By Nancy Dahlberg
1 Magic Leap & Cheddar team up
In a first of its kind partnership, Magic Leap will put streaming news service Cheddar’s two live news networks on Magic Leap One devices, Axios reports. It will be the first time news channels are available on augmented reality devices and it is part of a bigger trend of media companies pushing to try innovative forms on story-telling. Find the details in Axios here.
Speaking of Magic Leap, the deadline for the company’s Creator grants is Dec. 15. Up to $500K grants available. Find out more here.
2 Welcome to mobile messages company Cloudbanter
A UK tech company has crossed the pond and opened a North America and Latin America headquarters in Miami.
Cloudbanter, an ad-tech firm specialized in personalizing mobile messaging, has opened an office at 201 South Biscayne Boulevard. It plans to add 30 jobs, and CEO Graham Williams has also relocated to South Florida from the UK (can we blame him?).
Here’s Williams on why Cloudbanter chose Miami: “Miami is home to a dynamic technology and mobile development community and ecosystem, fostered by the economic powerhouses of telecommunications and other successful industry sectors. Florida is consistently named one of the USA’s best sites to work and live, and Miami is an excellent gateway between the U.S. and Latin America. It allows easy access to both coasts with direct flights to most major international destinations, making it a standout place for business and to achieve company growth.”
Cloudbanter received support and incentives from Enterprise Florida, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Miami Downtown Authorities and the Miami-Dade Beacon Council, the South Florida Business Journal reported on Tuesday.
3 New fund for black entrepreneurs forming
A Tampa business leader is forming a $10 million venture capital fund to support black entrepreneurs with early-stage tech companies, St. Pete Catalyst reports. It would be the first dedicated VC fund for black tech entrepreneurs in Florida, and one of just 30 nationwide. James Faison, who is leading the effort, is an insurance industry professional and organizer of The Mainframe, a Tampa Bay-based initiative to support the growth of black technologists, professionals, innovators and entrepreneurs throughout Florida.
The need is real: Only 1% of funded startup founders in the U.S. are black, while they make up 11% of the overall US population, according to CBInsights. We wish Faison luck and he may need it, as he is just beginning fundraising. One reason black founders don’t get enough funding is because black VCs don’t either, FastCompany reports.
By the way, save the date for Miami’s next Blacktech Week Feb. 5-9.
4 Deadline for presenting at VC conference
The deadline is approaching to apply to present at the 28th Annual Florida Venture Capital Conference Jan. 31-Feb. 1 at the Vinoy Renaissance Resort in St. Petersburg. The Florida Venture Forum’s 2019 conference seeks to showcase innovative and fast-growing mid- to later-stage companies before an audience of venture capitalists, investors and service providers (there’s an early-stage conference in the spring). Past presenters have raised approximately $3 billion in equity capital, the Florida Venture Forum says. It’s free to apply but those selected will be expected to pay for conference attendance. The deadline is Dec. 21. Apply here.
5 The event mania didn’t end with Art Week
Here’s just a small sampling of what is going on this week.
Latinas in Tech Launch: This Wednesday, Dec. 12, TheVentureCity hosts the launch of a Latinas in Tech chapter in Miami. Latinas in Tech is a non-profit organization with the mission to connect, support and empower Latina women working in technology. The group, now with more than 3,000 women representing over 15 countries, began in Silicon Valley in 2014 and has since then expanded to Austin, Texas, and Mexico City, and now Miami. Register to attend Miami’s launch here.
A panel of Miami’s Latina entrepreneurs will kick things off with a panel discussion. See who’s speaking:
ITPalooza returns: This is an annual all-day conference and networking event on Dec. 13, with speakers, panels and dozens of exhibitors. Speakers include Jim McKelvey, co-founder of Square and founder of LaunchCode, Jon Antevy, co-founder of eBuilder, Albert Santalo, founder of 8base, and Stephanie Lone, VP of CBS Sports Digital. More than a thousand people are expected to attend the conference at Fort Lauderdale Convention Center. As in the past six conferences, ITPalooza will be accepting new toy donations for the Toys for Tots charity during the event. Find out more and get tickets on ITPalooza.org and try this code for a general admission discount: ITP18GA59
Miami made startup holiday party: Miami’s biggest startup holiday party returns for a 3rd year, and organizers say attendees will celebrate in a “Magic Wonderland” with surprise performers and visual spectacles. It’s Dec. 13 at Magic City Studios in Little Haiti. Miami made says wear a costume (or not) and bring your own startup. Get tickets here.
See you around.
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