Startup’s device makes ice out of wine and spirits; other entrepreneurship news

Beyond Zero debuted its Alcohol Freezing Ice Makers at the National Restaurant Association’s International Wine Spirits and Beer show in Chicago last week.
Beyond Zero debuted its Alcohol Freezing Ice Makers at the National Restaurant Association’s International Wine Spirits and Beer show in Chicago last week.
Photo provided by Beyond Zero


Here’s a cool new product by a Miami startup: Alcohol Freezing Ice Makers.

Beyond Zero debuted its products at the National Restaurant Association’s International Wine Spirits and Beer show in Chicago last week week. Its machines enable users to freeze wine and spirits into frozen solid ice to be served in alcoholic drinks, creating a colder, smoother, stronger drink, said Jason Sherman, the inventor and CEO. “We call this new style of drinking ‘In The Rocks,’ ” he said.

Beyond Zero developed both a single-service device and a fully automatic machine that makes, dispenses and stores the ice to keep up in high-volume settings. The machines will be offered first to commercial venues like bars, nightclubs, restaurants, hotels, cruise ships and casinos, and are available to order on www.BZICE.com.

Your backyard party will have to wait, though. The company’s consumer models will be available in the near future, said Sherman.

Resources for entrepreneurs

Florida ExpertNet, a publicly funded statewide portal of applied research expertise in Florida’s universities, is getting an upgrade with the introduction of its Innovation Exchange. The exchange is a free, centralized resource to connect businesses, industry and economic development organizations with university research faculties, funded projects, centers, technologies and speakers.

While ExpertNet has proved to be a valuable resource for connecting the private sector with university research, the Innovation Exchange provides a customized experience that delivers targeted information directly to users through a personal dashboard. Business owners will automatically receive updates and alerts on activity related to their interests based on their user profiles. To get started, create an account and profile for your company at ExpertNet.org/InnovationExchange.

Also, InternetCoast is launching an information portal that will provide analysis and insights on innovation and technology-driven job creation and economic growth on the statewide and local levels, says Dale Gregory, executive director of InternetCoast, a nonprofit group founded in 1999.

The first report in the portal is on venture capital investment in Florida. View it at www.icoast.com/4flinnovation/venture-capital-highlights/

The new Florida Innovation Highlights portal will be a tool to stimulate dialogue to better understand the innovation ecosystem, Gregory said. Data categories will include financing, including angel and venture capital; R&D spending; STEM job activity; the economic impact of the commercialization of intellectual property; technology industry business activity; and technology and biotechnology infrastructure. More will be coming soon, Gregory says, but in the meantime you can check out its Business Opportunities portal on icoast.com, which contains funding opportunities for seed/startup, early stage and R&D.

EVENTS on the radar

• A new event started by the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City has spread to about 40 communities, including Miami. 1 Million Cups, a weekly event happening at Venture Hive, offers two startups a chance to present their company and their startup’s biggest challenge for six minutes, and get feedback and suggestions from the audience for about 20 minutes. Last week in the debut event, Waleteros and LearnerNation presented and sparked a lively discussion. The event is held every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Hive, 1010 NE Second Ave., Miami. For more information and to request to present: 1millioncups.com/Miami.

• And here’s a chance for programmers to show off their skills — and possibly win cold, hard cash: e-Builder, the fast-growing South Florida-based provider of cloud-based construction program management software, will hold a code-a-thon June 11 at its Plantation headquarters. The contest is open to both professional and student programmers, and will include a number of creative code challenges and programming puzzles. Participants who answer the most problems correctly in the shortest time will receive a $2,500 grand prize. The deadline to apply is Friday, May 30, at www.e-builder.net/codeathon; those selected to participate will be notified by email on June 2. e-Builder, by the way, is looking to hire 20 additional programmers for its 100-person company.

•  Tech Cocktail is debuting Miami’s Showcase & Mixer event June 3 at Miami’s The Stage, where 10 startups pitch while networking with other entrepreneurs and investors. Winners are chosen online and during the event, and they get a chance to make their pitches during Tech Cocktail’s Celebrate event in October. They also win bragging rights, says Tech Cocktail’s Miami Community Manager Camila Sousa. Find out more at tech.co/miami.

Follow Nancy Dahlberg on Twitter @ndahlberg

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