By Nancy Dahlberg
1 And the winner of the Wyncubator Pitch Competition is….
Five startups competed last night in the best setting ever for a pitch competition – Wynwood Walls. Goldman Properties joined with Miami Mayor Francis Suarez’s Venture Miami team and On Deck, a career accelerator for tech, to hold the Wyncubator Pitch Competition, with the big prize being a year of office space for up to 10 in Wynwood.
And the winner was … Column.
Column is a software company building the first collaborative platform for public notice helping media businesses support governments and legal professionals in notifying the public. Since launching in 2020, Column has become the official platform for public notice in 10 US states, and recently launched in Miami in partnership with The McClatchy Company and The Miami Herald.
"Column has grown rapidly as a remote-first company since our launch during the pandemic, and we are grateful to Goldman Properties for the opportunity to open an office here in Miami." said Column Founder & CEO Jake Seaton. "Miami has been pulling Column forward as a company. The McClatchy Company and The Miami Herald have leaned in to the use of our product along with the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County and accelerated the development of our platform in ways we never would have anticipated. We look forward to the adventure ahead here."
To be eligible for the competition, tech startups had to be under a year old, have 10 or fewer employees, and revenue of less than $1 million. The winner received a one-year, rent-free lease of a newly furnished office (for up to 10 employees) in the heart of Wynwood, leadership coaching by Dr. Sarah Haynes, five complimentary parking spaces in the Wynwood Garage, five annual memberships to the Wynwood Walls, and a full merit scholarship to an On Deck program.
2 Miami-Dade healthtech entrepreneurs invited to apply to MIT’s IDEA2 Program; deadline is next week
Global CoCreation Lab announced this week that is providing funding to Miami Dade College for a new initiative to support healthtech innovation in Miami-Dade County. The Idea Center at Miami Dade College has initiated a collaboration with MIT to allow teams from the county to participate in the 2021 edition of MIT’s IDEA2 Program.
IDEA2 is accepting applications now through June 3, and is open to Miami-Dade county entrepreneurs who are working to improve healthcare through new technologies. IDEA2 provides transformative mentorship and expertise to emerging innovation leaders to develop their project ideas and drive them forward to patient impact.
This year, IDEA2 will focus on projects that can improve health for women and communities historically underserved in biomedical research and healthcare, which is particularly important given the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on these communities. The program, which runs from June through December, seeks teams with strong early-stage ideas for new technologies and innovation-driven enterprises. With the help of intensive workshops and mentor relationships, they complete IDEA2 with projects clearly focused on compelling medical needs, broad networks of connections, and improved abilities to compete for collaborators and funding.
“All eyes are on the emergence of Miami’s technology industry, and we know that there are many local entrepreneurs with impactful and inventive ideas in the healthcare tech space,” said Alejandro Roman, executive director of Global CoCreation Lab.
3 Entry deadline for pitch contest for Black-led startups
There’s still time to enter the Endeavor Pitch Competition for Black founders.
A total of 10 companies will be selected to compete for non-dilutive cash prices and over $20K worth of Microsoft for Startups services and a spot in one of Endeavor's Growth Programs once they meet necessary criteria. The competition is in partnership with Microsoft for Startups and the Miami Herald.
“To fully develop our entrepreneurial ecosystem, Miami must democratize its social capital by highlighting minority founders in ecosystem circles that historically were unavailable to them. We believe Endeavor has a crucial role to play in Miami and initiatives like this one could potentially amplify the growth and exposure of many companies," said Claudia Duran, managing director of Endeavor Miami.
Here are the requirements to apply:
- Black-led and Black-founded companies
- Early-stage companies, pre-revenue up to $200K in annual revenues
- Florida grown
If you meet all the requirements listed above, please apply online by Friday, June 11 at 5pm.
4 Miami Foundation launches talent website for all Miamians
This week, the Miami Foundation and its partners launched LaborMiami.org, a one-stop-shop created to strengthen the talent and opportunity pipeline in Miami, helping residents, students, entrepreneurs and businesses alike. “We know that economic vitality is one of the top priorities for Miamians, and we have heard time and again that a resource like this was sorely needed,” Miami Foundation said in its announcement.
It is a tool that will help all Miamians identify and easily access the resources they need to thrive in Miami-Dade County. The portal features the latest labor market data on the fastest-growing employment sectors in Miami-Dade County, while also presenting pathways to these prosperous industries. Additionally, the portal connects users to wraparound services like early childhood education, immigration support, digital literacy, wealth building resources and so much more. Check it out here: LaborMiami.org
5 Congratulations to FIU’s UPE chapter
Last but definitely not least, congratulations to the Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE) Chapter at the Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences. They received the UPE National Board’s Continuing Excellence Award alongside the University of California, Berkeley Chapter. The announcement came during the UPE National Convention, held virtually in April at FIU with many of the UPE National Board members physically in attendance.
UPE is an international honor society for the computing and information disciplines. It was first organized and founded at Texas A&M University in 1967 and has since then chartered more than 270 chapters at colleges and universities across the world. It is endorsed by both the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society (IEEE – CS), the two largest computer organizations in the world.
FIU’s chapter is the largest student organization for technology at FIU. UPE's mission is to empower students to succeed in technology by developing their technical and professional skills. UPE hosts two national hackathons each year, attracting more than 1,000 students and Fortune 50 company sponsors, as well as established and burgeoning local tech companies in South Florida. In addition to the hackathons, UPE sponsors workshops throughout the year in a variety of technology areas to improve student and participant skills and knowledge with hands-on activities.
“We are so proud of what FIU’s UPE chapter has become,” said John L. Volakis, dean of the College of Engineering and Computing. “The chapter continues to host events that empower students from all backgrounds, especially those from underrepresented groups, to explore the field of technology and find professional success in tech. The national conference provides highly motivated, tech-savvy students with a unique opportunity to network and showcase their talents while engaging top industry recruiters, which can open doors to exciting internships and job opportunities upon graduation.”
Coming up next week: Miami Crypto Week, anchored by Bitcoin 2021, which aims to be the largest Bitcoin conference ever, with many ancillary events events planned around the community. Rest up and enjoy your holiday weekend.
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