5+ things to know in #MiamiTech: Y Combinator’s top [Miami] companies plus news from FloSpine, Blink Charging, ClassWallet, Togal.AI & more


YC in the house? Well, yes, including 4 unicorns

There was a time way back in #MiamiTech history – Ok, 5 years ago – when a Y Combinator company was as rare as a unicorn. Papa, now a unicorn, was selected for Y Combinator’s summer batch in 2018. Now it is becoming more and more in common to have Y Combinator alum in our midst, and Y Combinator’s 2023 Top Companies list posted last week is proof of that.

There are now 16 public YC companies, 294 private YC companies and 33 exits that are valued at over $150 million, and over 90 that are worth more than $1 billion, according to Y Combinator. Fully 58% of the companies have HQs in the Bay Area, 27% of the companies are fully remote, and 55% list themselves as partially remote. Since 2005, YC has funded over 4,000 startups, including Stripe, Instacart, Doordash and Coinbase.

The Miami connection: At least eight of the companies on this year’s list of Top Private Companies are based in Miami or have a significant connection with the Magic City [please let us know if we’ve missed you]. Drumroll please…

Among the Miami companies, Ontop is one of 10 companies worldwide that are new to YC’s Top Companies list this year. The YC W21 batch startup provides an automated platform for startups and scaleups to manage international hiring by providing easy contracts, compliance, and payments. Ontop is now serving customers in more than 150 countries and just released a new feature,  Ontop Pay, that enables its users to pay contactless anywhere they want with just a tap of their phone.

The other Miami-centric companies on the list have made the cut before and they include four unicorns. They are:

  • Papa, a homegrown unicorn and one-stop-shop for flexible family care, providing companionship and a helping hand;
  • Jeeves, an all-in-one corporate spend and expense management platform  for businesses in global markets, also a unicorn;
  • Vetcove, a unicorn veterinary supply platform powering nearly half of America’s general practices.
  • Quicknode, the homegrown startup providing the tools and infrastructure to build and scale high-quality blockchain applications.  This year Quicknode raised a $60M Series B, with a valuation of $800 million;
  • Eightsleep, the innovative sleep fitness startup;
  • Career Karma, whose co-founder and CEO Ruben Harris is based in Miami, that helps job training programs find qualified applicants.
  • Nowports, a Mexican logistics unicorn startup that recently announced its US HQ will be in Miami.

In recent years, at least four other Miami companies are Y Combinator alums: Finnt, Digibuild, Ping and Pigeon. Perhaps we will see them on future Top Companies lists.

The Top Companies can also be found on YC’s top publicexited, and breakthrough companies (high-growth companies YC has doubled down on).


Boca-based FloSpine receives FDA clearance for 3D-printed implant

FloSpine, a medical device startup, received Food and Drug Administration clearance for its first Titanium Ti-Largo Cervical Interbody Cage System, a 3D-printed implant used to support the spine.

Based at the Research Park at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FloSpine is the market leader in spinal implants and instruments. Its Ti-Largo Cervical Interbody Cage System is used to support the spine after a cervical collapse or damaged disc has been removed and is replaced with the Ti-Largo implant to restore the height. “3D printing our spinal implants allows us to create various shapes and sizes to match the patient’s anatomy more accurately,” Peter Harris, president and CEO of FloSpine, said in a press release.

Participating in the Research Park at FAU’s Global Ventures second-stage entrepreneurial support initiative has enabled the company to access highly qualified and motivated graduate students from the FAU College of Engineering and Computer Science who have become full-time employees, access to specialized equipment at Florida Atlantic University and connections to its research faculty. “FloSpine’s growth and success exemplifies the aims of Global Ventures, and bodes well for its future endeavors,” said Ryan Lilly, program manager of the Research Park at FAU’s Global Ventures.


Blink Charging wins big USPS contract

Blink Charging, the Miami Beach-based leading provider of electric vehicle charging stations, has been awarded a contract by the United States Postal Service to provide thousands of EV charging stations across the country. Blink Charging founder and CEO Michael Farkas announced the deal last week after the company was selected from a pool of highly qualified bidders for the project.

“This is a significant win for Blink Charging and a major milestone for the EV industry,” Farkas said in his announcement. “We are thrilled to be partnering with the USPS to bring reliable and accessible EV charging infrastructure to communities across the United States.”

The contract with the USPS will see Blink Charging initially and installing and maintaining 4,900 fast chargers at USPS facilities and locations over the next three years, with an option for providing more than 40,000 more after that. The USPS also recently announced it will buy 9,250 electric vans from Ford Motor Company. Read more in the South Florida Business Journal.


ClassWallet wins Georgia government contract

ClassWallet has been chosen by the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning  to assist in tracking, reporting and facilitating the distribution of about $140 million in four grant programs funded by the federal Child Care and Development Fund.  This contract represents ClassWallet’s entry into the early child care and pre-school markets.

Founded in 2014, ClassWallet  is a leading digital wallet technology platform for government agencies, private schools and K-12 school districts, saving time and overhead costs to track, pay and report on purchases and reimbursements. ClassWallet is used in 27 states and by 20 state agencies, and serves 6,200 schools with 4.1 million students.

“Our entry into early childcare is modeled on our previous success with ESA programs as we provide tools to simplify the purchasing and reimbursement process. Our technology will enable The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning to eliminate processing paper receipts and simultaneously create an easily audited money trail,”   said ClassWallet founder and CEO Jamie Rosenberg.


Togal.AI CEO tapped for White House post

U.S. President Joe Biden has tapped Togal.AI CEO and former Congressman Patrick Murphy to sit on a White House advisory committee overseeing international trade.

Murphy is the founder of Togal.AI, an artificial intelligence company that automates the estimating process in construction, which won the top prize at eMerge Americas in 2022. He is also the chief investment officer of Coastal Construction Group, one of the largest general contractors in the Southeast U.S.

The President’s Export Council advises Biden with direct feedback on how U.S. trade policies affect business sectors. The 25-member board features top leaders from labor, real estate, national security, law, and Fortune 200 companies. Murphy will serve alongside the heads of Citigroup, United Airlines, CVS, FedEx and 3M to name a few.


Opportunity knocks

  • Entrepreneur Ready received a $2 million grant from JPMorgan Chase to deploy its How to Start Something Acceleration program in Miami-Dade County and New York City from March to August 2023. The program will fund 300 entrepreneurs in each city who want to start a new business or pivot their business, with a focus on helping small businesses founded by minorities and women residents of Miami-Dade. the immersive learning accelerator and online platform offer a a step-by-step learning framework, personalized feedback from entrepreneur coaches, and access to weekly live workshops, online office hours, and a community forum. Find more information and apply here.
  • Applications are now open for the 12th cohort of FAU Tech Runway’s Venture Program. The Venture Program is a year-long program for startups that offers resources from FAU’s Innovation and Business Development pipeline, entrepreneurial instruction, structured team-based mentoring, networking, marketing and capital-raising assistance, co-working space, events, intern support, and other vital programs. To apply, go here. Applications close April 14.
  • Applications are open for 35 Mules next cohort of innovative startups. The program offers a $100,000 non-dilutive cash grant, world-class facilities, subject matter expertise, Fortune 200 executive coaching, and more. 35 Mules is the first in-house innovation hub backed by a global energy leader, Florida Power & Light Company, located in Juno Beach.  Applications close on March 17, 2023. Apply here.
  • Google for Startups Accelerator Latino Founders are accepting applications until March 12. The program will be based in Miami and is a three-month accelerator program for growth-stage technology startups with at least one Latino co-founder from the United States or Spanish-speaking Latin America. See here for more information.
  • NSU Broward Center of Innovation’s Incubate Cohort is open for applications. The six-week program focuses on advancing the design thinking process from the ideate stage for the startups in the cohort, with mentors and industry experts are strategically introduced.  Apply here by March 13.
  • The 1909 Accelerator Program is taking applications for its 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.


Follow Nancy Dahlberg on Twitter @ndahlberg and email her at [email protected]

Nancy Dahlberg