5 things to know in #MiamiTech: Ways to help now, Magic Leap’s latest, plus news about Opendoor, Mana Wynwood and Chetu


How to help

First and foremost,  in times of crisis and tragedy, Miami always comes together. Heartbreaking moments like this bring out the best of our community that will do everything they can to help. Our collective heart goes out to all the families and friends who are grieving or awaiting word on their loved ones.  All of us in the #MiamiTech community can help these Surfside families by giving here, a donation site supported by all the major community organizations and partners in the Miami area: https://supportsurfside.org/


A rare interview with Magic Leap’s CEO

Magic Leap’s pivot to an enterprise focus is paying off, according to a VentureBeat interview with CEO Peggy Johnson, formerly of Microsoft who took the helm nearly a year ago. Not only was Magic Leap tech used in surgery to separate conjoined twins in California, but the company sees uses of 3D visualization in manufacturing and the public sector as well as healthcare and has seen early traction in all three sectors, she said. The public-access launch of Magic Leap Two is planned for Q4. The device is half the size of One, lighter, and 3 to 4 times the processing power. It also has super high fidelity imagery and Magic Leap has doubled the field of view, she said in the interview.

Johnson called founder Rony Abovitz an “amazing visionary” with the legacy as the first to see the promise of AR more than 10 years ago and went to work building it. Read more in her wide-ranging  interview with Dan Takahashi here.


Ding-dong, they’re here. Opendoor arrives in Miami

The Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro area is one of six new markets in store for Opendoor, the digital platform for residential real estate. In addition to South Florida, the other markets are Oklahoma City, Reno, Columbia, South Carolina and Knoxville and Chattanooga, Tennessee, bringing its number of  markets to 39, half of which have launched this year. The iBuyer also said it has reached a new milestone of 100,000 transactions since its founding seven years ago.

Opendoor Regional General Manager Jay Cherry said a factor in Opendoor’s decision to expand in South Florida was Miami’s successful efforts to lure tech to the region. “The recent fostering of a tech ecosystem in South Florida has only further supercharged the rapid development of the area,” he said in a statement.


Mana partners with Google’s AI-powered Sidewalk Labs

Moishe Mana’s  development firm has engaged Sidewalk Labs, part of Google parent company Alphabet, to help design its project in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood. Sidewalk Labs will use Delve, its artificial intelligence-powered design product, to help advance Mana Common’s master plan for the massive  mixed-use project.

“Sidewalk Labs understands the challenges we’re facing in Miami, and its participation in the planning process will help us build a framework to support businesses of the future, while creating jobs and entrepreneurial spaces in the city,” said Moishe Mana about  the 23.5 acre mixed-use project approved several years ago that has yet to take off. Sidewalk Labs’ work will include a  focus on making the project more environmentally sustainable and energy-efficient, including by reducing traffic. Read more in the Miami Herald.


Chetu to double its staff, building new Plantation HQ

Plantation-based Chetu, which provides industry-specific software development and services,  aims to double its global workforce in the coming years, the South Florida Business Journal reported. The company has about 2,200 employees across its 15 global offices, including 80 based at its South Florida headquarters. Chetu will grow its local team once it moves into its new 188,746-square-foot headquarters in Sunrise in the fall. Read more here.

Did you miss any news? Keep up!

In the last week, Refresh Miami brought you stories about SeedInvest expanding to Miami and Miami Angels’ phenomenal year of growth. The blockchain company Securitize raises $48 million and medtech startup RapidPulse pulls in $15 million. Kendall-based startup VAC is in the spotlight with a cool device to make the perfect cold brew stat. And these are just a few of them. Catch up on all the news at RefreshMiami.com/news and thank you for reading.

Have news? Email [email protected] and follow me on Twitter @ndahlberg.


Nancy Dahlberg