eMerge Americas Lines up Promising Startups to Pitch to Potential Investors Like Pitbull
There’s no debating that Silicon Valley remains the leading hub for tech startups in the world. The entrepreneurial energy in the Valley is just something else, with innovations being the order of the day.
Luckily, this energy isn’t confined there. South Florida has also flexed its innovative muscles, and things are looking good.
The city of Miami has become quite an entrepreneurial hotbed. In 2018 alone, $1.38 billion was poured into startups in South Florida as investment money, eMerge Americas reports. Of this amount, startups in Miami snagged three quarters, with the rest going to other emerging companies in the state.
These Miami startups also bagged half the deals made in Florida, making the city an entrepreneurial force to reckon with.
eMerge Americas held its two-day conference last month, a summit that draws startups, global enterprises, and governments together in a bid to raise capital for tech startups located away from Silicon Valley.
First held in 2012, the conference brings together talent from Europe, Latin America, and North America. Innovators showcase their ideas in the hope of catching the eye of one or two potential investors.
Speaking at the conference’s sixth edition, Melissa Medina (president) reiterated that eMerge Americas has worked tirelessly to propel investment and innovation in South Florida. She, however, admitted that at the time of their launching, investors were not that interested in their idea. Nevertheless, eMerge Americas has created a name for itself, and the showcase summit attracts big bucks and even bigger ideas from all around the world.
Over 100 young companies convened to pitch their business ideas to those present, and one of them was a popular face. Armando Perez helped in the founding of eMerge Americas, and doubles up as an equity partner. You have no idea who Perez is? When he’s not making smart money moves, he goes by the stage name Pitbull.
All in One
Pitbull was in attendance in a number of various capacities: equity partner, potential investor, speaker, and judge. The Grammy award winner sat alongside Jack Selby (MD, Clarium Capital) and Alex Estevez, an Accel Ventures partner to decide the fate of the startups in the Showcase Finale.
This edition of the summit also included a new feature, one where accredited investors were allowed to directly meet with startup founders in match-making of sorts.
This way, it would be a win-win situation for all those present, even those whose ideas wouldn’t end up winning the showcase. There can only be a single winner in the competition after all.
Apart from Pitbull, other notable investors present were Paulo Passoni and Steve Murray, who all spoke at the conference. Sebastian Pinera (Chilean President), though not physically present for the forum, addressed those in attendance via teleconference.
The winner of this year’s conference was Danya Sherman, who was in attendance as CEO and founder of KnoNap.
The startup is based in Washington D.C., and KnoNap is actually a napkin designed to detect spiked drinks. Pitbull was particularly impressed with the innovation and praised Sherman for her enthusiasm in pitching it.
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