CHEQ , a hospitality-tech platform for payments and gifting, expands to South Florida
CHEQ has expanded to South Florida, including with partnerships with the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium and Miami Marlins at LoanDepot Park, the startup announced this week.
CHEQ claims to be the first mobile payments platform for restaurants, bars, hotels, stadiums, and the entire hospitality industry to enable social purchasing and gifting. Through CHEQ, users can pay for and send food and drinks to one another for on-premise consumption from anywhere in the world. CHEQ also lets its restaurant and stadium partners send promotions and free products to users, driving sales, increased foot traffic, and customer loyalty. “Friends can send each other beverages quickly and easily for birthdays, game day, or a bachelorette party. Parents can send a quick latte to their college student who is hunkering down for finals. The variety of usage on the app has exceeded our expectations,” says CEO and co-founder Thomas Lapham.
CHEQ is available to restaurant operators without paying any commissions, equipment costs, or hidden fees. Guests can benefit by using CHEQ to order ahead and skip the line at a venue, while also supporting local businesses. Restaurants and venues such as Kaori, MaryGold’s Florida Brasserie from Chef Brad Kilgore, Vinya Wine & Market (Key Biscayne), Hard Rock Cafe, and many more are all signed up to join CHEQ’s social gifting marketplace.
Modernizing lost-and-found, Boomerang lands two airport customers
The Transportation Security Administration, better known as TSA, estimates that about 90,000 to 100,000 items are left behind at airport checkpoints every month. That’s over 1 million items lost annually and that doesn’t include lost items found at other locations in the airport or left at airline gates or in planes.
Boomerang, a Miami-based startup that has developed a lost and found AI technology platform, announced it has landed two airport partners – Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport and Syracuse Hancock International Airport. Boomerang’s matching AI technology will enable the airports to streamline their lost and found operations and quickly connect passengers with missing items, ultimately elevating the traveler’s experience.
“Boomerang exists to enable people to get back the items they love as quickly and seamlessly as possible. When interacting with an airport’s lost and found operation, travelers deserve a standardized, modern and dignified experience that results in a positive and timely reunion,” said Skyler Logsdon, Boomerang co-founder and CEO.
In 2021, Logsdon, Augustine Diep-Tran and Philip Inghelbrecht co-founded Boomerang, relocated the startup to Miami and raised a $2.8 million seed round. The startup now is a team of 12.
1NCE expands IoT software business
At CES today, the global IoT connectivity and software company announced the it has expaned with a new software business unit. 1NCE OS will offer powerful IoT developer tools, an integral part of 1NCE’s Lifetime Flat service and are available complimentary to 1NCE customers. It’s designed for easy integration of 1NCE’s connectivity and software features into IoT projects of any scale, for new and existing projects alike. Using 1NCE OS for device and cloud integration, customers can accelerate time-to-market for IoT projects by months, the company said.
“1NCE flips the script for customers – we don’t monetize their data for a few extra dollars because our customers’ data is theirs and theirs alone. 1NCE’s move into software allows us to boost our customers’ ideas not just when they need connectivity, but from the outset of their projects and all the way through a device’s lifecycle. IoT connectivity and software for life for a single fee, and that’s it,” said Ivo Rook, COO of INCE who runs the Miami HQ.
The German tech company, with offices in 10 countries, chose Miami over New York, San Francisco and Seattle for its North American headquarters a year ago. At the time, the company said it plans to hire 100 to 150 employees over three years. So far it has 20 employees in Miami and 300 globally, a spokesperson said.
South Florida startup gets unexpected endorsement by prominent VC
This is not the first time FlipaClip has drawn Silicon Valley attention. FlipaClip, a 2D animation app created by Miami startup Visual Blasters, empowers users of all experience levels with the tools necessary to bring their animations to life. Users design animations frame by frame. They can also add up to eight tracks of audio, allowing artists t to share their creations with the world. Last year FlipaClip landed a front-and-center feature in Apple marketing materials for its latest iPad. The app was also featured in the debut of the iPad during the tech giant’s Peek Performance event. [Read more about FlipaClip here]
Awesome Motive makes acquisition
Awesome Motive, a West Palm Beach-based software and media company, acquired Duplicator, a Gilbert, Arizona-based provider of WordPress backup and migration software. The amount of the deal was not disclosed.
Over 1.5 million website owners and developers globally use Duplicator to create secure website backups and/or migrate their websites from one location to another with a few clicks, the company said. With the acquisition, Awesome Motive will further strengthen its position in the WordPress and web presence space. Led by CEO Syed Balkhi, Awesome Motive provides software tools such as OptinMonster, WPForms, MonsterInsights, All in One SEO, PushEngage, WP Mail SMTP, SeedProd, and Smash Balloon,
CarePredict’s innovation lauded at CES – and more
- CarePredict, a leading AI-powered digital health platform for senior care, announced that their remote patient monitoring solution, CareGuide, was named a CES® 2023 Innovation Awards Honoree in the Digital Health category. CareGuide is the first remote monitoring platform that goes beyond collecting physiological measures to include monitoring the daily activity and behavior signals of older adults, providing a 360-degree view of their wellbeing. This is the fourth time in five years that CES has recognized CarePredict for its innovations, including being named winner of the Consumer Technology Associations’s Accessibility Award in 2019. [Read more about CarePredict here.]
- An Israeli coworking company is opening a second locations in Miami. Mindspace of Tel Aviv signed a 10-year lease for 31,192 square feet on three floors within 100 Biscayne, a 30-story commercial building in downtown Miami. The space will accommodate 450 workspaces, the company told the South Florida Business Journal. In August 2022, Mindspace leased a 30,000 square foot space in the Gateway at Wynwood and has experienced a surge of demand, Mindspace CEO Dan Zakai said.
- Deadline extended: Florida Venture Forum, Florida’s largest statewide support organization for investors and entrepreneurs, is calling for growth stage companies to apply to present at the 2023 Florida Venture Capital Conference, taking place at the J.W. Marriott on Brickell Avenue in Miami on February 8-9, 2023. The Conference, now in its 32nd year, attracts 500+ attendees, including 200+ active venture investors. Apply to present here. Final application deadline is Jan. 13.
- BrainStation is providing 50 full scholarships for its software engineering and UX/UI design bootcamps through its new Impact Miami program. In addition to the classes, the bootcamps include career and placement support into high-paying tech industry roles. “The overarching goal is to create this inclusive pathway toward building a more diverse Miami tech,” Brainstation VP Johanna Mikkola says. Apply here for Impact Miami’s February cohorts.
- Seaworthy Collective, a Miami-based BlueTech community and venture studio, is launching a Founder Mentorship Program offering a year-round opportunity to become part of our startup pipeline. In this program, Seaworthy works with current founders on a regular basis to drive tangible results and growth. Apply here by Jan. 27.
- On Feb. 7, Venture Miami is hosting a pitch competition in partnership with eMerge and Silicon Valley Bank to celebrate Black History Month by giving eight startups the opportunity to showcase their businesses to a panel of judges, receive feedback, and win cash prizes. The live event, free and open to the public, will be at 5:30 pm Feb. 7 at Monty’s Coconut Grove, with $40K in prizes awarded. The top two winners will also get fast-tracked into the 2023 eMerge Americas Startup Showcase for the opportunity to win $420,000 in investment into their company. Join the competition using this link: https://venturemia.org/pitch. Register as a guest here.
- Atlanta-based Founders and Funders of Color will be hosting an event at MDC’s The Idea Center Jan. 30-Feb. 1. With a mission to provide capital and support for Black and Latina/o entrepreneurs, their agenda focuses on startups looking to raise their first round or having just done so and looking for revenue impact strategies. To register,go here.
- The 1909 Accelerator Program is taking applications for itss 6 month program, which is designed to help early stage founders develop their businesses further along and simultaneously help build meaningful lifestyles. Because profitability is not the only form of success. Apply by March 17.
- Endeavor Miami’s EndeavorLAB, a cohort-based initiative to support underrepresented founders in Florida in building a foundation for scale, has announced it is accepting applications for a new seven-week cohort for startups led by Latinx founders that will be powered by VensureHR. Scholarships covering the costs are provided to participants. Learn more and apply here by Feb. 5.
- Endeavor Miami’s ScaleUp Program is a cohort-based initiative that helps equip high-growth founders in Florida with the network and resources to gain clarity on their path to scale. Up to 10 companies following its global selection criteria for high-impact entrepreneurs. Apply by Jan. 29.
- At IDEA Showcase @ ITEXPO, pitch your unique value proposition – then the audience and judging panel each determine who is the most disruptive. Apply by Jan. 27.
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