Florida Venture Forum, the leading statewide support and member organization for venture and private equity professionals and entrepreneurs, has selected 24 companies to present at its 14th annual Florida Early Stage Capital Conference, which will be hosted in-person in Tampa, October 7-8, 2021.
The conference also will feature the 11th annual 2021 Statewide Collegiate Startup Competition, attracting the “best of the best” in collegiate competitors from several of Florida’s leading innovation-focused colleges and universities, including Florida Atlantic University, Florida State University (Jim Moran College), Stetson University, University of Central Florida, University of Florida, University of South Florida and University of Tampa.
“This is perhaps the most diverse set of applicants for the Early Stage conference from a geographic, applicant, and technological perspective,” said Ben Patz, managing partner of DeepWork Capital, Florida Venture Forum board member and chair of the Early Stage Conference selection committee. “The selection committee was able to select presenting companies that will inspire with their story, amaze with their technology, and impress with their progress. There is something for everyone.”
In addition to company presentations and other educational programming, the conference will feature a total of $100,000 in cash awards distributed between early stage and seed stage companies, provided by Space Florida. To date, past early stage presenters have attracted over $745 million in equity funding.
Online registration for the Early Stage Capital Conference is available through October 6th, 2021. Conference attendees will hear pitches from selected companies and network with attendees including every major seed and angel fund in Florida, as well as venture investors from throughout the state and beyond. On October 7, 2021, pre-registered conference attendees can attend “Optimizing Investor Engagement” workshop led by Robert Okabe, who actively shares his experience through work as a teacher and lecturer. He has been involved in every aspect of new company formation and development.
Presenters were selected from a pool of over 150 applicants by a committee of active Florida venture capital investors. Included in the listed presenters is Dr. Michael Havig, CEO/Founder of Healthme in Naples FL.
HealthMe, Naples, this showcase company is a physician-founded digital healthcare platform that improves and automates the delivery of healthcare to patients who want to pay directly for their healthcare. This growing group of direct-pay patients include employees of self-insured businesses, independent gig economy workers, and those disenfranchised by the high cost of health insurance.