South Florida Tech HubSouth Florida Tech Hub

By Nikki Cabus

Excess IT Hardware donates needed laptops to deserving scholars

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Excess I.T. Hardware donated 30 laptops to the George Snow Scholarship Fund.

Excess IT Hardware is a social enterprise computer equipment liquidation, secure data destruction and e-waste recycling company. From one asset to multi-location global projects, Excess IT Hardware can provide secure, efficient and ethical, IT asset management and computer equipment liquidation services.

The George Snow Scholarship Fund is a a non-profit organization in Palm Beach County dedicated to helping deserving high school students within the community achieve their career goals through their pursuit of higher education. The organization stands in support of anyone who has ever endured racial inequality and firmly believe that no one should be treated unfairly based on the color of their skin.

Since its inception in 1981, the Fund has awarded over 18 million dollars in educational grants. In the year 2021 alone, the Scholarship Fund awarded over $2,100,000 in scholarships and scholars support services to 234 Snow Scholars. This level of support places the Fund as one of Palm Beach County’s largest sources of educational grants.

From College Care Packages for students with little or no support at home to Essential Life Seminars that help students feel more safe and comfortable stepping into their new and unknown surroundings, the nonprofit also assists students obtain needed resources through the Computer and College Supply program. Many students who come from underserved communities don’t have the necessary tools such as a laptop that many of us take for granted. The donation from Excess IT Hardware ensure each laptop will go to a scholar in need.

“We don’t want to stop at the scholarship to the college/university, but support them through their journey with care packages, necessary funds and computers.  We offer our new class of scholars the option of choosing a new laptop or a college supply stipend check, but those who choose the stipend check are still left without a computer,” said Leslie Cornwell, Vice President of Scholar Services at George Snow Scholarship Fund.

“Excess IT was a lifesaver for those who did not choose a computer because they didn’t realize how much they would need one. As we celebrate 40 years in business, we appreciate our partners and donors who help us support our scholars each year.”

Excess IT Hardware believes that old electronics have value. Some can be cleaned, repaired or sold, and others are torn down into basic parts. As a Social Enterprise Company, EIH chooses to make a difference through their business model and process. What EIH does is monetize these electronics and then put that money, or hardware, back to work in the community.

“Our goal is to not just provide a needed service, but to also make a impact in the community” said Chris Schoeller, Founder and CEO at Excess IT Hardware.

“By working with and donating hardware to The George Snow Foundation and other groups with whom we partner, we can help our corporate recycling client’s extend not just the value, but the useful life, of their end of life IT Assets”.

Although students receive scholarships and support to attend universities and colleges across the country, the Fund loves to see our students stay here in South Florida and impact their local communities. Many of these students attend educational institutions such as Palm Beach State College.

Van Williams, the Provost of Palm Beach State College, recently hosted a Meet & Greet Reception for the #SnowScholars that are attending PBSC.

Van Williams and his administrative team welcomed the new scholars speaking to them about needed resources and where they can find assistance during their educational journeys. With new laptops, care packages and a confidence boost, the students were ready for their first semester.

Contact Excess IT Hardware to see how your hardware donation may make a greater impact here in South Florida. Visit https://excessithardware.com/contact-us/

By Nikki Cabus

$1M in grants were awarded to underrepresented founders; 4 in South Florida

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Just in time for this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week celebrations (November 14 – 20, 2022), the recipients of the Antares REACH Grant Program were announced and four South Florida startups made the list!

Presented in partnership with Hello Alice and the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), Antares Capital will provide small businesses grants to help them grow and scale. This initiative awarded $20,000 grants totaling $1 million to 40 historically underrepresented entrepreneurs including women, people of color, military-affiliated, persons with disabilities, or LGBTQ+.

Antares Capital aspires to increase representation in business by leveraging the organizations” financial resources and leadership skill sets to provide capital and support underrepresented entrepreneurs. The funds will support businesses as they prepare for the next stage of growth.

“Each grant recipient underscores REACH’s core mission of supporting diverse and historically underrepresented founders and ensuring they have the resources needed to expand their businesses,” said Mary (Gaede) Rose, managing director and head of the REACH program at Antares.

“We are thrilled to support these companies and enhance the flow of capital at a foundational level, expanding diversity in the ecosystem of business on the pathway toward private equity.”

This announcement comes just one year after women-founded companies received less than 2 percent of capital invested in VC-backed startups in the US, and Black-owned startups received just over 1 percent. REACH aims to address this discrepancy by expanding access to capital for these historically underrepresented groups at their earliest foundational stages.

Of the recipients, which were chosen from a pool of over 100,000 applications, 90 percent are businesses led by individuals of color, and 88 percent are led by females or gender non-conforming persons. Companies from over a dozen varied industries led by founders from 4 distinct generations are represented. The founders will use the grants to introduce products, expand their regional presence, and further promote a positive social impact within the communities in which they operate.

The four South Florida startups who made the list are:

  1. 2ndVault | Fort Lauderdale, FL | Jaclyn Strauss & Nicole Mayer
  2. Caribshopper | Davie, FL | Kadion Preston
  3. Rohi’s Readery | West Palm Beach, FL | Pranati (Pranoo) Kumar
  4. Tappas | Miami, FL | Sandra Portal-Andreu

Jaclyn Strauss, a licensed CPA in Florida for over 15 years, was given a second chance at life after experiencing a life-threatening condition while giving birth to her second child. Jaclyn has taken this second chance and allowed it to fuel her passion for helping others through the mission of tech startup 2nd Vault.

“Receiving the REACH grant is instrumental in enhancing our current digital vault by allowing us to further financially invest in our robust technology solution to cater to the business customer that serves hundreds, if not thousands, of clients daily,” said Strauss. “2ndVault could not be more grateful that Antares realized our value and, more importantly, the impact that we will have on the greater community. Thank you to both Antares Reach and Hello Alice. You have provided two female co-founders with a huge spark to continue fueling their passion.”

To qualify, businesses must have a viable product or service with less than $5M in annual revenue and they must be operated by entrepreneurs of historically underrepresented groups. In addition to the $20,000 grant, all recipients will be eligible to receive an additional $5,000 grant after completing a post-grant report demonstrating how the grant has impacted their business.. They will also be given access to professional development opportunities through Hello Alice.

 

 

By Nikki Cabus

Space Florida and Florida Venture Forum Award $100,000 to Early Stage Companies

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Space Florida and the Florida Venture Forum, Florida’s largest statewide support organization for investors and entrepreneurs, are pleased to announce the award winners at the 2022 Florida Early Stage Capital Conference in Tampa will receive a total of $100,000. The Early Stage Capital Conference is “where capital and innovation meet!”

This event marks the 15th year the Florida Venture Forum has hosted the Florida Early Stage Capital Conference. The 19 presenting companies including 8 from southeast Florida were selected from a pool of more than 150 applicants by a committee of active Florida venture capital investors. The companies eligible to win originated from one of several industries including aerospace, artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality, cybersecurity, and others.

A total of 19 companies presented this year and 3 of the 5 winners were from South Florida!

Grand Prize Winner ($40,000) – Miami (Miami-Dade County)

EVQLV leverages advances in computation to revolutionize the design and development of therapeutic antibodies. We work with partners at the discovery stage to accelerate the speed of antibody discovery. For those collaborators who have preclinical, clinical, or commercial assets, we support the optimization of antibody candidates, develop assets that expand IP protection, and design next generation and innovative immunotherapies. All of our work is performed at accelerated speeds and scale only feasible by leveraging computational tools that learn from massive and diverse datasets.

 

2nd Place Winner ($30,000) –  Daytona Beach (Volusia County)

Novineer, Inc. is a design hub where novel engineering design meets 3D printing. The company plans to bring a 3D printing design and simulation software to market that will streamline the process of designing, modeling and fabricating parts

 

 

 

3rd Place Winner ($20,000) – Juno Beach (Palm Beach County)

Revterra Corporation is developing a modular kinetic battery designed to mitigate demand charges and infrastructure upgrade requirements in applications such as high-power electric vehicle charging and larger grid-scale applications. They are a 35 Mules (powered by FPL) innovation hub startup.

 

 

Additionally, OverTheShoulder and Pet HealthCare Innovations were the recipients of the 13th annual 2022 Statewide Collegiate Startup Competition, attracting the “best of the best” in collegiate competitors from 11 of Florida’s leading innovation-focused colleges and universities.  They were an FAU Tech Runway startup. They will receive $5,000.

“This year’s applicants exemplify the ingenuity and forward-thinking that is essential to success in the today’s business climate. The ingenuity of this year’s winners is a testament to the innovative and entrepreneurial culture we have fostered here in Florida,” said Space Florida president and CEO Frank DiBello. “Together with the Florida Venture Forum we are proud to support these businesses as they continue to push boundaries and bring new technologies and solutions to market.”

Space Florida provided the Accelerating Innovation prize money totaling $100,000. The goal of the Early Stage Capital Conference is to provide Florida entrepreneurs and innovators an opportunity to engage with potential investors. Space Florida supported capital accelerators have attracted more than $640 million in funding and investments for the participating companies. Seven colleges and universities were chosen to participate in this year’s Statewide Collegiate Startup Competition.

Space Florida was created to strengthen Florida’s position as the global leader in aerospace research, investment, exploration and commerce. The Florida Venture Forum is Florida’s largest statewide support organization for investors and entrepreneurs, helping fast-growth companies connect with sources of capital from across the country.

“Congratulations to EVQLV, Novineer, Inc., Revterra Corporation and to all the winners and participants at the 2022 Early Stage Capital Conference,” said Kevin Burgoyne, president and CEO of the Florida Venture Forum. “We are extremely grateful to our partners at Space Florida for their support and commitment to the Forum, and to Florida’s innovation ecosystem. Cash awards like this one, plus the venture capital Forum members invest in startups, are like rocket fuel for the companies powering Florida’s future.”

The Forum provides programs and programming statewide throughout the year in addition to hosting major annual conferences like the Florida Venture Capital Conference, the Statewide Collegiate Startup Competition, the Early Stage Capital Conference, and industry-focused events including aerospace and healthcare.

For more info on the Florida Early Stage Capital Conference, visit flventure.org/2022-early-stage-capital-conference/

By Nikki Cabus

394 Florida companies make the 2022 Inc. 5000 list; South Florida strong with 171

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The popular Inc. 5000 list of Fastest Growing Private Companies across the United States is out for 2022 — and the state of Florida is looking pretty strong.

From healthcare to education to marketing and construction, Florida’s top companies represented a multitude of industries. Over a 3-year span from 2018 – 2021, Florida companies had a 239% median growth, $18.8 billion in total revenue, and 36, 540 jobs added.

Two Florida companies made the overall Top 10 List: HighKey at #5 and Homethreads at #8. HighKey is a food & beverage company based in Orlando with 41,585% growth and Homethreads is a retail company based in Boca Raton with 25,851% growth.

This year, Inc. 5000 also listed the Top 10 diverse leaders of 2022 and Florida had two honorable mentions: HighKey once again and Zimba & PLUS ULTRA, a consumer products company based out of Boca Raton. Zimba & PLUS ULTRA was also listed in the Top Women Leaders category.

Through a 3-year period of uncertainty and change, these companies have shown a resiliency and level of innovation like no other. Of the 394 Florida-based companies, 61 were newly founded and an impressive 85 were repeat honorees.

Below are the Top 10 Florida-based companies, South Florida-based companies, and how they compare on a national level.

 

TOP 10 Fastest Growing Companies in FLORIDA:

  • #5 – HighKey (Orlando) – Food & Beverage – 41,585% growth
  • #8 – Homethreads (Boca Raton) – Retail – 25,851% growth
  • #35 – Zimba & PLUS ULTRA (Boca Raton) – Consumer Products – 9,349% growth
  • #47 – The Snow Agency (Miami) – Advertising & Marketing – 6,953% growth
  • #48 – OneRail (Orlando) – Software – 6,879% growth
  • #50 – KITRUM (Clearwater) – IT Services – 6,799% growth
  • #58 – AMA Consulting Group (Winter Park) – Government & Services – 6,218% growth
  • #59 – 365 LOGISTICS (Ft. Lauderdale) – Logistics & Transportation – 6,093% growth
  • #67 – Poseidon Management of Florida Get Staffed Up (Miami) – Human Resources – 5,807% growth
  • #68 – Octillion (Boynton Beach) – Media – 5,793% growth

 

Top 10 Fastest Growing Companies in SOUTH FLORIDA (Miami Metro Region):

  • #8 – Homethreads (Boca Raton) – Retail – 25,851% growth
  • #35 – Zimba & PLUS ULTRA (Boca Raton) – Consumer Products – 9,349% growth
  • #47 – The Snow Agency (Miami) – Advertising & Marketing – 6,953% growth
  • #59 – 365 LOGISTICS (Ft. Lauderdale) – Logistics & Transportation – 6,093% growth
  • #67 – Poseidon Management of Florida Get Staffed Up (Miami) – Human Resources – 5,807% growth
  • #68 – Octillion (Boynton Beach) – Media – 5,793% growth
  • #99 – HCM Unlocked (Boca Raton) – Human Resources – 4,385% growth
  • #100 – Performance Golf (Ft. Lauderdale) – Sports -4,323% growth
  • #122 – Stylecraft (Boca Raton) – Manufacturing – 3,733% growth
  • #139 – Air Pros (Hollywood) – Consumer Services – 3,392% growth

 

Interesting Stats:

  • Of the overall 394 Florida-based companies, almost 45% were from South Florida with 171 represented.
  • Of the Top 10 Florida-based companies, 60% were based in South Florida.
  • Of the Top 10 South Florida based companies, 20% were from Miami-Dade county, 30% from Broward county, and 50% from Palm Beach county.

 

Here’s a shoutout to some of our South Florida Tech Hub members who made the 2022 list:

  • #618 – ShipMonk (Ft. Lauderdale) – Logistics & Transportation – 1,025% growth (5 year repeat)
  • #697 – Sloane Staffing (Palm Beach Gardens) – Business Products & Services – 897% growth
  • #886 – Salesmsg (Delray Beach) – Software – 718% growth
  • #998 – PlanHub (West Palm Beach) – Construction – 654% growth (2 year repeat)
  • #1306 – Social Mobile (Hollywood) – Business Products & Services – 498% growth
  • #1740 – CloudHesive (Ft. Lauderdale) – Business Products & Services – 353% growth (4 year repeat)
  • #2016 – Gravity IT Resources (Ft. Lauderdale) – Human Resources – 299% growth (4 year repeat)
  • #2345 – PeakActivity (Boynton Beach) – Business Products & Services – 250% growth (3 year repeat)
  • #2359 – TechStrong Group (Boca Raton) – Media – 248% growth (3 year repeat)
  • #2990 – Dedicated IT (Lake Park) – IT Services – 181% growth (3 year repeat)
  • #3301 – The SilverLogic (Boca Raton) – Software – 180% growth (3 year repeat)
  • #3917 – Digital Resource (West Palm Beach) – Advertising & Marketing – 125% growth (5 year repeat)
  • #4435 – ModMed (Boca Raton) – IT Services – 100% growth (7 year repeat honoree!!)

 

To learn more about the 2022 Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies, visit https://www.inc.com/inc5000/2022

Excess IT Hardware donates needed laptops to deserving scholars
$1M in grants were awarded to underrepresented founders; 4 in South Florida
Space Florida and Florida Venture Forum Award $100,000 to Early Stage Companies
394 Florida companies make the 2022 Inc. 5000 list; South Florida strong with 171