By Nancy Dahlberg

Vexi, of Mexico, created a first credit card experience for the enormous under-banked population. 1Doc3, of Bogota, built an app where Spanish speaker can get answers from doctors in seconds. CheKin of Sevilla, Spain, offers a global SaaS solution for fixing the inefficient guest check-in process.

These are few of the startups in Batch 2 of 500 Startups Miami’s Growth Program that rocked their demo night this – and hoped to open some checkbooks. Packing the house at 500 Startup Miami’s downtown offices were more than 100 investors and community supporters.

The nine startups, which also included three South Florida startups (more about them in a bit), backstartup, a fintech from Bogota, health-tech n2b of  Sao Paulo and HR-tech SnapShyft from Indianapolis, were selected from more than 200 applications. In the cohort, 44% were women led, 84% identified as LatinX, and they came from seven different industries and five different countries.

“These startups have been learning about their growth mindset, they have been learning how to run experiments, they have been learning how to turn their growth strategy into actual processes for their companies. Bottom line, they have been learning how to grow in their sleep,” said Miguel Cruz, 500 Startups Miami Manager.

Miami area startups were well represented in the 8-week long Growth Program:

THEGRINT

TheGrint, founded by Jose Torbay, CEO, Armando Ruperez, CTO, and Raul Rojas, COO, created a mobile score-tracker for golfers and much more. “We created an app that will help golfers become the best version of themselves,” said Torbay.

More than 150,000 golfers actively use their app, and usage has recently been growing by more than 20,000 new golfers per month. The Miami-based startup is already taking in a half million in annual recurring revenue via its subscription model, Torbay said.  

“We took our love and frustration with the game … and created a product that our users now say has become an indispensable tool for them when they play.”

FASTMIND

Miami marketing-tech startup Fastmind, founded by brothers Jorge Prado, CEO, and Eddy Prado. CPO, is a SaaS that helps large enterprises improve up to 3X its ad conversion rates by creating customized landing cards with clear calls-to action. Fastmind is also a graduate of TheVentureCity’s accelerator and one of its portfolio companies.

 “We are helping our clients sell more online,” Jorge pitched at 500 Startups. Apparently a lot more. Fastmind has been growing 24% month over month.

“We are working with Fortune 500 companies, and today we have had zero churn,” said Jorge. “The world has changed, the brands need to change too, We are helping them turn every click into money.”

DEXFREIGHT

Hector Hernandez, CEO, Ricardo Escobar, chairman, and Adrian Giannini, CTO, co-founded this Sunrise-based transport and logistics startup. Why?

“$300 million a day is flushed down the toilet by trucking companies because one out of every three trucks runs empty. Our solutions turns those empty trucks into money,” said Hernandez.

Already, 170 companies are in the startup’s private beta. “Five of them are now investors because they can see the size of the opportunity,” said Hernandez.  “Our market is powered by smart contracts.”

dexFreight’s solution can cut what is often a three hour process of filling a single shipment to just 15 minutes. “Our trusted marketplace powered by smart contracts allow these companies to automate. … This is the engine for loading up those emply trucks and stop wasting money.”

500 STARTUPS MIAMI

500 Startups opened its Miami hub about a year and a half ago, supported by Visa, Knight Foundation, and the Miami Downtown Development Authority.

“We’re here because of the founders. We really believe there are amazing talented entrepreneurs around the world. We want to find them and be part of their journey for their growth. It is a privilege to be a part of this movement,” said Bedy Yang, Managing Partner at 500 Startups who oversees ecosystem development.

Through its Growth Program, bootcamps and workshops, 500 Startups Miami has already trained over 130 founders, 38 investors and more than 20 corporate executives, said Ana Paula Gonzalez, 500 Startups Innovation and Partnerships Director who launched the Miami hub.

 “We decided to make a bet on this city because we think it can truly be a global hub for innovation,” added Gonzalez. “Miami has been a case study for success for ecosystem development  and it is something we are working on replicating in Latin America, in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.”

Follow @ndahlberg on Twitter and email her at ndahlbergbiz@gmail.com

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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
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