Susan Amat is the founder of Launch Pad Tech, a new technology accelerator in downtown Miami, and co-founder and executive director of The Launch Pad at Toppel, an entrepreneurial career center at the University of Miami. A serial entrepreneur, she started and ran a successful record label and developed a television show and the first CD-Rom magazine. She teaches business strategy, entrepreneurship and organizational behavior at UM, chairs Startup Florida, part of the Startup America partnership, and chairs the new STEM Board for Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
Juan Pablo Cappello , recently selected as a Top 50 Entrepreneur by Business Leader Magazine, co-founded www.idea.me, the first Latin America crowdfunding site, and Sauber Energy, a green energy company in Chile, while remaining a serial seed investor in other ventures including Senzari, and was a partner and director of Patagon.com. He is a principal shareholder in the Latin American Group of Greenberg Traurig. He serves on several boards including Endeavor.org and is a member of the Legal Committee of the Latin American Venture Capital Association.
Adriana Cisneros is vice chairman and director of strategy of the Cisneros Group of Companies, one of the world’s largest privately held media, entertainment, telecommunications and consumer product companies. She is also CEO of Tropicalia, a Cisneros Group high-end, eco-resort in the Dominican Republic, and president of the nonprofit Fundación Cisneros to improve education in Latin America. Among many outside appointments, she mentors for a Brazilian digital accelerator, 21212.
Cornell Crews Jr. , a retired U.S. Army veteran, has been program director for Partners For Self Employment, a U.S. Small Business Administration certified lender for Miami-Dade and Broward counties, for 12 years. He oversees the peer loan, direct loan and individual development account programs for the nonprofit organization that provides training, technical assistance and loans to startups and seasoned businesses.
Rafael Cruz is regional director of the Florida Small Business Development Center, in charge of all operations in Broward County. Cruz leads a team of certified business analysts who counsel and train entrepreneurs in all critical aspects of successfully starting and running a business. A marketing and service-industry expert, Cruz held leadership positions in Fortune 500 corporations and privately held companies before joining FSBDC.
Melissa Krinzman is founder and managing director of Venture Architects, a leading business planning firm that positions private companies and nonprofit organizations for success in the capital-raising process. Previously, Krinzman was president of Tyber USA, the U.S. subsidiary of a European fabric manufacturer and fashion company, and held management posts at three national nonprofits. She is on boards for The Miami Foundation, Ransom Everglades School and Locust Projects.
Steven McKean is chairman and CEO of Acceller, a unique comparison shopping and information platform for selling digital lifestyle services to consumers. Before founding Acceller, McKean was co-founder and CTO of MEDWerks.com, an application service provider for medical claims adjudication and payment. He serves as a director at Miami Children’s Hospital, the University of Miami Citizen’s Board, the YPO and the Zell Lurie Entrepreneurial Institute Advisory Board and is on the Orange Bowl Committee.
Manny Medina is the founding and managing partner of Medina Capital. Medina was founder, chairman of the board and CEO of Terremark Worldwide, a publicly traded company until April 2011 when Terremark was acquired by Verizon Communications for $2 billion. Under his leadership, Terremark was the leading global provider of managed IT infrastructure services for Fortune 500 enterprises and federal government agencies. Medina is bringing a major technology conference to South Florida in 2014.
Darius G. Nevin is co-founder of G3 Capital Partners, a mid-market and early-stage investment company, and expert advisor to private equity firms regarding the security industry. He is also the former CFO of two publicly-listed security monitoring companies: Protection One, the third-largest in the U.S. during his tenure; and Guardian International. He also worked at First Chicago Venture Capital and served on boards of several early-stage tech companies. G3 recently provided growth capital to two South Florida companies.
Rob Strandberg is president and CEO of Enterprise Development Corporation of South Florida (EDC), a public-private partnership that assists emerging science and technology companies. He oversees the C. Scott Ellington Technology Business Incubator, EDC conferences, administration of the New World Angels and other programs. He has been a CEO of technology companies Xytrans, PSC and DATAMAX. He has been a director of such public companies as Sawtek/Triquint, Merix/Via Systems and Quipp/ITW.
Marjorie Weber is chair of SCORE Miami-Dade, and also serves as a technical advisor for small-business clients seeking funding and a mentor. The chapter, one of the nation’s largest, has 93 counselors and helps more than 2,000 businesses. She is president of Florida Fidelity Group, which addresses needs of small-business entrepreneurs. She was a founding board member of the Haitian American Emergency Relief Committee and a Home Loan Bank Board Atlanta task force member.