3 Three Things I Learned From An Accelerator

Accelerator, Startup, Kairos, Miami Startup, NewMeRunning a startup can seem like a constant reminder of how far I have to go for success. Yet when I come across young startups or new entrepreneurs, I sometimes marvel at some of the mistakes that are made early. Mistakes that I would surely have made if I had not gone through an accelerator.

At Kairos, we were blessed to have gotten into the NewMe Accelerator in San Francisco. It was 12 weeks that changed my life. I often tell people, we went into NewMe going 40 mph, and left NewMe going 400 mph. It was that impactful. From what I learned there, I was able to parlay into a termsheet for 1.2 million dollars just last week. That termsheet represents months of learning, pitching, praying, and most importantly, building the company. NewMe is taking it’s act on the road, and I will be mentoring alongside some other great folks in Miami September 27th -29th. Google has sponsored them so that they can offer content across the country.

What are you going to hear, a LOT, and it will be tailored to your specific startup. Real 1-1 time. To give a taste, I thought I would offer my top 3 things I learned from NewMe.

1. NDA’s & Secrets

Don’t ask anyone to sign a NDA. VC’s will never do it, and it shows your immaturity in the process. No one wants to steal your idea, nor would they have as much passion for your ideas as you.

2. Practice, Practice, Practice

Learn how to tell your story, in a clear, succinct, and empathetic way. Then tell it over, and over, and over, and over again. Tell it so many times that the members of your team can tell it, tell it until your kids are repeating it at school. Tell it until your girlfriend or boyfriend leaves you because they can’t stand to hear it again.

3. Learn the lingo

Cap Table, Delaware C-Corp, traction, disruption, lean, patents, H1-B… These and a TON of other words need to be in your lexicon as a startup founder. VC’s and other startups will rate your maturity on the lingo you use and the answers to some standard questions. Accelerators and Incubators can help founders to learn these terms, and use them to qualify you as opposed to disqualify you in the eyes of your peers, funders, and media.

Startup is a wild and crazy world, but these three items can lay the foundation to a very successful enterprise.

Ad Astra!

Brian Brackeen is the CEO of Kairos, a enterprise facial recognition company recently selected as one of the Wall Street Journal’s top 20 startups. He lives in Miami and is a rabid Miami Heat and Philadelphia Eagles fan. 

Finding New York Success By Way Of Miami Living

Neilsen Paty, startups, startup tips, Guest PostBy: Neilson Paty, Founder & Creative Director of Jetty Productions

Can sunshine and beaches improve your bottom line? At Jetty, we found the answer to be yes — and it’s a nugget of wisdom I try to pass along to my fellow entrepreneurs.

Technology start-ups are born in the minds of the founders, but that idea can incubate anywhere — a coffee shop, a home office, even a garage. As every entrepreneur knows, these ideas can come out of nowhere and spring to life at unexpected times; sometimes, proof-of-concept arrives lightning fast while other times it might take months or years of massaging an idea into a workable model. Whatever the case, the one sure thing that an entrepreneur can count on is this: every single penny counts along the way.

For entrepreneurs, your life is your business. Personal and professional time meld into one, and don’t forget about finances. Suddenly, things you take for granted at a corporate job — such as ergonomic chairs and endless supplies of pens — become a tangible expense. The old adage of “a penny saved is a penny earned” becomes magnified.

Today’s start-ups are lucky in that they were born into the technology age. Not only do we develop ideas for the Internet, the Internet allows us to work on these ideas anywhere because of its immense communication and collaboration abilities. Necessities like office space, supplies, and cost-of-living are still hovering over the bottom line, even in the best of circumstances. That’s the bad news. The good news is that we’re not necessarily tied to geography, and that allows entrepreneurs to think outside the box — or in my case, think outside of New York City.

In 2006, I founded Jetty Productions in the skyscrapers and bustling streets of New York City. As a digital content creation company, it was the ideal place to situate our blend of creative and technical. Focusing on premium video content, we worked with many of the best companies in the business. In early 2009, everyone had to tighten their wallets, no matter what the situation. With that in mind, the door opened to a new possibility — and with technology powering cloud services, smartphones, and other accessibility tools, it made sense to leave the Big Apple and take root in Miami. By that time, Miami’s beautiful Brickell neighborhood had a startling vacancy level; it was easy to find office and living space at rates that would make even the most die-hard NYC dweller drool. It also helped that Florida has no state or city tax on personal income.

The savings easily trickled down to the way I could put money into my business. This kicked open the door to a level of flexibility in what we charge, what we take on, and our resources. We can scale up or down as needed, and the annual savings compounds itself into our client base and bottom line. Jetty’s revenue increased significantly these last few years, and things are on track to continue. I truly believe that Jetty’s move to Miami has directly impacted our success. Because of our always-on connectivity, we still easily integrate within any agency anywhere in the world, including our many clients in NYC.

When I talk with entrepreneurs these days, I always stress two things: first, start your business where you can achieve a strong foundation of customers, and second, once your foundation is solid, move to a place where it’s easier to grow. For Jetty, that was Miami — for you, that could be anywhere in the world that supports your logistical and financial needs. It’s been four years since I left the skyscrapers and traffic of New York City, and our business has never been stronger.

About Neilson Paty

Neilson is the founder & Creative Director at Jetty Productions, a place for brands and agencies to create short form premium video content. Neilson is known for leading eye popping content driven campaigns steered by an analytical and user engaging approach. Jetty Productions has a client roster to include over 50 companies, creating thousands of videos viewed and shared millions of times via broadcast, film, web, & mobile.

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Miami Startup Geopon Prefers “Mobile Advertising” Over Coupons, Loyalty & Rewards

Geopon,Miami startup,TechCrunch DisruptWhile we were at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013, we got a chance to talk with Ido Meos, co-founder of Miami startup Geopon. As he explains it, Geopon is a mobile advertising platform, not to be confused with coupons, loyalty and rewards.

Obviously loyalty & rewards is the cramped up space this year, along with anything social, local and mobile. Meros says that Geopon, which offers mobile coupons, offers, and reward based digital punchcards, is actually a lot different. According to him, Geopon’s edge is that they are serving up menus for restaurants when they give away a restaurant coupon. When they have an offer or a loyalty deal with a movie theater, they also deliver the latest showings.

So Geopon is an all in one shop for merchants. They are able to create mobile advertising campaigns based on which engagement platform they, and the merchant feel, are the best to reach their customer base.

They also try and touch the users at least twice from every engagement. They want to give out a coupon to get a customer in the door and then help the merchant retain the customer through loyalty/reward based incentives.

Each of the individual spaces are pretty crowded, but providing a one stop destination for local businesses to try various programs could prove profitable for Geopon.

Check out our video below and for more information visit geopon.com

Check out over 30 more startup stories from TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013.


Juan DotCo Takes A Break From His Birthday Party To Talk To Nibletz [SXSW]

.co,Startup,Miami Startup,Juan Diego Calle,Startup America,SXSW,SXSWiSeveral people lay claim to being “Mr. DotCom”. Of course there’s Mega Upload founder Kim DotCom who reportedly, legally changed his last name to DotCom, then there’s former Vice President Al Gore, who some still believe invented the internet.

One thing’s for sure though, and that is that Juan Diego Calle, is Mr.DotCo. As the founder and CEO of .co, it was his vision that turned an old country top level domain into the top level domain that’s being used by startups and their support organizations across the country. In fact we use a .co for our annual conference and conference series, “everywhereelse.co The Startup Conference”.

On Friday at SXSW 2013, Calle celebrated his birthday with about 100 of his closest startup friends at a luncheon held at the Capital Factory. The celebration continued late into the night at Pete’s Piano Bar, where Calle was a great sport as the piano players roasted him.

Calle celebrates his birthday with entrepreneurs, founders and Startup America by being roasted at Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar at SXSW

.co is actually the ccTLD for Colombia. Through a unique partnership and licensing agreement with Colombia, .co the company has become the official registrant for sites ending in .co. There are over 1 million domain names registered as .co and some of the biggest brands in the world, took advantage of single letter domains that .co had to offer. Of course there were only 26 of them and 9 of them are gone.

Google (g.c0), Twitter (t.co), Startup America (s.co) and Overstock.com (o.co) are just a few of the companies that have taken advantage of the single letter domain.

Calle is no stranger to entrepreneurship. The native of Colombia, grew up in a family of entrepreneurs in the beer and wine distribution business. When Calle was 15 though, his parents had him, his brother and his sister move to the United States for safety, while his family stayed back and ran the family business. He and his siblings’ first entrepreneurial roots came in the form of a car stereo installation company.

At age 22 he went for his first internet startup, a hybrid between goto.com and Askjeeves. That company succumbed to the internet bubble burst, but that didn’t deter Calle from continuing as an entrepreneur, and keeping the servers on at the company, TeRespondo. He eventually sold that company to Yahoo in 2005.

As for .co, before launching the registration company that is now known as .co, Calle commissioned a research study of the top level domain .co. 80% of the respondents thought that .co was short for company and 3% knew it stood for Colombia. The country Colombia soon realized there was opportunity to be had with the .co domain name but didn’t have the know how to execute a plan. Calle did, and he responded by providing an outline for all the problems that the country we need to overcome to start making money off the TLD.

“In addition to having very strict registration requirements, an ill-conceived effort to protect the country’s identity on the Internet resulted in the extension existing only in the third-level (for example, .com.co) prior to our administration,” Calle said. “It was also the reason why Colombia, the 30th largest economy in the world, with a population of 40 million, had only 28,000 .com.co domains registered as of February 6th, 2010.  There were 4 times more .coms registered by Colombians than .com.co’s!  If anything, the effort to protect the country’s internet identity through restrictive policy, was in fact killing it.” Calle said to dn journal in 2010

Calle ended up bidding on the administrative rights for the .co TLD and through a joint venture with Neustar Inc .co the company was born.  With the partnership in place Calle declared “Colombia is now a player on the internet”.

Calle is still operating as a startup. His small team is based in Miami where they handle the administration duties of the domain extension. They are also deeply entrenched in the startup scene. They quickly realized that .co was becoming a preferred extension of startups. They also entered into a partnership as a major sponsor of Startup America. Startup America’s website is s.co.

As an entrepreneur himself Calle gets excited talking with and hanging out with other entrepreneurs, which is why his entire birthday was spent doing just that.

He took a break from his luncheon festivities to talk with us in the video interview below.  For more information on .co visit go.co

We’ve got more sxsw stories here, a LOT more.

You can help us on our sneaker strapped nationwide startup roadtrip here


Miami Startup SocialTyer: It’s What Happens After KickStarter

SocialTyer,Miami startup,startup interview,kickstarter,crowdfundingKickstarter has become quite the phenomena as of late. Over $319 million dollars was pledged using the crowdfunding platform, across a myriad of products. After a company gets funded on KickStarter, what happens next?

Companies that reach their funding goals begin shipping their products. Those that have received a lot of traction may quickly land distribution deals, but those that don’t may have a hard time kickstarting again after their crowdfunding campaign.

That’s where Miami startup SocialTyer comes in.

“SocialTyer is a social-commerce website that helps entrepreneurs sell their early-stage products with the help of the powerful social media community. Inspired by the recent success of crowdfunding, we wanted to offer a way for entrepreneurs to make a direct impact immediately after getting funded for production. Apart from spending thousands of dollars on traditional marketing or getting absolutely ripped-off by wholesaling away, there aren’t many ways to do so in a fast and efficient way. . To do so, we came up with the idea of empowering the social media community and offering them the opportunity to become modern-day salesmen: they introduce these products to their network and get commissioned when a sale occurs. Entrepreneurs trusting our service pay us absolutely nothing to sign up and don’t have to worry about that until we actually create a sale for them.”  Jonathan Gosper, co-founder of Social Tyer told nibletz.com in an interview.

Gosper, along with co-founder Girish Alwani, met at the University of Miami. Both young men come from vastly different international backgrounds. Jonathan grew up in France and was introduced to the entrepreneurial world after co-founding hi-tech luxury brand Colibri. His occasional struggles to market his products and the study of advertising greatly inspired him to come up with SocialTyer’s concept. Girish grew up in the Caribbean and studied finance. His belief that everyone should get a chance to be a micro-entrepreneur has fingerprints all over SocialTyer.

So far, spreading the word and communicating the idea behind SocialTyer has been the biggest challenge for Gosper and Alwani. The idea has started picking up steam after being in stealth mode for over six months. ” We had numbered goals for entrepreneurs to contact and sign up for beta listing,  beta sign up requests and a people joining our social media accounts. Although some thought we were being too optimistic in our projections and goals, those milestones were all reached with 1/3 of the time we allowed us.” Gosper said in regards to their traction.

They hope to launch the full website atsocialtyer.com next month. Until then you can keep up with SocialTyer on AngelList.

The nibletz and everywhereelse.co team is doing a little crowdfunding of our own, more here on how you can help us on the sneaker strapped nationwide startup road trip part deux.

Miami Getting A Health Tech Startup Accelerator


Health tech is a huge space. It, along with its sibling, “bioscience” is one of the fastest growing segments of startups world wide. Health tech focused accelerators can be wildly successful, especially “everywhere else”.

In startup communities “everywhere else” it can be easier for investors to understand health tech, as opposed to the latest, greatest, social local mobile event discovery app. Presumably, health tech startups have a direct path to helping people, fighting sickness or driving costs down.

Lift1428, an innovation design, strategy and communications firm, the Miami Innovation Center at the University of Miami Life Science & Technology Park and its developer, Wexford Science + Technology, and the UM Miller School of Medicine, have teamed up for Project Lift Miami, a new health tech focused startup accelerator in Miami, reports the Miami Herald.

The new Project Lift Miami accelerator is a 100 day program for new startups and entrepreneurs. They will select between 10-15 startups and entrepreneurs to participate in the program. Each startup will receive between $20,000 and $30,000 in seed funding.

However, like most accelerators, this program is not about the funding. All of the teams will have access to a nationwide network of top level mentors who have committed to the startups well beyond the 100 day program.
“There’s so much regulation and there are privacy issues and other barriers to entry that are different in the healthcare industry. Having the access to the environment we have here to test your idea and prove your concept is a great advance,” said Robert Chavez, Executive Director of Project Lift, who is also executive director of business intelligence at UM’s Miller School, told the Herald “That kind of mentoring you won’t get at a general accelerator.”

Apply now for Project Lift

More startup news is here

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Miami Startup: RentJiffy Simplifies Life For Landlords INTERVIEW

RentJiffy,DC startup,Florida startup,Miami startup,startup,startups,Startup interview,startropicaContinuing with the series of features about each of the impressive Startups Incubate Miami 2012 has been able put together this year Startropica sat down with Jonathan Addison, Founder and CEO, ofRentJiffy, a real estate management platform that makes life easier for landlords and property managers. This is our interview with him:

How the thought of creating RentJiffy came about in the first place?

It came out of my own Real Estate practice. I am from Washington DC, one of the busiest, and one of the most legally complicated real estate cities in the country, the most obvious example of this is the license property owners need to have in order to be able to rent that specific property, that’s for every single property they own, with all the different regulations for each type of building of course. So RentJiffy was conceived in 2010 originally to make life easier for DC Landlords offering to facilitate this type of licensing. Basically they go to RentJiffy and hire us to process the license for them, but we are about to launch a host of additional features as well on a national level, that’s why we came here to Miami.

So Rentjiffy started by offseting a huge need in the DC Real Estate market, I am guessing it grew fast.

Thankfully yes it has been a success. Since January of 2010, we have doubled our revenue every year, that’s 3 years in a row. In 2011 we did $175.000 and to date we are approaching $300k in sales for 2012, enough to keep the team going and to help us put in place the next step which is to make RentJiffy a national platform

Continue reading at Startropica.com

Incubate Miami Startup: iCare Intelligence Optimizing Patient Information

iCare Inteligence,startups,startup,Miami startup,Startropica,startup news,Incubate MiamiiCare Intelligence, a highly promising innovative software company coming from Incubate Miami’s 2012 Class, is on the path to become one of the most important Health Care related startups emerging from South Florida in recent years. This is due to the magnitude of the problems it solves and the caliber of the team at its helm.

iCare intelligence is a data analytics and workflow collaboration cloud-based platform. The software increases the accuracy of the patient information while it changes hands between the government, insurance companies, and the doctors. The system optimizes profits and minimizes inefficiencies for every party involved in the health care value chain. iCare Intelligence data analytics work in coordination with Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems, feeding key data to health care practitioners. The brainchild of iCare Intelligence is industry veteran John Suarez, with 11 years of domain expertise in the health care sector across the functional areas of information systems and operations.

John Suarez explains from his Incubate Miami workstation:  “There is an estimated 10-20% loss of revenue for both insurance companies and doctors due to inaccurate patient information. The current structure depends on human intervention and many important pieces of information are being lost along the way. Our platform brings real time data into this complex and fragmented exchange of information, to provide insurance companies with proactive solutions to costly compliance errors.  This thereby maximizes insurance company payouts and reduces their level of risk. As the entire fee for the service is paid for by the insurance companies and management service organizations, doctors will receive the benefits of the platform free of charge”.

Continue reading at Startropica.com


More Miami startup coverage from Startropica & Nibletz

Are you going to be “everywhere else” ?

Miami Startup: Clearci Simplifies Competitive Intelligence

Competitive Intelligence, a critical part of corporate strategy, and also one of the most misunderstood, has evolved tremendously since it was officially inaugurated in the mid 80’s. Now,clearCi, a company based out of Fort Lauderdale, FL, arrived to transform it by making information simpler and more accessible than ever. The practice, innocently confused by many as ‘spying’, consists of collection, classification and distribution of information about the competition in order to facilitate better strategic decisions.

The Internet changed the form in which secondary intelligence was collected since instead of retrieving it from supermarket aisles, pamphlets, books, and TV commercials, now it’s available online, and for the most part, what Competitive Intelligence (CI) professionals need to do is surf the Internet to gather information from numerous websites; still a time consuming proposition. Recently, with the evolution of search crawlers, some companies simplified the task, but now clearCi is making a big push by simplifying the process to unprecedented levels thanks to patent-pending algorithms and technology.

When asked to explain what the cloud-based SaaS platform does Co-Founder Joe Levy is reluctant to offer complicated explanations, rightfully using one sentence: “We offer software tools that help you keep track of your competition.” How so? The marketing team breaks it down further by saying that the technology works as an automated CI informant hired to monitor any competitor webpage or data source related to products, industries, markets, customers, vendors and even key partners. The tool cuts through the clutter caused by Big Data, and only relevant information is gathered and stored into an online portal that organizes data into channels, sharable folders, and reports, making data more manageable across an entire footprint.

Continue reading at our partner site Startropica.com

Miami Startup: Kipu Systems, Transforming The Substance Abuse Industry

Tobias Franoszek, the CTO and Co-Founder of KIPU Systems, a cloud-based records management system for the substance abuse industry, is no stranger to startups and technology. In the mid-nineties he achieved great success with CONCEPT!, a Frankfurt stock exchange digital  interactive agency, were as Client Services and Technical director he led the technological growth of the company from 4 to 250 employees. At the turn of the decade, Concept identified the growing Latin-American Tech Sector in Miami and he was delegated as the Managing Director for the Region. As history goes, not long after he began his tenure the burst of the dot come bubble occurred. He endured it after obvious adjustments, and then adopted Miami as his hometown transitioning into technological consulting and various other digital service offerings.

In the beginning of 2012 Tobias was contracted by The Right Place Residential Detox center to evaluate electronic medical records systems. After reviewing more than 30 vendors he couldn’t recommend any of the solutions evaluated and instead offered to create one – and so the journey to create KIPU SYSTEMS began.

KipuSystems,Kipu,Startropica,Miami,Incubate Miami,startup,startups Not surprisingly, Tobias witnessed huge inefficiencies while studying the procedures in place and it became a big motivating factor for him, as he says: “to begin with, the detox industry is not easy to manage because each patient is different and the procedures change according to the type of addiction, age, sex, consent of guardians, you name it, and it’s not easy for the caregivers to keep up with all the paperwork, so it became an opportunity to improve upon an antiquated system.” Today KIPU is completely functional at The Right Place Residential Detox center where it has proved that its implementation reduces Initial Evaluations, Patient Intake, and Doctor Review times by more than 50%.

And the reasons for this improvement can be seen at the center on a daily basis. Now caregivers use an iPad with the Kipu software to process sign-in information and every other procedure they implement on their daily routine, whereas before the norm was endless paper handling. But one of the most impressive achievements of the KIPU team is the transition from manual “bed boards” into “electronic bed boards” (this boards show the current census, bed assignments, and incoming and leaving patients, at any given moment). This means caregivers no longer have to write and erase information on whiteboards; instead the system creates the electronic version in real time. No wonder KIPU is the subject of adoration at the center.

Read more at our Miami content partner Startropica.com


Meet The Founders Of Miami Startup: CloudShopper

Cloudshopper,Miami startup,Florida startup,startup,startups,StarTropica

This story originally appeared on our content partner site StarTropica.com

“We didn’t set out to do a Startup we’re doing a Business”, Ulises Orozco, co-founder ofCloudShopper, a free shopping comparison add-on already popular in the market place told me when our conversation turned a little too much into startup blabber as if wanting to draw the line between the social and fashionable side of “having a startup” and the simple execution of a business plan.

Simple it is, and also lean. So lean it only appears in your browser at the exact time that you need it, nothing more nothing less. Unlike most existing browser add-ons CloudShopper is invisible and it only pops up when you search for a specific product in a shopping portal offering you  price comparisons of the exact same item in other websites, so that you can choose the lower one. One click and you are off to see it, and very probably buy it.

It’s sleek, non-intrusive, efficient, and accurate, no longer it has amassed 17,000 downloads in almost a year with very limited advertising; as big as that number is it’s not even near to what their goal is, they actually need much more than that to really start seeing the kind of return they are expecting, that’s why they are conquering every browser platform in the market. It is already available in Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Explorer, and Opera, and they are soon releasing the iPhone app.

What’s so amazing about CloudShopper is how simple it is for the user but how complicated it is to implement on the back-end. The add-on is available in 2,500 e-commerce websites from Amazon and Wal-Mart, to Sears and Target, you name it, and they are there. This implied setting up connections with many of those portals through their APIs, but at the same time making a different piece of software for each of the existing Browsers to then bring it all together under a clean user interface. And they did it all in just under a year of work.

Continue reading at our partner site StarTropica

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