09/01/2016 10:05 pm ET Updated Feb 08, 2017
South Florida is known for a lot of things, it’s beaches, close proximity to the Caribbean and Latin American, the birth place of augmented reality company Magic Leap and the home of rapper Trick Daddy. In 2015 South Florida’s largest city, Miami, was listed as the #2 city for startup activity by the Kauffman Foundation. What’s not often talked about is it’s budding black startup community.
Miami is now home to the NewMe Accelerator, Black Girls Code Miami, Digital Grass, Venture Cafe, Design for Extreme Affordability at the Idea Center, Wyncode Diversity Future Leaders of Tech Scholarship and our national initiative BlackTech Week. All of these initiatives are aimed at increasing the number of startups founded by people of color, ridding our communities of innovation deserts, using design and tech to decrease Miami’s ever widening income gap issues, and getting more qualified students through the S.T.E.M. pipeline. With a robust monthly calendar of events, increased number of startups, innovation activity, and hubs in the works for many of the targeted urban areas throughout South Florida, Miami is quickly aligning the right resources for a leading Black startup ecosystem.
From wearable technology to healthcare check out this list of 18 South Florida startup founders making waves far outside of Silicon Valley.
Jason Inasi is a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of The Factory Interactive, an award winning, digital, marketing Agency in Miami, FL. Jason started his love affair with convergent media in the early 90’s developing award-wining digital campaigns for a client list that included Bombardier Corporation, Ian Schrager Hotels, Hellmann Worldwide, Cable & Wireless, BellSouth and Coca-Cola. He also heads the Inasi Group, an international, multi-disciplinary, technology incubator and is the founder and CEO of Raydr™. Raydr is a Social Intelligence Dashboard that seamlessly integrates all of your social activity into one intuitive social intelligence platform. The platform currently used by the Miami Heat, Melia Hotels and Dwayne Wade tracks sentiment, comments, activity, engagement while identifying influencers & trends in real-time.
Senegalese native, and serial entrepreneur, Birame was the Founder of Musicphone, Inc., which was acquired in July 2007 by Gracenote, Inc. Musicphone was the first to launch a Wireless Music Recognition service called MusicID with AT&T Wireless and Virgin Mobile USA in 2005. She was also the founder of Third Solutions (acquired in 2012) and the visionary and primary developer of MyReceipts©, the leading digital receipts platform. Her current venture VOO Media allows content owners to connect with their audience via an interactive media platform. VOOmedia provides content owners, the tools they need to create their own internet TV Network through the production and programming of live and on-demand content.
Junior Alexis- Founder of Direct-Dispatch
For over 7 years Alexis has served as a catalyst for bringing innovative approaches to the Auto Transport industry as the founder of Direct Dispatch, a disruptive new Boca Raton based automotive software company. Quickly becoming one of the most trusted names in Auto Transport and software services, their “Uber like” platform for tracking customers car shipments provides much needed accountability in an unregulated industry by cutting out broker fees and connecting shipping customers with motor carriers. Direct-dispatch allows auto owners to be at peace with real-time tracking of automobiles being transported across the country.
Founded by Philadelphia native Brian Brackeen, Kairos is a Miami based Human Analytics platform who’s face analysis algorithms recognize & understand how people feel in video, photos, and the real-world. Kairos’s mission is to radically change how companies understand people.
Brian cut his technological teeth at IBM and Apple where he managed back office systems for Apple locations around the world. As a leader shaping Miami’s startup ecosystem, Kairos’s growth was noticed by the Wall Street Journal, recognizing Kairos as one of the top 25 startups in the country. Kairos has raised a total of 6 million dollars in funding from investors in Florida and California.
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After being diagnosed with Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) in 2007 Mercy founded Renal Trkrr an app that helps people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) or end-stage renal disease (ESRD) to record, track, and share their vital renal-health information. The app educates and supports patients in self-management as well as makes it easier for them to record, track and share their vitals with their care team.
Deemed the Priceline for legal services, Court Buddy is a mobile platform that connects people to an a-la-carte legal services at flat rates based on your budget. Husband and wife co-founders created the patent-pending matchmaking platform in 2014 after James an attorney became frustrated with the process in which attorneys and those needing legal services fail to connect due to cost. Kristina who worked as an Art Director prior to launching Courtbuddy.com has spearheaded their recent launch into 6 states including Georgia, Washington, D.C. North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia.
Charley Guerrier, Craig Wilson & Samuel Bryant,
Radifit Athletics is a Wearable Technology startup that makes products that proactively prevent orthopedic injury. Their products monitor muscle activity in real time and have mechanisms that add additional support when it senses the user is vulnerable to injury.
Miami-based Nubian Hair Oasis is an e-commerce platform and curator of hair & beauty pop-up experiences for women. After getting frustrated with her personal shopping experience with local beauty retailers, Bruce started the company in 2014. The site aims to create a better experience as it relates to quality products, detailed and transparent product information, online and phone consultations with hair stylist, and events.
Avery is the Founder of Hairpiq. Founded in 2012, Hairpiq’s mission is to provide high-quality cosmetology and barbering instructional videos aimed at hair students, professionals, and enthusiast. Hairpiq has received accolades from Google, the NewMe Accelerator Program, and has been featured at the Bronner Brothers International Hair Show.
Miami based CaribShopper is a leading Caribbean e-commerce solution which provides Caribbean consumers access to billions of items shipped directly to them. Colin and Tennyson have recently partnered with eBay to become a global online marketplace for the Caribbean market. CaribShopper provides Caribbean consumers a platform through which to purchase items directly from international online retailers, companies that would otherwise be inaccessible to the Caribbean population.
The founders both divorced dad’s founded the company after struggling to find basic support and information online for dads. The Daddy Knows Too app allows dad’s to connect with other fathers to keep them involved, share resources and plan outing for their kids.
Founded in 2013 Braingrove improves education by ensuring that everyone involved in a student’s development Sports team coaches, parents, mentors and teaches is on the same page and has an active interest in the process.
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