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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.

 

 

 

By Nikki Cabus

Broward-based CERA reacts to mass shooting mayhem this month

Read Time 3 Minutes

“It has sadly been a very deadly month from coast to coast due to gun violence, ” says Edward McGovern, Founder & CEO at CERA. “Nineteen elementary school students and two teachers were killed by an alleged lone gunman days ago in Uvalde, Texas. A doctor was killed and five other churchgoers were injured in a Laguna Woods, CA shooting. Ten innocent lives were taken at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo, NY in what is believed to be a racially-motivated crime.

It has been nearly 10 years since Sandy Hook, slightly over 4 years since Marjory Stoneman Douglas, and 23 whole years since Columbine. How and why is this still happening?”

It is a more difficult task to stop the bad guys from having intent to kill and pulling the trigger. What we CAN control is effective response of critical incidents.

It is quite disheartening to learn that a Tops grocery store employee is claiming a 9-1-1 operator hung up on her when she called to report the shooter, according to the New York Times. She alleges that she was whispering so that the shooter would hopefully not hear her on the phone. This is just one example of the weaknesses in our current communications systems that we are solving.

Critical Event Response Applications, or CERA, is a public safety app that “creates a direct line of communication between law enforcement, emergency medical providers, and individuals on the ground.” CERA greatly assists in containing the scene, neutralizing the threat, and treating and evacuating the injured and in danger. Simply put, it eliminates the chaos and confusion during a critical event to be able to save more lives in a time when time is of the essence.

CERA enables people to report threatening situations and injuries directly to law enforcement officers who have the CERA app with a tap of a button, instantly giving law enforcement the exact location of the threat and getting the information directly into the hands of police and fire as efficiently as possible.

As communities and public safety officials search for solutions to this epidemic of violence, we need to start prioritizing how we are going to address it. We cannot solve our response difficulties using the same antiquated technology that are general multi-purpose tools. In other words, the tools we need to address active killer events are not the same tools used to report a theft, the dynamics are completely different. We need to commit resources to our children’s safety with school attacks much like we committed to their safety when it comes to a fire.

The last school fire in the US that killed 10 or more children was 1958 in Chicago. Why? Because we addressed the specific issue using technology, resources and laws. From fire-codes to inspections to fire drills, we effectively took on a unique problem, committed to make changes and succeeded. It is also possible to change many of the outcomes in targeted violence cases.

Our hearts are saddened to see all of these senseless mass murders. We are praying for all of those affected by these tragedies. Parents are now fearful of sending their kids to school each morning. Shoppers and grocery store workers are worried if a trip to the supermarket or a day at work will be a death sentence. We can do better, but it only works if we join forces to do so.

Please click on the image below to see Edward’s response to the Uvalde massacre on CBS Miami.

By Nikki Cabus

Davie-based public safety startup, CERA, places 2nd at eMerge, but could be the most impactful pitch yet

Read Time 3 Minutes

300 seconds. That’s that amount of time is takes for an active shooter to cause mass casualty at your child’s school, in a mall, or at an event venue. Due to extremely outdated technology, first responders aren’t able to respond fast enough or communicate through the chaos during an incident.

100 startups were chosen out of 1000 applicants to pitch at eMerge Americas’ Startup Showcase this year. Only five were chosen as finalists to pitch in front of judges which included Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary and Broward-based CERA was one of them. Although the startup took home 2nd place, we think they have the most impactful eMerge pitch to date.

Edward McGovern, former Major of the Hallandale Beach Police Department and first responder to some of the most tragic events such as the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in 2018 and the Fort Lauderdale Airport shooting in 2017, has developed a technology that will save more lives. Now retired from the police department, Ed is the startup Founder & CEO of CERA.

Critical Event Response Applications, or CERA, is a public safety app that “creates a direct line of communication between law enforcement, emergency medical providers, and individuals on the ground.” CERA greatly assists in containing the scene, neutralizing the threat, and treating and evacuating the injured and in danger. Simply put, it eliminates the chaos and confusion during a critical event to be able to save more lives in a time when time is of the essence.

“CERA’s at the eMerge Americas Startup Showcase was amazing,” said McGovern. “Even though we didn’t take the top prize, watching us start with over 1000 applicants and make it to the final 5 was such an important validation of our company and our mission. We were so proud to be be on that stage, not just representing CERA, but also the Alan B Levan | NSU Broward Center of Innovation, whose help has been invaluable to us,” he continued. “As I walked on stage, I saw guest judges like Kevin “Mr Wonderful” O’Leary, Paul Judge, and Ryan Whittemore sitting under the CERA brand, along with Levan Center and South Florida Tech Hub logos, and thinking how amazing our region is for innovation. I’m more determined than ever.”

Watch McGovern’s pitch for CERA here.

Congratulations to all the companies who pitched that day including the top five finalists: Genially, from Spain, which helps users build interactive digital content, TicketRev, from Boca Raton, which is a reverse event ticket selling platform, CERA, from Davie, offering a group of public safety applications, Togal.AI, from Miami, which helps improve estimating in the construction industry, and MOVIA Robotics, from the UK, which offers robotics that help children on the autism spectrum.

For more information on CERA, visit https://www.ceraapp.com/

 

Miami startup Modern Trials wins IDEA Showcase for investment from Seedfunders
Broward-based CERA reacts to mass shooting mayhem this month
Davie-based public safety startup, CERA, places 2nd at eMerge, but could be the most impactful pitch yet