South Florida Tech HubSouth Florida Tech Hub

By Adam Elitzur

AI Uncorked: Boca Raton

Are you ready for an extraordinary fusion of technology, creativity, and inspiration? “AI Uncorked” invites you to an exciting and playful evening where we uncork the potential of artificial intelligence… along with a bottle of vino.

By Adam Elitzur

AI Uncorked: Boca Raton

Are you ready for an extraordinary fusion of technology, creativity, and inspiration? “AI Uncorked” invites you to an exciting and playful evening where we uncork the potential of artificial intelligence… along with a bottle of vino.

By Adam Elitzur

AI Uncorked: Boca Raton

Are you ready for an extraordinary fusion of technology, creativity, and inspiration? “AI Uncorked” invites you to an exciting and playful evening where we uncork the potential of artificial intelligence… along with a bottle of vino.

By Nikki Cabus

$300K in winnings announced at Florida Venture Forum’s Early Stage Venture Conference

Read Time 6 Minutes

The 16th annual Florida Venture Early Stage Conference brought together over 400 investors and entrepreneurs and announced the recipients of $300,000 in award dollars and investment this week.

The Florida Venture Forum is Florida’s largest statewide support organization for investors and entrepreneurs, helping fast-growth companies connect with sources of capital from across the country. Since 1984, over 2000 companies have presented at Forum events and raised upwards of $16B in equity capital, producing billions more in economic value to Florida. The Forum’s 500+ members represent a “who’s who” of venture capital and private equity dealmakers, including equity and debt investors at all stages, major law, accounting, and investment banking firms, and large corporates active in the innovation ecosystem. The Forum provides programs and programming statewide throughout the year in addition to hosting major annual conferences like the Florida Venture Capital Conference, the Statewide Collegiate Startup Competition, the Early Stage Venture Conference, and industry-focused events including aerospace and healthcare.

A record breaking year for attendance, the Florida Early Stage Venture Conference featured presentations from 40 selected early stage companies, as well as keynote speakers, educational sessions, and other networking opportunities. The two-day conference also included the Space Florida AeroTech Summit, featuring presenters and programming relevant to the space and aerospace industries, and the Forum’s Statewide Collegiate Startup Competition, during which startup teams from 10+ Florida colleges and universities competed for award dollars. A panel of judges evaluated each eligible company’s presentation and supporting materials.

The funding below was provided by Forum members Space Florida, DeepWork Capital, and Florida Power & Light’s Innovation Hub, 35 Mules.

Kevin Burgoyne, President and CEO of the Florida Venture Forum, said, “Congratulations to our winning companies – and all our presenters, who were chosen from hundreds of applicants in a very competitive process. And thank you to our partners and members at DeepWork Capital, Florida Power & Light Company, and Space Florida, and to all our sponsors, attendees, staff and volunteers.”

“We extend our congratulations to the winning Florida startups and all those who participated,” said Danielle Mousseau, Manager of Florida Power & Light Company’s 35 Mules Innovation Hub. “Their success not only reflects their dedication and talent within the ecosystem, but also emphasizes the innovation thriving within Florida and in the emerging technology industry we have here.”

Rob Long, president and CEO of Space Florida, said, “We extend our congratulations to all six companies that were awarded investment dollars at this week’s Early Stage Venture Conference. Innovators like these are crucial for meeting the demand of the burgeoning commercial space industry, and we look forward to seeing the great work they will do to propel Florida forward.”

THE WINNERS ARE:

  • X-Lumin (Merritt Island, FL) – Accelerating Innovation Award – $75,000 from Space FloridaX-lumin is powering the widespread use of wireless communication services to enable others to digital, secure, and exchange data “from light.”  They provide turn-key systems for ground to space laser communication, land based optical wireless communication, and space situational awareness with advanced integration capabilities.

 

  • HelixVM (Boca Raton, FL) – Grand Prize – $50,000 from Florida Power & Light
    HelixVM has built a software platform that dramatically increases physician productivity while increasing patient access. There are two go-to-market strategies- the first being the “Uber of Healthcare,” known as the HelixVM Marketplace. The HelixVM Marketplace provides rapid health care, often without a video visit, to patients across the US. As patients enjoy health care at any time, physicians appreciate significant income opportunities. In 2024, HelixVM will introduce the second strategy, leveraging its platform and marketplace expertise to extend these dramatic productivity enhancements into physician practices.

 

  • Algas Organics (Miami, FL) – Runner Up – $20,000 each from Florida Power & Light and Space Florida
    Algas Organics addresses the deforestation and sustainability challenges faced by packaging, paper, and pulp companies by replacing traditional deforestation-derived wood-based fiber with a novel, cost-effective seaweed-based solution. Their low-cost seaweed-based pulp fiber can be blended with wood pulp to produce paper and packaging whilst reducing deforestation.

 

  • Lonestar Data Holdings Inc. (St. Petersburg, FL) – Runner Up – $20,000 each from Florida Power & Light and Space Florida
    Lonestar Data Holdings’ goal is Global Backup, Global Refresh, and Global Restore. Their mission is to apply abundance thinking and exponential technologies to the endless possibilities of lunar data storage for the human race, and in so doing to the exploration of the Moon and beyond. Lonestar’s vision is fueled by remarkable investors led by Scout Ventures, 2 Future Holdings, Seldor Capital, and the Veteran Fund. Irongate Global Capital, Atypical Ventures, Kittyhawk Ventures, and Backswing Ventures. Lonestar is committed to a carbon negative future.

 

  • Unbound Disability Claims Inc. (Orlando, FL) – Collegiate Award (University of Central Florida)– $5,000 each from Florida Power & Light and Space Florida
    Unbound Disability Claims is on a mission to transform the Social Security Disability (SSD) application process, providing a lifeline to the 62% of applicants facing improper denials.

 

  • NanoSense (Boca Raton, FL) – Collegiate Award (Florida Atlantic University) – $5,000 each from Florida Power & Light and Space Florida
    NanoSense stands at the forefront of accessible medical diagnostics, spearheading a revolution in healthcare through its groundbreaking nanosensor array technology.

  • X-Lumin (Merritt Island, FL) – Capital Investment – $125,000 from DeepWork Capital
    X-lumin is powering the widespread use of wireless communication services to enable others to digital, secure, and exchange data “from light.” They provide turn-key systems for ground to space laser communication, land based optical wireless communication, and space situational awareness with advanced integration capabilities.

Perhaps most impressive is this year’s Collegiate Winner, Abigial Sinu, from NanoSense who competed against all traditional college students as a high school student from Florida Atlantic’s A.D. Henderson University School & FAU High School which just received top honors in the 2024 Niche ‘Best Schools’ rankings, earning No. 3 as best high school within the state of Florida. Abigail is dual enrolled at Florida Atlantic University and involved in the FAU Wave Program, an NSF I-Corp participant, and Won First Place at the FAU Business Pitch Competition (Undergraduate Student Track) earlier this year. Abigail is dual enrolled at Florida Atlantic University and with aspirations to graduate with a Double Concentration in Medical Biology & Neuroscience and Behavior, expected in the summer of 2025.

One company, X-Lumin received not one, but two awards, and one of which was Capital Investment from DeepWork Capital, the Orlando-based capital investment firm known for launching and leading the Florida Opportunity Fund.

DeepWork Capital, invests professionally managed committed venture capital in growth-oriented, early-stage companies in the technology and life science sectors. We partner with visionary entrepreneurs building disruptive companies. DeepWork works closely with other investment groups and takes a hands-on approach with its portfolio companies.

“The presenting companies showed why the early stage ecosystem in Florida is alive and well,” said Benjamin Patz, Manager of DeepWork Capital. “We were impressed with the quality of the companies presenting and will be reaching out to several for further discussions.”

Kevin Burgoyne, CEO of Florida Venture Forum, also shared, “This year’s conference shattered several records, including beating our prior attendance record by 25+%! We take this a very positive sign for Florida’s startup ecosystem.”

To learn more about Florida Venture Forum, visit www.flventure.org

By Adam Elitzur

AI Uncorked: Boca Raton

Are you ready for an extraordinary fusion of technology, creativity, and inspiration? “AI Uncorked” invites you to an exciting and playful evening where we uncork the potential of artificial intelligence… along with a bottle of vino.

By Adam Elitzur

AI Uncorked: Boca Raton

Are you ready for an extraordinary fusion of technology, creativity, and inspiration? “AI Uncorked” invites you to an exciting and playful evening where we uncork the potential of artificial intelligence… along with a bottle of vino.

By Nikki Cabus

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

Read Time 3 Minutes

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 Adam Elitzur

AI Uncorked: Boca Raton

Are you ready for an extraordinary fusion of technology, creativity, and inspiration? “AI Uncorked” invites you to an exciting and playful evening where we uncork the potential of artificial intelligence… along with a bottle of vino.

By Nikki Cabus

Florida Atlantic’s Tech Runway announced its 13th cohort companies

Read Time 3 Minutes

FAU Tech Runway® recently accepted 13 companies to participate in the 13th cohort of its Venture Program.

The Venture Program provides the most promising startups and talented entrepreneurs in South Florida with an opportunity to join a year-long program that offers resources from FAU’s Innovation and Business Development pipeline, entrepreneurial instruction, structured team-based mentoring, networking, marketing and capital-raising assistance, co-working space, events, intern support and other vital programs.

Companies accepted into the Venture Program must have strategic alignment with FAU’s research focus areas, including drone technologies; educational technologies; environmental science; marine science; ocean engineering; neuroscience; healthy aging; big data analytics; artificial intelligence; machine learning; cyber security; sensing; and smart systems.

The 13 companies in Venture Class 13 are:

  • Alumni Direct, LLC removes the noise from other networking platforms by bringing members into one centralized location. Alumni Direct makes it easy to network and connect in communities dedicated to a university, sport, Greek organization or business.
  • BiDR TV LLC represents a groundbreaking venture in the realm of e-commerce, seamlessly merging online and traditional retail experiences to redefine the consumer shopping journey with a laser focus on enhancing user satisfaction, safety and engagement.
  • BookMark’d is an AI college assistance platform that helps college students on campus find affordable college materials, academic advising for navigating course selection, and access to receive 24/7 AI tutoring for their exact course code.
  • ByeUni LLC is a website and app that is a cross between LinkedIn and crowdfunding. It allows college students and college-bound students to post and communicate with followers and to collect money/donations from them.
  • Digiagee is a digital agency via a smartphone that enables users to reach the right people with the right message in five minutes. It is custom ad alchemy and is AI/ML powered.
  • GrowFrom Inc. is the world’s first free platform for personal growth and development. On GrowFrom users can store goals and get useful tools to help stay focused on them throughout the week.
  • Hello Sunshine LLC: Take on Trades is building the new generation of trade workers through a new method of engaging trade companies with the young people who will comprise its future workforce.
  • Neurodiverse Educational Testing (N.E.T.) offers advanced AI-driven assessments for neurodiversity, facilitating early diagnosis and tailored support for children. N.E.T. enhances 504 education plans, empowering families and educators to address the unique needs of neurodiverse students.
  • Property Vue Media, LLC provides site documentation and management solutions using digital twin technology for the construction and utility sectors.
  • SDB_Automate provides software services that revolutionize ocean depth determination and navigation using satellite images and AI technology to enhance safety in navigation, support sustainable fishing practices, and improve water tourism.
  • Shorts IQ, Inc. is a short videos machine that customizes storytelling templates from performing videos based on brand and necessities.
  • Stone Pine Marketing and Productions LLC is a marketing agency with an in-house video production team. It tailors services specifically for the needs of nonprofits and offers discounted, affordable rates for these organizations.
  • Vektor Freight LLC is a logistics company that provides airline-like speed at the cost of ground transport. Through its network of relay points, combined with AI, it achieves “continuous flow trucking” that cuts truckload delivery times up to 50 percent.

Venture Class 13 participants join a robust community of fellow entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, instructors and top-level support professionals.

FAU Tech Runway® is a public-private partnership formed to incubate and accelerate early-stage technology-based companies, under the purview of FAU’s Division of Research . Applications for the next cycle of the Venture Program are now currently being accepted.

For more information on FAU Tech Runway®, visit techrunway.fau.edu.

By Adam Elitzur

AI Uncorked: Boca Raton

Are you ready for an extraordinary fusion of technology, creativity, and inspiration? “AI Uncorked” invites you to an exciting and playful evening where we uncork the potential of artificial intelligence… along with a bottle of vino.

By Nikki Cabus

Endeavor Miami Announces Exciting New Latinx Cohort

Read Time 3 Minutes

Endeavor Miami has announced its latest EndeavorLAB Latinx cohort, showcasing the wealth of Latinx talent, its commitment to elevating underrepresented founders, and South Florida’s rise as a global innovation hub.

Tailored explicitly for underrepresented entrepreneurs in Florida, EndeavorLAB addresses a crucial gap in the startup ecosystem. EndeavorLAB focuses on Black, Latinx, and Women founders, whose businesses are often underfunded  and may face more struggles to access the resources they need for growth. EndeavorLAB fills this void, offering a sanctuary of community, knowledge, and support that reaffirms their potential and empowers them to persevere.

This year’s Latinx cohort is a vibrant mosaic of ten startups led by a diverse group of twenty co-founders from across Latin America – Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Chile, and Brazil. This selection celebrates cultural diversity and spotlights the innovative spirit and scalable potential within the Latinx entrepreneurial community. From enterprise SaaS to fintech, consumer tech to CPG, and logistics, these startups represent a broad spectrum of industries poised for significant growth.

Within just a few years of founding, these ventures collectively achieved over $2.5M in revenue in 2023, with projections to surpass $10M in 2024. They are supported by an impressive $18M in external funding.

EndeavorLAB’s design reflects a deep understanding of the entrepreneurial journey, offering a structured yet flexible program that aligns with founders’ busy lives. Over two months, with a commitment of just four hours per week, participants engage in a curriculum focused on scaling up, tailored to integrate seamlessly into their schedules. This thoughtful approach ensures that learning and growth can occur without disrupting the ongoing momentum of their businesses.

“We are immensely proud to introduce these extraordinary startups to the world, ” said Claudia Duran, Managing Director of Endeavor Miami, as she expressed her enthusiasm for the cohort.

Their ambition and innovation embody the spirit of Endeavor Miami. This cohort underscores the vast potential within our community and the broader Latinx entrepreneurial ecosystem. We’re excited to facilitate their growth journey and look forward to the remarkable impact they will have.”

EndeavorLAB’s introduction of this year’s Latinx cohort, supported by JPMorgan Chase and in collaboration with DELL For Startups, is a milestone for Endeavor Miami and a beacon of hope and inspiration for underrepresented founders in South Florida. It highlights the organization’s role as a catalyst for meaningful change, fostering a more inclusive, diverse, and competitive entrepreneurial landscape. As these startups embark on their EndeavorLAB journey, their success stories will undoubtedly inspire future entrepreneurs, proving that the possibilities are limitless with the proper support and community.

Here is a complete list of the EndeavorLAB Cohort:

  • Casalú | A rum seltzer brand built to represent modern Latino Culture.
  • CodeGPT | Empowers businesses with a customizable, robust, and secure LLM as an Operating System (OS) for seamless business integration providing total control of the AI experience and the data back to the companies.
  • Highlights App | Helps fans stay connected to their favorite sports, teams, and athletes by leveraging their intuitive mobile interface and advanced AI to aggregate full highlights across all sports and leagues and personalize them to fans’ preferences.
  • iTruckr | Fueled by AI and smart algorithms, transforms independent trucking with automated operations, personalized scheduling, and real-time load booking, boosting financial control and profitability for owner-operators.
  • Kanto | A multi-platform interactive singing app. With Kanto Score, users experience the world’s most accurate scoring technology an a large library of songs and playlists.
  • Mavity | AI-powered tool that supercharges creative operations.
  • Neomoon | Revolutionizes financial access in LATAM, offering easy-to-use dollar accounts and empowering users with deep financial education, bridging the gap between technology and everyday finance.
  • Onyx Private | Empowering Small Business Owners to Thrive and Grow with a Unified Personal and Business App that Simplifies Financial Management.
  • Palla | A platform that enables people and companies to instantly send funds from the US to LatAm. Palla partners with Financial Institutions and Fintechs in LatAm to enable their customers to request and receive funds in seconds, instead of hours or days.
  • Securily | Company behind the World’s Easiest Pentest, it revolutionizes pen testing for small and medium-sized businesses by combining certified human expertise with cutting-edge AI, streamlining cybersecurity processes and ensuring compliance.

Endeavor’s Miami affiliate was established in 2013, with the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as the first U.S. affiliate of the global Endeavor organization. Miami’s Endeavor Entrepreneurs generated over $900M+ in revenues and employed over 6,000 individuals in 2023. With the addition of its newest companies, the affiliate currently supports 35 companies and 60 Endeavor Entrepreneurs.

By Adam Elitzur

AI Uncorked: Boca Raton

Are you ready for an extraordinary fusion of technology, creativity, and inspiration? “AI Uncorked” invites you to an exciting and playful evening where we uncork the potential of artificial intelligence… along with a bottle of vino.

By Adam Elitzur

AI Uncorked: Boca Raton

Are you ready for an extraordinary fusion of technology, creativity, and inspiration? “AI Uncorked” invites you to an exciting and playful evening where we uncork the potential of artificial intelligence… along with a bottle of vino.

By Adam Elitzur

AI Uncorked: Boca Raton

Are you ready for an extraordinary fusion of technology, creativity, and inspiration? “AI Uncorked” invites you to an exciting and playful evening where we uncork the potential of artificial intelligence… along with a bottle of vino.

By Adam Elitzur

AI Uncorked: Boca Raton

Are you ready for an extraordinary fusion of technology, creativity, and inspiration? “AI Uncorked” invites you to an exciting and playful evening where we uncork the potential of artificial intelligence… along with a bottle of vino.

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AI Uncorked: Boca Raton
AI Uncorked: Boca Raton
AI Uncorked: Boca Raton
$300K in winnings announced at Florida Venture Forum’s Early Stage Venture Conference
AI Uncorked: Boca Raton
AI Uncorked: Boca Raton
Endeavor Miami’s New Wave of Diverse Entrepreneurs with Spring 2024 ScaleUp Cohort
AI Uncorked: Boca Raton
Florida Atlantic’s Tech Runway announced its 13th cohort companies
AI Uncorked: Boca Raton
Endeavor Miami Announces Exciting New Latinx Cohort
AI Uncorked: Boca Raton
AI Uncorked: Boca Raton
AI Uncorked: Boca Raton
AI Uncorked: Boca Raton