Pitch Night Cohort 4 Empower Accelerator May 1, 2018

If you are yearning to explore your inner entrepreneur, StartUP FIU’s Pitch Night on May 1st is the place to be inspired!

The intrepid entrepreneurs from Cohort 4 of the Empower Accelerator are preparing their investor pitches for Pitch Night.  Going through the intensive 14-week Accelerator program has pushed them to the limit in refining their business models through rigorous and continuous testing of their assumptions about what it will take to be successful. On May 1st, you can see the fruits of their labor, as they each have 5 minutes to tell their stories to inspire potential investors to want to take a risk on them.

Here are the Cohort 4 companies preparing to pitch:

Safe Emissions Systems: Designs and builds a life-saving muffler for portable generators that eliminates 99.1% of the toxic carbon monoxide fumes.

CivicPro: Provides an online customizable database to track public meetings and legislation across cities.

MDocLive: Developing a platform that provides direct communication between health care providers and a patient or family member, including critical patient care instructions.

Ecological Atlas: Offers visually beautiful and flexible data-driven graphic mapping tools to enable landscape designers, gardeners, and environmentalists understand the bloom times, colors, and seasonality of their local environment.

Visional Forensics: Manufactures easy-to-use onsite crime scene detection of dangerous substances. Developed by career forensic lab experts.

Kangowrite: Provides digital learning tools to help students write research assignments in less time with less stress.

Mandatum: Enables consumers to name their own price for products they buy online.

Metastatic AI: Diagnoses the presence or absence of breast cancer with 99% accuracy by using deep machine learning.

NestNotes:  Provides a website and app for families to make it easier to record and print keepsakes.

Owletpass: Enables parents to find and register, online, their kids in a wide-range of activities on a one-time or continuous basis.

SunVessel:  Provides network of solar charging stations that enable people to easily rent, return, and charge personal mobility devices for fast and fun urban transportation.

SmartsAid:  Enables refugees, homeless, and other people in need to easily access aid services using a mobile app.

To see these teams pitch and get inspired, please join us for Pitch Night on the evening of May 1stat 6:30 pm on the main campus of Florida International University, SASC Auditorium, room 160. You can register here.

For more information, contact:
Kate Sackman, Director of the Empower Accelerator


StartUP FIU’s EcoAtlas Finalist for Fast Company World Changing Ideas 2018 Awards

Miami, FL  April 9, 2018 – Fast Company, a leading innovation and entrepreneurship publication, announced today that Studio Roberto Rovira, a Miami company founded by an FIU faculty member and creator of the EcoAtlas, is a finalist in this year’s World Changing Ideas 2018 award. As a finalist in the Photography and Visualization award category, Rovira’s EcoAtlas joins a prestigious group that in 2017 included winners IDEO, the world-renowned design firm, and the Nature Conservancy. The EcoAtlas is a comprehensive open source design and visualization platform that communicates vast amounts of information about the natural world through simple and engaging data maps.

The EcoAtlas is the creation of Roberto Rovira, Associate Professor and former chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture and + Environmental and Urban Design at Florida International University in the College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts (CARTA). “The issue of environmental sustainability is in many ways an information issue and the EcoAtlas brings alive the consequences of decisions like sea level rise on plants and animals in a visually compelling way,” states Rovira, “The EcoAtlas enables overwhelming amounts of data about complex natural patterns to be intuitively understandable.”

Trained as an engineer and landscape architect, Rovira was quite comfortable creating the design and functionality of the EcoAtlas, but when he thought about commercializing his product, he turned to StartUP FIU. Rovira was admitted into Cohort 4 of StartUP FIU’s Empower Accelerator, which started classes in January 2018.  The intensive 14-week program designed to help students, faculty and community members scale their idea, invention or company. Says Rovira, “It’s been an intensely rewarding experience that has provided multiple resources to build momentum for the successful launch and execution of my vision.”

Rovira is part of a new movement led by StartUP FIU to increase support for innovation and entrepreneurship at FIU. “It’s wonderful to see faculty in the Cohorts,” says Kate Sackman, Director of the Empower Accelerator, “They have such a wealth of information and domain expertise. We just need to demystify the entrepreneurial process to help them commercialize their ideas and research.”

Rovira agrees, “It is an honor to be recognized as a finalist by such a prestigious publication and awards program that values innovation aimed at addressing real world problems. My ambition has been to achieve maximum impact and global reach with the EcoAtlas. With support from StartUP FIU and now the Fast Companyrecognition, I can see a path towards achieving that goal.”


About the World Changing Ideas Awards

World Changing Ideas is one of Fast Company’s major annual awards programs and is focused on social good, seeking to elevate finished products and brave concepts that make the world better. A panel of judges from across sectors choose winners and finalists based on feasibility and the potential for impact. With a goal of awarding ingenuity and fostering innovation, Fast Company draws attention to ideas with great potential and helps them expand their reach to inspire more people to start work on solving the problems that affect us all.


About StartUP FIU

StartUP FIU is a university-wide initiative at Florida International University (FIU) to foster and develop innovation and entrepreneurship that pursues opportunities of The Fourth Industrial Revolution. These opportunities include the development of breakthrough technologies, the pursuit of enterprises that close social or environmental gaps and the creation of companies that can create meaningful jobs of the future. StartUP FIU is focused on developing traditional and social entrepreneurship among students, faculty and staff, alumni and the South Florida community, leveraging the university’s strengths to stimulate commercial investment and job growth in the process. For more information on StartUP FIU, visit startup.fiu.edu.

About EcoAtlas

EcoAtlas communicates the seasonal changes of the natural world and serves as a comprehensive design and visualization tool. It bridges art, science, design, and technology, and connects the power of data and technology to help designers, planners, and anyone interested in better understanding and transforming the environment. By using intuitive, graphic mappings that can convey changes in bloom times, deciduous tree patterns, produce seasonality, animal migrations, and other time-dependent phenomena, the Ecological Atlas facilitates a comprehensive understanding of the environment. For information, contact Roberto Rovira (rovirar@fiu.edu) Associate Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental and Urban Design (LAEUD), College of Architecture and the Arts, Florida International University.