Miami’s future unicorns? Techstars Miami launches with second batch of 12 tech startups
By Riley Kaminer
Techstars has just launched the second cohort of its local accelerator program, Techstars Miami Powered by J.P. Morgan. The hybrid program will conclude with a demo day on May 11th, where the companies will showcase their progress and pitch to a room full of investors, partners, and industry experts.
From upwards of 2,000 applications, Techstars interviewed over 100 startups to ultimately choose the 12 startups that will participate in the program. The startups [pictured above] are active in a diverse range of sectors: from developer tools to supply chain to FinTech to healthcare.
“We select founders that have a deep understanding of their customer’s pain points, and have demonstrated an ability to execute quickly. Those are the two main criteria,” Andres Barreto, Managing Director of Techstars Miami, told Refresh Miami. “And of course, we like to see large or growing markets.”
Barreto explained that the goal of the program is to help these companies achieve product-market fit, secure funding, and take their businesses to the next level. Providing equitable access to founders of all backgrounds is a key part of the accelerator as well. “I see startup ecosystems as a powerful tool to create access to upward socioeconomic mobility,” said Barreto.
One of the aspects of the program Barreto is looking most forward to is a four day period during which founders meet with 40 different experts. “Each founder gets 40 different perspectives, allowing them to look at all the possible pitfalls they are going to encounter in two years in about a week.”
After that, founders can laser-focus on finding product-market fit. “If they get to product market fit, it doesn’t matter the funding environment – it doesn’t matter what’s happening in the markets – these companies will thrive,” said Barreto.
For Barreto, this program also offers an opportunity to showcase that all #MiamiTech has to offer. Barreto himself grew up in Florida, eventually leaving to build his startup in New York due to a lack of capital in our local ecosystem. He returned to Miami last July to lead this program with Techstars. “It was kind of poetic that I got to move back home to bring Techstars here.”
Barreto asserted that many Miami tech founders – especially those on the Techstars program – buck the trend of someone who made their money elsewhere and are coming to spend it in the Sunshine State. “There is no one hard rule that says Miami is only for these certain types of companies. Miami is for a certain type of founder: the gritty founder that is resilient. And that’s what we have in common across this very diverse city and the diverse background of founders in the city overall. It’s our commonality of resilience.”
To continue growing our tech ecosystem, Barreto asserted that we need to focus on bringing back so-called boomerang talent like himself: Florida natives who felt that they needed to move away to build their business.
“If we are successful in making Miami a place where you don’t have to leave if you’re from here and we can put more effort into bringing back people that left Miami, we will continue strengthening Miami as a city in tech. And we will be able to join together the different cultures and groups that have migrated here, so it doesn’t become a series of isolated bubbles.”
Techstars Miami Cohort 2 companies:
- BeeCuick – A reverse B2B marketplace for hotel purchasing departments to transact with SMEs on credit.
- Cuentologia – It offers audio stories for kids to help parents connect with their children and improve their social-emotional skills.
- Fairsplit – Offers tailored severance employee benefits insurance to make severance packages available to every employee.
- Kuadra – Provides micro and small-sized businesses in Latin America with a platform to grow their businesses and access financing.
- KredFeed – Enables underserved SMEs in Mexico to unlock their cash flow by turning their receivables into instant cash.
- Lizit – A tech enabler and growth catalyst for asset rental companies, offering SaaS for asset management and operating processes.
- MedThread – Automatically gathers and curates patient histories for provider offices to reduce time spent calling and faxing.
- Modet – A fully digital operating system for apparel brands to seamlessly and quickly deliver ethically-manufactured products.
- NestedFunds – Provides tools to automate administrative tasks, simplify logistics, and streamline family collaboration for adult children supporting their parents.
- Sirius College – An accredited master program that transforms non-technical managers in LatAm into AI and data science professionals.
- Trez – An all-in-one solution for underserved Latino businesses, providing Payroll, Benefits, and Finance.
- Watermelon – An IDE extension for remote and distributed engineering teams to understand code context at depth.
READ MORE IN REFRESH MIAMI:
- QUASH.ai lands $3.7M seed round to expand Latin American credit platform
- Imran Siddiqui to lead Tech Equity Miami, plus JPMorgan Chase announces its 1st grant recipients to support diversity in ecosystem
- Florida startups in the spotlight as investors descend upon Brickell for Florida VC Conference
- How Venture for America fosters accessible, inclusive entrepreneurship in Miami
- Revving up: Boca-based TicketRev lands $500k pre-seed round, joins Techstars accelerator