6+ things to know in #MiamiTech: A tech merger in vehicle telematics, plus news about BioHunt Summit, AI at MDC, USTAAR, eMerge Americas and more  


Boca tech company MiX Telematics merges with PowerFleet

MiX Telematics, a publicly traded AI-powered fleet management software provider based in Boca Raton, is merging with PowerFleet to create one of the world’s biggest SaaS providers of fleet management software, including new IoT solutions. These technologies are critical to helping large fleet operators in heavy industries, such as trucking, construction and agriculture, work more safely and sustainably, including those transitioning to Electric Vehicle fleets.

MiX, a leading provider of fleet and mobile asset management solutions delivered as SaaS to over 1 million subscribers spanning more than 120 countries, has been at the forefront of vehicle telematics, a rapidly growing market as businesses and investors place more and more focus on resource efficiency and environmental sustainability. The new merger with New Jersey-based PowerFleet creates “a global powerhouse” with cutting-edge technology, decades of experience and international scale, the companies said in a press release. The merger forms a company with total revenue of $279 million and 1,800 team members.

Stefan Joselowitz, CEO of MiX Telematics, intends to retire at the conclusion of this transaction, but plans to continue as a shareholder of the combined entity. “We strongly believe that Powerfleet’s Unity strategy and our combined scale perfectly positions us to revolutionize the mobile asset IoT SaaS industry and drive transformative growth. As a shareholder I am very excited about how this combination will accelerate the achievement of our shared strategic goals,” he said.


CIC, The Ganesha Lab partner to bring back BioHunt Summit

CIC is partnering with The Ganesha Lab for the second edition of the BioHunt Summit on Nov. 7 and  8.The Ganesha Lab is Latin America’s premier BioTech and Life Sciences accelerator program in Latin America and are the organizers of the Biohunt Summit 2023, a meeting that seeks to connect the best Latin American startups, international experts and investors in the biotech and life sciences industry.

The free event, open to the public will include a Dolphin Tank Pitch Competition, with over 20 startups from The Ganesha Lab’s portfolio will be pitching solutions in Planet Health and Human Health, and four Industry Lounges where startups and experts connect to discuss industry topics.

Over two days, the summit will explore various aspects of biotech and life sciences innovation. The first day, hosted at the Rubell Museum, will focus on investors and their potential collaborations with startup founders. This day will feature two “dolphin-tank” style competitions with over 20 startups, along with insights from extraordinary speakers. On the second day, activities will shift to Mana Tech, offering startups the invaluable opportunity to immerse themselves in the expertise of industry professionals, gaining insights into the dynamics of establishing a presence in the United States.

For more information, visit the event site here and register here.


Miami Dade College’s AI enrollment spikes

The Miami Dade College School of Engineering and Technology’s three college-level artificial intelligence programs’ enrollment numbers have skyrocketed since their initial fall term launch, Miami Today reported.

Around 300 students are currently taking AI courses, said Antonio Delgado, MDC’s vice president of innovation and technology partnerships. College credit certificates, associate’s and bachelor’s AI degrees are now being offered at the college, which are the first of their kind in the state. “When you start a new program, you usually start with 20 (enrolled students), maybe a maximum of 30, but we are starting with over 300 people taking classes now, and that speaks volumes on the need for AI. And this is just the beginning. It is only going to increase from here,” Delgado told Miami Today.

The report also noted that while the average age of students is around 26,  about 70% of MDC’s AI students are actually above 26 years old, and 30% of the students are above 41 years old. “This is a non-traditional crowd that is actually looking for more skills in AI. People are really trying to understand AI, and that’s what we’re seeing with working professionals or people trying to learn new skills,” he said.

Using the AI centers in Wolfson and North campuses as hubs, the Applied AI degrees are preparing students to fill the rising demand for professionals with technical expertise, such as AI developers or AI specialists. Read more here.


UM launching University Student Accelerator Program

The University Student Accelerator  Program at the University of Miami, called USTAAR, will bring together students or teams from the College of Engineering, the Miller School of Medicine, the Miami Herbert Business School, the School of Law, and other areas across the University of Miami to nurture new ideas from inception to implementation. Two brothers, both alumni of the University who have requested to remain anonymous, have pledged to match, 2 to 1, all gifts to support USTAAR, up to $1 million. Motivated by their own experiences as successful entrepreneurs, the donors wanted to be a catalyst for student entrepreneurs — helping them turn their daydreams into real-life ventures. 

“The USTAAR program will be truly transformative for student entrepreneurship, providing fundamental training, mentorship, and financial support for idea development and commercialization, with a goal to creating ’Canes-led startups that bring products to the market,” said Suhrud Rajguru, director of USTAAR, professor of biomedical engineering and otolaryngology, and assistant vice provost for research workforce development. “The program is open to all students and trainees at the University. The goal is for these student-led startups to enhance socioeconomic development in South Florida and beyond.” 

The USTAAR Fund will provide seed funding for student design projects, as well as support for technology transfer and the commercialization of startup companies at the University of Miami. Read more here.


More ecosystem news to note

  • ITWomen and South Florida CIOs are raising dollars for Scholars at their 20th Annual Scholarship Fundraiser to celebrate collective efforts have helped inspire 22,500 girls across South Florida public schools to choose a career in tech through role models, field trips and free STEM summer cCamps, and how they have supported 138 Girls from South Florida with scholarships to earn computer science and engineering degrees. Find out more here: https://itwomen.org/
  • Miami Dade College AI Center is partnering with Miami DDA and Lab22c to host the event AI Revolution: Embracing the Future of Small Businesses On Oct. 19 at the MDC AI Center on Wolfson campus. This is an initiative to increase capacity of local small businesses in artificial intelligence (AI) adoption. The event aims to educate local businesses owners about the transformative power of AI and how it will reshape the business landscape, especially concerning the majority of small businesses in Miami. More info here


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.
  • 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 January 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.


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

Nancy Dahlberg