Project Lift Miami, a new accelerator designed to help develop young healthcare-technology companies and prepare them for investment opportunities, is now accepting applications for its first class, which will begin in May. Its website is live beginning Monday at www.lift1428.com/projectlift.
The accelerator is a partnership between Lift1428, an innovation design, strategy and communications firm, the University of Miami Life Science & Technology Park and its developer, Wexford Science + Technology, and the UM Miller School of Medicine, said Robert Chavez, executive director of Project Lift Miami. It will offer up to 15 selected entrepreneurial teams a structured 100-day program of training by a large network of local and national experts as well as mentoring and strategic support that will continue well beyond the program.
Applications will be accepted through March 14 at www.lift1428.com/projectlift. .
In other startup news:
• Startup funded: BlueKite closed on a $1.5 million funding round led by Miami-based investment group PeopleFund. BlueKite, a Miami startup, provides more options to millions of consumers who emigrated and still support loved ones in their home countries. The company is developing cross-border technology so that immigrants in the United States can directly pay their family’s bills back home, such as electricity, water, gas, internet, cable, phone, etc. Read more here.
• Seven in spotlight: Seven South Florida early- or later-stage companies are among 21 Florida companies selected by the Florida Venture Forum to present at the Florida Venture Capital Conference at the end of the month. Find out who will be presenting and more about them here.
• Save the date: Florida International University’s Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center will host its fourth annual Americas Venture Capital Conference (AVCC) Dec. 11-12 in Miami. This year’s conference theme is “healthcare innovation and venture capital.” Miguel B. ‘Mike’ Fernandez, serial entrepreneur and chairman of MBF Healthcare Partners, will co-chair the 2013 conference. Read more here.
• Back to UM roots: After studying College Hunks Hauling Junk in a University of Miami Entrepreneurship Consulting class, UM alumni Christopher Poore and Ron Rick made the jump and opened their own College Hunks Hauling Junk franchise in Miami. It’s coming full circle. In 2003, founder and CEO Omar Soliman, while a senior at UM, won first place and $10,000 in the university’s business plan competition for College Hunks Hauling Junk and went on to found it with a friend. The new Miami franchise is the Tampa company’s 46th. Read more here.
More news, views and tools for South Florida etrepreneurs can be found on The Starting Gate blog on MiamiHerald.com/business. Follow me on Twitter @ndahlberg