Aerospace and Emerging Tech Florida Companies Fueled by $200,000 in Award Dollars, Capital Investment

Aerospace and Emerging Tech Florida Companies Fueled by $200,000 in Award Dollars, Capital Investment

 Space Florida, Florida Venture Forum, and DeepWork Capital Fuel Business Growth

MELBOURNE, Fla.–June 8. 2023—Space Florida, the state’s aerospace finance and development authority, and the Florida Venture Forum, the state’s largest statewide support organization for investors and entrepreneurs, are pleased to announce Anya Freeman – Kind Designs (Miami Beach) – as the grand prize award recipient; Rob Sladen – Zulu Pods (Ft. Lauderdale) – as first runner up; Zack Ernst – Ainthoven (Cocoa Beach) – as second runner up; and Don Gaspar – Gigantor Technologies (Melbourne Beach) – as third runner up as the award recipients of the 2023 Florida Aerospace+EmergingTech Forum held at Groundswell Startups in Melbourne, Florida. Additionally, DeepWork Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm based in Orlando, will invest $100,000 in Kind Designs. The forum is dedicated to fueling the growth of emerging tech and aerospace companies and connecting the entrepreneurs with industry experts and opening access to financial investment opportunities.

“This year’s applicants exhibited exceptional innovation and leadership, and we believe they are poised to make an impact on the aerospace industry in today’s business climate,” said Space Florida President and CEO Frank DiBello. “To date, capital accelerator programs supported by Space Florida have attracted more than $600 million in funding and investments for companies. We are proud be the financial propellant that helps new ideas take off.”

“Congratulations to Kind Designs,  Zulu Pods, Ainthoven, and Gigantor Technologies from this year’s forum,” said Kevin Burgoyne, president and CEO of the Florida Venture Forum. “Through our work and collaborations, we continue to be on the forefront of driving innovation and progress with early-stage companies across various industries.”

“We were incredibly impressed by all the presenting companies and are excited about the opportunities for continued investment in this space,” said, Benjamin Patz, managing partner, DeepWork Capital. “Investing in cutting-edge sectors that stem from the transformative power of emerging and aerospace technology is a strategic move and critical to driving success.”

A panel of investor judges reviewed each eligible company’s presentation and supporting materials. The four presenting companies were selected from a pool of more than 60 applicants by a committee of active Florida venture capital investors. The grand prize company will receive $40,000. The first runner up company will receive $30,000, the second runner up will receive $20,000, and third runner up will receive $10,000. Additionally, DeepWork Capital will invest $100,000 in Kind Designs.

To view photos of the winners, CLICK HERE.


Space Florida Media Contact
Anna Alexopoulos Farrar

Florida Venture Forum Media Contact
Pat Schneider

About Space Florida: Space Florida is where leading aerospace companies get everything they need to see their new ideas take off. As that state’s aerospace finance and development authority, Space Florida brings a mix of unrivaled experience, unmatched financial tools, and unbeatable location to the table by providing critical business financing opportunities for the aerospace industry, managing infrastructure investment in the state’s spaceport system, and facilitating research and development, workforce, education, and investment programs. Visit www.spaceflorida.gov for more information.

About the Florida Venture Forum: The Florida Venture Forum is Florida’s largest statewide support organization for investors and entrepreneurs, helping fast-growth companies connect with sources of capital from across the country. Since 1984 more than 2000 companies have presented at Forum events and have gone on to raise upwards of $16B in equity capital, producing billions more in economic value to Florida. The Forum’s 250+ members represent a “who’s who” of venture capital and private equity dealmakers, including equity and debt investors at all stages, as well as major law, accounting, and investment banking firms, and large corporates active in the innovation ecosystem. The Forum provides programs and programming statewide throughout the year in addition to hosting major annual conferences like the Florida Venture Capital Conference, the Statewide Collegiate Startup Competition, the Early Stage Capital Conference, and industry-focused events including aerospace and healthcare. For more information, visit: https://flventure.org/.

About Groundswell Startups: Groundswell Startups is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, high-tech incubator and coworking space dedicated to helping founders and startups succeed on Florida’s Space Coast. For more information on our community of creatives, innovators, and entrepreneurs, and how we can help visit www.swellstartups.com.

About DeepWork Capital: DeepWork Capital invests professionally managed committed venture capital in growth-oriented early-stage companies in the technology and life science sectors. We partner with visionary founders in underinvested markets to build world-changing companies. For additional information please see http://www.deepworkcapital.com.