10+ things to know in #MiamiTech: News about Helium Mobile, Alchemy, Fursure, Broward relocations, Streann, Overproof, UM’s climate grant, MDC plus top-read stories in November


UM Athletics partners with Helium Mobile

Bye, bye Verizon. University of Miami Athletics has partnered with the upstart.

 Helium Mobile, a cell phone service built that calls itself as the world’s first people-powered network, has been named the Official Wireless Sponsor of Miami Hurricanes Athletics. Helium Mobile will be present during home games throughout the 2023-2024 season with planned activations and giveaways for University of Miami fans.

The news comes just after announcing its service in Miami, its inaugural market, and launching its first hotspots   for its  $5/month unlimited phone plan.

Helium Mobile is powered in part by the Helium Network, which is a decentralized patchwork of individuals who provide the network with connectivity and get paid in crypto in return. When Helium Mobile subscribers are out of range of one of these providers, they hop onto T-Mobile’s coverage network. “Helium Mobile represents a new category of cellular providers using what we call dynamic coverage, which is both traditional and legacy cell service, combined with people-powered cell towers,” Nova Labs COO Frank Mong told Refresh Miami last month.

As part of this collaboration, Helium Mobile will host exclusive fan experiences during home games, student section takeovers, and special promotions for attendees. Through this initiative, fans are able to learn more about the people-powered network and sign up for the pilot $5 plan, exclusive to the Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach regions. Said Mong: “We know how tight budgets can be and partnered with the University of Miami to help students, faculty, staff, and fans have a more affordable phone plan in their city.”

READ MORE: Nova Labs launches Helium Mobile Hotspots to expand their $5/month cell phone service


Dublin company opens device refurbishment facility in Miami

Dublin-based circular technology company Alchemy has announced plans to open a new facility in Miami to process mobile devices, such as phones, tablets and smart watches. The new site is projected to process 60,000 electronics per month. The devices will be sourced from manufacturers, retailers and mobile carriers and resold to consumers and businesses via Loop Mobile, Alchemy’s online store.

“Alchemy is on a growth mission and our new site in Miami is key to that,” said Alchemy Co-Founder James Murdock. “With more space on the ground to refresh devices, the greater our ability to keep up with the incredible demand for quality, affordable, refurbished tech and the better we can do for the planet.”

Alchemy operates two major technology centers in Kildare, Ireland, and Newcastle-under-Lyme in the UK. It also has facilities for device warehousing, device triage and grading, reverse solutions and picking, packing, and shipping in Hong Kong, Australia, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, and the US.


Miami-based Fursure Pet Insurance expands to more states

On the move: Fursure Pet Insurance is now live in Texas, Illinois, North Carolina, and Arizona.

Founded in 2020, Miami-based Fursure offers a pet insurance marketplace and other financial offerings. The venture-backed startup has already helped tens of thousands of “pet parents” gain access to health insurance for their dogs, cats and other pets. The startup recently introduced Direct Pay, offeing a seamless paying experience.

Some 97 percent of pets in the US are not insured, leaving their owners vulnerable in case of a medical emergency or chronic illness. Average costs for an emergency visit to a vet run $800 to $1,500, studies show.

READ MORE: Miami-based Fursure pet insurance marketplace secures $3M more in funding


Broward had strong year for tech expansions

Several technology industry businesses chose to expand in Broward County this year, the South Florida Business Journal reported. They join well-known tech companies already in the county, including Magic Leap, ShipMonk, Boatsetter and Nearpod.

Social Mobile, a custom mobile device maker for enterprise clients, signed a lease for a new 20,000-square-foot headquarters office in Hollywood and is hiring more engineers and salespeople after securing a $35 million credit facility from Citi. Another expanding company is Doroni Aerospace, the maker of personal electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles, which will add 15 jobs and make a $250,000 capital investment at its Pompano Beach research and development facility. Battle Board, a developer of portable mapping technology for the military and first responders, moved its headquarters from Washington, D.C. to Oakland Park and plans to create 10 new jobs. Software company Ultimate Kronos Group will expand its 140,000+ headquarters in Weston, and tech staffing and consulting company Inspyr Solution more than doubled the size of its Fort Lauderdale corporate office. Read more in the South Florida Business Journal.


UM awarded NOAA grant to address South Florida climate change

The University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science has been awarded a nearly $1.8 million grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as part of an anticipated four-year, $4.2 million project to support research on the impacts to South Florida’s coastal ecosystems from a multitude of climate change stressors. 

The newly funded project will focus on climate impacts to South Florida’s coastal and marine ecosystems, including the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and the southwest Florida shelf. The collaborative project titled the Florida Regional Ecosystems Stressors Collaborative Assessment includes seven different academic and research institutions.

South Florida’s coastal and marine ecosystems provide critical services to the United States, supporting recreation and tourism, and generating billions of dollars for the economy and tens of thousands of jobs annually. The well-being of over six million people in Florida’s coastal counties depend on these ecosystems. 


Miami-based Streann Media powered the PanAmerican Games

The world’s third largest multi-sport games, Panam Sports, partnered with Miami’s Streann Media as the official streaming platform for the competition., the South Florida Tech Hub reported.  

The Panam Sports Channel, powered by Streann, offered nine daily live signals (in English and Spanish) and reached more than 25 million content views through the competitions which were held in Santiago, Chile from October 20th – November 5th. Streann elevated the Panam Games viewing experience to unprecedented heights in 2023 with its revolutionary live multi-screen content experience.

the Pan American Games are a continental multi-sport competition for the countries of North America, South America, Central America and the Caribbean. They are the world’s third-largest multi-sport Games, surpassed only in size by the Olympic Summer Games and the Asian Games. More than 6,000 athletes from 41 countries now compete at the Pan American Games. Read more in South Florida Tech Hub.


MDC and Intel partner to launch Digital Trust for All program

Miami Dade College  rolled out a new collaboration with Intel Digital Readiness Program as the first academic institution to introduce the Digital Trust for All program. This program, now available, equips learners of all backgrounds with essential knowledge, skills and tools to interact in an ever-evolving digital landscape with confidence.

With a primary focus on cybersecurity, digital ethics and responsible online behavior, the Digital Trust for All program will cover topics such as, ensuring participants are well-prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the digital world through curriculum, hands-on training and flexible learning. To find out more about the program, visit https://ce.mdc.edu/digital-trust.


Overproof names Chief Revenue Officer

Overproof — the leading business intelligence partner to the beverage alcohol industry —announced the promotion of Diana Arellano to Chief Revenue Officer. Arellano joined Overproof in 2020 as vice president of marketing and subsequently led the sales division. 

“Diana’s leadership has been central to establishing Overproof as a dynamic, data-driven partner within the beverage alcohol sector,” said Marc De Kuyper, CEO and founder of Overproof. “Her new role as Chief Revenue Officer is both a recognition of her remarkable accomplishments and an affirmation of her role in guiding our strategic direction.”

Arellano will spearhead revenue generation and forecasting, and nurture key partnerships and channel development. She will report directly to De Kuyper, ensuring strategic alignment to enhance Overproof’s market presence and profitability.

READ MORE: Pop the champagne for rapidly-scaling alcohol insights platform Overproof


Top read stories for the month of November – drum roll please …

Here are the month of November’s top read stories (updated):

Most-read story: Report: Amazon looking for 50,000 SF of Miami office space

Runner-up: It’s a record-setting year for tech sector expansion, according to Beacon Council report

No. 3: Chutzpah meets hustler: Israel’s ‘Startup Nation” connects with #Miamitech

No 4: Global tech firm Cooley opens Miami Beach office, lured by fast-growing venture hub

No. 5: CAST AI secures $35M to revolutionize cloud cost optimization

As always, thanks for reading and supporting Refresh Miami.


Opportunity knocks

  • eMerge Americas opened applications for its 2024 Startup Accelerator and Showcase. Entrepreneurs have the chance to win a $520,000 investment for their venture. Joining forces with Florida Funders, Medina Ventures and BIP Ventures, eMerge will select 110 startups from across the world for a seven-week program that will culminate in a pitch competition next April. All selected startups will also receive 2 free Tech Passes and prime exhibit space at eMerge Americas. Find out more and apply here by Jan. 31.
  • The Synapse Innovation Awards  recognizes Florida’s innovators, risk-takers and creators for daring to see an opportunity to make something better, and doing it! Top finalists present at Synapse Feb. 28. Find out more and apply here by Dec. 31.
  • Apply to present at the 2024 Florida Venture Capital Conference Feb. 1-2, 2024 at the JW Marriott Marquis in Downtown Miami. The conference attracts over 700 attendees, including 200+ active venture investors. The final application deadline is Jan. 8, but early submissions are strongly encouraged. Find out more and apply here.
  • Dreaming of a tech career? Check out these scholarship opportunities offered by BITE-CON and 4Geeks Academy for Full Stack Developer and/or Data Science and Machine Learning bootcamps. Apply on BITE-CON website here.
  • The Venture Miami Scholarship Fund provides tuition support to provide gap funding for at-need City of Miami residents who have been accepted into STEM or defined-demand occupation programs at participating colleges and universities, including Florida International University, Florida Memorial University, Miami Dade College, and the University of Miami. How to apply: Students who meet the program requirements and are interested in applying to the Venture Miami scholarship are encourage to complete this survey to begin the application process.
  • The Alan B. Levan/NSU Broward Center of Innovation is accepting applications for the 100 Startup Project. Applicants who are accepted will receive a yearlong membership to the Levan Center of Innovation. Apply here.


Have news? Email Nancy Dahlberg at [email protected] and follow her on X @ndahlberg and on LinkedIN.

Nancy Dahlberg