South Florida Tech HubSouth Florida Tech Hub

By Nikki Cabus

Boca Raton startup Owwll officially launches connecting experts for instant 1:1 advice

Read Time 3 Minutes

As Elon Musk said “Instead of baby showers, let’s host business showers. When a friend starts a business, we all come together, celebrate them and bring resources for their business to start!” This was all Jason Hill, Founder of the Owwll app, needed to hear.

About 100 people attended the official community launch and business shower for the Owwll app held at the NSU Alan Levan Innovation Center in Davie, FL. As one of the first companies to go through the Incubate Program at the new center, the Owwll team felt is was only fitting to have the launch in the new space.

With a panel, drinks & hors d’oeuvres, a live interactive podcast booth, photo booth, and raffles and prizes, the event was full of energy. Panelists included those such as Olivia Gaudree, Partner and Core Analyst at Fuel Venture Capital and Steven Edwards, Founder & CEO of Premier Virtual, and other founders, lawyers, and investors.

“It’s so hard to launch a business so why not throw a shower. All these people that attended came with love, came with gifts, and celebrated the launch of Owwll,” said Jason Hill, as he said with a smile. “

Hill told Tech Hub that the idea for Owwll all started during his commutes to work. While we drive, we listen to podcasts and audio books, but you never get the chance to speak to these experts directly. Hill began reaching out to these experts on Instagram and LinkedIn to have no response 9 out of 10 times.  Even when they responded, getting a meeting set was a whole other issue.  Hill said he knew the world needed a platform where people could connect with one another on demand through audio calls at a moments notice and this was a gap that we had in the market that could be filled. Out of frustration and necessity, the idea for Owwll was born.

“From first hearing about the idea, giving feedback on different logo/mascot versions, and having Owwll pitch first the first time in front of a public audience at a Tech Hub pitch night during GEW 2021, it’s been so exciting t0o watch the growth of Owwll,” said South Florida Tech Hub CEO, Nikki Cabus. “Knowing that Owwll had the support of local organizations such as South Florida Tech Hub, OZ Digital Consulting, and the Alan Levan Innovation Center is even better.”

Jason has been working with Murray Izenwasser and his team at Fort Lauderdale-based OZ Digital Consulting over the past 18 months to build and perfect the app. As a local company, OZ appreciates being able to support local and help grow South Florida’s growing and successful tech community. OZ Digital Consulting is celebrating their 25th anniversary this year.

Before a full-scale launch, the application was tested using TestFlight, a software that implements real-time patchwork while getting direct feedback from Beta testers. After a couple of months, the interface between users, creators, and development had proven itself worthy of being downloaded by the masses.

“It was an incredible experience partnering with Jason on his entrepreneurial journey, from those initial conversations where the idea behind Owwll wasn’t even written down on a napkin,” Izenwasser told South Florida Tech Hub.

“Seeing his ideas come to shape and finally to the public launch has been one of the most rewarding projects of my career. And no client has done more or worked harder than Jason to drive his well-earned success. The entire OZ team is very excited to have been a part of bringing Owwll to flight.”

The app now has over 3000 users and growing with hot topics such as Startups, Entrepreneurship, Social Media, Podcasting, Marketing and even some folks from Hollywood and different musicians. Anyone with a large audience on social tend to enjoy the benefits of being able to connect to their audience better.

Download the app from the Apple iTunes store, or the Google Playstore to gain access to one-on-one sessions.

By Riley Kaminer

Levan Center secures $700k grant to support South Florida entrepreneurs

Read Time 3 Minutes

The Davie-based Alan B. Levan | NSU Broward Center of Innovation has won a $742,787 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration as part of the Venture Challenge funding competition that sits within its broader “Build to Scale” program.

The competition is designed for intermediary organizations like universities and accelerators that are supporting new business ventures that challenge the status quo, commercialize technologies, and create jobs.

The funding will go towards activities that help build our region’s tech ecosystem. “We will use the funding to support the startups as they go through the program,” Teresa Grandal Cusse, Assistant Executive Director of the Levan Center, explained to South Florida Tech Hub. “It will help us keep the program and wraparound services free for the startups.” These services include legal, accounting, and marketing advice.

The provision of these funds is stipulated on the Center matching them dollar for dollar. “The match shows that we’re co-invested in the project,” said Grandal Cusse. The Center is barred from using this funding to directly invest in startups, however. 

Grandal Cusse is an experienced grant writer, having previously run the grants office at Miami Dade College, written grants for the City of Doral’s police department, and led development efforts at a Miami private school. Her advice to startups considering grant funding? Go for it.

“It’s worth committing the time,” she said, noting that a federal grant can take upwards of 100 hours to prepare, while private foundation grants can take 20 to 50 hours. According to Grandal Cusse, it might make sense for a startup to look for non-profit partners, since there tend to be fewer grant opportunities for for-profit businesses – although they do exist. 

“Grants can be very intimidating,” Grandal Cusse noted. “But think about it as a research project with a business plan thrown into it.”

Last week, the 54,000-square-foot, 1,350-person capacity Levan Center opened its doors for a soft launch, ahead of its full launch in early 2022. The Center Levan boasts a wide range of facilities, many of which are the first in South Florida or even the Southeastern United States. Some notable highlights include a state-of-the-art cybersecurity range, a media production studio, and ample space for co-working and meeting.

Apart from these facilities, the Levan Center has developed a series of programs designed for startups and entrepreneurs of all stages. Applications are currently open for their two early-stage programs, Ideate and Incubate. They plan to launch their Accelerate and Post-Accelerate programs in Spring 2022.

John Wensveen, Nova Southeastern University’s Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Director of the Levan Center, expressed excitement about what’s to come. “Some of our partners are starting to come in and help iron out some of the kinks,” he said, noting that the Levan Center’s first members have already started working in the space. “We’re going to plan our grand opening event for January 22 and start the year off with a big deal.”

Are you a South Florida innovator? Learn more about the Levan Center and apply to become a member by visiting

Boca Raton startup Owwll officially launches connecting experts for instant 1:1 advice
Levan Center secures $700k grant to support South Florida entrepreneurs