South Florida Tech HubSouth Florida Tech Hub

By Nikki Cabus

U.S. Department of Labor awards Palm Beach State College a $1.75 million grant to expand skilled trades training

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The U.S. Department of Labor announced the award of $65 million in grants to 16 colleges in 14 states to expand their capacity to provide training to meet the skill development needs of employers and help students obtain good jobs. One of those colleges was Palm Beach State College. 

At a press conference held on April 15th, U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel announced that Palm Beach State College is not only one of sixteeen colleges nationwide to receive funds, but the only one in Florida to receive $1.75 million in funding in this fourth round of Strengthening Community Colleges Training Grants.

“Florida’s population is growing—by more than 1,000 people a day—and there’s lots and lots of building going on.” Rep. Frankel stated.

“Here’s the challenge: 85% of the contractors in this country are having a problem finding workers, and Palm Beach County is almost at the top of that list. We are blessed to have in this county a college that responds to the needs of the workforce. This grant is a very big boost, not only for students but for our county.”

Administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration, the fourth round of Strengthening Community Colleges Training Grants will support individual community colleges, as well as consortia of colleges, to prepare students for jobs that pay family-sustaining wages and offer career development opportunities based on the Good Jobs Principles developed by the departments of Labor and Commerce in 2022. Grantees will work with industry stakeholders to identify the workforce needs of multiple employers within a selected industry in the labor market area.

“Training programs should not end in a job search; they should end in a job. The Biden-Harris administration is investing in training programs that are demand-driven; Strengthening Community Colleges grants will help connect people to good jobs and employers to the people they need,” said Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor Julie Su.

“The Department of Labor is awarding funding today that will help community colleges equip workers with the skills they need right now, and that will strengthen workforce infrastructure in their respective communities.”

Palm Beach State will dedicate the funds to expanding its plans to transform construction trades education at the College, which started with the $1 million award PBSC received in January from the Lowe’s Foundation. The new Labor Department grant will go toward personnel, employer and student outreach, technology and resources to increase enrollment, persistence and completion in construction pathway programs. The grant will elevate PBSC’s capacity to provide many more students, particularly those from marginalized and underrepresented populations, with equitable access to real-world training that equips them to succeed in the construction sector, with the goal of creating an inclusive pipeline of qualified workers for the construction-related jobs waiting to be filled.

“This grant is important for us because it allows us to expand and be more responsive to our community,” said PBSC President Ava L. Parker, J.D. “We have the best students in the county, and because of this support, we’ll be able to build a dynamic pathway to a sustainable future for students who can prosper in a skilled trade.”

Julia Dattolo, president and CEO of CareerSource Palm Beach County, pointed to the fact that the number of construction projects in the county is enormous, not to mention the great need to maintain existing structures.

“Whenever anybody graduates from these programs, they automatically have a job before they graduate,” Dattolo said. “If you look at the top industries in Palm Beach County, you’ll see that construction and trades are in the top five.”

Palm Beach State offers various certificate and degree programs that lead to good-paying jobs in the local construction industry, filling the need for HVAC technicians, electricians, low voltage technicians and construction managers. With the funding from the Strengthening Community Colleges Training Grant and the Lowe’s Foundation, the College looks to grow its program offerings to include plumbing and carpentry, along with developing the new Construction Trades Center for Workforce Innovation on the Lake Worth campus, an interdisciplinary training space that will simulate construction job site conditionsproviding real-world experiences for students. The center will incorporate both residential and commercial construction sites—an innovative smart house and an office suite facility—and be equipped with all the tools and equipment needed to design, build and renovate.

Overall, this funding will support a total of 41 colleges, including 16 lead institutions and an additional 25 consortia members. These colleges will work in multiple sectors, including advanced manufacturing, healthcare, IT, and infrastructure-related sectors like construction, transportation, broadband expansion, and renewable energy.  Across the four rounds of grants to date, 170 colleges, including leads and consortia members, are addressing major workforce priorities for employers and workers in their 31 states and local communities.

Grantees announced this round will receive approximately $55 million in funding now. Following a feasibility study, a subset of grantees will be identified to participate in an evaluation study. Those grantees will share the remaining $10 million in funding, to be awarded this fall.

By Nikki Cabus

FAU professor awarded grant to enhance opportuities for those with disabilties

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Florida Atlantic University received funding from the National Science Foundation that will support a project that aims to provide digital maps to improve accessibility and navigation for persons with disabilities.

The Center for Sensing, Monitoring, Analytics, Remote, and Technology (SMART) Health, will facilitate the use of engineering and computer-science technologies to enable state of the art patient-centered health care, early detection of human health problems, and better quality of life; the center will support interdisciplinary education and training for “jobs of the future”- careers at the intersection of technology with medicine, nursing, public health, and human biology; the center will stimulate partnership with industry and foundations around the smart health technologies and informatics.

 

Dr. Ted Conway, Research Professor with the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in the College of Engineering and Affiliating Faculty with the FAU Center for SMART Health, has been awarded Phase 2 Funding from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Convergence Accelerator Program to further develop a digital app to help persons with disabilities.  He is a member of the five-Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI) research team that combines complementary expertise to create a more robust approach to address the challenges associated with the research project.  His Co-PI team consists of:

  • Dr. Ted Conway, Research Professor in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at Florida Atlantic University.  Expertise: Mechanical & Biomechanical Engineering and Disability Community Outreach.
  • Dr. Vinod Namboodiri, Professor in the College of Engineering and Applied Science and the College of Health at Lehigh University. Expertise: Artificial Intelligence and Data Acquisition
  • Dr. Siny Joseph, Professor in the College of Agriculture at Kansas State University.  Expertise: Economic Analysis
  • Dr. Patricio Vela, Professor in the College of Engineering at Georgia Tech.  Expertise: Robotic Systems & Controls.
  • Dr. Nils Hakansson, Professor in the College of Engineering at Wichita State University. Expertise: Biomedical Engineering and Disability Community Outreach.

MABLE: Mapping for Accessibility in BuiLt Environments provides persons with disabilities independence to experience large events, conferences and educational programs.  Using crowdsensing, AI and robotics, MABLE empowers individuals with responsive maps and turn-by-turn instructions through a digital app to help them navigate indoor environments successfully. Key users include those with visual or mobility impairments, such as people with low vision and wheelchair users, as well as other persons with planning and navigation assistance needs.

Conway’s team was one of 16 teams that participated in Phase 1 of the NSF’s Convergence Accelerator, Track H: Enhancing Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities.  At the end of Phase 1, the teams participated in a formal pitch and proposal evaluation.  In December 2023, the NSF selected MABLE and five other projects to move forward into Phase 2, investing $30 million across all projects with up to $5 million in funding for each project.

In Phase 2, Conway and his team will continue to apply Convergence Accelerator fundamentals to develop solution prototypes and to build a sustainability model to continue impact beyond NSF support.  By the end of the 36-month Phase 2 effort, MABLE is expected to provide a high-impact solution that addresses a societal need at scale.

Conway’s project and Convergence Accelerator funding connect directly with the core focus of the FAU Center for Smart Health to “… facilitate the use of engineering and computer-science technologies to … support interdisciplinary education and training…; the center will stimulate partnership with industry and foundations around the smart health technologies and informatics.”

The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports science and engineering in all 50 states and U.S. territories. NSF was established in 1950 by Congress to promote the progress of science, advance the national health, prosperity and welfare, and secure the national defense. NSF investments account for about 25% of federal support to America’s colleges and universities for basic research: research driven by curiosity and discovery.

“A convergence approach between researchers, innovators, and persons with disabilities spanning organizations and communities across multiple sectors is crucial to ensure these NSF-funded solutions address barriers to employment, freedom of movement and quality of life for persons with disabilities, said  Douglas Maughan, head of the NSF Convergence Accelerator program.  ”

The selected Phase 2 teams are fostering strong partnerships to ensure their use-inspired solutions assist a wide range of people.”

The NSF’s Convergence Accelerator transitions basic research and discovery into practice through innovation processes like human-centered design, user discovery and team science, as well as integration of multidisciplinary research and partnerships.  By making timely investments, such as Conway’s project, the Convergence Accelerator aims to solve high-risk societal challenges through use-inspired convergence research.

By Adam Elitzur

New Leadership at the Helm of South Florida’s Tech Hub

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South Florida Tech Hub is under new board leadership for 2024 with Deana Pizzo, CEO at I.T. Solutions of South Florida, taking over as chair and Grace Kurian, Executive Director at NextEra Energy, as vice chair.

Deana Pizzo has been involved in the tech industry for two decades. “I like to serve for non-profits. And the fact that the South Florida Tech Hub is a non-profit within my industry, I felt it was an organization that I really wanted to be part of. I wanted to help strengthen the tech footprint in South Florida and I felt that the Tech Hub was the best place for me to serve.”

Grace Kurian has been working with NextEra Energy for 22 years, and most recently has been leading the digital journey for the nuclear fleet. “Having grown up in South Florida, I have a passion to see the region grow our technology footprint, so that it continues to be a great place to live and work,” Kurian remarked. “I connected with the South Florida Tech Hub when I served on the board of TechLauderdale. When Tech Hub joined forces to include the entire tri-county area, it was exciting for me both personally and professionally because I lived and worked in Palm Beach, grew up in Fort Lauderdale, and I felt like we were bringing the unique strengths of the tri-county together.”

Pizzo, who recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of her company, I.T. Solutions of South Florida, has goals to unify the tech community in South Florida. “The primary goal is collaboration,” Pizzo stated. “Right now we are working on taking the three counties, Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade and creating a tech sector in the South Florida market. That is something that I want to continue pursuing this year and continue driving home. Collaboration for the tech community within South Florida.”

Kurian strives to expand the technology ecosystem. “I want to make sure that tech executives and professionals feel that South Florida is a great place to attract, develop and grow talent,” Kurian stated. “Florida’s economy is bigger than that of many countries. Our businesses are a vital part of Florida’s economic growth.”

Pizzo and Kurian are both looking forward to the role. “I’m very excited to lead the organization this year,” Pizzo remarked. “I’m very excited that at the helm are three women this year. Nikki, as the CEO, myself as chair and Grace as vice chair. I’m really excited about making a difference for girls in tech this year.”

“I have been in the energy and utility industry for more than two decades, so I’m excited to connect with technology professionals, beyond the energy sector, who are right here in my backyard,” Kurian stated.

Pizzo recognizes challenges that she is determined to overcome this year. “The biggest challenges right now are creating unity within the tech community in South Florida,” Pizzo mentioned. “It can be a little fractured. And this particular organization, the Tech Hub, we don’t want to take over where any other organization is. We want to help bring all of the different organizations together.”

Kurian sees another challenge. “Skill sets are constantly evolving and the programming language I learned when I first started my career after college is not what we need today,” Kurian remarked. “Attracting tech talent, but also keeping those skills fresh so that we are constantly innovating and keeping our skills current is a challenge we have to tackle. But one of our greatest opportunities is that the public and private sector are investing in powering our businesses with AI and the latest technology. So I feel that our trajectory in tech is bright.”

Both see major opportunities in capitalizing on emerging technologies like AI. “Data is king, and how businesses capitalize on that data to make good decisions by leveraging AI, by leveraging technology, which will be the differentiator between good and great businesses,” Kurian noted.

Fostering diversity is also a key focus. The Tech Hub works with organizations to inspire girls to pursue tech careers as early as high school. “We have a really strong women’s group and we foster the collaboration of women within tech,” Pizzo explained.

“I’m really excited that I get to work with two very talented women, Deana and Nikki,” Kurian stated. “I believe that diversity is not just diversity of gender and ethnicity, but diversity of thought. Inspiring more people to pursue careers, and sharing that this is a potential career path for young students who are thinking about where to start is important. I hope that the organization continues to grow, but also continues to diversify as more programs are opened up to students early on. One program that I’m really excited about is that the Tech Hub was a catalyst for bringing to South Florida the Mark Cuban Foundation AI Bootcamp for high school students.”

Pizzo and Kurian have distinctive leadership qualities. “I like to describe them as three tenets: character, commitment, and curiosity,” Kurian shared. “Character is showing up. Commitment is being fully devoted to the organization’s mission and values. And lastly, curiosity is being a continuous learner.”

The Tech Hub has an active year planned under Pizzo and Kurian’s leadership, including the Golden Palms Awards in August and TECHpalooza in December. “We just had our golf tournament, which was a huge success,” Pizzo stated. “We’re really looking forward to Golden Palms. We already have the wheels turning on TECHpalooza and it’s going to be huge. We’re moving it to a new location at the convention center, and it will knock it out of the park this year.”

Pizzo and Kurian offered advice for aspiring technology leaders. “Don’t take no for an answer,” Pizzo stated. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and you can find it. Work hard and be a good person.”

“Be willing to learn and take risks,” Kurian recommended. “Be willing to listen to the ideas of other individuals and have a willingness to experiment and innovate so that we are incrementally finding improvements that will be game changers over time.”

Pizzo envisions a bright future for the Tech Hub. “I see the Tech Hub in a few years as the pivotal go-to tech organization in South Florida that everybody can go to to find tech resources for the whole region. We can get there through collaboration and relationships.”

Kurian is hopeful for the future of the region. “I hope that the businesses that are here today have a bigger footprint in South Florida” Kurian stated. “I also hope that we’ve attracted a wide range of national and international businesses so that South Florida will be synonymous with the Silicon Valley of the South.”

By Nikki Cabus

AI Powered Convenience Store Chain Re-Up to Deploy Autonomous Kitchens

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Re-Up, the world’s first AI-powered convenience store, redefining gas stations with cutting-edge technology, announced that the company will be installing autonomous robotic chefs at a variety of locations powered by Nala Robotics, an AI technology company revolutionizing the culinary industry.

Re-Up is a gas station and convenience store retail operator, focused on elevating customer experience through the integration of AI-powered technology and design. Re-Up is elevating the way people re-fuel, re-charge, re-fill, re-up, answering a pent up demand for a modern, clean, and healthy convenience retail experience. With more than 30 stores in the pipeline, strategically positioned for accessibility and convenience across Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana, Re-Up is led by a dynamic team, contributing unique expertise in the sectors of retail operations, technology, and real estate.

Nala Robotics is an AI technology company disrupting the culinary industry with the introduction of The Wingman, Pizzaiola, Nala Chef, Bowl Bot and Sandwich Bot. Its fully automated, customizable robots use machine learning to cook infinite recipes replicated with exact precision anytime, anywhere. The company’s autonomous robotic solutions are ideal for multiple cuisines including American, Chinese, Indian and Thai. Based in Arlington Heights, Illinois, Nala Robotics has offices in California, India and Ukraine.

The Wingman by Nala Robotics is an autonomous fry station that can easily be added or configured to any restaurant or commercial food service operation. Re-Up will leverage Nala Robotics’ advanced artificial intelligence technology to enhance its food service offerings, enabling customers to enjoy freshly prepared, fully customizable, fried chicken, french fries and other menu items on demand, quickly, easily and without human intervention.

“As the c-store for the new generation – offering clean and healthy alternatives to the traditional convenience retail experience, we are thrilled to partner with Nala Robotics,” said Michael Salafia, Founder and Managing Director of Re-Up. “By harnessing the power of AI, we are able to provide our customers with convenient, personalized, and safe shopping and dining experiences. We believe this groundbreaking concept will revolutionize the way people shop and fuel up.”

 

The announcement comes on the heels of Re-Up’s grand opening of its inaugural location in Melbourne, Florida, located just a mile and a half from Melbourne Orlando International Airport, at 601 South Babcock Street, Melbourne, Florida.

According to U-Haul data, the Palm Bay-Melbourne market netted the largest number of movers in one-way U-Haul® equipment last year, dominating the US city growth trend. Re-Up currently has 9 open stores and more than 30 in the pipeline.

“Our expansion efforts at Re-Up are proceeding at an accelerated pace. We aim to procure 25-30 additional stores by the end of 2024 and more than 200 stores in the coming years,” said Narendra Manney, Co-Founder & President of Re-Up. “The integration of robotics kitchens stands as a pivotal strategy in our modernization initiative, enabling us to enhance operational efficiency and deliver seamless services while upholding unwavering quality standards around the clock.”

Nala Robotics’ AI-enabled virtual kitchens are equipped with advanced sensors, precision cooking mechanisms, and machine learning algorithms, allowing its robotic chefs to autonomously prepare a wide range of menu items with unparalleled consistency and efficiency. In addition to on-premises ordering via multi-modal kiosk, restaurants can create virtual storefronts for remote transactions through a website or online food ordering and delivery platform. The integration of The Wingman into Re-Up’s convenience stores will enable faster service, reduced wait times, and enhanced food quality, improving the overall customer experience.

“Our agreement with Re-Up underscores both companies’ commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction and will deliver better outcomes for both operator and consumer,” said Ajay Sunkara, CEO of Nala Robotics.

“The Wingman doesn’t get sick, can work around the clock and can cook any dish efficiently all the time, improving on quality and saving on labor costs. At the same time, customers get to choose from an assortment of great-tasting food items just the way they like it.”

Re-Up’s pillars consist of clean, safe, healthy, and modern; the ultimate elevated customer experience. Built on multigenerational retail expertise, Re-Up prioritizes exceptional customer service, on trend merchandising, and modern store layouts, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable experience for every patron. Re-Up offers nutritional food options, free WiFi, and cafe seating.

To learn more about Re-Up, visit www.reupfuel.com

By Nikki Cabus

Intellias Acquires C2 Solutions, Strengthening Its Digital Health and Medical Devices Expertise

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Intellias, a global software engineering and digital consulting company, has acquired 100% of the shares in C2 Solutions, a Bloomington, MN-based technology services and product lifecycle management firm.  

With an office in Boca Raton, the Chicago-based, Intellias is a global software engineering and digital consulting company with offices all around the world. They are a trusted technology partner to top-tier organizations helping them accelerate their pace of sustainable digitalization. Intellias empowers businesses operating in North America, Europe, Middle East, and Asia to embrace innovation at scale. For more than 20 years, Intellias has been building mission-critical projects and delivering measurable outcomes to ensure lasting change for their clients. Intellias is contributing to the success of the world’s leading brands including HERE Technologies, Rand McNally, TomTom, HelloFresh, and Travis Perkins.

Founded in 2010, C2 Solutions offers services in development & integration, information architecture & data insights, and firmware & software engineering. C2 Solutions is a business-driven technology service firm providing technical delivery services across multiple industries and offering extensive experience in digital health and medical devices technology. C2’s experienced consultants both understand the complexity of the product lifecycle and are eager to get involved to drive measurable results for companies across the US.

With more than 80% of its clients working with C2 for more than 10 years, the company is well known for its digital health and medical devices technology capabilities. C2 has appeared on the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s “Fast 50” list that ranked it among Minnesota’s fastest growing companies.

“Intellias and C2 Solutions share both the values of exemplary client service and a people-centric culture, and the common goal of nurturing the vision of each of our clients,” said Vitaly Sedler, co-founder and CEO of Intellias.

“We are looking forward to fostering relationships with clients in the Digital Health and Medical Devices space by relying on C2’s unparalleled expertise that is complemented by our extensive technological offering.”

The acquisition expands the array of Intellias offerings across North America, strengthening its Digital Health and Medical Devices capabilities. As a company of 3,200 employees and offices in 14 countries, Intellias offers clients a breadth of expertise in mobility, retail, financial services, telecom & media, and high-tech sectors that includes product engineering, AI/ML, cloud and DevOps, IoT, data & analytics.

“Our goal is to support our clients around the world with the technical expertise and deep industry knowledge that allow us to take on and implement projects of any complexity and size. Strategic M&A plays a pivotal role in reaching that goal, as we continue to build on our track-record of robust organic growth, ” said Michael Puzrakov, co-founder and Executive Chair of Intellias.

Dean Nelson and Dave Rowe, C2 Solutions co-founders and co-CEOs who have worked together since 1999, built the company to provide industry-leading solutions that deliver value to their customers, fueled by a strong will to win in the marketplace and in every aspect of their business.

“From strategy to execution, we help clients gain a competitive advantage by transforming their business operations and enhancing their product lifecycle. We are excited to drive value for our clients and win more projects, powered by the technical and engineering capabilities of Intellias,” shared Dave Rowe, co-founder and co-CEO of C2 Solutions.

This is the second strategic acquisition completed by Intellias. In September 2022, the company acquired Digitally Inspired, a UK-based IT services provider focused on product engineering in retail and eCommerce.

To learn more about Intellias, visit www.intellias.com

By Nikki Cabus

Chewy Opens Its First Veterinary Practice with Launch of Chewy Vet Care

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Just last week, Chewy Inc., a trusted online destination for pet parents and partners, opens it’s very first vetrinary practice with the launch of their Chewy Vet Care.

Chewy, Inc. (“Chewy”) (NYSE: CHWY) is on a mission to be the most trusted and convenient online destination for pet parents (and partners) everywhere. The company is the preeminent online source for pet products, supplies, and prescriptions as a result of their broad selection of high-quality products offered at competitive prices and delivered with an exceptional level of care and a personal touch. Chewy continually develops innovative ways for customers to engage and partner with approximately 2,500 of the best and most trusted brands in the pet industry to bring a high-bar, customer-centric experience to their customers. One of those ways is through the new Chewy Vet Care.

Chewy Vet Care is a veterinary practice that offers a wide array of services, from routine wellness care to urgent care and surgeries.  The passionate, friendly care team provides the highest-quality medical care, backed by Chewy’s award-winning customer service. The entire Chewy Vet Care experience is designed to help you and your pet feel at ease, with thoughtfully designed spaces and advanced technology that puts scheduling and your pet’s medical records right at your fingertips.

“We partnered with hundreds of veterinarians and customers to design an in-practice and post-visit experience which we believe will be unlike anything in the market, and appreciated by both communities,” said Mita Malhotra, President, Chewy Health.

“Our practices contain thoughtfully designed spaces for the comfort and privacy of our customers and care team. Chewy Vet Care will be powered by our proprietary, easy-to-use modern technology, to deliver a seamless and memorable experience, which we have delivered for over a decade in our core businesses. Expanding into veterinary care is the natural next step in Chewy’s evolution and we are excited to bring our customer-forward thinking to our veterinarians and practice team.”

“Today is one for the history books. We are opening the doors to our first Chewy Vet Care practice and for the first time, Chewy is physically a part of our customers’ lives and in their neighborhood. I am incredibly proud of all the team members across the company who worked tirelessly to make this vision a reality. Together, we are creating an experience that is extraordinary and memorable for our customers, and our veterinary teams,” Mita posted on social media.

The first Chewy Vet Care practice opened in Plantation, Florida with locations to follow in Coral Springs, Florida, Dever, Colorado, and Atlanta, Georgia. The clinic offers services such as routine appointments, urgent care and surgery. The practices will be powered by Chewy’s custom-built open platform that can seamlessly be applied to Chewy Vet Care or third-party partner practices.

Chewy Vet Care joins the portfolio of best-in-class Chewy Health offerings, which include America’s #1 pet pharmacy; an industry-leading tele-triage service, Connect with a Vet; an exclusive suite of pet-first insurance and wellness plans, CarePlus; market-leading eCommerce offerings, including a deep assortment of health products ranging from veterinary diet foods to supplements; and award-winning, 24/7 customer service that offers personalization and consistency at every interaction.

Launched in 2020, Chewy has been offering their popular telehealth service, Connect with a Vet, which offers timely advice from licensed veterinarians and gives you a personalized consult report. Through free chats or $19.99 for a 20 minute video call, pet owners can access a resource when its needed most including after hours and on the weekends. This allowed Chewy to make pet health and wellness more accessible and affordable everywhere as part of the company’s signature focus on creating a personalized experience for pet parents as well as their vet partners.

“Chewy Vet Care is inspired and designed by a team of veterinary experts to combine personal, patient-centered medicine with the latest technology in an environment where customers will love to take their pets, and care teams will love to practice,” said Dr. Benjamin Carter, Chief Medical Officer, Chewy Vet Care.

“We are confident we can drive positive change by addressing critical pain points straining the veterinary industry, such as burnout and lack of flexibility, while providing the convenient, transparent and trustworthy access to care that today’s discerning pet parents appreciate.”

As the leading online pet pharmacy in the United States, Chewy is focused on using products and technology to improve the overall health and wellbeing of every pet-owning household in America through increased access, affordability, and creating an unparalleled customer experience. To learn more about Chewy Vet Care, visit www.chewy.com/vet-care

By Nikki Cabus

Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits Announces Leaders For New Enterprise Data Center Of Excellence

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Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits (Southern Glazer’s) announced the appointments of four data, analytics and technology leaders who will head up a newly created Enterprise Data Center of Excellence (CoE) at the Company.

Southern Glazer’s is the world’s preeminent distributor of beverage alcohol, building brands for moments that matter. The multi-generational, family-owned Company has operations in 44 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and Canada, as well as brokerage operations through its WEBB Banks division in the Caribbean, Central and South America. In 2024, Southern Glazer’s was recognized by Newsweek as one of America’s Greatest Workplaces for Diversity and America’s Greatest Workplaces for Women. Southern Glazer’s urges all retail customers and adult consumers to market, sell, serve, and enjoy its products responsibly.

To leverage the power of data, analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI), Southern Glazer’s has established a new Enterprise Data CoE led by Chief Digital Officer Alan Wizemann and overseen by Chief Growth Officer David Chaplin. The CoE also includes collaboration with Southern Glazer’s Enterprise Technology Partners department led by Chief Information & Technology Officer, Ann Dozier.

“We are now looking at data as one of our products, bringing insights to life and driving better outcomes for our teams and trading partners,” said Alan Wizemann. “Building on a great foundation of accomplishments to date across digital, data, analytics, and AI, this new Enterprise Data CoE will allow us to enhance our capabilities and accelerate our path to the next level of digital innovation.”

“The cross-functional CoE highlights a culture of collaboration that is being embraced by the organization in order to continually advance our digital and data capabilities,” added Ann Dozier. “This new team brings expanded experience and expertise to our Company so we can create even more value from our industry-leading data and analytics capabilities.”

The following four executives will lead the new Enterprise Data CoE:

  • Tom Kornegay, Senior Vice President, Head of Data, Analytics, and Insights – Kornegay reports to Alan Wizemann and is responsible for developing and executing the Company’s enterprise data strategy. He joins Southern Glazer’s from VF Corporation, where he most recently held the role of Chief Data Analytics Officer. Previously, he has led digital transformations to modernize how companies use data technologies by deploying cloud infrastructures, advanced analytics practices, and machine learning technologies for Best Buy, Nike, Electronic Arts, and Apple.
  • Duan Peng, Senior Vice President, Head of Data Science, AI & Machine Learning (ML) – Peng reports to Alan Wizemann and is responsible for developing and executing the Company’s enterprise AI & ML strategy to drive value for Southern Glazer’s teams and trading partners. Peng joins Southern Glazer’s from Warner Bros. Discovery, where she most recently held the role of Senior Vice President, Global Data & AI. Previously, she has worked as a senior data & AI leader delivering high-impact data and AI solutions to drive digital transformations and business growth for companies such as Disney, Fox, NBCUniversal, Hyundai Capital America, HSBC, and Ameriprise Financial.
  • Bharathi Sampangi, Vice President, Data Platforms and Services – Sampangi reports to Ann Dozier and is responsible for the architecture, technical design, and roadmap of Southern Glazer’s enterprise data platforms. Sampangi brings more than 26 years of experience in the technology industry having held a variety of leadership roles with CSC, Five Below, Gap Inc., and most recently, as the Vice President of Engineering at Yohana.
  • Thomas McDevitt, Senior Vice President, Head of Industry and Supplier Data – In addition to the new team members above, Thomas McDevitt will be taking on a new role as Senior Vice President, Head of Industry and Supplier Data, reporting to Alan Wizemann. In this role, McDevitt will lead a new team dedicated to driving industry insights and working with Southern Glazer’s suppliers to better understand data and capabilities.

Outside of the Enterprise Data CoE, Zach Poelma, Senior Vice President, Supplier Strategy & Insights, will continue to lead the Supplier CoE. The Supplier CoE will collaborate closely with this new enterprise data team to leverage the Company’s enhanced investments into data and insights. The Supplier CoE remains focused on working directly with Southern Glazer’s suppliers to identify and accelerate industry-leading growth opportunities. Focusing on the combination of enhanced data and insights, standardized ways of working, and the deployment of strategic planning tools and supplier reporting provides Southern Glazer’s suppliers with the necessary tools and insights to continue to grow in the highly competitive beverage marketplace.

To learn more about Souther Glazer’s visit www.southernglazers.com

By Nikki Cabus

Nicole Oropesa named President of BrandStar Entertainment

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BrandStar a solutions-driven, fully horizontally and vertically integrated production and strategic marketing company, has named Nicole Oropesa President of BrandStar Entertainment, its pioneering branded entertainment division.

BrandStar Entertainment is renowned for its award-winning television shows, offering companies of all sizes unparalleled opportunities to forge stronger connections with their audiences. Whether opting for our custom branded integrations on our national and local television shows, leveraging our digital services to deepen your connection with your audience, or partnering to build ‘something bigger’ together. Content is king at BrandStar Entertainment, no matter the platform.

Nicole Oropesa has been a driving force of BrandStar’s growth for the past 15 years and is an original producer of flagship show, The Balancing Act, which is the longest-running television show on Lifetime and hosted by Montel Williams.

“Nicole’s dedication, expertise, and journey with BrandStar exemplifies her exceptional leadership. Her vision and passion for the industry makes her an invaluable asset,” said Mark Alfieri, Founder & CEO of BrandStar.

“I’ve observed the leadership qualities she embodies through her previous role, along with a demonstrated track record of not only optimizing our shows’ potential but also dedicating herself to unlocking the full professional and personal capabilities of her team members. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

In her newly assumed position, she will leverage her extensive 25-year background in the branded entertainment industry to spearhead the division’s efforts in broadening BrandStar’s array of show properties. These properties encompass renowned programs such as Military Makeover with Montel, BELatina, Designing Spaces, Inside the Blueprint, and Access Health.

“As the newly appointed President of BrandStar Entertainment, I am deeply honored and enthusiastic about the journey ahead. With a dedicated team and exceptional show properties, I am committed to leading us to new heights of success,” adds Oropesa.

“Our focus will not only be on delivering outstanding programs, but also on nurturing the talents and potential of our team members. I look forward to the exciting collaborations and opportunities that lie ahead for our company.”

Prior to her new role, Oropesa was Executive Vice President of Programming with a focus on business development, company culture and marketing. One of the many impactful initiatives she has created is the company’s social responsibility and community engagement division, BrandStar Cares. Oropesa lives and breathes the culture of BrandStar which has an influence on the talented, high-performance, teams she builds.

To learn more about BrandStar, visit www.brandstar.com

By Nikki Cabus

FPL helps two Florida classrooms transform into Innovative STEM labs

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Two Florida schools, Gifford Middle School in Vero Beach and Lake Shore Middle School in Belle Glade, each celebrated the reveals of their classrooms transformations into Innovative STEM labs.

In 2023 both schools were awarded a $50,000 Classroom Makeover Grant to improve technology, equipment and resources for the next generation of innovators. The NextEra Energy Foundation awarded the grants as part of Florida Power & Light Company’s commitment to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education.

As America’s largest electric utility, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) serves more customers and sells more power than any other utility, providing clean, affordable, reliable electricity to approximately 5.9 million accounts, or more than 12 million people. FPL operates one of the most fuel efficient and cleanest power generation fleets in the U.S.

On February 15, after a year of renovations, Lake Shore Middle School students got to experience their new STEM) lab. The Education Foundation of Palm Beach County and the School District of Palm Beach County, in collaboration with the Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), celebrated the successful completion of the STEM Classroom Makeover project at Lake Shore Middle School in Belle Glade. The project brought cutting-edge technology, including iPads, a 3D printer, robotics kits, and STEM project tables, to the school, creating an immersive and engaging learning experience for students.

“We are overwhelmed with gratitude for the support and generosity of FPL,” said Phylis Handford, Single School Culture Coordinator at Lake Shore Middle School.

“This grant has not only transformed our classroom physically but has also inspired our students and rejuvenated our entire school community. We sincerely thank FPL for its commitment to STEM education and for championing initiatives that enhance the learning experience for our students.”

FPL and its partners organized a ceremony at the school to showcase the newly redesigned classroom and highlight the positive impact of education on the lives of local students. FPL engineers led a generator build competition and a virtual career discussion to introduce students to different STEM-focused careers.

On February 22, students from Gifford Middle School in Vero Beach participated in a generator build competition with Florida Power & Light Company during their STEM Classroom Makeover Reveal. FPL was joined by the Education Foundation of Indian River County and the Indian River School District to celebrate the completion of the STEM Classroom Makeover.

As a Title I STEAM school with a focus on Marine and Robotics, Gifford Middle is a part of a SeaPerch Robotics program through Embry Riddle. This grant will further support the school’s efforts to expose students to unique educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.

“Having this opportunity to expose my students to cutting-edge technologies, cutting-edge processes and procedures that are out there in the industry is phenomenal. It’s a great opportunity and I can’t thank FPL enough,” stated Principal Chadwick Bacon.

FPL’s STEM Classroom Makeover Grant program provides grants for $50,000 each to up to five schools in Florida to provide transformational learning opportunities in historically disadvantaged K-12 classrooms. Funds are available to address needs in infrastructure, technology or resources that will advance STEM curricula, exposure and careers to students in a classroom setting.

For more information about FPL’s STEM Classroom Makeover Grant and its commitment to education, please visit FPL.com/ClassroomGrant.

 

By Nikki Cabus

ZimVie Completes Sale of Spine Business to an Affiliate of H.I.G. Capital for $375 Million Establishes Pure-Play Dental Business

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ZimVie Inc. (Nasdaq: ZIMV), a global life sciences leader in the dental market, announced that it has closed the previously communicated sale of its Spine business to an affiliate of H.I.G. Capital for $375 million in total consideration, including $315 million in cash and a $60 million promissory note.

ZimVie is a global life sciences leader in the dental market that develops, manufactures, and delivers a comprehensive portfolio of products and solutions designed to support dental tooth replacement and restoration procedures. From its headquarters in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and additional facilities around the globe, ZimVie works to improve smiles, function, and confidence in daily life by offering comprehensive tooth replacement solutions, including trusted dental implants, biomaterials, and digital workflow solutions. As a worldwide leader in this space, ZimVie is committed to advancing clinical science and technology foundational to restoring daily life.

“The completion of the sale of our Spine business is the culmination of months of partnership with H.I.G. Capital and years of commitment from our global Spine team members; I would like to thank everyone for their immense contributions,” said Vafa Jamali, President and Chief Executive Officer.

“I could not be more excited for the future of our company as we continue to invest in differentiated solutions for Dental patients and providers in our most attractive end markets, while optimizing our structure to deliver value for our shareholders.”

Under the terms of the agreement, ZimVie will receive $375 million in total consideration, comprised of $315 million in cash, subject to certain customary adjustments as set forth in the agreement, and $60 million in the form of a promissory note that will accrue interest at a rate of 10% per annum, compounded semi-annually, payable in kind, subject to a maturity no later than five and a half years from today’s closing.

As previously communicated, ZimVie expects to achieve an annualized financial profile of $455+ million in Net Sales, and a 15%+ adjusted EBITDA margin(1) one year following the close of the deal. ZimVie intends to immediately pay down $275 million of outstanding debt, leaving total debt of approximately $234 million, and estimated cash of approximately $66 million as of April 2, 2024. (1) This is a non-GAAP financial measure for which a reconciliation to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure is not available without unreasonable efforts.

Globally, ZimVie trained 100,000+ dental professionals across its six institutes and virtual programs in 2024. Almost a year ago, ZimVie opened the newest of its ZimVie Institute locations right here in South Florida located in Palm Beach Gardens. ZimVie Institute South, features over 11,000 sq. ft of dedicated education and training space, with state-of-the-art facilities offering life-like simulated patient models, a cadaver lab, and fully integrated digital workflow with 3D printing capabilities, REALGUIDE Software, and a mill.

ZimVie’s newest facility expands its Institute model to allow the company to host cadaver and simulation courses that teach advanced surgical and restorative techniques for full mouth reconstructions. It also hosts comprehensive training events on everything from practice management to digital workflow training using ZimVie’s RealGUIDE software. Located at ZimVie Dental’s headquarters, the facility is also home to product manufacturing, allowing Institute guests the opportunity to see firsthand where and how ZimVie products are made.

For more info on ZimVie, please visit www.zimvie.com/en

By Nikki Cabus

EASYMETERING Unveils Industry’s First Smart Meter Certified for Private LTE with Anterix 900 MHz Spectrum

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EASYMETERING  announces a ground-breaking achievement in utility management with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) approval of their Smart NIC (Network Interface Card) for the Smart Meter I-210+c utilizing the radio chipset ME910G1-WW.

This is the first smart meter certified for electric utilities in smart grid and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI 2.0) based on Private LTE with Anterix’s 900 MHz spectrum. Anterix is the largest holder of licensed spectrum in the 900 MHz band (896-901/935-940 MHz) throughout the United States and delivers the transformative broadband needed to enable grid modernization.

EASYMETERINGS’s Smart NIC is a multi-interface wireless technology that enhances advanced electronic power meters to become a new generation of grid devices supporting AMI 2.0 and the increasing bandwidth requirements for a more efficient, reliable, and secure energy distribution system.

“This FCC approval marks a significant milestone not only for EASYMETERING but for the entire utility industry,” said Byron Rojas, CEO of EASYMETERING.

“Our smart meter’s compatibility with Private LTE, supporting Anterix 900 MHz nationwide spectrum, is a first in our industry. It represents a major step in our mission to enhance utility infrastructure with smart, secure, and resilient solutions. We are paving the way for utilities to adopt next-generation smart meters that promise to transform energy distribution and management.”

EASYMETERING’s technology can operate on multiple LTE frequency bands — 2, 4, 5, 8, 12, 13, 25, 26, 66 —, and offers simultaneous operation of Wi-Fi and BLE wireless interfaces within the same device.

The Smart NIC wireless technology supports Anterix’s 900 MHz spectrum leveraging the full benefits of Private LTE networks. This ensures enhanced connectivity and reliability for critical utility communications, setting a new standard for smart grid technology.

“Anterix’s collaboration with EASYMETERING on this pioneering smart meter for private wireless networks underscores our shared commitment to innovation and infrastructure modernization,” said Stephen Ryan, Vice President of Ecosystem and Partnerships at Anterix.

“The FCC’s approval of new devices supporting private wireless broadband highlights the potential of Anterix 900 MHz spectrum for grid modernization efforts. We are thankful to EASYMETERING for recognizing the value of private wireless networks in offering scale and reliability for next-generation meters.”

EASYMETERING’s Smart NIC wireless technology, coupled with the I-210+c, is an intelligent device with broadband capabilities enabling real-time data for improved operational efficiency, customer engagement, and sustainability efforts. Its deployment on 900MHz Private LTE networks marks a pivotal moment in the evolution of smart grids, ensuring that utilities can benefit from unparalleled network performance and security.

For further details on EASYMETERING’s smart meter technology and its impact on the utility industry, please visit www.easymetering.com

 

By Nikki Cabus

Pavilion Solar Emerges as a Semifinalist in the American-Made Solar Prize contest taking home $50k

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Pavilion Solar, a Miami-based innovator in solar technology, has been named a semifinalist in Round 7 of the American-Made Solar Prize.

Miami-based Pavilion Solar is a startup dedicated to increasing solar adoption with their flagship product, the EnPodTM, a premium solar canopy structure for homes which serves as a carport or outdoor living area. Made in the USA and engineered for hurricane zones, it features an iconic design and innovative construction for rapid installation. The EnPods are eligible for the federal solar tax credit and engineered to last decades while paying for themselves.

The American-Made Solar Prize is a multimillion-dollar prize competition designed to energize U.S. solar innovation through a series of contests that accelerate the entrepreneurial process from years to months.

Competitors leverage the American-Made Network, an innovation engine of more than 450 organizations, including world-class experts at DOE’s 17 national labs, clean tech accelerators, incubators, universities, facilities, and more. The Solar Prize is directed and administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office.

This competition was announced on January 24, 2018 and is backed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and overseen by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), supports cutting-edge advancements in solar energy. Entrepreneurial individuals and teams based in the United States can compete, progressing through a series of three connected contests—the Ready!, Set!, and Go!

On June 12, 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) opened applications for the American-Made Solar Prize Round 7. For Round 7, DOE added a new Power Up Contest to support and advance new and diverse teams that have compelling applications but are not selected as Ready! Contest winners.  On January 11, 2024, 20 teams were selected to receive $50,000 each and advance to the next stage of the competition. Four teams were also selected to win the JEDI Contest and receive an additional $25,000. DOE awarded $10,000 prizes to 10 teams through the Power Up Contest.

Pavilion Solar was among 20 teams to progress, securing a $50,000 cash prize and the opportunity to compete in the subsequent phases of this multimillion-dollar challenge.

“Research from DOE shows that half of U.S. homes are ineligible for rooftop solar, many of which are located in hurricane zones,” said Aleksandr Bernhard, Founder of Pavilion Solar.

“Our EnPods will address this significant yet underserved market, expanding solar access. The funding from the American-Made Solar Prize is crucial in accelerating our launch into this market.”

In the next phase of the competition, teams will advance with the assistance of members of the American-Made Network to develop their innovations in a way that addresses real challenges in the solar market. Pavilion Solar will continue working to substantially advance their technology solution, which they will present to a panel of industry experts at a virtual event in spring 2024.

Visit the American-Made Solar Prize website for details on the competition.

By Nikki Cabus

Endeavor Miami’s New Wave of Diverse Entrepreneurs with Spring 2024 ScaleUp Cohort

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Endeavor Miami, a pivotal force in the entrepreneurial landscape, is thrilled to introduce the Spring 2024 Endeavor ScaleUp cohort.

Endeavor Miami is part of the global Endeavor network established in Miami in 2013 with the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The initiative aims to highlight 17 visionary founders leading 10 rapidly growing companies. As the first U.S. affiliate of the global Endeavor organization, Endeavor Miami is committed to identifying and supporting high-impact entrepreneurs who have the potential to transform industries and drive economic growth in Florida and beyond.

Endeavor Miami offers a unique mix of mentorship, access to capital, and an extensive network of industry leaders and peers, helping to catalyze the success of these entrepreneurs. The initiative fosters innovation and creates job opportunities within the region and worldwide.

The Spring 2024 cohort stands out for its diversity and innovative spirit. Notably, 53% of the participants are from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds, and 20% are women founders. These entrepreneurs demonstrate a strong commitment to South Florida, with 67% moving to the city in the last three years. This reinforces the region’s status as a burgeoning hub for innovation and entrepreneurship in the United States.

The cohort spans key sectors, including Fintech, Enterprise Software, Mobility & Supply Chain, and Healthcare, reflecting South Florida’s economy’s broad spectrum of innovation. These companies are at various stages of growth and have collectively seen a remarkable 250% growth rate. Their resilience and adaptability post-COVID underscore the potential for transformative impact on the local and global stages.

These entrepreneurs have raised over $35 million in funding, enabling expansion across the Americas and Europe. They collectively employ nearly 240 people and generated revenue of over $17 million in 2023. With plans to exceed $41 million in revenue this year, their success exemplifies the significant economic contributions they bring to the region. It highlights South Florida’s role as a critical launching point for ambitious companies poised for global influence.

Endeavor Miami is proud to support these exceptional entrepreneurs as they continue to scale their businesses, innovate within their industries, and contribute to the economic development of Florida and beyond. Endeavor is committed to being a platform for impact by amplifying these founders’ stories, sharing their successes, and inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Here is a full list of the Endeavor ScaleUp Cohort:

  • FIT:MATCH (Ft. Lauderdale, Broward County, South Florida) – Uses patented, 3D body-shape technology to match consumers with the garments that fit them best, eliminating guesswork and driving conversion and loyalty, while reducing returns. The technology has proven applications beyond retail, including healthcare, and sports science.
  • Haddy (St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Tampa) – An applied additive manufacturing company transforming the furniture supply chain. It delivers durable, beautiful, and cost-efficient products, reshaping production through regional manufacturing and scalability.
  • Infinity Doctors (Miami, Miami-Dade County, South Florida) – An international “one-stop shop” health platform for enterprises’ customers and employees.
  • KashIO (Miami, Miami-Dade County, South Florida) – A platform as a service for digital payments and bill automation in LATAM. Their platform allows companies and institutions to automate their accounts payable and accounts receivable processes with Open Banking Technology in the cloud.
  • Koywe (Miami, Miami-Dade County, South Florida) – Building the best Payment Ecosystem for cross-border businesses in Latin America, allowing their customers to operate across markets in an easy, cheap and fast way.
  • KUSHAE (Boca Raton, Palm Beach County, South Florida)- The 1st & only women’s health brand developed by an OB/GYN, creating innovative and effective non-toxic topical & internal products for all stages of a woman’s life, from menstruation to menopause.
  • MagicLog (Miami, Miami-Dade County, South Florida) – A white-labeled platform designed to modernize and digitize the end-to-end customer experience of SME logistics providers, reducing operational costs and increasing new and retained sales revenue in weeks.
  • RealGrader (Miami, Miami-Dade County, South Florida) – Measures, manages and maximizes digital presence for real estate professionals. Their most popular product is the Instacard – The Digital Business Card, used by over 500,000 real estate agents.
  • Simplenight (Miami, Miami-Dade County, South Florida) – Enables hyper-personalized booking and ordering of anything, anywhere, anytime. Simplenight’s omnichannel platform for travel, lifestyle and more is utilizing generative AI and providing the booking digitalization and infrastructure to shape the future of commerce and data.
  • Spontivly (St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Tampa) – A data analytics tool that integrates with a company’s suite of tools to allow for greater insights and efficiencies. Our goal is to make data easily accessible by empowering teams with simple data dashboards.

To learn more about Endeavor Miami, visit www.endeavormiami.org

By Nikki Cabus

Borderless Capital Expands Global Presence by Acquiring Asset Manager CTF Capital in Miami and LatAm

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Borderless Capital, a pioneering Web3 investment management firm, has announced the acquisition of CTF Capital, a leading Miami and Latam based quantitative trading and asset management company for an undisclosed amount.

This acquisition marks a strategic move for Borderless Capital, enriching its investment suite with AI-driven strategies and advanced quant trading methodologies, while also marking its expansion into the burgeoning LatAm market where Borderless Capital already has significant exposure through its portfolio companies and investors.

Borderless Capital is a leading investment management firm focused on Web3 technology, dedicated to supporting the next generation of innovators who are driving the development of groundbreaking technologies that will enable the creation of value without borders. Borderless comprises a team of builders, partners, and investors who adopt a long-term perspective and strive to unleash the full potential of open, community-driven networks. Since 2018, Borderless has invested in 200+ protocols / companies across infrastructure, business applications, and nascent cryptographic protocols, and has played an integral role in the development of some of the most significant and innovative Web3 communities.

With this acquisition, all the existing Funds managed by CTF capital are merged with Borderless Capital Multi-Strategy Fund V LP, an open-ended hedge fund focusing to create risk-adjusted maximum returns for investors in both liquid digital assets and soon to be liquid digital assets, that was launched earlier last year with $100m under management.

“We are extremely excited to join forces with the CTF team and bring new skills, new expertise, new investors and new team members to the Borderless Capital, positioning our firm for the next phase of growth, in a time of when institution and large organization are driving the market adoption and validating this asset class,” said David Garcia, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Borderless Capital.

“The CTF Capital team competences are very synergic and complementary to Borderless Capital and will allow us to provide a better service to our investors base and group of portfolio companies,”

CTF Capital is a quantitative crypto asset investment manager focused on exploiting investment opportunities through digital assets. We design, develop and implement investment products leveraging blockchain technologies to gain exposure to crypto assets in a decentralized and open infrastructure. With a team of experts and deep knowledge in investing & trading in traditional and crypto markets, technology ventures, business development, software development and cybersecurity.

In addition, Borderless Capital manages a family of five Venture Funds (focused on key categories such as DePIN, Ecosystem Funds and Cross-Chain interoperability), combining more than half a billion dollars in assets. The existing eleven people team of CTF Capital including two partners are now part of the Borderless Capital team and its affiliate group of companies. Borderless Capital solidifies its position at the forefront of this evolving space, driving value creation, technological advancement and performant capital allocation in the digital asset space.

CTF Capital is headquartered in Miami with Technology and Operations teams based in Latin America. As a quantitative crypto asset investment manager building cutting-edge trading models and capabilities in automated market making (AMM), MEV strategies, and a proprietary AI & ML Strategy Engine, the firm brings key assets and strengths under Borderless’s umbrella.

Brian Prilick, former CEO of CTF Capital, now Partner at Borderless Capital said, “We are very excited and proud to be partnering up with Borderless Capital. This will give us the possibility to join forces and leverage our strengths as a group. The integration between CTF Capital and Borderless Capital will help us scale the business in terms of volume and product development, ultimately translating into better returns, investment allocation and risk management.”

Looking ahead, Borderless Capital is extending its global reach, with plans to open a new office in Argentina in early Q2 and as its HQ for the LatAm markets expansion, tapping into the region’s rapidly growing Web3 market. The firm is also developing new offerings to enrich its investor and founder services.

To learn more about Borderless Capital, visit www.borderlesscapital.io

By Adam Elitzur

Driving South Florida’s Tech Landscape: Michael Fowler’s Journey Through Tech and Leadership

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Michael Fowler, former board chair of South Florida Tech Hub and current chair of TECHpalooza, is a driving force in the region’s tech landscape. With a career spanning decades in the energy industry, Fowler has held key roles at NextEra Energy and currently at its subsidiary, Florida Power & Light (FPL), serving as the business unit chief information officer.

In 2010, Fowler moved to Florida but initially struggled to find the pulse of the local technology community. However, he made it his mission to uncover pockets of innovation. “It took me a few years to find South Florida Tech Hub. When I found that, I jumped in with both feet,” he explained. For Fowler, a rewarding aspect of South Florida Tech Hub has been finding the intersection between local companies and the tech community.

As board chair of South Florida Tech Hub, a role he held for five years, Fowler played a pivotal role in merging TechLauderdale and Palm Beach Tech into the unified organization, South Florida Tech Hub. “As a region, it was beneficial to all if we operated as one tech community,” he said.

One of Fowler’s proudest achievements with South Florida Tech Hub was facilitating the expansion of Mark Cuban’s AI Boot Camp in South Florida, growing from one to three camps across Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. “The fact that we can be a unified tech region enables us to participate in programs like the boot camp and attract similar opportunities,” Fowler noted.

Cultivating close partnerships with local universities has been a key focus area for Fowler during his time at South Florida Tech Hub. He recognizes the importance of developing a strong pipeline of tech talent from within the region to meet industry demands. Fowler has worked diligently to engage higher education institutions like Miami Dade College, Florida Atlantic University, and Florida International University to align their curricula with industry needs. “Even with students who want to pursue degrees and interests outside of tech, I still think that having a core of tech is really powerful for any career,” Fowler mentioned.

Fostering tech talent remains a priority for Fowler, who believes in exposing students to STEM education from an early age. “I want us to continue getting more K-12 students involved in STEM,” Fowler remarked. “I think there’s more work we have to do to engage young minds and get them excited about STEM so that they want to pursue advanced degrees in this area.”

Looking ahead, Fowler is excited about his role as the incoming chair of TECHpalooza, an annual technology conference hosted by South Florida Tech Hub, aiming to double the event’s attendance to 5,000 this year. TECHpalooza will be hosted at the Broward Convention Center on December 11th, 2024.

Fowler envisions an exciting future for the tech industry, particularly in the realm of AI. “I’m an optimist and think it will take a lot of humans for this journey to be successful. I see AI being a tremendous tool that all of us will use in our daily lives,” he remarked, emphasizing AI’s role in augmenting human capabilities.

With his wealth of experience and vision, Michael Fowler continues to be a driving force in shaping the region’s tech landscape, nurturing talent, and fostering collaboration among industry giants and local innovators alike.

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U.S. Department of Labor awards Palm Beach State College a $1.75 million grant to expand skilled trades training
FAU professor awarded grant to enhance opportuities for those with disabilties
New Leadership at the Helm of South Florida’s Tech Hub
AI Powered Convenience Store Chain Re-Up to Deploy Autonomous Kitchens
Intellias Acquires C2 Solutions, Strengthening Its Digital Health and Medical Devices Expertise
Chewy Opens Its First Veterinary Practice with Launch of Chewy Vet Care
Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits Announces Leaders For New Enterprise Data Center Of Excellence
Nicole Oropesa named President of BrandStar Entertainment
FPL helps two Florida classrooms transform into Innovative STEM labs
ZimVie Completes Sale of Spine Business to an Affiliate of H.I.G. Capital for $375 Million Establishes Pure-Play Dental Business
EASYMETERING Unveils Industry’s First Smart Meter Certified for Private LTE with Anterix 900 MHz Spectrum
Pavilion Solar Emerges as a Semifinalist in the American-Made Solar Prize contest taking home $50k
Endeavor Miami’s New Wave of Diverse Entrepreneurs with Spring 2024 ScaleUp Cohort
Borderless Capital Expands Global Presence by Acquiring Asset Manager CTF Capital in Miami and LatAm
Driving South Florida’s Tech Landscape: Michael Fowler’s Journey Through Tech and Leadership