Miami Tech & Startup News

4 things to know in #MiamiTech: A startup closes, who’s pitching and 2 opportunities

4 things to know in #MiamiTech: A startup closes, who’s pitching and 2 opportunities




1 Reports: Home61 is shutting down

Home61, South Florida’s homegrown tech-enabled brokerage, has shut down, the South Florida Business Journal and The Real Deal reported.

The venture-funded startup, co-founded by CEO Olivier Grinda in 2015, closed in December. Grinda told the publications the venture was profitable but was not able to scale, which was key to the business model.

Grinda founded Home61 after finding the home-buying experience stressful and unnecessarily complicated when buying his own condo. Home61 wanted to bring automation and transparency to the residential real estate experience with easy scheduling of viewings, real-time access to notes and analytics and a streamlined contractual processes. At its height it had dozens of active brokers on the platform, but needed 100-150 to more, he said.

Grinda told TRD Miami he will re-open the company as a 100 percent commission brokerage this week, under a new business model.

Home61, founded in 2015, raised about $5.3 million in venture capital, including from the San Francisco-based Founders Fund and 500 Startups, as well as South Florida’s Miami Angels and Secocha Ventures.

Grinda told TRD Miami that he was humbled by his investors’ support and that he plans to sell the assets and return the proceeds to them. “We’re a start-up. Sometimes we win, sometimes we don’t,” he said.

2 Florida Venture Forum announces presenting companies

The Florida Venture Forum announced the 14 Florida startups, plus one from outside of Florida, that will present at the 2020 Florida Venture Capital Conference, a large gathering of investors and entrepreneurs on Jan. 30-31. Here are the companies presenting from South Florida:

Intercept TeleMed, (, Weston, is a Tele-ICU platform and services that revolutionizes critical care in hospital ICUs. They use telemedicine, smart technology, and Critical Care Professionals to provide care-as-a-service in hospital ICUs.

RSPCT Sports tech, (, Davie, the company uses basketball shot tracking technology, HW and SW solution. Applies to everyone from All-star players to amateurs playing in the back yard.

Vigilant Biosciences, Inc., (, Ft. Lauderdale, is a leading innovator and developer of solutions that aid in the early detection and intervention of oral cancer.

Exhibiting companies from South Florida are:

Alternatives to College LLC, (, Boca Raton, provides direct access to over 500 providers offering thousands of courses on everything from coding boot camps to sales psychology and health care support.

EPICA, (, Davie, is a prediction service that uses a customer data platform to help companies grow by unifying data sources, anticipating customer behavior, and activating powerful recommendations through different channels.

3 Apply now for eMerge Americas Startup Showcase

Are you ready to pitch your startup to the top VCs, global enterprises, and media outlets? There’s still time left to apply to the MergeAmericas2020 Startup Showcase. The deadline is Jan. 21.

For startups, the eMerge Americas Startup Showcase is a multi-week program – at no cost – that will culminate in a grand finale pitch competition in front of leading venture capitalists, corporate enterprises, government officials, and global media outlets at the annual eMerge Americas conference March 31-31.  Participating startups will be allocated prime space on the 2020 conference expo floor as an anchor tenant of the investor-startup matchmaking agenda. Apply here.

4 Miami Bitcoin Hackathon and Career Fair on Jan. 18

On Saturday, Jan. 18, the Blockchain Center Career Fair and the Miami Bitcoin Hackathon will connect leading students and problem-solvers to companies to bring new solutions to old problems. The Career Fair at the Blockchain Center, 21 SE 1st Ave., 3rd Floor, in Miami  is free; find out more here. For details on the hackathon and to register, visit

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