Black Tech Week Wraps
Erick Gavin, senior program manager at the Center for Black Innovation, said the focus this year was on how African Americans can better break into tech, as well as looking at how technology serves to enhance Black communities. It was also BTW’s first time operating under the Center for Black Innovation moniker.
Among the speakers at the 7th BTW, which wrapped Friday, was Miami Mayor Francis Suarez. Gavin said his biggest takeaway from the mayor’s remarks was that while tech can be “a force for democratization,” civic leaders must be intentional about designing Miami if they want tech to have that effect on all communities. “We have seen the negative effects that happens when a city or location is not intentional about being inclusive when it comes to technology and innovation,” Gavin said. “However, Miami can be a leading example of the opposite if we execute with intention.”
“Silver Valley”: A health/age tech boomlet
UpsideHōM founder and CEO Jake Rothstein says the seeds of a “Silver Valley” for technology companies focused on aging are now being laid in South Florida. Rothstein was previously with family-on-demand firm Papa; between those two companies, along with personalized coaching platform Longevo, teaching-tech-to-seniors startup Carevocacy, telehealth group MDLive (acquired by Evernorth, a unit of insurance giant Cigna, in February), and online pharmacy GeniusRX (founded by Papa CEO Andrew Parker’s father, Randy Parker), a critical mass of businesses are forming that “are either directly in the age-tech space or cater to the older-adult demographic in a meaningful way — all could be considered part of this ‘Silver Valley’ health/age tech movement here.”
UpsideHōM recently announced it raised $2.25 million seed investment round led by northeast-based Triple Impact Capital and San Francisco-based Freestyle Capital, with participation from accelerator network Techstars.
Sales software startup plans Miami jobs
IntroHive, a sales software, announced last month it had raised $100 million. Much of that will be flowing into Miami in the next year, as the Canadian company, which previously lacked a formal U.S. headquarters, re-centers its efforts around a Magic City office that will be home to as many as 100 employees. CEO and co-founder Jody Glidden has been in Miami since 2011, but says the pandemic and Mayor Suarez’s efforts have legitimized the city in the eyes of the broader tech community in a way that it had not previously been.
“Originally [moving to Miami] was a lifestyle choice,” Glidden said, “but in the past year it’s completely flipped. Now it’s a hot tech environment with a lot better availability of resources, more networking opportunities, more investors — it’s been night and day.”
DealFlow newsletter highlights startups raising $$$
Brian Breslin, founder and chairman of Refresh Miami, and Jared Schwitzke, most recently a Bay Area tech executive, have launched DealFlow.Miami, a new newsletter designed to connect investors to companies raising funds. “We’re trying to solve the problem that there is a lack of exposure to people raising funds in Miami,” Breslin said in an email. “Investors and startup founders are still a largely siloed set of groups and we’re hoping to remove those barriers. We’re sending a bi-weekly digest with a curated selection of companies actively raising to an audience of investors. We aren’t brokers, and we aren’t taking a fee on this.”