FIU News: Knight Foundation, FIU to Accelerate Growth of Miami’s Tech Ecosystem, Name School of Computing and Information Sciences

Building on South Florida’s momentum around technology and entrepreneurship, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has made a $10 million gift to FIU’s School of Computing and Information Sciences to develop technical talent at scale to meet the demands of industry and Miamians seeking to advance their tech skills.
The investment will catalyze the development of the local tech ecosystem by attracting top faculty researchers in areas such as artificial intelligence, smart robotics, bioinformatics, biodevices, and digital forensics, increase the number of FIU graduates entering these sectors, and strengthen collaboration with industry. In recognition of this gift, FIU will name the Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences in the College of Engineering & Computing (CEC).

View full article in FIU News.

TechCrunch: 8 Miami-Based Investors Share Their Views on the Region’s Startup Scene

Miami is quickly becoming a symbol for the tech exodus from Silicon Valley. The area is home to a number of investors, successful tech founders and an eager local government.

For this survey, TechCrunch spoke to a number of investors about the area’s potential, opportunities and key players. This is the second survey TechCrunch published on the area and the first can be found here.

View full article in TechCrunch.

Orlando Business Journal: Investors Leaving California Create Opportunity for Orlando Tech Sector

California venture capitalists are flocking to cheaper Sunbelt cities, and many want Orlando to get in on the action. 

The Bay Area is hemorrhaging residents, losing 45,000 people in 2020 per a report by real estate brokerage Redfin Corp. Among those leaving the high-tax, high-cost metro are the investors who make Silicon Valley the world’s venture capital mecca. 

View full article in Orlando Business Journal.

TechCrunch: Miami Edtech Startup Nearpod Acquired by Renaissance

Nearpod, the Miami-based edtech company, is being acquired by Renaissance Holding Corp., a group that develops education technology. While the deal hasn’t closed yet, Todd Brekhus, Chief Product Officer at Renaissance said in an interview this afternoon, “We have a definitive agreement signed by both parties.” The news of the deal first leaked to Yahoo! Finance yesterday, and a source inside the company confirmed the sale with TechCrunch this morning. Brekhus said that Renaissance doesn’t plan to disclose the price of the acquisition even after the deal has closed.

View full article in TechCrunch.

Tampa Bay Times: Smart Machines: AI Technology’s Impact on Florida’s Business Sectors

AI can’t replace humans, but the technology is making inroads in more and more business sectors.

In an oft-quoted interview with Life magazine in 1970, Marvin Minsky, an MIT researcher and pioneer in artificial intelligence, predicted that scientists were about three to eight years away from creating a machine as intelligent as the average human. Such a machine would “be able to read Shakespeare, grease a car, play office politics, tell a joke, have a fight,” Minksy said, and it would learn at such a “fantastic speed” that it would reach genius level within just a few months.

View full article in Tampa Bay Times.

South Florida Business Journal: Endeavor Miami Launches Accelerated Growth Program for Black-Led Startups

Endeavor Miami will launch a new cohort dedicated to accelerating the growth of startups led by Black entrepreneurs through a partnership with Miami-based Simkins Family Foundation.

The program, called EndeavorLAB, aims to help local Black-led ventures scale while promoting Black entrepreneurship in Miami. Ten companies and 11 founders have been announced for the two-month program. They will be among the first Black entrepreneurs supported by Endeavor Miami.

View full article in South Florida Business Journal.

Bisnow: Miami Billionaire Launching Downtown Innovation Hub

Miami billionaire Moishe Mana has broken ground on a downtown building that he intends to make the center of a burgeoning tech and startup community.

The 13-story Nikola Tesla Innovation Center will have 136K SF of space, mostly for offices with 2% reserved for retail. It is expected to be completed at the end of this year, with occupancy to begin in Q1 of 2022, according to a Tuesday webinar presentation by Mana’s staff. 

View full article in Bisnow.

State of Reform: Florida Telehealth Expansion Bill Passes Senate Committee

A Florida bill that would allow for telehealth providers to prescribe certain controlled substances and allow out-of-state telehealth providers to work with in-state physicians was discussed by the Senate Health Policy committee on Wednesday. While it passed the committee by a unanimous vote, not all providers are on board with the bill.

View full article in State of Reform.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel: The Tech Scene is Growing in South Florida, but it Has a Ways to Go.

The COVID-19 pandemic could wind up boosting South Florida’s standing as a national hub of technology-related businesses, dependent on a workforce that some executives describe as more skilled than most people think.

An increasing number of companies are looking to move to Florida because of high taxes and strict pandemic restrictions in places like the Northeast and California, development officials say.

View full article in South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Miami Herald: Do Tech, Finance Moves to Miami Mean Jobs?

Dave Fano is a Miami kid through and through.

His father, a native of Cuba, owned his own building and contracting business at a shop in Hialeah. The house the elder Fano built was twice featured on “Miami Vice.”

Dave Fano became an artsy type sitting at his father’s drafting table. He enrolled at Florida International University to study design while still working part time for his father’s firm.

View full article in Miami Herald.

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