By Nancy Dahlberg
1 Las Olas VC leads $5.8 million round in Orlando startup OneRail
Las Olas VC announced its latest investment: OneRail, a final mile orchestration and fulfillment platform.
Las Olas VC led the $5.8 million venture capital round, with participation from Chicago Ventures, Alpine Meridian Ventures, and several leaders from the retail and supply chain sectors.
The company intends to use the funds to expand its platform capabilities, and grow its logistics operations team.
Led by founder and CEO Bill Catania, OneRail's platform matches the shipper's "demand signal" in real time (Point of Sale, ERP, or eCommerce) to a contracted network of aggregated couriers, to provide a dependable, scalable, and affordable final mile solution. Operationally, OneRail identifies exceptions and manages the logistics of each delivery through "proof of delivery."
“OneRail efficiently makes the connections to carriers, retailers, and manufacturers to implement and delight customers quickly solving the final mile supply chain problems. We are excited to partner with Bill Catania and Chicago Ventures as the first institutional investor behind OneRail," said Dean Hatton, Founding Partner for Las Olas VC, based in Fort Lauderdale.
For Las Olas VC, this is the first investment in the second fund for the B2B focused venture firm. Other Florida investments, from fund 1, include CarePredict, Plum. ReloQuest and SmartHop.
OneRail has agreements with over 50 courier entities and a footprint of over 75,000 individual couriers with fleet assets ranging from sedans to large box trucks, and range of services including white glove installation and assembly, in all 50 states.
2 Show your immigrant power
Is your startup immigrant-powered? Chances are the answer is yes. Get counted and show your pride.
Immigrant Powered is a nonpartisan, grassroots and inclusive initiative. The mission is three-fold: to highlight the positive economic impact of immigrants in our communities, to empower immigrant powered businesses, and to connect small/medium businesses with opportunities for advocacy around responsible immigration policy, said Natalia Martinez-Kalinina.. Read more here.
Immigrant Powered has launched a sign-up drive that runs through March 6 and is meant to register more businesses as immigrant powered – however they may define that. The registration link is here.
3 Magic Leap to host Developer Days at HQ
On May 19-20 and May 21-22, Magic Leap will host two groups of developers at its Plantation headquarters to provide behind-the-scenes access and help accelerate development of apps for its wearable device. “During their time with us, they will meet face-to-face with members of our developer relations, studios, and go-to-market teams and have the chance to interact with the engineers and designers building the core Magic Leap hardware and platform,” Magic Leap said.
In the plans for the LEAP Development Days are discussions about development best practices. Magic Leap will share insights on the growing enterprise market opportunities for spatial apps and offer sneak-peeks of upcoming developer-focused features and technology. Developers will have direct access to Magic Leap technical, creative, and business leads and hands-on workshops, the company said. The company is inviting 400 developers.
Developers can apply for an invitation to LEAP Developer Days here.
"This is the first time we've hosted an event of this scale at our headquarters in Florida, and there are plenty of surprises in store," Magic Leap said in the email invitation.
4 eMerge and Knight launch fellowship program
The eMerge Americas Foundation and John S. and James L. Knight Foundation have partnered to establish a fellowship program that invests in the professional development of top-performing local university computer science engineering students (sophomores, juniors, and seniors) and introduces them to opportunities at top-tier South Florida-based ventures.
The eMerge Americas Fellowship Program will select 10 sophomore, junior and senior level engineering students from South Florida universities and colleges to participate in a yearlong program that will expose them to key stakeholders in the ecosystem, as well as mentorship and other professional development opportunities. Engineering deans and professors will recommend students with a strong academic record, leadership qualities, an entrepreneurial mindset and a eagerness to learn. Read more about the program here.
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