Miami and Tampa, FL – September 24, 2020– The Florida Venture Forum has selected 22 companies to present at its 13th annual Florida Early Stage Capital Conference, which will be hosted virtually, October 14-15. The conference also will feature the 10th annual 2020 Statewide Collegiate Startup Competition, attracting the “best of the best” in collegiate competitors from Florida’s leading innovation-focused colleges and universities.
“We were overwhelmed with applications to present at the 2020 Florida Early Stage Capital Conference, despite the current market challenges,” said Mark Volchek, founding partner of Las Olas Venture Capital and chair of the Early Stage Conference selection committee. “The quality and market traction of the companies competing for limited presenter slots was extremely high and our committee did a great job with its final selections. Thankfully our all-virtual format will allow us to feature a record number of presenters and exhibitors, along with a host of other programming.”
In addition to company presentations and other educational programming, the conference will feature a total of $100,000 in cash awards distributed between early stage and seed stage companies, provided by Space Florida. To date, past early stage presenters have attracted over $460 million in equity funding.
Online registration for the Early Stage Capital Conference is available through October 13, 2020. Conference attendees will hear pitches from selected companies and network with attendees including every major seed and angel fund in Florida, as well as venture investors from throughout the state and beyond. On October 14, 2020, conference attendees may also pre-register for the “Knowing When Your Company Is Investable” workshop led by Ross Finlay, of the Angel Resource Institute.
Presenters were selected from a pool of over 150 applicants by a committee of active Florida venture capital investors. The selected presenting companies are listed below, by region:
Central/East Central Florida
Blue Halo BioMedical, LLC, Winter Park (www.bluehalobiomedical.com), the company’s product is a disruptive, IP protected, urologist designed catheter that represents a huge improvement over traditional Foley-style catheters. In previous clinical tests, flow rates, compared to a Foley catheter, increased by 400% and infection rates decreased by 80%. The company is currently conducting an independent (New England IRB) clinical study to validate the infection rate reduction data. Its coil catheter is fully internal and insertable for up to 28 days.
Censys Technologies Corporation, Daytona Beach (www.censystech.com), is a value-creating integrated drone solutions company. The company creates value by aggregating key aerospace technologies to address three pillars of remote sensing: maximizing rate of acquisition, maximizing the data quality, and organizing the information into actionable insights.
Knoza, Orlando (www.knoza.com/), the company offers a suite of 12 services to launch, grow, and capitalize on the explosive growth of Amazon. The company has three different revenue streams: a SAAS Revenue Recovery Platform, full-service account management, and off-Amazon digital marketing. Knoza has built a team of 20+ Amazon experts, all located in Orlando.
MERGED RE, Orlando (www.mergedre.com), is building a suite of applications that will ultimately form the MERGED Marketplace. The initial products are TaskCycle™ for Real Estate, HomeCycle™ for Consumers and MERGED | Signature. TaskCycle™ is market ready having completed a beta test in multiple Florida markets and is newly being sold. Initial customers are real estate professionals (obtained through private labeling TaskCycle™ for REALTOR Associations and MLS Systems) and the various participants in a real estate transaction including the consumer buyers and sellers. Initial customers will be primarily in the Southeast and Midwest US, while some direct users will be located throughout the United States and Canada.
Spect, Gainesville (www.spect.app/), this app makes it easy for schools and organizations to post and promote all extracurricular activities, sponsored events, and professional development pathways that are available through the school. Rather than tracking paper-based portfolios of student experience and activities, Spect digitizes these into an easy to read dashboard. As students use the app more frequently for keeping track of their extracurricular activities, teachers will have the ability to pull data on student activities into a comprehensive letter of recommendation template. Alongside trackable metrics like credentials, technical accomplishments, GPAs and test scores, a Spect profile provides a comprehensive and holistic insights into a student’s attitude, drive, motivation and potential — things that are sometimes missed in evaluations of student performance.
Techfit Digital Surgery, Daytona Beach (www.techfit-ds.com/), aims at making customized implants the new standard of care for musculoskeletal pathologies providing a complete solution. This solution starts with the patient’s imaging (CT/MRI), they then convert this into a 3D model of the patient that they then use to interact with the surgeon and plan the treatment and if needed print models for surgical trial workshops. Once the treatment plan is approved by the surgical team the company uses 3D printing and other advanced manufacturing technologies to manufacture custom implants and instruments that fit the patient perfectly as opposed to finding the best fit out of a stock of existing material.
VoiceScript, Inc., Stuart (www.voicescript.ai/), is exceptionally well-positioned to capitalize on several major market transformations occurring in the +$3 Billion-dollar court reporting market. By combining their advanced proprietary speech and crowdsource management platform technologies with proven legal transcript industry expertise, VoiceScript produces certified legal transcripts at costs far below current industry production benchmarks, while also generating among the industry’s highest product margins. VoiceScript is leveraging AI technology with a proven, scalable Gig-Economy based human labor model to build a highly efficient and scalable business that represents a sea change when compared to the traditional court reporting delivery models.
GoGig, Delray Beach (www.gogig.com), is a venture-backed anonymous professional networking platform that helps individuals advance their careers confidentially. Candidates already in a job can safely express their career desires and cultural metrics without compromising themselves; and removing all bias based on age, race, ethnicity, gender, country of origin, religion, and veteran status. Hiring professionals can anonymously match with professionals that don’t exist on traditional job board sites through powerful algorithmic search.
Premier Virtual, Boynton Beach (www.premiervirtual.com/), is a multi-functional software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform designed to bridge the gap between technology and human interaction. Premier Virtual’s Saas platform was designed by recruiters for recruiters. The virtual recruitment software has multiple functions from exclusive virtual hiring events to multiple company recruitment events across several industries or locations.
SEEMS Global Network, West Palm Beach (www.seemsglobal.com/), In the face of natural and man-made disasters, too often all communications fail for extended times due to radio tower failures. Emergency communication halt at the very time they are needed most. Their satellite-based smartphone size device can receive broadcasted text to thousands or millions simultaneously at these times. The company’s two-way device serves first responders and their back office support people while GPS tracking of their location to keep them safe. This product has been integrated into the FEMA nationwide Integrated Public Alert Warning System (IPAWS) to service the USA.
Vyllage, Inc., Sunrise (www.vyllage.net/), is a package protection service that connects users with prescreened homeowners in the community who are willing to receive and safeguard their packages and deliveries for them for a small fee, while simultaneously creating small logistics hubs to assist in more efficient distribution.
AngeLink, Naples (www.angelink.com/), is reimagining crowdfunding with the world’s most lovable, free fundraising platform inspired and powered by women to raise money for the people we love and the causes they believe in. Highly profitable 9% transaction processing revenue model comprised of CC fees and gratuity. Last year, in the peer-to-peer crowdfunding space, the industry leader processed over $1.7 billion in transactions with women representing 80% of donors and 70% of campaign organizers. However, no platform exists for women to share our story and create our own community. So, the company decided to create one. AngeLink™ is building the world’s first global Fintech community to give women the power to change the world.
Azone Enterprises, Inc. Bonita Springs (www.orthazone.com/), is a SaaS medical office software application suite intended to automate and integrate time consuming and costly workflows, such as inventory management and analytics, 3-D printing workflow, payment slider – other modules are in the works. The initial focus is on 16,600 US Orthodontists.
HealthMe, Naples (www.healthmedocs.com), is a software platform, founded by a doctor, to accommodate the growing number of patients who choose to pay directly for their healthcare (“direct-pay”). Its direct to consumer solution brings patients a digital marketplace for transparently priced bundled healthcare, and medical practices the tools, training, and support to streamline their direct-pay business.
MetaQub Interactive (i.e ProjectMQ), Parrish (www.projectmq.com/), provides esports consulting/resources that help colleges & other brands more effectively engage younger audiences. The company’s 1st platform in an online intramural esport tournament app, featuring a rotating catalog of family-friendly games that they curate from amazing indie developers around the world. Their 2nd platform gamifies attendance & rewards engagement at live events, like a “Disney Fast Pass” experience, featuring a virtual safari for digital scavenger hunts similar to “PokemonGo”.
West Central Florida
Blockspaces, Tampa (www.blockspaces.io), is a full service deep tech company that connects blockchains to existing business applications through a seamless, easy to use, API platform suite, BlockSpacesConnect.
TSOLife Inc, Tampa (www.tsolife.com), the company’s solution solves the operational challenges communities face in collecting and leveraging data by capturing data via recorded interviews in the TSOLife mobile app and leveraging AI-powered smart forms to automate data entry. The company’s data collection technology fuels TSOLife’s BI platform and automated insights.
Wedzee, Tampa (www.wedzee.com), is a C2C/B2C marketplace launched in late August of 2019 that is designed to connect former and future brides, wedding planners, and small business owners while providing them a safer and more secure way to buy and sell new, used and custom wedding and event-related items online. Wedzee is the only fully functional C2C/B2C wedding-specific marketplace online that encourages brides to browse, like and share for inspiration as well as the ability to securely purchase all on the same website. Wedzee also enables users to print labels and ship from home, accepts all major payment methods, has direct deposits and offers a money-back guarantee with live customer service.
Wherewithal, Tampa (www.shopwherewithal.com/), is a direct-to-consumer apparel company introducing an entirely new bra design that provides women the power to create their own unique fit. This personalized approach allows Wherewithal to cover more sizes with less inventory through their simplisizing system. The company’s mission is to support and empower women to do anything they choose, in whatever they’re wearing, through products that are thoughtfully designed to be as original as the women who wear them.
EXIOM, INC., Monticello (www.exiom.com), the company enables Orthopedic Professionals to rapidly scan and measure an injured limb, build a patient-specific splint, and 3D print the brace on-site while the patient waits. The total print time averages only 30 minutes and has the potential to increase patient throughput and provide an ancillary revenue stream for the practice.
Out of State:
Skipti, Albuquerque, New Mexico (www.skipti.com), is the software, logistics, and marketing layer between clients with rentable goods and customers who want to rent or demo those goods. The software component gives clients the ability to list goods on the Skipti marketplace, manage inventory, collect payment, and amass reviews. The logistics component provides seamless two-way delivery of those goods.
Switched Source, Vestal, New York (www.switchedsource.com), has developed a new set of power system devices for electric utilities that improve the resiliency, efficiency, and distributed energy resource hosting capacity of the grid. Switched Source’s power-electronics based technologies were designed for utility applications with support from G&W Electric, the US Department of Energy, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), and input from three utilities on the east coast. These utilities are engaged in demonstration projects for distribution investment deferral, phase balancing, and solar hosting applications.
Statewide Collegiate Startup Competition:
In addition to the above listed selected presenting companies, attendees will hear from Florida’s major universities as they bring their selected competitors to participate in the seed stage component of this Conference.
About the Florida Venture Forum: The Florida Venture Forum is Florida’s largest statewide support organization for investors and entrepreneurs, helping companies with headquarters, operations or supply chain in Florida connect with sources of capital from across the country. Since 1984 over 1400 companies have presented at Forum events and have gone on to raise upwards of $8B in equity capital and contribute well over $10B in total economic value to Florida. The Forum’s 200+ members represent a “who’s who” of venture capital and private equity dealmakers, including and 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 Start-up Competition, the Early Stage Capital Conference, and industry-focused events including aerospace and healthcare. For more information, visit: http://www.flventure.org.
About Space Florida:
Space Florida was created to strengthen Florida’s position as the global leader in aerospace research, investment, exploration and commerce. As Florida’s aerospace and spaceport development authority, we are committed to attracting and expanding the next generation of space industry businesses. With its highly trained workforce, proven infrastructure and unparalleled record of achievement, Florida is the ideal location for aerospace businesses to thrive – and Space Florida is the perfect partner to help them succeed. https://www.spaceflorida.gov/
Kevin Burgoyne, President
Florida Venture Forum
Pat Schneider, Vice President