South Florida Tech HubSouth Florida Tech Hub

By Nikki Cabus

U.S. Air Force Awards Contract to Social Mobile to Build Next Generation 5G Mobile Solution

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Social Mobile  has been selected by AFWERX for a SBIR Phase II contract focused on a 5G mobile solution to investigate its potential to fill capability gaps in the Department of the Air Force (DAF). Through the contract, Social Mobile will collaborate with the DAF to design and deliver a handheld and chest-mountable device that leverages Android Enterprise and is built to military-grade specifications.

AFWERX , a program office at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), connects innovators across government, industry and academia. Through innovation and collaboration with our nation’s top subject-matter experts and harnessing the power of ingenuity of internal talent, by expanding technology, talent, and transition partnerships for rapid and affordable commercial and military capability. The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force.

“Building on the success of the previous contract, we look forward to working side-by-side with the Department of the Air Force to develop a mobile solution that meets the needs of their operations today as well as in the future,” said Robert Morcos, Founder and CEO.

“Our solution will be lighter and more durable than their current device, offer more hands-free capabilities, all while taking full advantage of Android Enterprise with respect to security, features, and updates.”

Founded in 2011, Social Mobile is a Google Mobile Services (GMS) partner, leveraging the Android operating system to design, engineer, and manufacture turnkey, mobility-as-a-service deployments that enable enterprise organizations to utilize smart solutions that support an array of business-critical operations. An OEM, managed service provider, and consultancy, Social Mobile is uniquely positioned to serve as a domestic design partner to US clients, controlling all aspects of the development supply-chain, and ensuring the utmost in security and availability.

On August 9th, 2022, President Biden signed into law the CHIPS and Science Act. The Act will boost American semiconductor research, development, and production with $280 billion in subsidies and tax credits, ensuring U.S. leadership in the technology that forms the foundation of everything from automobiles to household appliances to defense systems.

However, the Act fails to address the entire downstream process of electronics design, development, and manufacturing. There are hundreds of additional components used in the production of each device (batteries, sensors, etc.) and these are largely produced overseas. Social Mobile believes that here is minimal benefit if we produce semiconductors domestically only to ship them back overseas to assemble. Social Mobile is advocating for more local production and assembly of mobile devices in the U.S.

The Air Force Research Laboratory and AFWERX have partnered to streamline the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) process by accelerating the small business experience through a faster proposal to award timelines, changing the pool of potential applicants by expanding opportunities to small business and losing bureaucratic overhead by continually implementing process improvement changes in contract execution. The DAF began offering ‘The Open Topic’ SBIR/STTR program in 2018 which expanded the range of innovations the DAF funded and now in August 2022, Social Mobile will start its journey to create and provide innovative capabilities that will strengthen the national defense of the United States of America.

This month, Social Mobile announced the hire of Jai Kishan Rao as Chief Engineering Officer and addition of Douglas Smith to the Advisory Council. Both Jai and Douglas are key to this strategy; Jai from a product design and development perspective and Douglas from a policy/government relations perspective.

Douglas Smith  is a dynamic leader who brings more than 25 years of experience managing government and private sector organizations that have excelled in advocacy, coalition building, new business development, communications, public policy, and corporate social responsibility efforts in the U.S. and around the world.

“Doug is an exciting addition to our board,” said Social Mobile CEO and Founder, Robert Morcos. “As we delve deeper into government sector initiatives, his experience in both the private and public sectors will prove invaluable.”

Previously, Smith was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as the Assistant Secretary for the Private Sector at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Prior to that, he served as Executive Vice President and General Manager for a leading international public relations and new media firm where he managed the Washington, DC office and was the primary client engagement manager for some of the firm’s most iconic Fortune 100 clients.

“I am looking forward to working closely with Robert and the entire leadership team,” said Douglas Smith. “Social Mobile is well on its way to becoming a leader in the enterprise mobility space, and my goal is to leverage my experience in finance, communications, and federal government to help take the company to the next level.”

By Nikki Cabus

Jai Kishan Rao joins Social Mobile as Chief Engineering Officer

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Social Mobile proudly announces that Jai Kishan Rao has joined their executive team as Chief Engineering Officer.

Social Mobile® is a mobility solutions provider, offering services critical to organizations looking to bring to market innovative mobile products. We design, engineer, and manufacture turnkey solutions that enable our clients to bring smart devices to market quickly and efficiently, while also deploying and supporting these large-scale fleets of hundreds of thousands of devices.

Jai will work with the team at Social Mobile to lead in the design, development, and launch of enterprise devices and solutions for the global markets. With extensive experience in the telecommunications industry, Jai brings his experience launching products for global carriers, MVNOs, and retail brands, and will help propel Social Mobile drive focused growth opportunities.

Before joining Social Mobile, Jai worked with several multinational OEMs launching world-class products. He helped expand their product catalogs – both in terms of hardware devices and service platforms – and was instrumental in willing large deals for the organization. Jai has over 20 years experience managing global teams across U.S., Asia and Europe, and developing high quality products for launch in markets like the U.S. and Asia.

“Jai is well known in the wireless industry,” said Social Mobile CEO and Founder, Robert Morcos. “We are all extremely excited to have Jai joining our team and leading the engineering and hardware strategy as we continue to make Social Mobile an enterprise mobility leader.”

Founded in 2011, Social Mobile has become the industry leader in custom products, servicing a wide range of industries, from healthcare and retail, to food-on-demand and government to non-profits. The company is now celebrating 11 years in business.

Robert Morcos also serves on the South Florida Tech Hub Board of Directors an is very involved South Florida community member. For more on Jai Rao and Social Mobile leadership team, visit socialmobile.co/about

By Nikki Cabus

BCEx celebrates their inaugural 2022 Showcase and honors community partners

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Broward College Entrepreneurial Experience (BCEx) helps program participants achieve their dreams. Those dreams were celebrated at the inaugural BCEx 2022 Showcase in Coconut Creek on November 17th – just in time for Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Due to the pandemic and primarily virtual programming, the BCEx Showcase was the first in person event for current and past cohorts in 2 years.  The launch of the first cohort was summer 2020.

The celebration was the culmination of another successful year at BCEx and awarding community leaders, volunteers and supporters of the program’s mission. The program has been supported by fiserv and Bank United.

BCEx is Broward College’s lean launchpad startup and small business accelerator. Different from most accelerators, participants are majority female and many are minorities coming from underrepresented communities in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Participants in BCEx receive support through six main strategies: Campus Accelerators and Events at Broward College, Student Learning at Broward College, the Innovation Hub at Broward College, LaunchBC – the BCEx business accelerator, the J. David Armstrong, Jr. Student Venture Fund, and Partnership Opportunities with Broward College.

BCEx doesn’t just support entrepreneurs, but empowers participants from students to faculty and community members through business and the cultivation of a lifelong entrepreneurial mindset. The mindset is key to the success of the program. The event featured a panel titled “Intrapreneurship in the Workplace” where four Broward College staff members (all women) shared how BCEx programs helped them take their careers to the next level. Panelists included Deborah Pinnock DebTalk LLC, Carole Hargrett, PhD, CEO of CDH Florida Groupo, Julan Samuels, PhD, CEO of IRISAJ Self-Care Hub, and Mitzi Fulwood, Broward College, Director of the iSTEM Center.

The following community supporters including our very own Tech Hub CEO, Nikki Cabus, received recognition and physical plaques for their support of the program:

  • BCEx Champion of the Year 2022: Fiserv / Shane Caldwell, BankUnited/Katrina Wright, Amazon/ Angelica Santibanez, Florida Panthers/Rob Stevenson, South Florida Tech Hub/Nikki Cabus
  • BCEx Advocate of the Year 2022: Dr. Mildred Coyne
  • BCEx Trailblazer of the Year 2022: Terry Bentley/ Mike O’Donnell
  • BCEx Academic Innovator of the Year 2022: Dr. Jamonica Rolle/Dr. Paul Moore
  • BCEx Faculty Coordinator of the year 2022: Joshua Kimber, Rudy Jean Bart, Trish Joyce, Andrea Apa

“I’m passionate about uplifting, empowering, and encouraging others; so, it was an honor to take part in BCEx’s Showcase, which was all about that! It was inspiring to be in a room with others who were empowered and equipped by this Broward College initiative to bring their business ideas to life, or/and improve their businesses if it already existed,” stated Deborah Pinnock, Broward College staff member and BCEx program alum.

“I am also grateful to BCEx for the opportunity I got to be part of a panel with passionate, powerful and authentic women, sharing on a topic that was substantive: entrepreneurship vs intrapreneurship. If you replace intrapreneur and entrepreneur with courageous, creative, problem solvers, it’s easy to understand why the right mindset is vital.

Imran Siddiqui, Associate Vice President of Broward College’s Employment Solutions division and BCEx, believes that the entrepreneurial mindset can change lives.

In his role he supports Senior Vice President, Mildred Coyne in building a revolutionary approach to higher-ed job placement with a goal of effectively transforming Broward College into a high-level job placement agency. He also oversees all entrepreneurship activity related to BCEx, the Broward College Innovation Hub and the J. David Armstrong Student Venture Fund.

BCEx has hosted notable events such as a a fireside chat with Chris Bosh, NBA legend and author of “Letters to a Young Athlete” and recently selected as the inaugural site for the Perkins V Entrepreneurship Education and Training Grant (EET). They have also received high-impact grants to help Broward College students, faculty, and staff cultivate their entrepreneurial mindset and turn their ideas into reality by launching high-quality businesses at little-to-no cost. Started in 2018, BCEx helps participants innovate, create, and prepare for the future of work through mentorship, coaching, funding, and training.

Learn more about the upcoming 12-week FREE-of-charge BCEx Lean Launchpad Accelerator coming Feb 2023. BCEx is accepting applicants for Cohort 6 this Spring and those that want to turn their start-up into reality while building your business foundation. Students, faculty, staff, and the community are encouraged to participate. There are only 20 SPOTS so act now and don’t miss out!

By Nikki Cabus

Deerfield-based BrandStar Studios calls entrepreneurs for the Billion Dollar Showdown

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BRANDSTAR STUDIOS, a division of BRANDSTAR, is pleased to announce a strategic joint-venture with nationally acclaimed RONINFILM, to form BrandStar Film. Roninfilm CEO, Peter Hyoguchi and President, Joan Webb have relocated from the West Coast to join BrandStar Film at their South Florida hub.

BrandStar Film is the next generation of film production, located at BrandStar Studios, South Florida’s leading Production Hub. The 43,000s q ft facility is home to a 13’ x 100’ plus LED video wall with three 27’ x 9’ ft LED ceilings features one of the few 1.9mm pixel pitch LED Volume stages in the country – integrating 3D Unreal Engine environments, and modular sets for both hybrid/virtual events and productions.

Constantly aware of the industry’s rapid evolution, this multi-million-dollar studio allows BrandStar Film to provide the newest, most cutting-edge technologies in the world of production, including Virtual Production, extended reality, augmented reality, and mixed-reality capabilities, all in real-time. The studio’s virtual capabilities are endless.

“We can basically put anyone, anywhere, in real-time,” said Mark Alfieri, CEO of BrandStar Film. “The combination of equipment and technology makes us a true next-generation studio. We are comparable to the most sophisticated movie studios in California and having Peter and Joan partner with BrandStar Film, offers the highest level of creativity and expertise in the business.”

Already recognized as South Florida’s largest production studio, the upgrade also includes implementation of the state-of-the-art, Unreal Engine software, the world’s most opened and advanced real-time 3D creation tool, which virtually renders the most complex of sets, allowing real-time shooting, while exponentially reducing editing and post-production work.

“Having the ability to see the real-time rendering of visual effects eliminates the need to wait until post-production and exponentially cuts costs. BrandStar Film is already ahead of the curve, with its multi-million-dollar LED Volume and Unreal Engine technology. As a filmmaker, there’s no better place to be. Our LED soundstage is twice the resolution of the Mandalorian. Its HDR and 12K resolution is the highest quality virtual production facility in America.”

Peter Hyoguchi’s career began when he won a George Lucas youth film festival, at the age of fifteen, for his short sci-fi called, The Future’s Future. At eighteen, he directed his first feature film; an adaptation of the play No Exit and has been making films ever since. Peter wrote and directed First, Last and Deposit, winning Best Feature at both New York and San Francisco Independent Film Festivals and distributed on many platforms including Netflix and IFC. Hyoguchi has directed four feature films, hundreds of shorts, TV pilots, documentaries, music videos and commercials. He is the founder and CEO of Roninfilm, which specializes in Virtual  Production.

Joan Webb brings extensive experience in business development, VC backing, representation and marketing. Her former clients include such notable figures as James Cameron, Oliver Stone, Doug Trumbull, Tim Burton, Coen Brothers, companies such as: IMAX, Pixar, Sony, DreamWorks, MGM, Disney and feature films: Shrek I, II & III; Toy Story; Lion King; and The Amazing Spider-Man.

BrandStar Film is now casting for a brand new show called ‘Billion Dollar Showdown and calling all entrepreneurs in South Florida to apply!

Calling aspiring entrepreneurs from all stages of the game! We are casting for a brand-new television series. Do you have what it takes to run a billion-dollar company? Whether it is street smarts, or executive intellect, we are looking for the next tycoon. Apply to compete in the upcoming series premiere of Billion Dollar Showdown and you’ll be one step closer to the biggest prize in TV history!

By Adam Ross

2022 Harvard Alumni Angels Entrepreneurship Night

An event where friends of entrepreneurship come together to explore, learn and to support the startup ecosystem of South Florida. With keynote speaker Jeff Bussgang and where the winners and finalist of the Nov 2nd Pitch Competition will be announced.
AGENDA:
5:30pm Registration & Welcome Reception (in person) 6:00pm Opening Zoom for Virtual Participants
6:30pm Welcome and Opening Remarks by John A. Quelch, Dean University of Miami Herbert Business School
6:45pm Keynote by Prof Jeff Bussgang, Lecturer at the Entrepreneurial Management Unit at the Harvard Business School
7:45pm Presentations by the finalists of the Fall Startup Pitch Competition from 11/2/2022
8:15pm Award Announcements followed by Cocktail Hour

By Nikki Cabus

New to the county and Ingram Micro already awarded the ‘Key’ to Miami-Dade

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Last week, Ingram Micro was awarded the ‘key’ to Miami-Dade County for their commitment to the expansion of their Ingram Micro Cloud office in South Florida and rapid hiring of incredible tech talent.

At Ingram Micro Cloud helps resellers and partners transform their business so they get up and running with Cloud in minutes, with little to no investment, deliver bundled services, up-sell and cross sell and manage their infrastructure most efficiently. Ingram Micro Cloud offers security, business apps, cloud services, communication/collaboration and infrastructure solutions to help clients monetize and manage the entire lifecycle of cloud services, infrastructure, and IoT subscriptions, so they can simplify digital transformation with confidence, speed and agility.

Ingram Micro is proud and honored to receive this award,” stated Greg Onoprijenko, Director of Cloud Sales, U.S. Miami is a hidden gem for tech talent in the US, and we’re thrilled to be able to provide amazing career opportunities to these skilled and ambitious business professionals.”

He proudly continued, “Furthermore, a key reason we chose Miami for business expansion was because of its diverse multiculturalism, which nicely reflects Ingram Micro’s values and aspirations.”

Greg is a recent South Florida transplant himself.

In April of 2016, Greg began his role as Director of Cloud, Canada with Ingram Micro, where he led all aspects of the cloud business for the organization in the Canadian market, including sales and marketing, vendor management, and strategy. In 2021, Greg joined CloudBlue, Ingram Micro’s cloud platform division, as its Director of Sales for North America. Onoprijenko has become an expert in the MSP/IT and cloud space.

In an interview just earlier this month, Onoprijenko shared that due to the increased demand in cloud services, Ingram Micro Cloud has experience significant growth and he is betting on South Florida. He believes this region is a best kept secret – that’s not so secret anymore.

Having just opened their Miami office in Q4 of 2021, the Ingram Micro Cloud office of South Florida has already surpassed 100+ employees and has no plans to slow down any time soon.

To learn more about Ingram Micro Cloud, visit https://ingrammicrocloud.com/

By Nikki Cabus

Verizon & CoLAB support startups with new Health Equity cohort

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VerizoncoLAB are supporting startups working to break down barriers to quality care with solutions leveraging next generation technology. They are currently accepting applications for the Verizon Forward for Good Accelerator’s newest cohort: Health Equity.
For the last 10+ years, coLAB has built and managed a community of over 150k innovators, corporate partners, VCs, universities, community organizations, industry experts, nonprofits, and beyond. Through collaboration, they have done everything from business model innovation for Fortune 500s, to working with the next-generation of startups solving pressing social issues like climate justice.
CoLAB leads with a client-first approach, so programs always deliver on specific goals. CoLAB is proud that they don’t take equity stakes in companies saying that they can focus on making you happy through customization, agility, and better prices than the competition. CoLAB focuses on accelerators, ecosystem development, intrapreneurship, pre-accelerators, and open innovation challenges.
Verizon and CoLAB are supporting startups working to close the gaps in health access and outcomes. The search is one for solutions leveraging next generation technology to break down barriers to quality care.
Over 16 weeks, selected startups will receive $50,000 in non-dilutive funding, hands-on technology coaching, industry mentorship, and additional resources to help scale their technology such as the opportunity to create with the community that you’re building for.

Verizon is looking for U.S-based Seed and Series A startups utilizing technologies like 5G, MEC, XR and AI to advance connected health solutions in:

  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Capture, Sharing & Analytics
  • Telemedicine
  • Streamlined Virtual Care
  • Medical Transportation
  • Chronic Disease Management & Monitoring
  • Care Coordination & Collaboration
  • Population Health Management
  • Digital Marketplace Enablement
  • Health e-Learning / Education

Health Tech has the potential to unlock a more equitable healthcare system. 5G offers one of the fastest networks ever seen, and can provide higher speed, lower latency and greater capacity than previous cellular networks. It can enhance the abilities of other supporting technologies like edge computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), and immersive platforms using virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

Verizon is accelerating the digital evolution of health with 5G connectivity, data security, and collaboration solutions that are enabling the innovation ecosystem. Selected startups will receive hands-on coaching from a dedicated board of Verizon solution architects and healthcare subject matter experts throughout the program.

Applications are now open, but the deadline is Friday, November 11th. Click here for more info

By Nikki Cabus

Largest Volunteer-Led Data Science Conference in Miami

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PyData, an International Data Science Community, is Bringing Together Global Data Science Experts and Practitioners for Immersive One-Day Event.

The largest community-driven data science conference in Miami will be taking place on September 22nd, 2022, and is organized and staffed entirely by volunteers. The one-day event by PyData Miami, an international data science community with over 200 chapters, is spearheaded by NumFOCUS, a global non-profit organization that promotes open practices in research, data, and scientific computing.

PyData provides a forum for the international community of users and developers of data analysis tools to share ideas and learn from each other. The global PyData network promotes discussion of best practices, new approaches, and emerging technologies for data management, processing, analytics, and visualization. PyData communities approach data science using many languages, including (but not limited to) Python, Julia, and R.

Taking place at Ampersand Studios, PyData Miami will bring together international experts and enthusiasts to connect, share ideas and learn from each other. Programming will cater to newcomers and all levels of users and developers of data analysis tools.

The event is expected to attract 150 delegates and will feature local and international speakers. The schedule is jam-packed with PyData tutorials and talks that will bring attendees the latest project features along with cutting-edge use cases. Attendees will also have the opportunity to network and interact with some of the top experts in data science.

PyData Miami will help to educate attendees on:

  • Cutting-edge use cases, project features, and their practical applications in Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Reinforcement Learning and Natural Language Processing

  • Data engineering, Machine Learning Operations (MLOps), and end-to-end Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations (AIOps)

  • Ethics and responsibility in AI and how to improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace

“Our data science community really wants to connect, hear brilliant talks and network, so we wanted to create an inspiring and accessible event where everyone feels they belong,” said Teodor Georgiev, data scientist, Gistia Healthcare and PyData Miami co-chair and meetup co-organizer.

“Our group of passionate enthusiasts in South Florida has continued to grow over the last six years since we started building our foundation here and Miami is the perfect place to have our conference. We can’t wait to get back together in person to learn from each other, solve problems and grow an even stronger open-source community.”

The conference boasts an action-packed schedule including the following talks:

  • “Responsible AI at Scale” presented by Noelle Silver Russell, Executive, IBM Consulting AI and Analytics, Founder of AI Leadership Institute

  • “Speed up your Machine Learning Applications with Lightning AI” by William Falcon, AI researcher and founder and CEO of Lightning AI

  • “Finding new drugs with AI and Reinforcement Learning” Aleksandra Kalisz, Senior Research Scientist, Exscientia, Oxford, U.K.

  • “Data Visualization: Reasons, Not Rules” by Alberto Cairo, Knight Chair in Visual Journalism, School of Communication, University of Miami

  • “Lessons in Diversity and Leadership: Driving Positive Change”: Panel discussion led by Brittany Fox, owner and co-founder of Focus Global Talent Solutions.

“I love that the community asked for this conference and I’ve so enjoyed working with such a passionate group of volunteers who are making the event happen. We wanted to be a part of bringing exceptional people together, to share ideas, learn and make the South Florida data science community even stronger,” said Brittany Fox, Co-Founder & COO of Focus Global Talent Solutions and speaker at PyData Miami.

The registration fee is $180 and all proceeds will go to NumFOCUS, who envision an inclusive scientific and research community that utilizes actively supported open source software to make impactful discoveries for a better world.

PyData Miami is proud to be part of Miami Machine Learning Week from September 20th – 23rd, which offers immersive industry talks, meetups, panels and much more.  

By Nikki Cabus

Junior Achievement’s Rosé Soirée event raised $110k to support students

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This month the 5th annual JA Circle of Wise Women Rosé Soirée raised $110,000 for Junior Achievement of South Florida (JA) programs.

With 225 women in attendance, the event was held at the former Neiman Marcus in The Galleria in Fort Lauderdale. The evening was an experience for all, beginning with a rose petal, red carpet entrance to shopping, networking, appetizers by Silver Lining and sips of rosé, provided by SipChanné, Bloomers Frozen Drinks and Breakthru Beverage Florida.

The evening continued with JA students sharing their inspirational journeys, awarding of the Lorraine I. Thomas Girls Scholarships and the pinning of 18 new Circle of Wise Women members. The event also honored the 2022 Woman of Wisdom (WOW), Sharon Gustafson-Florescue, Florescue Family Foundation who spoke about her personal and professional journey. Sharon is fabulous, generous, funny and beautiful inside and out.

The event’s title sponsor for yet another year was CITY Furniture who’s CEO, Andrew Koenig, is the current JA South Florida Chairman of the Board. “CITY Furniture is proud to be the title sponsor of the JA’s Rose Soirée, in the commitment to provide young women with the right education, skills, and opportunities to create vibrant and sustainable communities,” wrote Koenig in a recent social media post.

JA’s Circle of Wise Women is a vibrant group of women who are passionate about and dedicated to Junior Achievement’s mission of empowering youth with the knowledge, ability and confidence to navigate their futures, drive our economy, and lead our community.

They believe that Junior Achievement programs are a springboard to show today’s youth their potential for success. Since its inception, the group has raised more than $4.5 million for Junior Achievement of South Florida.

The group’s signature event is the annual JA World Uncorked – a culinary showcase where guests sample gourmet bites prepared by leading South Florida chefs and sip premier wines, spirits, craft beers and cocktails from local vendors. In addition, the Circle of Wise Women host social gatherings throughout the year and participate in JA-related events, such as the Rosé Soirée.

In addition to the hard-working JA team, special thanks goes out to the leading ‘Ladies In Pink’ event co-chairs, Yvette Birdsong, Melissa Milroy and Jennifer Starkey, Rosé sponsors, CWW members and guests for your generous contributions.

“As a mother and female leader, I feel a responsibility to motivate and inspire the next generation of girls. I am proud to lead an organization that shares this value,” said Laurie Sallarulo, CEO of JA South Florida. “While the Circle of Wise Women was formed to support students across all JA programs, I am thrilled the members have embraced the focus on girls. Thank you to all of the amazing women who have joined our dynamic group.”

Thanks to these women, JA will continue to provide tens of thousands of students with impactful programs preparing them for the future and support the goals and dreams of young female JA alumni!

If you are interested in learning more about Junior Achievement South Florida or how you can donate, visit https://www.jasouthflorida.org/donate/

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

By Nikki Cabus

Miami startup Modern Trials wins IDEA Showcase for investment from Seedfunders

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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.

 

 

 

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