By Riley Kaminer
Boca Raton-based STRAX Intelligence Group is reshaping the way that public sector organizations leverage advanced technologies, and making our community safer in the process.
The startup’s platform integrates video feeds and sensors into a centralized system that can be disseminated to the relevant first responders when triggered. STRAX’s AI-powered tools detect threats – for example, a gun appearing on a surveillance camera in a restricted zone – and instantly notify the relevant authority. This increases safety while also saving time, since STRAX monitors video feeds without the need for human intervention. STRAX also integrates feeds from drones, which are an increasingly popular tool that public safety agencies use to help safely respond to emergencies.
Scott Adams, the co-founder and CEO of STRAX, knows what it takes to excel at the nexus of the public and private sectors. “Public procurement is brutal and often favors the larger companies,” he lamented. However, he explained the upside: “If you do get a government contract, your churn rate is low as long as you perform once you get in.”
That stable flow of income is attractive to investors. After having raised $19 million through four funding rounds, Adams said that investors typically come around to the idea of investing in a government-facing startup after he demystifies the public procurement process. “Investors also like to hear that you don’t have to spend lots of money on customer acquisition because of the strong word of mouth in the public safety community.”
Adams has been a regular fixture in the South Florida tech scene since the 1990s. He co-founded Hiway Technologies, one of the world’s largest web hosting companies in the late 1990s. He was also Chairman of MobileHelp, which developed a mobile medical alert system for seniors.
He pulls no punches when it comes to what the region needs to compete in a global tech market: “We need infrastructure and we need bandwidth.” He is aware of the need to make it easy for South Floridians to move around the region. And Adams has direct insights into our community’s biggest commercial infrastructure needs, with the Port of Palm Beach as one of STRAX’s clients.
In the late 1990s, Adams was directly involved in initiatives to bring more undersea fiber connections directly to downtown Miami. Without this strong connection, Adams argues, South Florida would not have the rapidly growing tech scene it has today.
“We are a region,” Adams said, urging South Florida’s business leaders to think not of individual cities but rather as three counties. “Our initiative to bring brandwidth to South Florida is a great example of what we can accomplish by working together as a region and a state.”
Adams noted the “different styles of living” in South Florida – from downtown apartments to suburban sprawl – as a particularly strong pull for urban professionals looking for a better quality of life.
Attracting this type of workers will be important to the growth of the region, but Adams, a graduate of Florida Atlantic University, also advocates for a homegrown approach to cultivating talent, involving “local universities to respond to the demands of the marketplace.” Adams helped establish the Adams Center for Entrepreneurship at FAU to foster entrepreneurial talent in South Florida.
Despite these local efforts, Adams told Refresh Miami that with today’s communications technologies, “employees don’t have to live here to work for a company based in South Florida.” According to Adams, this has worked well for STRAX, which hires developers from around the world. “We don’t care where they work as long as they contribute to the team.”
STRAX is planning to expand its currently 15-person team, adding roles on the technical, product, and business development teams. This will enable them to deploy new features, including a product that will give public safety organizations increased oversight on how and when different agencies can access video feeds.
Adams also expects to expand into the private sector, responding to an increase in prevalence of surveillance cameras in corporate and consumer contexts alike.