By Nancy Dahlberg
1 Statlab Mobile rolls out more COVID testing
In preparation for the Florida Legislature’s ceremonial "organization session" tomorrow in Tallahassee, every House and Senate member attending needs to test negative for COVID.
On deck to offer the tests is Miami’s very own healthcare startup Statlab Mobile - the lab on wheels (featured here in July) that’s been driving around the state providing COVID tests to those in need and to organizations that contract the service.
Here are the latest “stats” on Statlab, which was founded by Cheveral Deacon in 2014:
- Since May, Miami-based Statlab has been operating in coordination with the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) as a critical asset in the battle against COVID-19.
- They were tapped by Director Jared Moskowitz and Governor DeSantis and have crisscrossed the state, performing over 18,000 COVID-19 tests to date, in collaboration with the FDEM, specifically targeting vulnerable and hard-to-reach communities.
- Beginning yesterday (staff) and through early next week (lawmakers, media), Statlab will be on-site in Tallahassee at the Capitol Building to do the Covid testing for the Senate and House sessions.
- They have been working with the FDEM, Senator Wilton Simpson, and Speaker Jose Oliva.
- Statlab just moved into its new headquarters in Doral at 7210 NW 25 Street, Miami, FL 33122.
2 #FloridaTech is up, upstatlab and away
A taxi from Miami to Orlando in just over an hour? It could happen, now that Central Florida has landed a hub for Jetsons-like flying cars.
German flying taxi startup Lilium announced it would be setting up its first U.S. hub near Orlando, putting more than 20 million Floridians within range of the winged electric aircraft that can take off vertically and cover 185 miles in a single one-hour hop. It will be located at Central Florida’s Lake Nona area, a futuristic smart city being built near Orlando International Airport by the Tavistock Development Group.
The company says it aims to start operations in 2025, which could make it the first air taxi in the US. Using a ride-share model, passengers would use a phone app to reserve a trip within Florida and catch their flight at Lake Nona’s “vertiport.” The cost to ride? Similar to a premium plane ride at first but expected to decline. Lake Nona’s vertiport would have two flight pads and charging spaces for eight aircraft. Read more in the Orlando Sentinel.
3 TheVentureCity partners with World Bank on climate-tech
TheVentureCity is an official partner with the World Bank’s Innovate4Climate Pitch Hub competition that brings together business, finance, policy and technology leaders to accelerate action on financing climate-smart development and spotlights startups making global change.
The Miami-based global accelerator supported the five finalist startups with a pitching bootcamp to prepare them for the competition. In addition, TheVentureCity ran a 5-day bootcamp for these companies on topics ranging from building a product roadmap, customer journeys, finding product market fit, measuring the health of your startup, how to raise capital, and more. The team also providing 1:1 mentorship to all the founders for 6 months.
“It was very inspiring to work with this unique set of mission-driven founders, solving meaningful problems. They are building companies that will ultimately shape the evolution of our current world and of generations to come.” said Andy Areitio, Fund Partner at TheVentureCity.
The five startups were:
- A2P Energy (India): A2P is focused on biomass waste fuels, solving problems with open field paddy straw burning by converting the straw into useful and sustainable products.
- Carbon Checkout (Spain): Carbon Checkout is a carbon offset software application for the retail industry that seamlessly integrates into e-commerce stores.
- Fresh Box (Rwanda): Fresh Box develops a mobile cold room that aims to reduce post-harvest loss of agricultural products in Rwanda, increasing value across the produce supply chain.
- Lifepack (Colombia): Lifepack creates biodegradable plates made of natural fibers and seeds that give disposable plates a second life.
- Sadeem (Saudi Arabia): Sadeem is a proprietary wireless detection system for flood warnings and flood mitigation.
“From Sadeem's winning flood monitoring team to Lifepack's eco-friendly packaging, I believe it is thanks to entrepreneurs like them that our planet has the opportunity to overcome the effects of climate change." said Jimena Zubiria, VP of University at TheVentureCity.
Led by CEO and founder Laura González-Estéfani, TheVentureCity has added more than 20 startups to its five-month acceleration program, which includes investments of $100,000 per startup, since the beginning of 2020. This is the inaugural year of TheVentureCity’s custom World Bank program.
4 Opportunity knocks: BizHack offering a free digital marketing course, thanks to CARES grant
BizHack Academy and the Village of Pinecrest have joined forces to offer any business impacted by COVID-19 a 5-week crash course in digital marketing – at no cost to the small business. This training is funded through the federal CARES Act.
This five-hour course will cover how to use digital marketing to drive revenue and increase brand awareness. Each week, it will review key online tools and tactics to find new customers, bring back past customers, and increase sales during COVID-19. Dan Grech, founder and lead instructor of BizHack Academy, will lead the five one-hour sessions. For experienced marketers, it’ll be a concise review of marketing best practices. For businesses just getting started in online lead generation, it’ll be an easy-to-understand introduction to digital marketing.
Grech said that more than 500 entrepreneurs have already enrolled since spots became available less than a week ago. That’s a proof point of the need out there in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, Grech said. The first session started this week and will run through mid December, but all the sessions will be recorded so so you will be able to catch up. Up to 1,000 participants can enroll, but spaces are going fast. Sign up for your spot in the course here.
5 Time out for a PSA for #GiveMiamiDay
Help us keep the tech community growing and the startup news flowing. Consider a gift to Refresh Miami, if you can, during Thursday’s #GiveMiamiDay. You can also donate starting today. Find our campaign here.
Thank you, #MiamiTech, for your continued support and readership.
Follow Nancy Dahlberg on Twitter @ndahlberg email her at email@example.com