By Nancy Dahlberg
1 Which Florida universities rank highest for patents?
Here’s a test: Which Florida universities were issued the most patents last year?
According to a ranking from the National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association, only one South Florida university ranked in the top 100 schools worldwide: Florida International University.
FIU, with 65 patents in 2018, ranked 33rd in the worldwide ranking.
“This recognition was only possible because of our hard-working faculty and researchers,” said FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg. “Every day, they turn ideas into groundbreaking solutions that change lives. They are committed to changing our world one patent at a time.”
Patents awarded to FIU researchers included a device for assisting visually impaired patients, an instantly rechargeable battery device, rapid Zika detection using nano-enabled electrochemical sensing system, smart clothes with wireless power transfer and sensing capabilities, wind-resistant concrete roof component, and many many more.
With 96 patents, University of South Florida outranked all other Florida schools, ranking No. 16 among universities worldwide in securing new patents in 2018.
Here is how the other three Florida universities that landed spots in the top 100 ranking:
University of Florida, No. 19, 90 patents
Florida State, No. 69, with 34 patents
University of Central Florida, No. 75, with 31 patents
2 Miami Beach entrepreneur raises $3.5 million
Cien, a provider of sales productivity solutions, announced it has closed a $3.5 million seed round. Led by Paris-based venture capital firm Elaia, with follow on from the founders and private investors, the round will fund the company’s expansion in North America, the company said.
In partnership with Salesforce.com, Cien helps B2B companies improve the effectiveness of their sales teams by applying artificial intelligence to their CRM data, without the need for building and hiring dedicated data-science teams. Cien's plug and play software calculates over 100 million predictions per day and uncovers tens of millions of dollars in lost sales opportunities, the company said.
The company’s U.S. operations are based in Miami Beach, along with its CEO and co-founder Rob Kall, The company also has offices in Dallas and Barcelona.
"Elaia brings deep expertise and a network that will help Cien grow even faster. Today the firms who are injecting AI into their sales process are doing it as a way of gaining an edge over their competition. However, it won't be too long before AI becomes table-stakes for any sales organization," said Kall in a statement.
Kall is a serial entrepreneur and an investor in Florida startups including Miami-based Gridics and Tampa-based Coworking.com, the South Florida Business Journal reported.
3 Florida, the Serial Entrepreneur State?
Speaking of serial entrepreneurs, here’s a pop quiz: Which Florida metro areas house the most serial entrepreneurs?
Answer: Miami is home to more serial entrepreneurs per capita than most U.S. metro areas, ranking No. 2 in an analysis by Small Business Trends.
The Sunshine State had a strong showing: Tampa and Orlando also ranked in the top 10.
In Small Business Trends’ analysis, serial entrepreneurs are defined as those who have started three or more businesses.
Miami ranked second on its top 10 list of metro areas, just after SaltLake City. Greater Miami, the sixth most densely populated metro area, is home 11,669 serial entrepreneurs, making up 0.19% of the population. That's more than double the number of other metro areas in the state.
Ranking 6th, Tampa Bay has 5,137 serial entrepreneurs. They make up 0.17% of the population. And 3,827 serial entrepreneurs call the Orlando area home, amounting to 0.16% of the population, and ranking the area 8th.
In addition to Salt Lake City, other metro areas rounding out the top 10 are Denver, Oklahoma City, Dallas, Raleigh, Seattle and Portland.
4 Chewy may go public at $7B valuation next week
Next week, PetSmart is planning Tom take Chewy.com public at a proposed valuation of about $7 billion after a bitter ownership battle between PetSmart’s creditors and its private equity investors, Bloomberg reported.
This week, Chewy filed an amended registration form setting a price range of $17 to $19 for its initial public offering of 41.6 million shares. After expenses, Chewy expects to receive around $90.3 million of net proceeds, which are earmarked for working capital and other general corporate purposes, according to the filing. PetSmart and its related entities own a majority of Chewy’s outstanding common stock and will remain the majority stakeholder after the IPO.
5 This and that: More news from the ecosystem
Welcome to VeriTran, a Argentina-based financial technology solutions provider. The company will be expanding to the U.S. with a new office in Miami. Founded in 2005, VeriTran, founded in 2005, provides software solutions that help companies’ development teams build digital applications without the need for extensive programming, the South Florida Business Journal reported.
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- MDLive, South Florida’s homegrown telehealth unicorn, to be acquired by Cigna - February 26, 2021
- Who’s pitching? 10 South Florida startups to present at Florida Venture Capital Conference - February 25, 2021
- To grow Miami’s tech talent, Knight invests $15.3M in FIU, UM, Baptist - February 24, 2021