1 Flourish Media Conference back for year 4 with big plans

Founded by women for women, the upcoming 4th annual Flourish Media Conference offers a line-up of speakers and panelists who are blazing a trail in marketing, social media and entrepreneurship. The conference is also presented by the nonprofit Behind the Leaf, which helps minority women see small business ownership as a viable opportunity, and powered by Capital One.

What’s more, selected companies will have the opportunity to pitch to investors for the chance to reel in funding for their ventures. VIP will attendees have two hours with private investors, banks, and venture capitalists, the conference founders said.

Photos provided by Flourish Media Conference

“I wish when I was growing my business, there was a Flourish Media Conference. A place I can meet and chat with peers about the ups and downs of being a business owner. We created FMC because we wanted to give women an equal opportunity to funding and a safe place to ask questions and be respected.” says Sasha Revolus, who co-founded the Flourish Media Conference with Vivian Olodun and Tracy Timberlake.

This year the theme for the 4th annual Flourish Media Conference is “Take Action” and the time to do that is now: The share of startups has risen dramatically from about 23 percent in 1996 to 40 percent in 2015.

The two-day conference will take place February 21-22, 2020,, at the Ampersand Studio, 31 NE 17th St, Miami,. Find out more and buy tickets here: https://www.flourishmediaconference.com/

2 TheVentureCity welcomes new startups to accelerator

TheVentureCity recently welcomed three new startups into is Growth Program accelerator. TheVentureCity provides six months of acceleration and invests $100K in exchange for 6% equity. During the time, TheVentureCity’s team and mentorship network works closely with the startups, particularly in the areas of data, growth and technology.

Here’s a look at the three companies:

Explorest (Miami): Explorest ignites inspiration to explore and helps people discover the world’s greatest places by hand-curating reliable, comprehensive photography and travel insights. “We consolidate this wisdom from world-class photographers and travel experts and have launched the first-ever platform for them to monetize their location-based expertise,” the company said. Founders Justin Myers previously co-founded Vietnam’s 1st digital bank, and spent his first five years as a business strategy consultant at IBM. Michael lax is a 12+ year professional photographer and  travels the world shooting for clients such as Chrysler, Jeep, Fiat, Nike and Nikon. Grant Heitkamp brings 12+ years of experience in search and social marketing.

LessonBee (New York): Reva McPollom is the CEO and founder of LessonBee. an edtech company that’s reinventing the health class experience with culturally responsive adaptive digital curriculum delivered via a cloud-based reflective learning system. “We recognize that healthy students behave better and perform better academically, and that when students see themselves reflected in their lessons, their outcomes improve. We’re the first edtech company to apply these insights to a scalable learning solution that works for teachers, parents, schools and districts,” said McPollom.

TusDatos (Colombia): Tusdatos.co offers automated background checks in less than 60 seconds gathering information in real time from all relevant information sources. Its service is currently focused in the Colombian market with plans to add new countries. Founders  Santiago Hernández ran an information security consulting business from where the idea surged, and  David Vásquez is an aeronautical engineer with experience in unmanned systems management, operation and design. 

3 Tech company relocates to South Florida

The esports company Misfits Gaming Group will invest more than $1.35 million and create 30 new jobs – at average pay of $95,000 — at a new headquarters in Boca Raton, the South Florida Business Journal reported.

The esports company, now in LA and Berlin, will move its main operations to South Florida next year. It received incentives from state and local economic development agencies. Misfits Gaming will be moving into an 18,000-square-foot office in Boca as part of the move.

3 Robotics company expanding headquarters

Robotics company Accelirate is expanding its Sunrise headquarters and hiring, the South Florida Business Journal reported.

The company will expand to an additional  5,000 square feet at 440 Sawgrass Corporate Parkwa, where it currently has about 180 employees in 8,000 square feet. Matt Gallo, co-founder and chief sales officer of Accelirate, told the Business Journal the company will grow to 300 by the end of the year.

Accelirate was founded in 2017. The company also anticipates expanding in Houston, New Jersey and India, the Business Journal reported.

4 REEF partners with Miami Heat to feed the homeless

REEF Technology recently announced a strategic partnership with Miami HEAT. Key to the partnership will be the union of REEF KITCHENS, REEF’s delivery-only kitchens initiative, with AmericanAirlines Arena and Levy Restaurants to participate in the RE-HEAT Program to distribute unserved food from Miami HEAT home games to homeless shelters and food banks throughout the South Florida area.

 This season, all parties involved aim to beat The HEAT’s 2018-2019 season food donation record, in which almost 6,726 pounds of unserved food (about 164 pounds of food per HEAT home game) were donated to local shelters via the RE-HEAT program, the companies said..

REEF is one of the largest parking operators in the US, and is reimagining the role of parking facilities by creating last-block mobility and logistical hubs that serve the needs of cities, residents and businesses.

5 Opportunity knocks: Toyota AI Ventures calls for startups

Toyota AI Ventures is searching for startups that are building solutions to improve the quality of life in urban communities. Learn more about its call for innovation with Toyota Research Institute – Advanced .Development and Toyota Research Institute, and apply online for an opportunity to receive $500K to $2M in VC funding from Toyota AI  Ventures. Application deadline: April 30. Read more here

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Nancy Dahlberg
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