Exploration Park, Miami and Tampa, Fla. (February 24, 2020) – Space Florida and the Florida Venture Forum, Florida’s largest statewide support organization for investors and entrepreneurs, are pleased to announce that Space Florida will award its Accelerating Innovation cash prize at the 2020 Florida Early Stage Capital Conference, May 14-15 at the Westshore Grand Hotel in Tampa.
The Florida Venture Forum’s annual Early Stage Capital Conference is the largest gathering of early and mid-stage venture investors in Florida, and draws an annual crowd of over 300, including all of Florida’s major angel and seed investment groups, as well as many of the state’s most prominent incubators, accelerators and university-based entrepreneur centers.
The Forum has formed a selection committee to review and accept presenting companies. The committee will be chaired by Mark Volchek, Florida Venture Forum board member and founding partner of Las Olas Venture Capital and will include over a dozen of Florida’s most active early stage venture investors.
In addition to the opportunity to present before an audience of active investors, eligible presenting companies will be considered for the Accelerating Innovation (AI) Award offered by Space Florida, a cash prize totaling $100,000. The prize is intended to broaden the spectrum of early stage, Florida-based aerospace and aviation companies and entrepreneurs, (as well as non–Florida entities with commitments to relocate or establish a presence in Florida), while engaging the industry with the Florida Venture Forum investment community, including private equity, venture capital, angel and seed investors.
“The annual Early Stage Capital Conference is one of the fastest-growing capital accelerator events representing Florida’s ecosystem,” said Space Florida President Frank DiBello. “This event always yields successful new partnerships, and we look forward to showcasing the capital community within the State of Florida.”
“We are very excited and grateful that Space Florida is once again partnering with the Forum to give early stage companies a chance to win its Accelerating Innovation Award,” said Kevin Burgoyne, President and CEO of the Florida Venture Forum. “Our Early Stage Capital Conference grows bigger and more impactful every year, and we expect 2020 to be no exception. Seed and early stage companies are the lifeblood of Florida’s innovation ecosystem and our efforts to help then grow and scale are amplified by partners like Space Florida.”
Companies in all industries are encouraged to apply to present at the Florida Early Stage Capital Conference, however eligibility for consideration for the AI award will be focused on companies that operate in the following space and space-related industries: information technology, health technology, knowledge based services, space transportation and advanced aerospace platforms, satellite systems and science payloads, ground and operations support systems, agriculture, climate/environmental monitoring, civil protection and emergency management, ISS and human life science (including medical research), communications, cyber security, adventure tourism, clean/alternative energy applications, advanced materials and new products. In addition to, aircraft and spacecraft design, parts and assembly, engineering design and construction, structural materials and electronic assembly, data analytics, medical and surgical innovations, satellite communications, innovations in planetary sustainability towards the development of nutritious food, clean water and energy, payload development, robotics – parts, design and assembly, unmanned aerial vehicles, surveillance, 3D printing and innovation, radiation protection, reconnaissance, & missile development. Companies will be informed of their eligibility for the AI award upon acceptance as a presenter.
Sponsorship opportunities are also available. To learn more, visit 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. www.spaceflorida.gov.
About The Florida Venture Forum: The Florida Venture Forum is Florida’s largest statewide support organization for investors and entrepreneurs, helping emerging Florida companies connect with sources of capital from across the country. The organization provides programs statewide throughout the year in addition to hosting the Florida Venture Capital Conference, the Statewide Collegiate Business Plan Competition and the Early Stage Capital Conference. www.flventure.org.