businesses. CITY looks to be a driving force in taking the home furnishing world from “old school” to “industry cool” by investing in their long-time tech partner, PeakActivity.

As part of its investment, CITY looks forward to their ability to share knowledge, ideas, and strategies, while leveraging both companies skilled tech teams to work on some of the best home projects in the industry. Given their long-standing client-agency relationship, the companies are already working on several projects together in the areas of ecommerce, AR Design, CITY Moves, and more, that will continue to grow and expand as their relationship advances in the months and years to come.

“CITY has been one of our longest standing and best clients, driving us to innovate, to think, and work both faster and better,” said Manish B. Hirapara, CEO of PeakActivity.

“With this investment, our relationship becomes even more significant and is unlike that of any other client relationship we have. I expect that we continue to grow together and thrive together in the future. We are stronger than we’ve ever been before now as true partners.”

PeakActivity is a digital strategy and implementation company, partnering with businesses to accelerate their growth through eCommerce, Digital Marketing, and Technology solutions. By leveraging its unique methodology of Dream, Deliver, Elevate, PeakActivity simultaneously focuses on short-term wins with a constant eye towards longer-term innovation and business growth.

This relationship with PeakActivity just further reinforces CITY’s long-time commitment to being tech forward for both their internal stakeholders and external stakeholders. For CITY, seamless technology integration is just as important to a customer looking to furnish their living room in Miami, as it is to a warehouse worker in Orlando and a corporate employee in Tampa. Over the years, the company has enjoyed significant success building out their own tech department, making all of areas of the company better, faster, easier, and safer, while building out teams for e-commerce, data analytics and cybersecurity.

With tech at the forefront of CITY’s business strategy from the start, this relationship is an investment in the success of CITY’s tech-focused future and a step towards achieving their long-term goals.

By Nikki Cabus

Broward-based minority-owned businesses receive $10k grants from Fiserv

Read Time 3 Minutes

Two Broward-based minority-owned businesses were awarded $10k grants from Fiserv at this year’s 2nd Annual EmpowerHER event held at the Nova Southeastern University Davie campus. The effort is part of Fiserv’s Back2Business Program.

Fiserv’s Back2Business program is a $50 million initiative to provide financial grants, community support and critical resources, including complimentary consulting and leading technology solutions such as the Clover® point-of-sale platform, to minority-owned small businesses.

Eligible businesses may use the grant funds to assist with payroll, rent or lease payments, technology or equipment purchases, or premise redesign.

This year’s grant recipients were two black-owned and woman-owned healthcare businesses based in Broward County: Cornerstone Medical Group Inc. and the Preventative Health & Wellness Center.

Cornerstone Medical Group Inc is lead by Dr. Sabine Delinois Elisee, a Board-Certified Family Medicine Physician who is fellowship-trained in Hospice Palliative care and holds a Master’s degree in Public Health. Just prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, in the Fall of 2019, Cornerstone Medical Group opened its doors in the city of Coral Springs, FL

Born and raised in South Florida, Dr. Elisee is vested in the community and actively participates in outreach events. The heart behind Cornerstone Medical Group is to Transform Healthcare through Patient Education and the Reconnection of Physical Spiritual and Cognitive Health to enhance Quality of Life. It was fitting for Dr. Elisee to receive the grant at this event being her Alma Mata is Nova Southeastern University College of Medicine.

Preventative Health & Wellness Center is lead by Atou Diarra, a nurse practitioner with over 17 years of nursing experience with a true passion for health and fitness, disease prevention and improving overall health. The center recently opened it’s doors in Coral Springs, FL.

Originally born and raised in Marseille, France, Atou moved to the U.S. in 2000. She attended Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA where she graduated in 2004 with a degree in Bachelor of Nursing Science. As a traveling nurse she found her way to South Florida, which she is now proud to call her home. In 2013, she earned her Master’s degree as a family nurse practitioner from Barry University in Miami, Florida.

The EmpowerHER event included guest speakers from Fiserv, a panel discussion with South Florida Tech Hub CEO, Nikki Cabus, Executive Director of Environmental Health and Safety at Nova Southeastern University, Beth Welmaker, and Moderator and VP of Business Development & Strategy at Fiserv Corporate Social Responsibility, Shane Caldwell.

Partner organizations included Clover, Coral Springs Coconut Creek Regional Chamber, Nova Southeastern University’s Alvin Sherman Library, Research, and Information Technology Center, Nova Southeastern College of Computing & Engineering, South Florida Tech Hub, and Broward County Black Chamber of Commerce.

Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV) is a leading global technology provider serving the financial services industry, driving innovation in payments, processing services, risk and compliance, customer and channel management, and business insights and optimization. For more information, visit www.fiserv.com.

By Nikki Cabus

Miami startup Modern Trials wins IDEA Showcase for investment from Seedfunders

Read Time 4 Minutes

Modern Trials, a Miami-based startup, pitched at this year’s IDEA Showcase held on Thursday, June 23rd at the Broward County Convention Center. The startup took home first place which included an investment opportunity with Seedfunders, a Florida-based investment firm.

The HIPAA-compliant platform, Modern Trials, leverages electronic medical record data from a broad network of healthcare organizations to match patients in need of advanced treatment options with appropriate clinical trial opportunities.

IDEA Showcase is part of the #TECHSUPERSHOW at the ITEXPO which has been coming to South Florida for decades. South Florida Tech Hub has been partnering with the expo for three years now. The IDEA Showcase pitch contest has become one of the most popular and best-attended events at the ITEXPO. It features cool startup pitches and networking with open bar.

ITEXPO and the collocated events that comprise the #TECHSUPERSHOW all feature educational sessions presented by industry-leading experts. Attendees also gain valuable new insight from keynotes presented by thought-leaders from around the globe. The expo floor is filled with more than 200 companies demonstrating the latest innovations in a marketplace setting.

Startups that pitched included CERA, Envonics, flo-ops, Modern Trials, Nebulai, Unitii, and In My Team. Six of the seven startups to pitch were from South Florida and for the first time ever a prize package including an investment opportunity. Modern Trials took home the judges prize!

“Despite 20 years of experience and many friends in the [healthcare and clinical trials] industry, I was not able to find an appropriate trial for my own mother,” said Dr. Christopher Ochner, Co-Founder of Modern Trials whose mother was diagnosed with a stage IV glioma. “I came to the startling realization that there exists no way for patients in need to gain access to appropriate clinical trial opportunities.”

Immediately after his mother’s passing, he circled back with his Co-Founder, Dr. Alex Logsdon and said; “you were right; this system is broken and we need to fix it”. After countless hours working through a modernized process flow with regulatory experts, legal counsel and consultants, Modern Trials was born.

The IDEA Showcase judges panel included Tahl Milburn, former tech executive and founder from Silicon Valley turned investor, Danielle Mousseau, Manager of 35 Mules, Florida Power & Light’s Company’s (FPL) innovation hub, Akshay Sharma, former Gartner Analyst having authored or co-authored over 280 research notes and current CTO at Kovair, Ariana Pareja, startup founder with three exits and current President and Co-founder at Pareja Family Foundation which provides tech bootcamp scholarships for women and minorities, and Dave Chitester, Founder of Florida Funders, Founder of Seedfunders, and named one of Florida Trend’s 500 Most Influential Business Leaders in the state.

Dave Chister announced the judges winner and awarded Modern Trials with a minimum of $5000 investment through his firm Seedfunders. He said that after due diligence the investment could be much more significant. South Florida Tech Hub also added a free Startup level membership for Modern Trails for one full year.

Seedfunders is investing in pre-revenue scalable technology throughout the state of Florida. Led by a group of leading visionaries, Seedfunders is paving the way for technology startups throughout the state with a presence in St. Petersburg, Orlando and Miami. Dave recently moved to Miami to be able to support startups across the entire South Florida region.

With a unique focus on pre-revenue stage concepts, Seedfunders brings a different approach with mentoring and guidance for developing an MVP and bringing your concept to market.

“No question that cash is the lifeblood of every startup, particularly given the current economic environment,” said Modern Trials Co-Founder Dr. Ochner. “To us, however, an investment from SeedFunders means much more than that. Good mentorship is even more valuable than cash and the intellectual investment that Dave Chitester and his group make in the companies they chose to work with is the real prize.”

With approximately 200 people in attendance for the IDEA Showcase, there was an audience winner chosen as well. The audience used a real-time voting tool to choose their favorite pitch and the winner was CERA – Critical Emergency Response Applications.

Judge and investor, David Chister assured a handful of the startups that pitched that they were close behind, He urged each of them to apply for investment from Seedfunders as well.

Click here for more info on Seedfunders, Modern Trials, CERA and the ITEXPO.

 

 

 

2022 Harvard Alumni Angels Entrepreneurship Night
FAU Entrepreneur Boot Camp
FAU Spanish language Entrepreneur Boot Camp
CITY Furniture announces equity stake in Palm Beach County-based PeakActivity
Broward-based minority-owned businesses receive $10k grants from Fiserv
Miami startup Modern Trials wins IDEA Showcase for investment from Seedfunders