South Florida Tech HubSouth Florida Tech Hub

By Riley Kaminer

Entrepreneurs and investors come together at sold-out Pitch and Pour event in Coral Gables

Read Time 4 Minutes

It was an evening of innovation, entrepreneurship, and networking at South Florida Tech Hub’s Pitch and Pour event on August 25th in Coral Gables.

Hosted by angel investor Tahl Milburn, the Investment Sub-Committee Chair of Tech Hub’s Startup Committee, at Merrick Manor, upwards of 55 people from the South Florida tech scene came to meet each other and discuss the opportunities present in our rapidly-growing ecosystem.

“It is a pleasure to have you all here, as we gather in one of the world’s most exciting tech ecosystems,” Milburn said in his opening remarks.

Startup founders were at the core of the event. These eight entrepreneurs had the opportunity to pitch their company to some of South Florida’s top investors. They each had three minutes to showcase their startup, followed by three minutes of questions, before moving onto the next investor. Community members were able to listen in on pitches as they were happening. All the while, there were ample networking opportunities, facilitating connections between startups and key local stakeholders.

 

Meet the featured startups!

Startups presenting at the Pitch and Pour event represented a cross-section of South Florida’s innovation economy – from media to upskilling, and everything in between. 

Modern Trials – Leveraging 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.

Streann Media – SaaS platform that enables content providers to build their own distribution platforms. Read more about Streann Media in our member spotlight.

Roomaters – A startup that aims to make it easier to find roommates. Now building a communications platform focused on student housing.

Boca Code – A Boca Raton-based coding school, aiming to help connect budding technologists with some of South Florida’s most exciting tech firms.

Guiltless To Go – An app that provides the delivery of food for people with specific dietary needs.

Best Candidate – An election candidate search engine and campaign media manager.

Parkquility – Taking the headache out of parking by enabling consumers to reserve parking spots in advance. 

Brain A.C.T.I.V.E. – Empowering businesses to improve their employees’ mental fitness.

 

A resounding success, and more to come

Mike Maniscalco, EVP of Technology at Applied Blockchain and Chair of Tech Hub’s Startup Founders Peer Group, underscored the importance of events like the Pitch and Pour for South Florida’s rapidly-expanding tech ecosystem.

“It was an incredibly successful first event,” Maniscalco told South Florida Tech Hub. “We need to do more. It was clear from the amount of attendees that the appetite is huge. We should keep having more of these events, as people continue to be willing to come.”

This event is what the Startup Founders Peer Group is all about: bringing founders and entrepreneurs together to connect, share, and learn from each other in a safe setting. They typically meet once a month to share our successes, needs and resources. Through the work of the Startup Committee, participants attend events such as pitch clinics, contests, and investor connection events. They also hear from guest speakers and take part in summits and expos.

Serial entrepreneur and RaiseLink chief executive Chris Houghtaling was one of the experts hearing pitches at the event. Houghtaling said that he had been to similar events in other tech ecosystems internationally, but nothing quite like it in South Florida.

“Not only did it help startups improve their pitches, but it also allowed for ample networking in a relaxed and fun atmosphere,” commented Houghtaling.

 

Developing South Florida’s tech ecosystem

South Florida Tech Hub is the only tech ecosystem development organization active throughout our region, including Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Martin counties. Through its events, committees, and advocacy, Tech Hub is at the forefront of developing South Florida as a cutting-edge, inclusive hotspot for innovation.

As South Florida rises to prominence on a global stage, events like Pitch and Pour are critical to bring together innovators from the entire region – uplifting all parties while also fostering a strong sense of community.

Tech Hub’s Startup Committee proudly supports and connects dozens of startup organizations and stakeholders in South Florida. It unites the following resources and leaders together to achieve common goals: Startup Accelerators & Incubators, Entrepreneur Support Organizations, Community-oriented Coworking Spaces, Venture Capital & Angel Investors, Economic Development & Government Partners, Corporate & University Innovation Programs and more.

Click here to view more photos from the Pitch & Pour startup event. 📸

 

Are you interested in getting involved in Tech Hub’s activities in South Florida? Come out and show your supPOURt! Visit TechHubSouthFlorida.org or email team@techhubsouthflorida.org for more information. 

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.

 

 

 

Entrepreneurs and investors come together at sold-out Pitch and Pour event in Coral Gables
Miami startup Modern Trials wins IDEA Showcase for investment from Seedfunders