UM Launch Pad announces Elevator Pitch Competition; Voike launches

Ready, set, pitch: The University of Miami’s Launch Pad, a career entrepreneurship center, is bringing back its popular Global Entrepreneurship Week Elevator Pitch Contest.

Entering the Elevator Pitch Contest is free, and there is a track for the South Florida community as well as one for UM students. Winners will be awarded with generous prize packages as this competition is designed to boost companies to the next level, said Will Silverman, director of the Launch Pad.

This year, round one of the contest will be via video, and the crowd will vote. Entrepreneurs who want to compete can submit a 60-second video, and the submissions webpage opens this week. Online voting will be Nov. 3 through Nov. 10.

Those who make it to the finals will compete live in front of judges. That will be Nov. 20 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. and the public is invited.

Enter starting Wednesday at

The Launch Pad also has five free events planned for GEW, including a discussion with John Ciancutti, Facebook’s director of engineering, titied “Bridging the Gap Between Engineers and Entrepreneurs.” There will also be a panel titled “Women in Growth Investing and High Growth Entrepreneurship” featuring prominent female venture capitalists and moderated by Melissa Krinzman of Venture Architects. Find information on all the events and register to attend at www.the


In other startup news, Miami-based Voike, an audio content delivery and social media platform that will offer users a free service to post and distribute voice-based communications, launched last week in partnership with Sony Music.

The service interacts with social media platforms and will allow voice messages directly on Facebook and Twitter. Voike, which works on non-smartphones, allows users to record or upload a message up to three minutes and send it directly to friends, family or a specified user base, as well as distribute these messages across social media platforms. In the future, Voike will allow users to offer voice-based testimonials and comments on Instagram, Digg, Groupon and other platforms, the company said. Users can register for a free account at

The management team behind Voike, which was developed by Miami-based Rokk3r Labs, is CEO Jaime Jaramillo, CFO Hector Arroyo and CTO Rick Raesz.

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