1 Welcome, Animo Ventures

It wasn’t a very well-kept secret, but Nico Berardi, the globe-trotting former ED of Miami Angels, released details of his inaugural $60 million early-state venture fund, Animo Ventures, in a TechCrunch article this week.

Animo Ventures, based in Miami, New York and San Francisco, has already invested in one South Florida company, Blanket, as well as 11 others, all based in the U.S., including six in New York. Powered by immigrants, Animo is cofounded by Berardi, the general partner, Caro Acevedo and Antonio Osio. Animo typically invests $500K to $2 million in early-state companies, with half the fund reserved for follow-on. Read the founding story in TechCrunch here.

2 eMerge Americas, Miami-Dade County and MIT team up on health-tech partnership

eMerge Americas and Miami-Dade County announced the launch of a public-private partnership with the MIT Institute of Medical Engineering and Science (IMES) to tackle big challenges in heal. The result will be a Global Co-Creation Lab in South Florida.

Through a network of leaders in medicine, science, and technology, the Global Co-Creation Lab will work on local health problems of global impact by co-creating native technologies, eMerge Americas said. The idea is that over the course of the next year, a consortium will be assembled with partners from universities, researchers, hospital systems and entrepreneurs. The Global Co-Creation Lab will also be an anchor partner for the health innovation content track at the upcoming eMerge Americas conference on March 30-31, 2020. eMerge Americas is building  programming with key MIT researchers and issue experts.

“Investment in Miami within the health-tech sector has significantly increased over the past several years. South Florida has all of the elements of being a global health-tech hub,” said eMerge Americas CEO Felice Gorodo, in a statement. “We are honored to partner with a global leader such as MIT IMES and Miami-Dade County to help transform our city into the nexus for healthcare innovation.”

Earlier this year, Miami-Dade Mayor Gimenez’s Administration provided $250,000 in seed money to eMerge Americas to set up the Global Co-Creation Lab in Miami and the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners approved another $1 million in the 2019-2020 fiscal budget.

3 Go for the win at NFL pitch competition

In partnership with University of Miami’s U Innovation, t National Football League announced this season’s  1st and Future, an annual Super Bowl competition designed to spur innovation in athlete safety and performance. 1st and Future will be hosted at the Miami Beach Convention Center on Jan. 31, 2020, two days before Super Bowl LIV.

The first category, the NFL 1st and Future Analytics Competition, will give applicants access to  NFL data sets to inform submissions that examine the effects playing on synthetic turf can have on player movements and the factors that may influence the likelihood of a player sustaining a lower extremity injury. Up to three submissions will be awarded $25,000 each. The winning teams will be invited to Miami, where they will present their findings on stage and compete to win Super Bowl tickets.

The second category, Innovations to Advance Athlete Health and Safety Competition, invites all types of submissions for innovative product concepts that could improve player health and safety and will be managed by U Innovation, with the insights of the UHealth Sports Medicine Institute at the University of Miami. Up to four startups will be selected as finalists and will have the chance to present their innovations on stage in Miami. One grand prize winner will be awarded $50,000 and two tickets to Super Bowl LIV. The second-place winner will receive $25,000 and two tickets to Super Bowl LIV.

 “As a university with a long history of excellence in research, health care, and athletics, the U is an ideal setting for an event that will lead to advancements in athlete safety and performance,” said University of Miami President Julio Frenk, in the announcement.

The deadline to apply is Jan. 2, 2020. More information on the submission process, selection criteria and official rules:  www.nfl.com/1standfuture.

4 Still time to apply to present at FVCC

Florida startups are invited to apply to present at the 29th annual Florida Venture Capital Conference Jan. 31-31 in Orlando, the state’s largest gathering of its kind. Over 400 people attended the 2019 conference, including 200+ equity investors from across the U.S., Europe and Latin America, according to the Florida Venture Forum, which hosts the annual conference. Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee comprised of venture capitalists and private equity investors. Find out more and apply to present here. The deadline is Dec. 20 (Updated).

5 Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Dear readers, thank you all for reading and sharing! I have enjoyed bringing you South Florida startup news and views this past year, so please join me in thanking Refresh Miami for hosting and supporting this blog, and for everything they do for the ecosystem. With your continued support, Refresh Miami’s important work, including this blog’s Year 2, can continue.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Have South Florida startup news? Email me at ndahlbergbiz@gmail.com and follow me on Twitter @ndahlberg.

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Nancy Dahlberg

I am a writer, editor and a leader with extensive media experience and a passion for journalism and serving the community. Most of my career has been spent with the Miami Herald in business news, and my expertise is writing about entrepreneurs. I'm also good at research and project planning. I enjoy running community-focused projects and utilizing social media. Contact me at ndahlbergbiz@gmail.com
Nancy Dahlberg
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