South Florida Tech HubSouth Florida Tech Hub

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 Nikki Cabus

Florida Venture Forum and South Florida Tech Hub partner for a Venture Capital Mid-Year Review

Read Time 4 Minutes

Florida Venture Forum and South Florida Tech Hub partnered to host the Venture Mid-Year Review in downtown Ft. Lauderdale at the beautiful The Main Las Olas bringing together startup founders, investors, and entrepreneurs from Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Boca Raton and across the state.

As VC funding to startups is on a steady decline across the country, the state of Florida is certainly not immune. The fundraising environment isn’t getting easier for technology startups.

According to the Q2 2023 Pitchbook-NVCA Venture Monitor Report, startups in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties secured just under $400 million from venture capital investors over 79 deals during the second quarter. Compared to the same period in 2022, that’s a major decline from the $1.2 billion that investors directed to local companies.

Although fundraising is difficult in the current market, there are still opportunities for companies that are able to execute on their plans. Many hugely successful startups were born during a down market. This was the consistent message from the event’s expert panel of investors who discussed the state of raising capital in South Florida and if it’s time to be cautious or a great time to invest.

Panelist and entrepreneur turned venture capitalist, Mark Volcheck, told South Florida Tech Hub that “2023 seems like a great time to invest in startups! So, I’m puzzled by all the VC firms that are pulling back and waiting on the sidelines. What are they waiting for?” Mark is also a Founding Partner at Las Olas Venture Capital based in Ft. Lauderdale.

“2023 has been a very dynamic year, with the market environment changing rapidly.  Provisioning an update mid year on the state of the VC industry was very timely when many entrepreneurs are wondering what direction the market is moving. There were many key takeaways from the panel,” said Mark.

He continued, “First off, valuations and revenue multiples have come down dramatically in most sectors over the past 18 months.  However, funding is still available for companies that are growing and solving real problems.  The bar is higher than it has been in a long time, but many of the best companies are started in tough times!”

The other panelists included Tim Cartwright, Partner of Fifth Avenue Family Office in Tampa, Kathy Chiu, Founding Managing Partner of Deep Work Capital in Orlando,  and David Zinn, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Ocean Azul Partners in Miami. 

The panelists agreed that the decline in fundraising is due to a number of factors, including interest rates, the lack of IPOs, and the general economic uncertainty. However, they also stressed that there are still investors who are willing to write checks, but it’s important to be realistic about the challenges you face and align your expectations with investors.

Kathy Chiu emphasized the importance of finishing what you start and of focusing on achievable milestones. She also warned against trying to do too much at once and suggested that startups should focus on the areas where they have a competitive advantage.

Nate Vasel, Partner at Las Olas Venture Capital, shared similar advice in an interview with South Florida Tech Hub stating that “Founders should focus on getting to breakeven, improving their operating margins, and extending their runways.

“They should also be realistic about the challenges they face and align their expectations with investors.”

The panel discussion was a valuable opportunity for entrepreneurs to learn from experienced investors about the current state of fundraising and how to position their companies for success. The panelists’ advice is clear and concise and provided valuable insights for startups that are looking to raise money in the current environment.

Here are the takeaways from the panel discussion:

  • The fundraising landscape is challenging, but there are still opportunities for companies that are able to execute on their plans.
  • Investors are looking for companies that have a clear path to profitability and that are able to demonstrate traction.
  • It is important to be realistic about the challenges you face and to align your expectations with investors.
  • Focus on finishing what you start and on achieving achievable milestones.
  • Don’t try to do too much at once.
  • Focus on the areas where you have a competitive advantage.

Pat Schneider, VP of Florida Venture Forum said, “The willingness of the VC panelists to share their knowledge and insight; coupled with the engagement level of the audience was the best part of the event. Plus, taking guests out to walk on the glass sky deck of The Main, while gauging their level of courage, was fun and a good ice breaker!”

By Adam Ross

FAU Entrepreneur Boot Camp – Jupiter Campus

Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or ready to take your existing business to the next level, the Entrepreneur Boot Camp is for you. Upon completion of the Boot Camp, you will be prepared to enter the prestigious FAU Business Pitch Competition** or the FAU Tech Runway Venture Program and compete to fund your business. **There must be 1 student from FAU on your team in order to compete in the Business Pitch Competition.
Through 24 contact hours, Entrepreneur Boot Camp students learn:
-How to deliver value to your customer.
-How to validate an effective business model.
-How to write an effective business plan.
-How to pitch a plan to investors.
-How to determine sales methods and how to project sales revenues and expenses.
-How to find seed funding for your new venture.
-How to enter a business plan in the prestigious FAU Business Pitch Competition and compete for seed funding

In addition, Entrepreneur Boot Camp students will:
-Discover the most effective research tools available, from using databases in researching competition to understanding customer segments.
-Learn how to create a valuable marketing plan.
-Learn how to gain investor attention from family and friends, crowdsourcing, SBA, and institutional funding.

Course Overview
Entrepreneur Boot Camp is made up of eight sessions and includes access to mentor consultation. All participants will receive a Florida Atlantic University Certificate upon satisfactory completion of all sessions as well as assignments and class discussions. To receive the FAU certificate, unexcused class absences must not exceed two (2) sessions and participants must be on time. Classes are hybrid. In-person attendance preferred but Zoom option offered.

By Adam Ross

FAU Entrepreneur Boot Camp – Jupiter Campus

Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or ready to take your existing business to the next level, the Entrepreneur Boot Camp is for you. Upon completion of the Boot Camp, you will be prepared to enter the prestigious FAU Business Pitch Competition** or the FAU Tech Runway Venture Program and compete to fund your business. **There must be 1 student from FAU on your team in order to compete in the Business Pitch Competition.
Through 24 contact hours, Entrepreneur Boot Camp students learn:
-How to deliver value to your customer.
-How to validate an effective business model.
-How to write an effective business plan.
-How to pitch a plan to investors.
-How to determine sales methods and how to project sales revenues and expenses.
-How to find seed funding for your new venture.
-How to enter a business plan in the prestigious FAU Business Pitch Competition and compete for seed funding

In addition, Entrepreneur Boot Camp students will:
-Discover the most effective research tools available, from using databases in researching competition to understanding customer segments.
-Learn how to create a valuable marketing plan.
-Learn how to gain investor attention from family and friends, crowdsourcing, SBA, and institutional funding.

Course Overview
Entrepreneur Boot Camp is made up of eight sessions and includes access to mentor consultation. All participants will receive a Florida Atlantic University Certificate upon satisfactory completion of all sessions as well as assignments and class discussions. To receive the FAU certificate, unexcused class absences must not exceed two (2) sessions and participants must be on time. Classes are hybrid. In-person attendance preferred but Zoom option offered.

By Nikki Cabus

BCEx and Tech Hub celebrate Black Founders at exclusive annual brunch

Read Time 3 Minutes

The Broward College Entrepreneurship Experience, or “BCEx,” and South Florida Tech Hub collaborated to host the 2nd Annual Black Founders Brunch in an effort to bring together black entrepreneurs across the region to support stronger relationships in the back startup community.

The exclusive event was held on Saturday, February 25th at the Beach House in Pompano Beach with approximately 35 startup founders from across all three South Florida counties in attendance.

The guest speaker of the morning was BCEx Faculty Coordinator and Associate Dean (AD) of the Institute of Public Safety at Broward College, Rudy Jean-Bart. He is also the college’s Chair of the Advisory Council for the Advancement of Diversity, Equity, (ACADEI) and Inclusion. The Advisory Council for the Advancement of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ACADEI) oversees the College’s focus across seven areas— accountability, benchmark best practices, cultural competence, communication and discussion, training and education, policy/procedure/practice, and community outreach.

A former African American history professor, Jean-Bart, was exposed to the meaning of activism at a very young age. He has always been at the forefront of issues such as racial equity and social justice, participating as a keynote speaker and panelist in many events. Jean-Bart spoke to the founders on the topic of ‘Generational Trauma to Generational Wealth.’

Jean-Bart closed his speech out by saying, “It is important that people believe in the power and the ability of Black founders.”

This quote resonated with attendees and spoke to the importance of supporting, celebrating, and elevating minority founders as we continue to grow the tech ecosystem in South Florida. As an ecosystem, we must be intentional about inclusion of our founders from all corners of the region ensuring inclusion and overall innovation for the region.

According to a recent Tech Crunch article, “In total, U.S. Black founders raised an estimated $2.254 billion out of the $215.9 billion in U.S. venture capital allocated last year. That’s about 1%, a slight drop from the 1.3% raised in 2021.” It seems like no matter the efforts of organizations across the country working to diversify funding and across all marginalized groups of founders, that black founders continually remain around the 1% mark for funding. This percentage has stayed stagnant even though the overall VC numbers continue to rise.

Assistant Director of BCEx, Quinella (Queen) Davis, told South Florida Tech Hub that these events are crucial to ensuring strong connections in the black founder community, but also making sure they have connections to industry organizations such as Tech Hub and are able to see themselves in other successful entrepreneurs and leaders such as keynote speaker, Jean-Bart.

“I’d like to give a special thank you to Rudy Jean-Bart for delivering an impactful message, sharing valuable information about generational wealth, and helping our founders discover ways to think differently about the businesses we develop to have an everlasting presence in the tech ecosystem,” stated Davis.

BCEx helps 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 began assisting participants innovate, create, and prepare for the future of work through mentorship, coaching, funding, and training.

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.

The next Ideation Phase cohort is a student-community friendly introduction to the entrepreneurial mindset, customer discovery and business model canvas. Students, faculty, staff and community will develop or refine your business idea by focusing on your customer segment and value proposition while finding your WHY. This 4-6 week virtual program will prepare you for the next phase while helping you articulate a well-developed idea.

To learn more about the next cohort that begins March 21st, visit https://forms.gle/ToscjC3CfTDT6M1k7

By Adam Ross

FAU Entrepreneur Boot Camp – Jupiter Campus

Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or ready to take your existing business to the next level, the Entrepreneur Boot Camp is for you. Upon completion of the Boot Camp, you will be prepared to enter the prestigious FAU Business Pitch Competition** or the FAU Tech Runway Venture Program and compete to fund your business. **There must be 1 student from FAU on your team in order to compete in the Business Pitch Competition.
Through 24 contact hours, Entrepreneur Boot Camp students learn:
-How to deliver value to your customer.
-How to validate an effective business model.
-How to write an effective business plan.
-How to pitch a plan to investors.
-How to determine sales methods and how to project sales revenues and expenses.
-How to find seed funding for your new venture.
-How to enter a business plan in the prestigious FAU Business Pitch Competition and compete for seed funding

In addition, Entrepreneur Boot Camp students will:
-Discover the most effective research tools available, from using databases in researching competition to understanding customer segments.
-Learn how to create a valuable marketing plan.
-Learn how to gain investor attention from family and friends, crowdsourcing, SBA, and institutional funding.

Course Overview
Entrepreneur Boot Camp is made up of eight sessions and includes access to mentor consultation. All participants will receive a Florida Atlantic University Certificate upon satisfactory completion of all sessions as well as assignments and class discussions. To receive the FAU certificate, unexcused class absences must not exceed two (2) sessions and participants must be on time. Classes are hybrid. In-person attendance preferred but Zoom option offered.

By Adam Ross

FAU Entrepreneur Boot Camp – Jupiter Campus

Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or ready to take your existing business to the next level, the Entrepreneur Boot Camp is for you. Upon completion of the Boot Camp, you will be prepared to enter the prestigious FAU Business Pitch Competition** or the FAU Tech Runway Venture Program and compete to fund your business. **There must be 1 student from FAU on your team in order to compete in the Business Pitch Competition.
Through 24 contact hours, Entrepreneur Boot Camp students learn:
-How to deliver value to your customer.
-How to validate an effective business model.
-How to write an effective business plan.
-How to pitch a plan to investors.
-How to determine sales methods and how to project sales revenues and expenses.
-How to find seed funding for your new venture.
-How to enter a business plan in the prestigious FAU Business Pitch Competition and compete for seed funding

In addition, Entrepreneur Boot Camp students will:
-Discover the most effective research tools available, from using databases in researching competition to understanding customer segments.
-Learn how to create a valuable marketing plan.
-Learn how to gain investor attention from family and friends, crowdsourcing, SBA, and institutional funding.

Course Overview
Entrepreneur Boot Camp is made up of eight sessions and includes access to mentor consultation. All participants will receive a Florida Atlantic University Certificate upon satisfactory completion of all sessions as well as assignments and class discussions. To receive the FAU certificate, unexcused class absences must not exceed two (2) sessions and participants must be on time. Classes are hybrid. In-person attendance preferred but Zoom option offered.

By Adam Ross

FAU Entrepreneur Boot Camp – Jupiter Campus

Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or ready to take your existing business to the next level, the Entrepreneur Boot Camp is for you. Upon completion of the Boot Camp, you will be prepared to enter the prestigious FAU Business Pitch Competition** or the FAU Tech Runway Venture Program and compete to fund your business. **There must be 1 student from FAU on your team in order to compete in the Business Pitch Competition.
Through 24 contact hours, Entrepreneur Boot Camp students learn:
-How to deliver value to your customer.
-How to validate an effective business model.
-How to write an effective business plan.
-How to pitch a plan to investors.
-How to determine sales methods and how to project sales revenues and expenses.
-How to find seed funding for your new venture.
-How to enter a business plan in the prestigious FAU Business Pitch Competition and compete for seed funding

In addition, Entrepreneur Boot Camp students will:
-Discover the most effective research tools available, from using databases in researching competition to understanding customer segments.
-Learn how to create a valuable marketing plan.
-Learn how to gain investor attention from family and friends, crowdsourcing, SBA, and institutional funding.

Course Overview
Entrepreneur Boot Camp is made up of eight sessions and includes access to mentor consultation. All participants will receive a Florida Atlantic University Certificate upon satisfactory completion of all sessions as well as assignments and class discussions. To receive the FAU certificate, unexcused class absences must not exceed two (2) sessions and participants must be on time. Classes are hybrid. In-person attendance preferred but Zoom option offered.

By Nikki Cabus

FAU Tech Runway announces Venture Class 11 companies

Read Time 6 Minutes

FAU Tech Runway® just announced the 20 companies accepted into the 11th 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. This program will run February – December

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 program has been a tremendous help in many founders’ journeys, and when we joined the program, we were a one-person company with an idea,” stated Saida Florexil, Venture Class 8 alumnus and Co-Founder & CEO of Imanyco, a company aiming to improve communication accessibility for people with hearing loss.

“By the time we graduated, we had built a team, and a product, raised funds, and we were able to work with some of the world’s largest companies. The mentorship, resources, and support that we received were incredibly valuable to our journey.”

At Tech Runway, experts have created a program that harnesses and directs the entrepreneurial spirit, providing a complete ecosystem for forward-thinking entrepreneurs, innovative students, faculty, alumni and the community. Program participants receive more than $100,000 in resources and services, including but not limited to mentoring, entrepreneurial education, introductions to early-stage capital, pitch practice opportunities, networking, co-working space and much more. Applications are opened twice a year to be accepted into the Venture Program.

Jessica Beaver, Associate Director of FAU Tech Runway, told South Florida Tech Hub that as the region continues to grow as national leader for tech and business that they have seen more of a need for startup resources as startups flock to the area.

“Due to a high demand, FAU Tech Runway has committed to providing our area two cohorts each year versus only one. This is the second cohort of the year allowing us to serve 40 companies, doubling the amount of startups served in previous years.”

From smart sensors to a fitness app to a decorative planter box company, this cohort has it all. “We are excited about the mix of students, faculty, and community in this cohort and the interesting combination of both SaaS-based and physical products.”

Jessica also noted that they have seen an influx in AI-driven startups. “It’s certainly becoming more prevalent as the tech industry continues to transform. AI is becoming more and more of a common trend with the companies that apply.”

Venture Class 11 participants joined a robust community of fellow entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, instructors and top-level support professionals. They have a lot of work ahead of them, but having the right community supporting them is the best first step. 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 will open on March 3.

The 20 companies in Venture Class 11 are:

  • ADAM Rehabilitation sells dynamic performance braces and expert-level training services to individuals with full functional abilities or disabilities, to help them achieve safer and stronger joints.
  • AskDaddysaurus is a media-based avatar targeted at new parents to provide fun, engaging and accessible childcare content to save time and energy, increase efficiency and build confidence as a new caregiver.
  • AskTakeGo Inc (ATG) is a startup based in Fort Lauderdale, engaged in the development of software for the heavy construction equipment industry.
  • Carevocacy is a learning platform aimed at the elderly population that provides 1:1 online tutoring and classes that address social determinants of health, bridge the digital literacy gap, and offer opportunities to be competitive in the workplace.
  • Enchanted Wave is a Florida-based tech startup that has developed a brainwave-sensing headband and its companion mobile apps for research use, in the field of sleep and cognitive studies and sport performances.
  • EpiPaws is developing epigenetic biomarkers for age and health to improve pet healthcare and increase pet longevity. Its first product, the Pet Age Test, estimates age in dogs and cats from a simple mouth swab.
  • Esther.ai is a cloud-based Artificial Intelligence (AI) application that will disrupt the application development market. Esther.ai’s objective is to reduce testing time and budget from weeks to hours post-development.
  • Fair Witness Technologies (a DBA of ANV Services LLC) offers a self-authenticating digital document format that is the core element of an integrated ecosystem of technology tools. This new, open-source format creates persistent authenticity.
  • Fitnessatyourdoor is a software as a service (SaaS) marketplace that matches trainers and clients and uses data to make recommendations to both parties to improve their results.
  • K Executive Solutions Inc. is a virtual assisting agency that helps business owners and busy professionals streamline their administration tasks, handling the busy work so clients can focus on what matters the most to them.
  • MedAI/SmartBioSense has developed an AI-driven decision support system that helps build a model to understand how well we can predict mortality, ICU admission, and mechanical ventilation for patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
  • Modern Trials Inc. partners with health care organizations and leverages electronic health care data to identify patients in need of advanced treatment options and match them with appropriate clinical trial opportunities.
  • My Autoimmune LLC empowers individuals with autoimmune conditions to take ownership of their health and well-being using holistic methods. It connects individuals with a trusted network of holistic health professionals and evidence-informed research.
  • Parking Genie provides an innovative peer-to-peer business concept to revolutionize how consumers park cars and store boats. Through a digital listing, homeowners can create passive income and customers can search – then pay in advance – for parking.
  • Primary AI is building a patient-centric data-sharing ecosystem in health care and medicine. Its primary goal is to bridge the gap between patients, providers and scientific research.
  • RaiseLink provides startups and startup ecosystem partners with instant matching based on personalized algorithms. Education, business planning and feedback features enhance user engagement, keeping data fresh and accurate.
  • RedeLit’s mission is to redefine literature to help people fall in love with reading, learn how to write/read in a fun way, and bring an increase to literacy percentages in the USA – and the world – so people have a better quality of life.
  • ScreenPlanter LLC is a decorative planter box for horizontal beams of screen enclosures. No tools are required as the company uses ScreenExtender™ brackets. Boxes measuring 2 feet, 4 feet, 6 feet, or a Corner ScreenPlanter™ are available.
  • Show Agents connects overbooked realtors to local licensed showing assistants that can show properties on their behalf, similar to that of Uber for realtors.
  • SyncData Inc. is a compliance tech SaaS company that automates compliance norms like ISO’s with the use of AI.

Pete Martinez, Founder and Chairman of RaiseLink, an intelligent platform for investors and startups, is one of the recently accepted Venture Class 11 cohort members. Although a long time techie and former IBM executive, Pete still understood the importance of programs like FAU Tech Runway.

“We felt it was critical that we walk in the shoes of the startup and go through all the education a startup goes through. FAU’s Venture Program is providing great insight which will in turn make us and our platform even better.”

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

By Adam Ross

FAU Entrepreneur Boot Camp – Jupiter Campus

Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or ready to take your existing business to the next level, the Entrepreneur Boot Camp is for you. Upon completion of the Boot Camp, you will be prepared to enter the prestigious FAU Business Pitch Competition** or the FAU Tech Runway Venture Program and compete to fund your business. **There must be 1 student from FAU on your team in order to compete in the Business Pitch Competition.
Through 24 contact hours, Entrepreneur Boot Camp students learn:
-How to deliver value to your customer.
-How to validate an effective business model.
-How to write an effective business plan.
-How to pitch a plan to investors.
-How to determine sales methods and how to project sales revenues and expenses.
-How to find seed funding for your new venture.
-How to enter a business plan in the prestigious FAU Business Pitch Competition and compete for seed funding

In addition, Entrepreneur Boot Camp students will:
-Discover the most effective research tools available, from using databases in researching competition to understanding customer segments.
-Learn how to create a valuable marketing plan.
-Learn how to gain investor attention from family and friends, crowdsourcing, SBA, and institutional funding.

Course Overview
Entrepreneur Boot Camp is made up of eight sessions and includes access to mentor consultation. All participants will receive a Florida Atlantic University Certificate upon satisfactory completion of all sessions as well as assignments and class discussions. To receive the FAU certificate, unexcused class absences must not exceed two (2) sessions and participants must be on time. Classes are hybrid. In-person attendance preferred but Zoom option offered.

By Adam Ross

FAU Entrepreneur Boot Camp – Jupiter Campus

Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or ready to take your existing business to the next level, the Entrepreneur Boot Camp is for you. Upon completion of the Boot Camp, you will be prepared to enter the prestigious FAU Business Pitch Competition** or the FAU Tech Runway Venture Program and compete to fund your business. **There must be 1 student from FAU on your team in order to compete in the Business Pitch Competition.
Through 24 contact hours, Entrepreneur Boot Camp students learn:
-How to deliver value to your customer.
-How to validate an effective business model.
-How to write an effective business plan.
-How to pitch a plan to investors.
-How to determine sales methods and how to project sales revenues and expenses.
-How to find seed funding for your new venture.
-How to enter a business plan in the prestigious FAU Business Pitch Competition and compete for seed funding

In addition, Entrepreneur Boot Camp students will:
-Discover the most effective research tools available, from using databases in researching competition to understanding customer segments.
-Learn how to create a valuable marketing plan.
-Learn how to gain investor attention from family and friends, crowdsourcing, SBA, and institutional funding.

Course Overview
Entrepreneur Boot Camp is made up of eight sessions and includes access to mentor consultation. All participants will receive a Florida Atlantic University Certificate upon satisfactory completion of all sessions as well as assignments and class discussions. To receive the FAU certificate, unexcused class absences must not exceed two (2) sessions and participants must be on time. Classes are hybrid. In-person attendance preferred but Zoom option offered.

By Adam Ross

FAU Entrepreneur Boot Camp – Jupiter Campus

Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or ready to take your existing business to the next level, the Entrepreneur Boot Camp is for you. Upon completion of the Boot Camp, you will be prepared to enter the prestigious FAU Business Pitch Competition** or the FAU Tech Runway Venture Program and compete to fund your business. **There must be 1 student from FAU on your team in order to compete in the Business Pitch Competition.
Through 24 contact hours, Entrepreneur Boot Camp students learn:
-How to deliver value to your customer.
-How to validate an effective business model.
-How to write an effective business plan.
-How to pitch a plan to investors.
-How to determine sales methods and how to project sales revenues and expenses.
-How to find seed funding for your new venture.
-How to enter a business plan in the prestigious FAU Business Pitch Competition and compete for seed funding

In addition, Entrepreneur Boot Camp students will:
-Discover the most effective research tools available, from using databases in researching competition to understanding customer segments.
-Learn how to create a valuable marketing plan.
-Learn how to gain investor attention from family and friends, crowdsourcing, SBA, and institutional funding.

Course Overview
Entrepreneur Boot Camp is made up of eight sessions and includes access to mentor consultation. All participants will receive a Florida Atlantic University Certificate upon satisfactory completion of all sessions as well as assignments and class discussions. To receive the FAU certificate, unexcused class absences must not exceed two (2) sessions and participants must be on time. Classes are hybrid. In-person attendance preferred but Zoom option offered.

By Nikki Cabus

Inaugural Venture Appreciation Night honors South Florida startup ecosystem

Read Time 3 Minutes

Tech Hub’s inaugural ‘Venture Appreciate Night’🚀 was a celebration of all the people who make up our startup community in South Florida!

Founders, funders and friends in the region came together to enjoy a three-course dinner, drinks, great networking and recognition of some of our ecosystem’s players.

For more than the past two decades, South Florida has been on the top of the charts as one of the country’s top places for entrepreneurship activity, but lacked in the funding that followed. That’s beginning to change.

In Q4 of last year, the overall deal flow across the United States including angel and seed, early stage VC, and late-stage VC was the lowest of 2022, according to Q4 2022 PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor. PitchBook’s reports states that “the four consecutive quarters of declining deal counts could foreshadow a continued slide in 2023.” But what does it mean when the South Florida region is defying the odds?

Despite the downturn nationally, the Miami Metro region (Miami, Broward Palm Beach) has climbed to one of the top ten venture capital regions in the country. While other major tech hub’s numbers are sinking, South Florida is consistently on the rise and continued to rise in Q4.

  1. Bay Area | 2022 deal count: 3,263 and 2022 deal value: $75.4B
  2. New York | 2022 deal count: 2,323 and 2022 deal value: $31.4B
  3. Los Angeles | 2022 deal count: 1,311 and 2022 deal value: $23.3B
  4. Boston | 2022 deal count: 1,016 and 2022 deal value: $21.4B
  5. Philadelphia | 2022 deal count: 554 and 2022 deal value: $5.6B
  6. Seattle | 2022 deal count: 479 and 2022 deal value: $7.8B
  7. Washington D.C. | 2022 deal count: 443 and 2022 deal value: $4.9B
  8. Miami | 2022 deal count: 423 and 2022 deal value: $5.5B
  9. Austin | 2022 deal count: 416 and 2022 deal value: $4.9B
  10. Chicago | 2022 deal count: 384 and 2022 deal value: $10.2B

This type of progress doesn’t happen overnight. There are thousands of people supporting and helping build our entrepreneurial and startup ecosystem in South Florida. We decided to honor just a few of these founders, funders, and mentors at this year’s inaugural ‘Venture Appreciation Night.’

Here are our honorees:

  • Claudia Duran | Managing Director @ Endeavor Miami
  • Chris Ochner | Co-Founder & Chair @ Modern Trials and CEO @ MindFigure Consulting
  • Darie Dorlus | Founder & CEO @ Synchronized Technologies and Startup Mentor
  • David Hartmann | Founder & CEO @ The SilverLogic and Mentor @ FAU Tech Runway
  • Dr. Kevin Cox | Senior Instructor & Assoc. Director of Adams Center for Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurs Xchange Lead Instructor @ FAU, and Associate @ Glades Capital
  • Giovanni Punzo | Founder & CEO @ Streann Media
  • Roxette Irvine | Managing Director @ The LAB Miami, Director of Web3 Global @ Founder Institute, Partner @ 305 Works
  • Steven Edwards | Founder & CEO, Premier Virtual
  • Tahl Milburn | Gentleman Technologist. Thoughtful Investor. Executive Advisor. Tech Hub Ambassador.
  • Todd Albert | Founder & CEO @ Boca Code and Startup Mentor

Tech Hub would like to give a big shoutout to Streann Media for being the presenting sponsor and Gio Punzo for giving a very insightful keynote about his founder journey. From being laughed at, told he was wrong, learning to believe in himself and now building a multi-million dollar business that help other businesses scale.

“We are thrilled to be recognized by South Florida Tech Hub as being an integral part of the start-up ecosystem in South Florida,” said Gio Punzo, CEO of Streann Media.

“We have gone from a start-up to becoming a global company, creating jobs around the world with our technologies that are touching millions of people. The content economy is going through a huge transformation and we are leading the change. We are truly blessed to be where we are.”

Check out some of the event photos below. Thank you to all who came out to celebrate with us!

 

By Nikki Cabus

First ever Ignite Florida launch to Global Entrepreneurship Week in South Florida

Read Time 4 Minutes

With the end of November comes the close of National Entrepreneurship Month. From Global Entrepreneurship Week to Small Business Saturday, startups and entrepreneurs were celebrated all month long both statewide, national and around the globe.

South Florida Tech Hub and Synapse Florida were nominated the statewide organizers for Global Entrepreneurship Week or “GEW” 2022 in Florida. The first ever Ignite Florida Startup Summit, presented by South Florida Tech Hub, helped launch Global Entrepreneurship Week in the state. From a statewide calendar, social media posts about activities each day during the week, and organizations from all across the state getting involved in activities in their cities, GEW Florida was a huge success.

Ignite Florida was hosted in collaboration with the Boca Raton Innovation Campus (BRIC), RaiseLink, and sponsored by 35 Mules, an Florida Power & Light innovation incubator. The 2-day event was held on Friday and Saturday, November 11th and 12th just prior to GEW held November 14th – 20th, 2022.

 

DAY 1

The event was launched on Veteran’s Day, November 11th, and featured speakers, founders, and judges who were all veterans including keynote speaker, Rhys Williams, retired Detachment Commander in U.S. Army Special Forces, Steve Edwards, former Army Specialist in the 82nd Airborne Division, U.S. Army, and John Riley III, former Desert Shield/Desert Storm Infantry Corporal in the United States Marine Corps.

The City of Boca Raton is the birthplace of the personal computer, many patents still being used today, and home to many of South Florida’s major companies and growing startups. Recently re-elected Mayor Scott Singer of the City of Boca Raton helped open the event during welcome remarks alongside the Olympic Heights Community High School’s JROTC Color Guard led by Master Sergeant Wayne Byron with The Pledge of Allegiance, National Anthem, and an official proclamation presented to Nikki Cabus, South Florida Tech Hub’s CEO.

In addition to proclaiming, November 11th & 12th, 2022 as the launch to GEW Florida 2022 right here in South Florida at the Boca Raton Innovation Campus, the document and Mayor Singer recognized “the contributions of city and regional ecosystem partners including South Florida Tech Hub, Research Park of Florida Atlantic University, FAU Tech Runway and Florida SBDC at FAU, all providing programs that support job creation, education, innovation, and economic growth in our community.”

Throughout the first day, guests heard from speakers about entrepreneurship, the importance of supporting our veterans as they integrate back into the local community, start businesses and look for work, and veteran-owned startup pitches. Dr. Marlon Atherton, Founder and CEO of ATEAM Solution Services won the Friday night veteran-owned pitch contest.

“As a veteran, supporting our military veterans is very important to me. I was recently a judge in the IGNITE Veteran Pitch contest, it hammered home how important it is to support veteran-owned companies, especially veteran-owned start-ups,” said John Riley III, VP of Gov’t Services at Orion Innovations and USMC Veteran.

“For many veterans just getting out of the service, the transition to civilian life can be very challenging and even more when they are trying to start their own businesses. For them to have access to mentors and groups like South Florida Tech Hub that can align them with potential opportunities and investors will be of great benefit to many new veteran entrepreneurs in the future.”

 

DAY 2

The second day kicked off with coffee and breakfast for all and a keynote by the event’s presenting sponsor, Danielle Mousseau, Manager of Economic Development at 35 Mules. The day’s agenda included panels, guest speakers, an workshop on startup law, and pitches from all sorts of tech startups from healthcare to web3.

Startup exhibitors showcased their tech to all attendees. From Big Motion Studios in the metaverse to Chargefon, a power bank rental service, and Fitness At Your Door, an app bringing healthand fitness right to your living room on demand.

Panel topics included Trends in Florida’s Investment Landscape ( sponsored by Tahl Milburn), Avoiding Common IP Mistakes for Startups (sponsored by Greenberg Traurig), The People Asset (sponsored by Focus GTS), South Florida Entrepreneur Journeys (sponsored by Semantix), and the Value of Accelerators & Incubators which featured accelerator program leaders from 35 Mules, 1909, Broward Colllege’s BECx Program, and the Eglavator (sponsored by Egla Corp.)

Almost twenty startup founders who applied through the newly launched RaiseLink platform, pitched their ideas to a panel of judges. RaiseLink Founder, Boca Raton IBM tech historian and local celebrity, Pete Martinez and and RaiseLink’s CEO, Chris Houghtlaing, facilitated the picthes. Local Boca Code students built the application used for judging and it was quite impressive to see the numbers totaled in real time!

Those startups were:

Roomaters Modern Trials Everwood (a Desafío Ambiente Chile brand)
Rosi Giving Boca Code Show Agents
Fearless Mind Pet HealthCare Innovations™ 2nd Vault
EpiPaws Beach Box ARC LLC.
Synchronix Owwll EVQLV
Coping Card Inc. Mind+
Big Motion Studio Walky

In the end, Chris Ochner, Co-Founder of Modern Trials and Dr. Marlon Atherton, Founder and CEO of ATEAM Solution Services (from Friday’s pitches) both took home almost $20k in services to support their startups. Those services included everything from a South Florida Tech Hub annual membership to consulting services with IP lawyer, Howard Gitten from Lewis Brisbois to pitch review and practice with Nate Vasel from Las Olas Venture Capital and more!!

This year was a kickoff to something great, but stay tuned for GEW 2023 which kicks off November 13th, 2023!

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!

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