South Florida Tech HubSouth Florida Tech Hub

By Nikki Cabus

Max Retail Raises $15M Series A to Help Independent Retailers Participate in the Growing Ecommerce Wave

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Max Retail, a marketplace that makes it easy for independent retailers and brands to sell excess inventory, announced a $15 million Series A round to help independent retailers take part in the ecommerce wave and sell their excess stock. 

Small retailers in the US sit on an average of 22% excess stock which, left unsold, represents anywhere from ~$50K-$200K in financial losses each year for these sellers. Globally, this is a $600 billion opportunity to solve. Most small independent retail stores and brands do not have the resources and technical capabilities to meaningfully participate in ecommerce marketplaces that large brands and retailers do. Max Retail exponentially increases the potential buyer pool beyond storefront patrons browsing the sales rack for these independent retailers, resulting in immediate cash relief and payouts 4-8x higher than the standard quo of liquidation.

West Palm Beach-based Max Retail expands the reach of retailers’ and brands’ unsold inventory far past their storefronts through its network of online marketplaces partners where end consumers can easily discover and purchase this inventory. The company enables small retail businesses to become fulfillment partners of some of the biggest names in online retail today, reaching over 400 million consumers. Max Retail is the only solution of its kind for small businesses to get paid the maximum value for excess inventory by easily and frictionlessly connecting the supply of unsold inventory to a global network of demand.

The round was led by Nosara Capital, a London-based online marketplaces VC firm, with participation from Rethink Impact, the largest US-based impact venture capital firm that invests in female leaders using technology. The round also includes continued support from LA-based VC M13, Houston-based The Artemis Fund, and Canadian-based StandUp Ventures, who share a focus on enabling technologies that power commerce and money.

“Independent retail shops are core pillars of their communities but face limited options for their excess inventory other than discounting far below cost, sending to consignment, or donating for a tax write-off,” said Melodie van der Baan, CEO & co-founder of Max Retail and former independent retailer.

“With this investment, we will continue to grow our sales channel network and expand this excess inventory solution to support the full product lifecycle, giving independent retailers and brands the tools they need to increase their inventory turns and maximize cash recuperation on unsold goods.”

This funding enables Max Retail to more than double its sellers, focusing on serving specialty retailers and brands that add vibrance to flourishing communities. The company is on its way to becoming the largest supply chain that holds no inventory and will expand its support of global sales channels in need of drop ship inventory.

“Max Retail has built a highly automated product and does not manage inventory or logistics, allowing them to grow efficiently and expand into new geographies and categories. We’re excited to back Melodie and the Max Retail team, who bring a wealth of first-hand industry experience to solving these challenges,” said Ian Loizeaux, founding partner at Nosara Capital.

The funding will also bring new innovations, including an AI-powered pricing and allocating engine that enables Max Retail to pay sellers the maximum value possible for their excess inventory, and SKU-level insights to help retailers understand inventory performance and market value of every item listed on Max Retail.

“Max Retail powers a more efficient market – getting the right inventory to the end customer at the right time, place and price. We’re thrilled to continue supporting the Max Retail team solving a big problem for retailers that also provides a valuable new inventory stream for online commerce sites. The more Max Retail grows, the more valuable a partner it becomes for its supplier network – and the less inventory sits on shelves or gets liquidated.” said Anna Barber, partner at M13 and former retailer, who recently joined the company’s board of directors.

Max Retail’s 2,000+ sellers nationwide praise the solution, launching the marketplace’s flywheel into full effect with 40% of the company’s inbound leads coming from customer-generated referrals today. Max Retail simultaneously solves pain points of marketplaces operating on zero inventory models, along with online retailers looking to supplement their stock with a wider variety of drop ship inventory.

“Max Retail has been a great partner, helping us source desirable merchandise and proactively respond to our rapidly changing seasonal assortment needs,” said Lindsay Ferstandig, CEO of Yaysay, an AI-powered discovery-driven shopping app.

Over the last twelve months, Max Retail has increased its seller payouts 3x with smaller sellers receiving ~$12K per year and larger sellers making over $250K per year. The company has also grown gross merchandise value (GMV) sold through the marketplace 4x year-over-year and is on the same trajectory for 2024, with 89% of active sellers having sold inventory every month of Q1.

“During a moment in which independent retailers face increasing pressures from the rising cost of rent and the likes of Amazon, Max Retail is providing much needed relief by unlocking untapped distribution channels with just a few clicks,” said Jenny Abramson, founder and managing partner of Rethink Impact. “We see Max Retail as a huge multiplier of our mission, making a meaningful impact on its customer base of 90% women-owned small businesses across all 50 states.”

To learn more about Max Retail, visit: www.maxretail.com.

By Jason Steinfeld

South Florida Tech Hub: Pioneering Wellness to Combat Burnout

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As the demands of the tech industry continue to evolve, so do the pressures and stresses that come with it. South Florida Tech Hub’s Women’s Council and HealthTech & Life Science peer groups came together to discuss the topic of “Beyond Burnout: Cultivating Resilience In Work and Life.”

Sponsored by NRG VR, the event was held at ModMed located at the Boca Raton Innovation Campus in Boca Raton and featured a keynote speaker, panel discussion, exhibit tables and networking. Celine Kaiser, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Specialty Business at ModMed and Vice Chair of South Florida Tech Hub’s Women’s Council welcomed everyone to the venue.

Opening speaker, Dr. Morgan Levy, a clinical psychologist and executive coach, is passionate about helping professionals enhance all areas of their lives and embrace all parts of their identity without giving up their drive, motivation, and perseverance. She has been a past speaker for previous South Florida Tech Hub events such as SoFlo DevCon, South Florida’s largest developer conference. Dr. Morgan opened up the eveings discussion with a keynote on “The Power of Presence: Cultivating Well-Being Beyond Work.” 

In a career-driven society, it’s really easy to become consumed by our work and ignore other aspects of our lives. However, finding meaning in our lives outside of work can help us be more productive in our work. Attendees learned the role that perfectionism and burnout plays on mental health as well as gain a deeper understanding into the importance of valuing our identity beyond our work roles. “You can have success in the workplace without sacrificing who you are,” Dr. Levy stated.

The Panel was made up of a group of professionals who expressed cultivating wellness in a variety of ways. Panelists included:

Event sponsor and panelist, PJ Ware, is also the Founder & CEO of NRG VR, a company on a mission to support individuals mental health by providing a variety of meditation experiences through virtual reality (VR) technology in breathtaking locations around the world using nature as therapy. Employee wellness and well-being is a new untapped element of virtual reality in which NRG is pioneering. PJ played a crucial role in the panel discussion giving examples of how technology can combat the tresses of every day life and offer a solution towards mental wellness.

NRG VR is dedicated to helping individuals navigate daily stress, whether it’s the fast-paced environment of corporations, within scary or stressful healthcare settings, or the pressures of everyday life faced by teens and adults. The VR technology allows you to enter a world where the boundaries of physical locations melt away. transporting you to the tranquil beaches of California, Bali, Florida, and Spain, as well as the cliffs of Australia and Hawaii, the mountains of Utah, and the Buddhist temples of Thailand. Their exotic locations provide the virtual mental escape you need. With NRG VR Meditation, you can personalize your journey to serve you best: Guided Meditation & Breathwork, Sound Escapes, or Voice Therapy.

Prior to the panel discussion, attendees had the chance to connect and interact with the different panelists products such as the NRG VR headset, Dr. Krista Imre and her table of naturopathic medicine from her company Live Wellness, and Katherine Murphy from NAMI Palm Beach County, an organization dedicated to providing support, education and advocacy with the goal to empower persons with mental illness and their families. There was even a table for Charleston Coffee Roasters handing out free samples for all guests.

NRG VR provided a VR simulation before the panel so people could witness the immersive experience for themselves. He told South Florida Tech Hub, “It’s great to express the imperative need for this on behalf of the ‘Cultivating Resilience’ event.  I’m grateful for South Florida Tech Hub’s work in providing evnts like this.” 

He continued, “South Florida Tech Hub is what we’ve needed for a long time. We haven’t really had a place where the community can come together like this.” 

The event was a must-attend for anyone looking to lead a more fulfilled life by managing work stress, understanding the pitfalls of perfectionism, and reclaiming a sense of self beyond their professional identity. This will be the first of many more discussions around mental health for technology professionals.

Attendee, Mirna Eusebio Lithgow, an Advisory Board Member for Intellias and Founder and CEO of LeapView Group, posted on social media some of her insights from the event’s discussion stating, “It is inspiring to see how tech companies are bringing innovation to healthcare centers, such as using VR to provide experiences to patients and help them appreciate life and enjoy a moment of joy traveling virtually.”

She posted, “We heard about best practices to boost Wellness and Self-Care in your everyday and with our teams; here are some tips shared:”

✅ Take time to do intentional breathing using the box technique.
✅ Go for a 15-minute green walk.
✅ Schedule walking meetings with your team.
✅ Offload your mind before sleeping; build a to-do list before bedtime.
✅ Schedule emails to go out the next day, instead of late at night.

Our panel moderator, Chair of the Tech Hub Women’s Council, and Co-Founder & COO of Focus Glogal Talent Solutions, Brittany Fox, works with tech professionals every day from data science, to artificial intelligence to c-suite executives in the tech space. She understands the stres factors in working with such professionals, but also being a founder in the tech space herself. 

“You want to give the audience the opportunity to learn from different perspectives,” Brittany told South Florida Tech Hub. “From mental health to your physical body to how meditation can play into their mental health and also technology is a big part of it.”

Want to learn more about getting involved in Tech Hub? Become a member by visiting www.techhubsouthflorida.org/membership

By Nikki Cabus

Palm Beach State College making strides in cyber; ranks in National Cyber League competition

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The National Cyber League concluded the Spring 2024 NCL Competition with participation from 8,017 students and 737 high schools, colleges, and universities from all over the United States and Palm Beach State College ranked 42nd in the competition. 

Established in 2011 by an alliance of public agencies dedicated to developing the next generation of cybersecurity professionals, the National Cyber League is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization aiming to help students develop, practice and validate their cybersecurity knowledge and skills. The NCL Competition, powered by Cyber Skyline, is a biannual event that enables students to prepare and test themselves against practical cybersecurity challenges that they will likely face in the workforce, such as identifying hackers from forensic data, pentesting and auditing vulnerable websites, recovering from ransomware attacks, and additional cyber skill sets.

Founded in 1933 as Florida’s first public community college, Palm Beach State College has been an integral player in the growth and prosperity of Palm Beach County. Our graduates impact every industry and are community and business leaders. With more than 130 programs of study, PBSC offers bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, professional certificates, career training and lifelong learning. Nearly 36,000 students enroll annually in onsite, online, live online and hybrid classes at five convenient locations in Belle Glade, Boca Raton, Lake Worth, Loxahatchee Groves and Palm Beach Gardens, and through PBSC Online.

“We’re thrilled to announce that Palm Beach State College has made a remarkable impact in the Spring 2024 Cyber Power Rankings,” stated John Hadley, District Dean of Business & Computer Science at Palm Beach State College.

“Palm Beach State College’s outstanding performance in these rigorous challenges highlights our commitment to excellence in cybersecurity education and training. We are proud of our students’ dedication, hard work, and achievements.”

The Cyber Power Rankings were created by Cyber Skyline in partnership with the National Cyber League (NCL). Every year, over 10,000 students from more than 500 colleges & universities and 100 high schools across the US participate in the NCL competitions. These rankings represent the ability of students from these schools to perform real-world cybersecurity tasks on the Cyber Skyline platform. Students had to identify hackers from forensic data, pentest & audit vulnerable websites, recover from ransomware attacks, and more. Schools are ranked based on their top team performance, their top student’s individual performance, and the aggregate individual performance of their students.

Cyber students at Palm Beach State ranked 42th nationally and 18th among eastern colleges for the Spring 2024 competetion. This rank is an improvement from the Fall 2023 seaon when they ranked 57th nationally. This current ranking makes Palm Beach State the Cyber Power Rankings leader among the South Florida colleges.

From a Cyber Pathways Grant to the Cyber Symposium hosted at Palm Beach State’s Lake Worth campus, the college has been stepping it up and making a name for themselves for cybersecurity education in South Florida. The symposium was the latest initiative from PBSC’s growing push into cybersecurity.

In 2023, The National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security have named Palm Beach State College a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense through 2027. The CAE Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) designation is awarded to regionally accredited academic institutions that offer quality cybersecurity-related degrees and/or certificates and meet rigorous requirements to prepare students for the nation’s cybersecurity workforce.

Currently, in PBSC’s Center for Cyber Defense, students are offered a two-year associate degree upon which they can then follow with another two-year program to earn a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Information Management with a concentration in Security and Network Assurance. In Fall 2024, PBSC will expand its existing cybersecurity program with new degrees in cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.  “Nationally, we’re having conversations on a skills gap in the field of cybersecurity, said PBSC’s John Hadley. “Our job in admissions is to fill those gaps.”

Additionally, students that participate in the NCL receive valuable performance data through individualized Scouting Reports, which aligns their experience to industry certifications and government standards. With these reports, they are able to showcase tangible evidence of their technical skills to employers.

“NCL is one of the most important venues to reinforce classroom learning,” said NCL Coach and Cybersecurity Instructor at the United States Military AcademyMax Love. “In a traditional classroom setting with slides, lectures, and practical exercises, students can lose focus on the spark of curiosity that drove them to learn more about this field. In the heat of competition, they can find that spark again and suddenly the lessons of the classroom carry a whole new meaning when it helps them overcome the challenge right in front of them.”

Registration for the Fall 2024 NCL Competition is open from Aug. 19 to Oct. 11. The cost to participate is $35, with late registration from Oct. 12 to 15 and a cost increase to $45.

To get more info or join the next competition, visit https://nationalcyberleague.org/competition

By Jason Steinfeld

TEDxBocaRaton does it again, this year’s theme ‘Divergence’

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On May 11th, 2024, TEDxBocaRaton held their eighth independently organized event with over 500 in attendance. 

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event.

This year’s TEDXBocaRaton theme ‘Divergence’ was a thought-provoking exploration of the widening differences or disparities among various groups, individuals, and ideologies, inviting us to delve into the complexities of our world. The organizers, Erik Mintz and Cindy Metzler, aimed to ignite discussions that challenge conventional thinking and inspire new perspectives on a wide range of topics.

With over 500 people in attendance, the newly renovated presentation hall at the Boca Raton Innovation Campus (BRiC) was the perfect venue. With it’s history as IBM’s Research and Development outpost, birthplace of the first personal computer, and now a state-of-the-art, accessible 1.7 million square foot office park, it’s a magnet for forward thinkers in technology and life sciences.’ BRIC is known for its convergence of innovation, technology and art at the campus being home to companies such as ModMed and Lynn University’s NFT student gallery.

The doors opened at early at 2:30 pm offering the unique opportunity explore the businesses who sponsored the event. This unique access allows you to engage with these brands and the folks who lead them in a more intimate way. One of those brands, Live Wellness, led by Dr. Adam Dombrowski and Dr. Kriste Imre, were educating attendees about their medically certified holistic wellness programs. Also onsite was Dr. Haasseemm Mohammed, D.C., showcasing innovations in chiropractic, as well as The Silver Logic who displayed their cloud-based technicolor lighting control solutions.

“It’s cool to be here, TEDx – it changes lives, so we are transforming people’s lives through health. It is great to be here and exciting to be with amazing people,” Imre and Dombrowski explained.

The event was supported by multiple volunteers and community supporters working closely with event’s organizers, Erik Mintz and Cindy Metzler, who have been the original TEDxBocaRaton hosts since 2018.  In addition to BRIC, this year’s sponsors and partners were Dell Anno Boca Raton, VConnex Services, Inc, LivingFL.com, GrayRobinson, Owwll, Holiday Inn Boca Raton North, Media Components, and, of course, South Florida Tech Hub.

“South Florida Tech Hub has been an incredible supporter over the past eight years. Their support has been instrumental in our growth and success, and we are deeply grateful for their partnership and belief in our mission,” Cindy Metzler explained.

TEDxBocaRaton has a tradition of delivering a captivating lineup of speakers who are making waves in their respective fields.  This year was no different. The TEDxBocaRaton stage hosted an eclectic array of thought leaders, innovators, and visionaries who embody the theme of “Divergence” who explored the myriad ways in which our world is evolving, intersecting, and diverging.

This year’s speaker lineup included: 

  1. Sixcia Devine – Social entrepreneur and author Sixcia Devine empowers communities through her non-profit organization, Caritas Smile. Her innovative approach combines philanthropy with eco-tourism to create lasting change worldwide.
  2. Carole Blueweiss – Redefining aging, Carole Blueweiss brings over 25 years of physical therapy and geriatric care expertise. Her holistic approach emphasizes the mind-body connection and challenges traditional notions of aging.
  3. Pete Vargas – Teaches people how to grow their businesses and spread their message through stages. In 2003, one man on a stage deeply impacted his life, and since then, he has dedicated his life to the power of stages.
  4. Kanwal Bawa, DO – A distinguished Cleveland Clinic-trained medical doctor and a leading expert in sexual medicine. She is known to millions around the world as “Dr. Sex FairyTM.” With her extensive knowledge and experience in medicine, particularly sexual health, Dr. Bawa has become a prominent figure in advocating for sexual wellness and empowerment.
  5. Ved Chirayath – Professor, physicist, inventor, and National Geographic explorer, Ved Chirayath pioneers next-generation sensing technologies to study and protect life on Earth and beyond. His interdisciplinary work pushes the boundaries of scientific exploration.
  6. Angela Hunte – Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Angela Hunte performs her nostalgic song Empire State of Mind. Angela is passionate about music, having spent her childhood in Trinidad and adulthood in Brooklyn, NY. Her musical journey and upcoming projects promise to captivate audiences worldwide.
  7. MeiMei Fox – 2X NY Times Bestselling author MeiMei Fox empowers individuals to share their stories with the world. Her Forbes column focuses on purpose-driven entrepreneurship, and her company, Your Bestselling Book, takes a scientific and soulful approach to helping others find their voice and make an impact.
  8. Sean Davis – Philanthropic private equity investor Sean Davis pioneers models for combining wealth creation with social impact. His work at Merton Capital Partners is redefining how philanthropy intersects with private equity to transform the world through giving pledges.
  9. Melissa Daimler – A culture thought leader, Melissa Daimler, focuses on aligning organizational values with behaviors to drive long-term success. Her innovative strategies have significantly impacted employee engagement and performance at many organizations, including WeWork and Udemy.
  10. Pedro Meneses – Aerospace engineer turned entrepreneur Pedro Meneses pioneers drone-based logistics solutions with his company Aerialoop. His innovative approach to technology and business is shaping the future of transportation.

At the end of the evening, South Florida Tech Hub journalist, Jason Steinfeld, had the opportunity to connect with some of the night’s speakers, attendees and organizers. The event’s opening speaker, Sixcia Devine, stayed the entire evening stating that she is “absolutely in love” with the event and would love to hear all the TEDx speakers and their ideas on the TED stage.

“It was an honor to be able to share at this event. There are so many ideas and thoughts on this stage that need to be presented to the world,” Sixcia stated.

To view the official photo album, click here

 

By Nikki Cabus

Registration is open for Florida’s first Bachelor’s degree in AI at Miami Dade College

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Registration is open now for Miami Dade College’s 2024 fall term, which includes new programs that include Florida’s First Bachelor of Science in Artificial Intelligence. 

Miami Dade College (MDC) is a public college in Miami-Dade county and is among the most diverse institution in the nation. There are 167 nations and 63 languages represented in its student body. It is the largest college in the Florida College System with more than 100,000 students in 300 distinct degree pathways across eight campuses and multiple outreach centers.

As per Gartner, 70% of the current workforce has yet to acquire the skills for their current jobs, and 80% of the current workforce doesn’t have the skills for their current and future roles. Limited AI expertise or knowledge is identified as the biggest barrier to AI adoption. Labor market projections indicate a growing demand for AI experts. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity projected more than 1,000 annual job openings in AI in South Florida with an average hourly wage of $45.58 and average annual salary of $94,815.

In July 2023, at a State Board of Education meeting, Miami Dade College (MDC) received approval to offer Florida’s first Bachelor of Science in Applied Artificial Intelligence (AI) which will prepare students for immediate entry into the workforce as AI Analysts, Natural Language Processing Specialists, Computer Vision Analysts, Machine Learning Specialists and AI Programmers. The curriculum also trains students to pursue advanced degrees in computer science or other STEM fields. The program will begin with the Fall Semester on August 26th, 2024.

“There is a significant demand for AI professionals in our state, and MDC is poised to train that future workforce,” said MDC President Madeline Pumariega. “We are proud to be leading the way to ensure students have the skills they need to succeed.”

Miami Dade College’s innovative Bachelor of Science in Applied Artificial Intelligence is designed to meet the fast-growing demand for artificial intelligence (AI) professionals. Through a comprehensive curriculum, students will be equipped to join the fascinating work of using AI-enabled systems in the workplace to streamline business processes, enhance decision-making, and provide exceptional customer experiences. The program additionally focuses on ethical standards and socially responsible practices in the implementation of these technologies and data-driven decision making.

MDC has been leading the way in AI education. Early last year, the College announced a new Associate in Science in Applied Artificial Intelligence and two new College Credit Certificates in AI. Both the associate and bachelor’s degrees are among the first in the nation. MDC is also home to two state-of-the-art AI Centers offering access to the latest technology.

On May 16th, MDC also announced it has partnered with Intel, an industry leader in creating world-changing technology, to implement the Intel® AI for Workforce Program, aimed at educating the next generation of technologists, engineers and inventors in artificial intelligence and help them launch successful careers in their chosen fields.

The Intel AI for Workforce Program, with technology support from Dell Technologies, helps students gain critical job skills in the burgeoning field of artificial intelligence. Intel will provide over 225 hours of AI content, including courses on data collection, computer vision, AI model training, coding, the societal impacts and ethics of AI technology, and more. In addition, professional training for school faculty and implementation guidance is offered by Intel.

“In partnership with Miami Dade College and Dell Technologies, we are committed to the re-skilling of the American workforce and to advancing diversity and inclusion to ensure that the next generation of technologists are prepared and provided opportunities for AI education”, said Michelle Johnston Holthaus, Intel executive vice president and general manager of the Client Computing Group.

MDC is using this content to develop a stackable credential pathway in applied AI that will consist of a College Credit Certificate, Associate in Science and Bachelor in Science. Applied AI courses will also be available for community members looking for upskilling opportunities at MDC’s new AI Center, which is expected to open this fall. The first course, “AI Thinking,” will be offered during the fall term.

“The AI for Workforce Program provides a pathway for meeting the growing demand for a wide range of AI skillsets. It takes students from awareness to experience and completing a practical training. Intel curriculum’s objective and flexibility makes it a great match for MDC and our students” said Dr. George Gabb, lead faculty for AI programs at MDC.

Financial aid and scholarships are available for all AI courses and programs offered. For more information on AI at MDC visit:  https://www.mdc.edu/aicenter.

By Nikki Cabus

The Kravis Center in West Palm Beach unveils the extraordinary and exclusive ‘Space Explorers: THE INFINITE’

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The Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in association with Infinity Experiences, Felix & Paul Studios and PHI Studio is proud to announce the presentation of Space Explorers: THE INFINITE coming to West Palm Beach June 4 – September 2, 2024.

The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts provides exceptional cultural experiences that entertain, inspire, and educate audiences across the entire community. INFINITY Experiences is a joint venture between PHI Studio and Felix & Paul Studios, founded in April 2020 to create and market large-scale immersive projects, including the travelling exhibition Space Explorers: THE INFINITE. The two companies joined forces and set a mission to evolve how visitors experience new extended reality (XR) experiences while creating a genuine and authentic connection around them.

THE INFINITE will transport you to space where you’ll witness never-before-seen 360-degree views captured in space using advanced technology, a view previously available only to astronauts. The highly-acclaimed experience will transport you on a journey as you roam freely inside a state-of-the-art, virtual 3D replica of the International Space Station (ISS), float in space alongside the astronauts and admire breathtaking sights of Earth that only a handful have ever seen before — all without ever leaving the ground. Calling all adventure seekers and space aficionados, it’s time to ascend on a first-of-its-kind immersive odyssey into Space.

“Experience the extraordinary, only at the Kravis Center. Space Explorers: THE INFINITE beckons, ready to take you on an awe-inspiring journey through the cosmos. We are proud to bring this exclusive encounter to Florida” said Diane Quinn, Kravis Center CEO.

Space Explorers: THE INFINITE redefines the frontiers of the user experience. Guests will quickly become a part of the station’s crew as they lift off on their very own voyage into Space while interacting with offerings throughout the ISS replica. Adding to the thrilling experience, explorers will witness the astronaut’s epic conquests first-hand, including the first-ever cinematic spacewalk captured in 3D, 360° virtual reality, shot outside the ISS – making for an immensely powerful and magnificent experience.

Space Explorers: THE INFINITE is an extension of the Primetime Emmy Award-winning immersive series, Space Explorers: The ISS Experience, the largest production ever filmed in Space, produced by Felix & Paul Studios in association with TIME Studios, in collaboration with the U.S. ISS National Laboratory, NASA and five more international Space agencies. Shot over a period of three years and producing more than 250 hours of high-end virtual reality footage, the four-part immersive series documents the life of ten international astronauts inside—and outside—the ISS.

After an extraordinary run in Montreal, having fascinated over 350,000 visitors from around North America, Space Explorers: THE INFINITE lands in West Palm Beach featuring proprietary content captured in space, promising an otherworldly adventure!

Prepare yourself for a powerful immersive virtual reality experience inspired by NASA missions aboard the International Space Station. On this unique journey, you will access never-before-seen 360-degree videos captured in space using advanced 3D technology. Witness breathtaking views of Earth and gain a unique perspective into the daily life of astronauts through exclusive encounters with the international crew.

Now it’s your turn to experience firsthand what life is like in orbit!

Space Explorers: THE INFINITE 
June 4 – September 2, 2024
Gimelstob Ballroom in the Cohen Pavilion
Tickets start at $45* for Adults; $25 for Children (ages 8-12) and $35 for Students.


To get more info or purchase tickets, visit https://www.kravis.org/events/space-explorers-the-infinite-an-immersive-experience/

By Nikki Cabus

South Florida-based MyBundle among 2024 StreamTV Awards Finalists

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Questex’s StreamTV Show today announced the finalists for the StreamTV Awards program, which celebrate and honor the innovators and leaders that are making a difference in driving viewership, revenue growth and elevating their brands and organizations. One of the distinguished finalists is South Florida-based MyBundle. 

MyBundle is the industry-leading consumer and enterprise platform simplifying streaming TV. MyBundle’s free and easy-to-use tools help consumers discover and manage their streaming service subscriptions, watch free live TV, and find content to watch across their services. Incorporating more than 150 streaming services and partnering with nearly 220 broadband providers serving approximately 13 million customers and growing, the MyBundle platform helps consumers navigate the streaming video world and creates new growth opportunities for programmers and high-speed data distributors alike.

The StreamTV Show, produced and managed by Questex, is widely known as the industry’s largest annual event and meeting ground for next gen video programming distribution and the streaming television industry. The StreamTV Show is supported by the event’s official publication, StreamTV Insider, the streaming TV industry’s daily monitor.

Questex helps people live better and longer. Questex brings people together in the markets that help people live better: travel, hospitality and wellness; the industries that help people live longer: life science and healthcare; and the technologies that enable and fuel these new experiences. We live in the experience economy – connecting our ecosystem through live events, surrounded by data insights and digital communities. We deliver experience and real results. It happens here.

Kevin Gray, VP and Market Leader, Questex Technology Group said, “With 200% more applications than 2023, we’re thrilled with the growth of our annual StreamTV Awards program. ” He continued, “As a result, this year’s finalists are as deserving as any in the history of the competition. Congratulations to all finalists, and thank you to our esteemed judges for their hard work in making this year’s program a success.  We look forward to honoring everyone at our flagship StreamTV Show event in June.”

South Florida-based MyBundle CEO, Jason Cohen shared on a social media post, “Congrats to the entire MyBundle team on being announced as a finalist for “Innovation in Monetization” at the StreamTV awards coming up in just a couple of months!

He continued, “Scott Barton and Scott Kessler are looking forward to seeing everyone at the show, and, win or lose, we’re honored to even be in the conversation. Good luck to other finalists Cleeng, ThinkAnalytics, Vevo and Xumo.”

The finalists were chosen based on innovation, engagement, leadership, strategy, engagement, audience, revenue and partnerships. The judging panel included experts from the Streaming Television Industry.

The winners will be announced at the StreamTV Awards Dinner on June 24 at the Westin Westminster in Denver, CO, as part of the StreamTV Show, which takes place June 24-26 in Denver. To attend the StreamTV Show and the Awards dinner, click here.

The 2024 finalists are:

  • Advertising Executive of the Year:
    • Amy Leifer, DIRECTV Advertising
    • Jamie Power, The Walt Disney Company
    • Ria Madrid, Wurl
    • Tony Marlow, LG Ad Solutions
  • Content Partnerships Executive of the Year:
    • Akhilesh Gupta, Asia TV USA Ltd.
    • Amy Kuessner, Pluto TV
    • Annie O’Brien, Samsung TV Plus
    • Leslie Falbo, Amagi Corporation
  • Emerging Leaders:
    • Danny Pruett, Samsung TV Plus
    • Isabel Bonebrake, Fubo
    • Matthew Dominguez, Cox Media Group
    • Tyler Budd, Blue Ant Media
  • FAST Channel of the Year:
    • BBC
    • Top Gear
    • Love Nature
    • Love The Planet
    • NFL Channel
    • Tennis Channel – T2
    • The Walking Dead
    • FAST Channel
  • Innovation in Advertising:
    • DIRECTV Advertising and Yospace: Maximizing fill-rates for live sports
    • DIRECTV Advertising: Innovation in Advanced Advertising
    • Harmonic: VOS360 Ad SaaS with In-Stream Advertising
    • Wurl: Wurl ContentDiscovery
  • Innovation in Content Delivery & Distribution:
    • Eluvio: Eluvio Content Fabric and Application Suite – Casablanca Release
    • Local Now: Local Now
    • Verimatrix: Verimatrix Streamkeeper
    • Zixi: Zixi Software Defined Video Platform (SDVP)
  • Innovation in Monetization:
    • Cleeng: ChurnIQ
    • MyBundle: Innovating Monetization During the Migration from Legacy Pay TV to Streaming
    • ThinkAnalytics: ThinkFAST
    • Vevo: VevoXumo: Xumo AMS
  • Innovation in User Experience:
    • Plex: Discover
    • Together: Streaming’s first integrated community feature
    • Google TV: Google TV and the Android TV OS
    • Bango: The Digital Vending Machine® from Bango
    • XITE Networks: XITE Networks
  • Marketing Campaign of the Year:
    • Samsung TV Plus: Conan O’Brien TV
    • HauntTV, a Blue Ant Media FAST Channel: HauntTV
    • Pluto TV: Pluto TV Country
    • Stingray: Stingray Naturescape celebrates Earth Day
  • Marketing Executive of the Year:
    • Aileen del Cid, Samsung TV Plus
    • Sylvia George, AMC Networks
    • Val Kaplan, Pluto TV
  • Streaming Platform of the Year:
    • Local Now
    • Plex
    • Pluto TV
    • Roku
    • Samsung TV Plus
  • StreamTV Impact Award:
    • AMC Networks
    • Innovid
    • Pluto TV
  • Technology Executive of the Year:
    • Ashley Hovey, Xperi
    • Jeff DiTullio, Atmosphere TV
    • Scott Olechowski, Plex
    • Vijay Sajja, Evergent Technologies, Inc.

By Nikki Cabus

Terran Orbital is Awarded Subcontract by Lockheed Martin for SDA’s Tranche 2 Tracking Layer

Read Time 3 Minutes

Terran Orbital announced being selected by Lockheed Martin to produce 18 satellite buses for their recent Space Development Agency (SDA) Tranche 2 (T2) Tracking Layer contract.

Boca Raton-based Terran Orbital Corporation (NYSE: LLAP) (“Terran Orbital”) is a leading manufacturer of satellite products primarily serving the aerospace and defense industries. Terran Orbital provides end-to-end satellite solutions by combining satellite design, production, launch planning, mission operations, and on-orbit support to meet the needs of the most demanding military, civil, and commercial customers.

Lockheed Martin will provide the SDA with 16 wide field-of-view missile warning/missile tracking space vehicles with infrared sensors and two vehicles with missile defense infrared sensors that can generate fire control-quality tracks to provide preliminary missile defense mission capabilities. Each Lockheed Martin-built T2 Tracking Layer satellite will incorporate a Terran Orbital bus.

Lockheed Martin is a global defense technology company driving innovation and advancing scientific discovery. Our all-domain mission solutions and 21st Century Security® vision accelerate the delivery of transformative technologies to ensure those we serve always stay ahead of ready. More information at www.lockheedmartin.com.

“We’re proud to once again be selected as the trusted space vehicle provider for Lockheed Martin, especially for the SDA’s critical tracking mission,” said Marc Bell, Terran Orbital’s Co-Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer.

“This continued partnership signifies the confidence Lockheed Martin places in Terran Orbital’s capabilities. We are excited to leverage our expertise and deliver these advanced space vehicles to support the SDA’s mission objectives.”

These state-of-the-art space vehicles will be manufactured at Terran Orbital’s advanced robotic space vehicle manufacturing facilities located in California. This award showcases Terran Orbital’s commitment to innovation and positions the company as a key player in building the next generation of proliferated warfighting constellations.

The T2 Tracking Layer will accelerate the capability to provide global, persistent indications, detection, warning, and tracking of conventional and advanced missile threats, including hypersonic missile systems. It will also deliver preliminary missile defense capability by incorporating fire control quality sensors in the constellation.

Another success through the Terran Orbital and Lockheed Martin relationship was the recent perfect launch between Lockheed Martin, Lockheed Martin Space, and SpaceX back in March. The SpaceX Transporter-10 contained two Terran Orbital Corporation 12U Renegade-class space vehicle platforms.

“While the mission utilizes two satellites, it integrates four payloads which provide tactical communications systems; a Ka-band crosslink and mesh network; precision relative ranging and time synchronization across satellites; and a high-end CPU/processor, ” explained Marc in a social media post. He continued, “Thank you Robert Lightfoot Maria Demaree and Johnathon Caldwell for entrusting us with this important mission.” Click on the link to watch the full launch replay. https://lnkd.in/egiinU3x

To learn more about Terran Orbital, visit https://terranorbital.com/

By Nikki Cabus

South Florida-based BrandStar acquires Lens End Media with production presence in Washington D.C. market

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South Florida-based BrandStar, a production and strategic marketing company, has acquired Lens End Media, a full-service video production agency. 

BrandStar is a solutions-driven, fully horizontally and vertically integrated production, marketing, public relations and digital agency. They offer everything you would find at a full-service marketing firm, but with a twist –  focusing on positively impacting people’s lives. Fueled by the collective passion of entrepreneurs, creatives, technologists, and thinkers, BrandStar prides itself in being “Marketing Matchmakers” – connecting people with brands to do life better. Utilizing a combination of creative storytelling, marketing strategy, results-driven media, technology innovation, and unrivaled television production capabilities, BrandStar has succeeded in giving startups a national footprint, and national companies a global one.

Founded in 2020 by Ibrahim Zafar, Lens End Media excels in holistic high-impact video production services, creating and producing high quality content. Through use of the latest technology, inclusive of AI, Lens End Media is optimizes processes across digital channels as well as integrates the ads across impact campaigns that drive results. Serving clients across the music, sports, nonprofit, live events and auto industry sectors, Lens End has earned a reputation for their ability to create high-impact content in a cost-effective manner.

“I am so proud to partner with BrandStar and its diverse ecosystem,” said Ibrahim Zafar. “Collaborating with the existing BrandStar Studios production team, along with tapping into the organization’s ecosystem of top marketing agencies makes this a win/win for us.”

BrandStar, which has helped pioneer virtual and mixed-reality production, has three studios across the tri-county area of South Florida. With Lens End Media, BrandStar now has a production presence in the coveted Washington, DC/Maryland/Virginia market and surrounding communities. Lens End Media is based in Washington, DC, with clients across the U.S. and globe, covering music, sports, nonprofit, live events and auto industries.

Some notable clients include Walgreens, Deloite, Stellantis, LEGO Group, Georgetown University Hospital, Red Nose Day, NBA and former NFL athletes. Lens End Media will continue to operate out of its current location, with Ibrahim Zafar as CEO of the organization, along with its current staff of video professionals.

“We are very excited to be working with Ibrahim and his team,” said Mark Alfieri, Founder & CEO of BrandStar. “In a very short period of time, he has established a reputation for delivering excellence and true innovation across many facets of the production spectrum. He is a wonderful addition to our full slate of production offerings.”

BrandStar is also acclaimed for its award-winning TV programming winning awards such as the 44th Annual Telly Awards in 2023. The BrandStar programming airs on Lifetime Television, Bloomberg, FOX Business, and numerous syndicated outlets, and includes shows such as Military Makeover with Montel, Designing Spaces, The Balancing Act, Inside the Blueprint and Access Health.

The acquisition of Lens End Media complements recent additions to BrandStar’s ecosystem of companies, which includes Indiana-based Britton Marketing & Design Group, and Ft. Lauderdale-based Wizard Digital.

To learn more about BrandStar and their portfolio of companies, visit www.brandstar.com/companies

By Nikki Cabus

Dan Chait Promoted to President & COO of JM Family

Read Time 3 Minutes

To best prepare for the future and continue positioning its core automotive companies to lead change and embrace the opportunities of the industry’s shifting landscape, JM Family Enterprises, a privately held company with more than $20 billion in revenue, announced Dan Chait, currently chief operating officer (COO), has also been named president.

JM Family Enterprises, Inc. was founded by automotive legend, Jim Moran in 1968. It is a privately held company with more than $20 billion in revenue and more than 5,000 associates. Rooted in automotive and united in its strong culture and core values, JM Family is in the business of helping other businesses succeed. As a long-term partner, it is invested in its companies, associates and its communities. Driven by exceptional performance, current subsidiaries are in the automotive, financial services, franchising and specialty distribution industries. Its family of companies includes: Southeast Toyota DistributorsJM&A GroupWorld Omni Financial Corp. (dba Southeast Toyota Finance), JM LexusHome Franchise Concepts®Futura Title & Escrow and Rollease Acmeda.

As president and COO, Dan will be responsible for all company operations within JM Family, working closely with the senior leadership team to execute on company strategies and drive key initiatives. He is succeeding Brent Burns as president, while Burns remains chief executive officer (CEO).

“Dan’s promotion to president is well-earned, spotlighting his leadership, wealth of knowledge, and experience gained over 30 years in the automotive and financial services industries,” Burns said. “Most importantly, Dan is deeply committed to the well-being of the 5,000 associates across our companies. He has a proven track record of enhancing results through trust, driving greater associate engagement and development, inspiring action among his teams and fostering inclusivity across the organization.”

As CEO, Burns will continue focusing on the long-term success of the company and working closely with JM Family’s board of directors. Together, Burns and Chait remain committed to preserving and enhancing the company’s rich culture and its unwavering dedication to its customers and associates.

Chait, who was named COO in May 2023 and previously held the role of president of subsidiary companies JM&A Group and Southeast Toyota Finance, has collaborated closely with JM Family’s leadership to navigate the dynamic automotive industry and align strategic priorities. With deep roots at JM Family, Chait has established strong relationships in the automotive, financial and banking industries and has successfully led through fluctuating business cycles.

Chait joined Southeast Toyota Finance in 2002 as vice president, Asset Management. In 2007 he became group vice president responsible for Southeast Toyota Finance’s Portfolio Management, Dealer Services, Operations, Sales and Marketing functions. In 2011, Chait was named senior vice president, and in 2012 became president before assuming full responsibility for leading Southeast Toyota Finance and JM&A Group in 2021. Chait has held senior level positions with US Airways, AutoNation, and UniCapital Corporation.

“I am grateful for the number of responses and comments, particularly from friends and colleagues from the past,” Dan Chait wrote in a social media comment. “I am excited to assume this new position and credit the amazing group of associates I’ve been working with for the last 21 years.”

Chait earned his Master of Business Administration and bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Rochester. In 2019, he was named chairman of the American Financial Services Association board of directors, of which he has been a member since 2015. He resides in Wellington, Florida, with his wife and they have four children.

To learn more about JM Family Enterprises, visit www.jmfamily.com

.

By Nikki Cabus

TEDxBocaRaton 2024 is welcoming 11 speakers; theme Divergence

Read Time 4 Minutes

Haven’t signed up for TEDxBocaRaton yet?

TEDxBocaRaton 2024 has a stellar lineup of speakers for the much-anticipated event on Saturday, May 11, 2024. This year’s stage will host an eclectic array of thought leaders, innovators, and visionaries who embody the theme of “Divergence,” exploring the myriad ways in which our world is evolving, intersecting, and diverging. South Florida Tech Hub community members can get $20 off by using 𝐒𝐅𝐓𝐞𝐜𝐡𝟐𝟎.

The event will be held at the Boca Raton Innovation Campus, or “BRIC.” Originally home to IBM and the invention of the personal computer, BRiC is now an office park changing today’s workplace. BRIC was acquired by CP Group in 2018 and is a state-of-the-art, accessible 1.7 million square foot office park located in the heart of Boca Raton.

BRiC was initially developed by IBM as its North American Research and Development facility. Since world-renowned architect Marcel Breuer designed the IBM facility in the late 1960s, this unique office campus has been synonymous with the spirit of revolutionary design and creativity. Now, BRIC serves as the stomping grounds for a new generation of technology, life sciences, and service companies that are aiming for leadership and disruption in their respective fields.

“The Boca Raton Innovation Campus (BRiC) serves as the perfect backdrop for our event, symbolizing the convergence of innovation, technology, and creativity,” said Erik Mintz and Cindy Metzler, TEDxBocaRaton organizers.

“With our theme of Divergence, we aim to ignite discussions that challenge conventional thinking and inspire new perspectives on a wide range of topics.”

TEDxBocaRaton invites attendees to join this transformative journey of exploration and discovery. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to engage with ideas that challenge, inspire, and reshape our understanding of the world. TEDxBocaRaton continues its tradition of delivering a captivating lineup of speakers who are making waves in their respective fields.

This year’s speakers include:

 

1. Kanwal Bawa, MDDistinguished medical doctor and sexual wellness expert, Dr. Kanwal Bawa, is known globally as the “Dr. Sex Fairy™.” Through her advocacy, research, and innovative products, she is reshaping conversations around sexual health and empowerment.

 

2. Carole BlueweissRedefining aging, Carole Blueweiss brings over 25 years of expertise in physical therapy and geriatric care. Her holistic approach emphasizes the mind-body connection and challenges traditional notions of aging.

3. Ved ChirayathAerospace engineering professor, physicist, inventor and National Geographic explorer, Ved Chirayath, pioneers next-generation sensing technologies to study and protect life on earth and beyond. His interdisciplinary work pushes the boundaries of scientific exploration.

4. Melissa Daimler – A culture thought leader, Melissa Daimler, focuses on aligning organizational values with behaviors to drive long-term success. Her innovative strategies have made a significant impact on employee engagement and performance at many organizations including WeWork and Udemy.

5. Sean DavisPhilanthropic private equity investor, Sean Davis, pioneers’ new models for combining wealth creation with social impact. His work at Merton Capital Partners is redefining how philanthropy intersects with private equity to transform the world through giving pledges.

6. Sixcia Devine – Social entrepreneur and author, Sixcia Devine, empowers communities through her non-profit organization Caritas Smile. Her innovative approach combines philanthropy with eco-tourism to create lasting change throughout the world.

7. Robert DePalmaDinosaur hunter and researcher, Robert DePalma, unlocks the secrets of the past through cutting-edge fossil analysis. His work sheds light on Earth’s history and provides valuable insights into our planet’s future.

8. MeiMei FoxNY Times Bestselling author, MeiMei Fox, empowers individuals to share their stories with the world. Her Forbes column focuses on purpose-driven entrepreneurship and her company Your Bestselling Book, takes a scientific and soulful approach to helping others find their voice and make an impact.

9. Angela HunteGrammy-winning singer-songwriter, Angela Hunte, performs her nostalgic song Empire State of Mind. Angela is passionate about music, having spent her childhood in Trinidad and adulthood in Brooklyn, NY. Her musical journey and upcoming projects promise to captivate audiences worldwide.

10. Pedro MenesesAerospace engineer turned entrepreneur, Pedro Meneses, pioneers’ drone-based logistics solutions with his company Aerialoop. His innovative approach to technology and business is shaping the future of transportation.

11. Pete VargasSerial entrepreneur and father of five, Pete Vargas, teaches others how to stay on track even when life throws you a curve ball or two! He shares with others the power to help grow their brand and businesses through storytelling and stages. His system has transformed the lives of thousands of entrepreneurs worldwide.

By Nikki Cabus

C3 Complete expands offices to Treasure Coast and Orlando markets

Read Time 3 Minutes

C3 Complete, a leader in innovative technology and communications solutions, proudly announces its expansion into the Treasure Coast and Greater Orlando areas.

Headquartered in Delray Beach, Florida, C3 Complete, is an award winning provider of technology and communications services to small, medium and enterprise businesses globally. Its unique combination of cloud-based technologies and expert onsite and remote support substantially reduces both IT-related capital investments and ongoing management costs. C3’s approach increases stability, tightens security, enhances employee mobility, and ensures business continuity in the event of a disaster. CFOs benefit from C3’s fixed cost approach, while owners and CEOs benefit from the single point of contact for all of their telecommunications and technology needs.

Since the company’s start in 2009, C3 has had consistent growth opening mulitple offices and data centers around the state and across the U.S. The company’s most recent offices are located in Stuart and Orlando, Florida. C3 Complete now has offices in Delray Beach, Miami, Stuart and Orlando and data centers in Miami, Florida, Cleveland, Ohio and Las Vegas, Nevada.

Known as the “Sailfish Capital of The World,” Stuart is located in the quickly growing Treasure Coast region just north of South Florida. The Treasure Coasts consists of St. Lucie, Martin and Indian River counties.

The C3 office is located at Ocean One Stuart, 1 SE Ocean Blvd, Stuart, FL 34994 in the heart of the Treasure Coast, only steps away from the Martin County Courthouse and all the boutiques and restaurants in Historic Downtown Stuart. The recently proposed Brightline Stuart station, expected to open in 2026, will be located in downtown Stuart at 500 S.E. Flagler Avenue on 2.35 acres at 500 S.E. Flagler Avenue, which is situated opposite the Martin County Courthouse and just 2 minutes from the C3 Complete offices.

The most recent Orlando, Florida office is located at 242 Rangeline Rd, Longwood, FL 3275. This office will be staffed by several field service engineers, as well as sales and sales support personnel. In keeping with their “eat our own dogfood” philosophy, many of the technologies and solutions offered through C3 Complete will be available for demonstration to current and prospective clients and partners.

“As C3 Complete’s roster of clients has continued to grow, expanding into the Greater Orlando Market was an obvious progression for us,” commented Rick Mancinelli, CEO of C3 Complete.

“By strategically positioning both technical and sales personnel in-region, our goal is to demonstrate our commitment to providing the highest level of service to our clients in and around the area.”

One of C3’s core value propositions has always been their ability to provide rapid on-site service for managed clients at no additional charge. To learn more about C3, see their office and data center current and future locations, please visit https://c3-complete.com/about-c3-complete/offices/.

By Nikki Cabus

Securitize announces $47 Million Strategic Funding Round led by BlackRock

Read Time 5 Minutes

Securitize, the leader in tokenizing real-world assets, announced the successful completion of a $47 million funding round led by BlackRock.

Miami-based Securitize is driving the compliant digitization of financial assets through next generation blockchain technology. Securitize, or through its subsidiaries, is a registered broker dealer (member SIPC) and operates a primary marketplace, an alternative trading system as well as a top 10 transfer agent and has an exempt reporting adviser.

This investment which also includes funding from Hamilton Lane (Nasdaq: HLNE), ParaFi Capital, and Tradeweb Markets (Nasdaq: TW), underscores Securitize’s industry pioneering efforts in digitizing capital markets with blockchain technology. The contributed capital will fuel Securitize’s continued innovation and expansion as it further solidifies its position as a leader in the digital asset securities ecosystem.

“At BlackRock, we believe that tokenization has the potential to drive a significant transformation in capital markets infrastructure. Our investment in Securitize is another step in the evolution of our digital assets strategy,” said Joseph Chalom. “We are pleased to lead this investment round alongside other participants and help foster innovation that will help meet the future needs of our clients.”

BlackRock (Nasdaq: BLK) is a global asset manager and technology provider with a purpose of helping more and more people experience financial well-being. They help millions of people invest to build savings that serve them throughout their lives making investing easier and more affordable. BlackRock advances sustainable investing because they have a conviction to deliver better outcomes for investors contributing to a more resilient economy that benefits more people.

As part of the investment, BlackRock’s Global Head of Strategic Ecosystem Partnerships, has been appointed to Securitize’s Board of Directors.

“We are thrilled to have the support of such distinguished investors as we continue to drive the digitization of capital markets through tokenization,” said Securitize Co-Founder and CEO Carlos Domingo. “In our view, the transformative potential of blockchain technology to reshape the future of finance in general – and tokenization in particular – is promising.”

Juan Delgado, Hamilton Lane Co-CEO, commented: “Hamilton Lane has a deep history with Securitize, having partnered initially in 2022 and since then enabling access to our Senior Credit Opportunities Fund (SCOPE) as well as our Equity Opportunities Fund V. We are committed to making the private markets accessible to a broader set of investors, including through digital first, token-based technology. Securitize continues to be a leader in this space and we are thrilled with this investment and excited to continue our collaboration.”

Hamilton Lane (Nasdaq: HLNE) is one of the largest private markets investment firms globally, providing innovative solutions to institutional and private wealth investors around the world. Dedicated exclusively to private markets investing for more than 30 years, the firm currently employs nearly 700 professionals operating in offices throughout North AmericaEuropeAsia Pacific and the Middle East. Hamilton Lane has approximately $903 billion in assets under management and supervision, composed of $120 billion in discretionary assets and nearly $783 billion in non-discretionary assets, as of December 31, 2023. Hamilton Lane specializes in building flexible investment programs that provide clients access to the full spectrum of private markets strategies, sectors and geographies.

“Securitize has built cutting edge infrastructure that enables traditional assets to move onto the high speed, modern rails of blockchains — enabling greater transparency, immediate settlement, reduced counterparty risk, and heightened programmability,” said Ben Forman, Founder and Managing Partner of ParaFi.  “At ParaFi, we’ve invested broadly across digital asset and tokenization infrastructure and are thrilled to partner with Carlos and the Securitize team to enable this vision of the future.”

ParaFi Capital is a leading alternative asset management firm that operates hedge fund and venture capital strategies focused on the digital asset ecosystem. Founded in 2018, ParaFi was among the earliest investors in the blockchain industry and has evolved into a trusted partner by leading institutions globally. ParaFi’s investment and technology team pursues idiosyncratic opportunities across venture, liquid, and quantitative strategies with a focus on bridging traditional capital markets and blockchain technology. As a firm, ParaFi is committed to a culture of rigorous research, technical development, and institutional underwriting to enable exceptional results for our partners and portfolio companies.

“Tokenization has the potential to drive greater efficiency and accessibility across financial markets,” said Tradeweb Chief Product Officer Chris Bruner. “Securitize’s expertise in digital asset securities aligns nicely with Tradeweb’s focus on delivering cutting-edge technology that strengthens market infrastructure for our clients.”

Tradeweb Markets Inc. (Nasdaq: TW) is a leading, global operator of electronic marketplaces for rates, credit, equities and money markets. Founded in 1996, Tradeweb provides access to markets, data and analytics, electronic trading, straight-through-processing and reporting for more than 50 products to clients in the institutional, wholesale and retail markets. Advanced technologies developed by Tradeweb enhance price discovery, order execution and trade workflows while allowing for greater scale and helping to reduce risks in client trading operations. Tradeweb serves more than 2,500 clients in more than 70 countries. On average, Tradeweb facilitated more than $1.5 trillion in notional value traded per day over the past four quarters.

Other strategic investors in the round include Aptos Labs, Circle and Paxos. Securitize will leverage the proceeds of the funding round to accelerate product development, expand its global footprint, and further strengthen its partnerships across the financial services ecosystem.

The funding round coincides with the launch of BlackRock’s first tokenized fund issued on Ethereum, the BlackRock USD Institutional Digital Liquidity Fund (BUIDL), available to investors by subscribing to the fund with Securitize.

BUIDL seeks to offer a stable value of $1 per token and pays daily accrued dividends directly to investors’ wallets as new tokens each month. The Fund invests 100% of its total assets in cash, U.S. Treasury bills, and repurchase agreements, allowing investors to earn yield while holding the token on the blockchain. Investors can transfer their tokens 24/7/365 to other pre-approved investors. Through Circle, BUIDL holders can transfer their shares to Circle for USDC through its smart contract functionality.  Fund participants will also have flexible custody options allowing them to choose how to hold their tokens.

To learn more, visit www.securitize.io

By Nikki Cabus

DSS Director of Strategic Innovation Meggie Soliman Wins IGNITE 2024 Award

Read Time 3 Minutes

Document Storage Systems, Inc. (DSS), a leading provider of health information technology (HIT) solutions for federal, private and public health care organizations, announced that Meggie Soliman, director of strategic innovation at DSS, has been selected as a winner of GOVTECH CONNECTS’ IGNITE 2024 Award.

Document Storage Systems, Inc. (DSS) is a catalyst for health care innovation and digital transformation, helping the Department of Veterans Affairs as a solutions provider, systems integrator, and services contractor. DSS is committed to assisting VA in its High Reliability Organization journey and delivering care quality for Veterans by meeting top initiatives, changing regulatory requirements, and implementing enhanced business transformation across VA enterprise.

The IGNITE 2024 Award, presented by GOVTECH CONNECTS, recognizes individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, innovation, and impact in their field. Forward-thinking leaders and today’s trailblazers converge to celebrate the future of digital transformation during this dynamic event that invites women and gender-diverse professionals in all career seasons to delve into cutting-edge solutions, learn from visionary leaders, and embrace the innovations shaping digital transformation.

This immersive experience brought together exceptional women in government and industry highlighting the ideas and actions of inspirational leaders who shared their stories of their leadership journey to the top, and the change-making technological advances and digital transformation they are cultivating in government and driving to market in industry.

As the recipient of the esteemed IGNITE award, Meggie Soliman exemplified unparalleled dedication and visionary leadership, setting a standard of excellence for their peers. Specifically, Meggie was recognized for taking a disruptive and forward-thinking approach to innovation development for the federal health care arena.

GOVTECH CONNECTS is the modern liaison between government and industry, forging mission-driven connections between leaders, decision-makers, and influencers across the dynamic tech landscape. Through immersive events, insightful roundtables, and captivating government podcasts, GOVTECH CONNECTS offers a platform to discuss the transformative potential of technology within government. With boundless energy and a passion for innovation, GOVTECH CONNECTS aims to collaboratively identify pathways to achieving common goals, spotlighting emerging technologies and leading the charge in digital transformation and IT modernization.

The awards celebration was held April 18th in North Bestheda, Maryland during the annual Ignite 2024 conference. This year’s theme was “Powerful Women Igniting Digital Transformation.” Attendees and special guests included inspirational leaders such as keynote speaker, Suzi Connor, Chief Information Officer of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services and Jessica Berrellez, Executive Officer of the Office of Digital Transformation for the Food and Drug Administration. The guest list was pretty impressive.

“I am truly honored to be named an IGNITE 2024 Award recipient,” said Meggie Soliman. “The health IT arena is continually evolving in dynamic ways, and DSS continues to be at the forefront as a catalyst for transforming federal health care delivery.”

In addition to being deeply committed to elevating the federal IT arena, Meggie is an educator focused on enlightening current and future leaders about the ongoing digital transformation that impacts every facet of our lives. Meggie is a renowned TEDx speaker on the topic of “Thinking Outside the Block: Unconventional Paths to Innovation” about the power of unconventional thinking for fostering creative approaches for innovation development, especially for women in IT.

“I am so humbled and grateful for the opportunity to sit among amazing women as an IGNITE 2024 Awardee,” Meggie wrote in a social media post. “It was so energizing to see women supporting other women in the tech space. These women are trailblazers truly leading the way for our future and showing young girls what’s possible!!! Thankful for everyone who has led me to where I am today! Thank you, GOVTECH CONNECTS for creating this space!!”

Meggie is also the Chair of South Florida Tech Hub’s HealthTech & Life Sciences Peer Group. She is an ambassador for the organization and the overall mission and vision of building the tech sector, access to education, advocate for blockchain technology, and equal opportunities for women in tech.

For more insight into Meggie’s work with DSS, the local community and her background, check out Meggie’s Q&A writeup here.

By Nikki Cabus

Social Mobile celebrated their new office grand opening and ribbon cutting

Read Time 4 Minutes

On April 9th, Social Mobile celebrated their grand opening and ribbon cutting of their new headquarters office in Hollywood, Florida. 

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 to 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.

The company has been growing tremendously over the past decade and has hired multiple executives, tech professionals and sales managers just in the past year creating a need for a larger space. The new office space is designed to foster collaboration, creativity, and productivity among the growing Social Mobile team. The new office is located at 2057 Coolidge Street in Hollywood, Florida.

The night held opening remarks by Social Mobile CEO, Robert Morcos, and included Hors d’oeuvres and cocktails for all guests. In attendance were city officials, tech industry professionals (including Tech Hub!), many Social Mobile staff, and community members, friends and family.

Some of South Florida’s most prominent leaders were in attendance such as CITY Furniture CEO, Andrew Koenig. In a social media post, he wrote “Proud of my buddy Robert Morcos & his Social Mobile team for the grand opening of their new offices and innovation space in Hollywood. Amazing journey that Robert & his team have been on for over 10+ years working with and selling to some of the most amazing organizations in the world like Google, T-Mobile, AT&T, DoorDash, Qualcomm, Air Force, etc. Absolutely unbelievable!!!”

He continued, “He’s the definition of living the American Dream starting from humble beginnings to now one of the most Innovative Tech Companies in his space. Even the Mayor of Hollywood Josh Levy came to visit and congratulate this team on this new building and growth. Very cool to see some of the best companies in the world attending too.”

Social Mobile® is a mobility solutions provider focused on providing services critical to organizations looking to deploy and/or bring to market innovative mobile products. The company designs, engineers, and manufactures turnkey solutions that enable clients to bring smart devices to market quickly and efficiently, while also taking the burden of deploying and supporting these devices off their plate.

We are a key Google Mobile Services (GMS) partner, offering new and innovative ways to leverage the Android operating system that have enabled us to pioneer new products and solutions that many have never seen or considered possible. We recognize the power and flexibility of the Android OS, supercharge it by creating solutions dedicated to the unique and challenging environments in which our clients operate, and offer the option to use our proprietary mobile device management system. Through our work as an OEM, managed service provider, and consultancy, we have become the industry’s best aggregator of resources, helping clients control their own destiny for over a decade.

Our strength lies in our ability to leverage our partnerships throughout the mobility ecosystem to offer a true end-to-end solution, from concept all the way through to deployment. We have a global presence, with operations in the U.S., the U.K., Hong Kong, and Shenzhen, and have successfully deployed over 11 million smart devices across Europe, USA, Canada, Africa, and Latin America. Founded in 2011, Social Mobile has quickly become the industry leader in custom products, servicing a wide range of industries from healthcare and retail, to government and non-profits.

“After years of hard work by the Social Mobile team it felt great to finally be able to welcome our clients, partners, and friends. A big thank you to Mayor Josh Levy for attending and welcoming us to the city,” Robert posted on social media.

“We are immensely proud to call this place our new home. Our headquarters represents not just a physical space but a hub of creativity, collaboration, and forward-thinking ideas. A big shoutout to our amazing team, whose hard work and commitment have brought us to this milestone. To all our clients, partners, and friends who joined us in marking this occasion, we are deeply grateful for your support and enthusiasm.”

To learn more about other Social Mobile products and solutions, visit: www.socialmobile.com.

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Max Retail Raises $15M Series A to Help Independent Retailers Participate in the Growing Ecommerce Wave
South Florida Tech Hub: Pioneering Wellness to Combat Burnout
Palm Beach State College making strides in cyber; ranks in National Cyber League competition
TEDxBocaRaton does it again, this year’s theme ‘Divergence’
Registration is open for Florida’s first Bachelor’s degree in AI at Miami Dade College
The Kravis Center in West Palm Beach unveils the extraordinary and exclusive ‘Space Explorers: THE INFINITE’
South Florida-based MyBundle among 2024 StreamTV Awards Finalists
Terran Orbital is Awarded Subcontract by Lockheed Martin for SDA’s Tranche 2 Tracking Layer
South Florida-based BrandStar acquires Lens End Media with production presence in Washington D.C. market
Dan Chait Promoted to President & COO of JM Family
TEDxBocaRaton 2024 is welcoming 11 speakers; theme Divergence
C3 Complete expands offices to Treasure Coast and Orlando markets
Securitize announces $47 Million Strategic Funding Round led by BlackRock
DSS Director of Strategic Innovation Meggie Soliman Wins IGNITE 2024 Award
Social Mobile celebrated their new office grand opening and ribbon cutting