6+ things to know in #MiamiTech: New HQ for Novo, seed funding for Myosin,  a merger and more

We know this has been a trying week (an understatement!), and it’s heartening to see the community come together in a time of uncertainty and crisis. We can’t possibly know how you are feeling or  give you any news you haven’t already read, but please know that the community is there for you. Our platform is always open to you if you have something you’d like to share with the community. And like all of you are doing, we will also do what we can to help as you all keep building and we hope to see you at the Refresh event on Thursday … Now back to regularly scheduled programming….


Novo secures new HQ in Brickell

Today, Novo announced that it will open its new headquarters at 801 Brickell Avenue, occupying the 22nd floor, an 18,450 square foot office space in Miami’s Brickell submarket.

Novo, a fast growing Miami-based digital banking platform for small businesses with a team of over 100 people, formerly had offices in a coworking center. The 12-year lease is one of the year’s largest lease signings in this corridor of Brickell Avenue.

The fintech firm is a 2022 Forbes Fintech 50 and 2022 Forbes Next Billion Dollar-Startup company. Novo has raised more than $170 million in venture capital funding.

“Signing Novo’s headquarters lease in Miami is very much a homecoming for the company,” said Michael Rangel, CEO and co-founder of Novo, in a statement. “I met my co-founder at the University of Miami, had my first job in Miami, and moved Novo’s headquarters from NYC back to Miami in 2021. We look forward to welcoming our employees and the local small business community to our new office later this year.”

The South Florida commercial real estate market has seen an influx of top companies to the area. In 2022, at least 57 companies relocated or expanded to Miami as the city continues to attract all demographics.


Myosin Therapeutics raises seed funding

Myosin Therapeutics, a Jupiter -based biotechnology company providing a platform for molecular entities, raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding. The round was led by Mint12 Pharma, with participation from the University of Florida Ventures, DeepWork Capital, and the Florida Opportunity Fund.

Founded in 2020 by Drs. Courtney Miller, Patrick Griffin, and Theodore Kamenecka, Myosin Therapeutics is developing its lead compound, MT-125, to treat glioblastoma, which is an aggressive form of brain cancer with a 95% fatality rate and limited treatment options available. In early models, MT-125 has shown that it can simultaneously arrest cancer cell division and migration, and therefore could be a first-in-class therapy.

The funding will allow Myosin to “rapidly advance our first-in-class treatments for glioblastoma and stimulant use disorder, two devastating conditions that lack effective treatments,” said Miller. “Our platform for targeting the largely untapped families of nanomotor proteins represents a unique and promising strategy for oncology, in particular.”

According to Pitchbook, Myosin raised $1.5 million in December. It is unclear if this is the same round


Coral Gables, UM to use Mark43’s emergency-response tech

Mark43, a leading mission-critical public safety software company, is partnering with the Coral Gables Police Department to bring its industry-leading cloud-native records management system (RMS), computer-aided dispatch (CAD), and analytics suite to Coral Gables with a modern, data-driven platform that will support the safety of the entire community, including the University of Miami. 

In particular, the user-friendly system is cloud-native, which means it updates in real time and allows for users to remain constantly connected and share mission-critical data throughout the day. This allows officers to do more proactive patrolling and spend more time with the residents they are sworn to serve. In addition, Coral Gables required a platform that was interoperable with the five cities that border its jurisdiction. The Mark43 platform allows for enhanced investigative operations as the Coral Gables Police Department will be able to use data to drive outcomes and pursue investigations of suspects beyond their borders.The new partnership also includes the University of Miami Police Department, an agency safeguarding more than 19,000 students within Coral Gables. The University Police uses the Coral Gables Police Department CAD and RMS system for its proactive community-policing efforts and 24/7 patrolling of the campus, allowing for a seamless information sharing between the two agencies. 


DigitalReef merges with Gamers Club

DigitalReef, a Miami -based technology company in mobile marketing and connected TV, merged with Gamers Club, a video gaming matchmaking platform and community hub in Latin America.

Rebranded as Siprocal, the consolidation of these two companies creates a gaming distribution, monetization, and engagement platform, leveraging leading, direct audience access and insight throughout the Americas.

Ari Segal, formerly CEO of Gamers Club, will be CEO of Siprocal. The merger will aim to drive value for partners, brands, publishers, and consumers by bringing together access to DigitalReef’s carrier/OEM distribution partnerships supporting over 580 million registered users,  and user engagement through integration of Gamers Club’s holistic solutions for all gaming related functionality, the company said. “The merger of these two leading companies illustrates the increasing prominence, relevance, and necessity of linking technology and media to gaming,” Segal said.

Steve Cohen, Chief Strategy Officer of AEG and Executive Vice President of The Anschutz Corporation, will chair the board of directors.


Research Park at FAU supported nearly 1,000 jobs in 2022, report says

Companies located in the Research Park at Florida Atlantic University added 119 new jobs in 2022, bringing the total to 986 jobs, according to according to its 2022 Annual Report. The Research Park is home to technology companies and research-based organizations, as well as Global Ventures, an incubator for second-stage companies, and the accelerator FAU Tech Runway.

Fully half of the Research Park’s companies are in the healthcare industry, while 35% Global Ventures companies are in the space, from medical devices to artificial intelligence and medical therapeutics. This includes eight new arrivals in the incubator and Research Park. The concentration aligns with FAU’s expertise and focus, having created the FAU Health Network and securing a $26 million smart cities engineering research grant in 2022.

Notably, more than half of the businesses at the park provide internships or employment to FAU graduates, the report said.

“2022 was a strong collaboration year, and we are forecasting increasingly strong relationships between the university and our businesses going forward, ” said Andrew Duffell, president of the Research Park at FAU.


$1M FPL gift establishes new tech center at FAU

A $1 million dollar gift from Florida Power & Light Company will help establish the FPL Center for Intelligent Energy Technologies (InETech) at Florida Atlantic University, the South Florida Tech Hub reported.  The donation will be made through FPL’s charitable arm, the NextEra Energy Foundation.

FAU and FPL have agreed to a four-year collaboration to establish the FPL Center InETech, which will be housed in the FAU College of Engineering and Computer Science. The primary focus of InETech will be research relating to smart technologies and products relevant to the energy sector, along with workforce development.  Read more in South Florida Tech Hub.


Opportunity knocks

  • Black Ambition has opened applications for the third annual Black Ambition Prize competition. The grand prize winner will receive $1 million, and at least 15 additional teams will receive prize awards of $15,000 to $250,000. Founded by Pharrell Williams and run by Miami’s Felecia Hatcher, Black Ambition has awarded funding and resources to 65 prize winners — totaling $6 million. Learn more and apply here. The deadline is May 8.  
  • 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.
  • 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.


Nancy Dahlberg