Exciting News From The Florida Institute

Building Companies, Changing Lives

Issue 52 - March 2017

Florida Institute Finalizes Funding with Four Companies

Four companies that licensed technology from research institutions across the state have received new funding from the Florida Institute after having raised required matching private investment: Curtiss Healthcare, an Alachua-based company with technology developed at the University of Florida, Candidate.Guru, a Boca Raton-based company with technology developed at the Florida Institute for Human Machine and Cognition (IHMC), and BluAzu (aka Scout) a Gainesville-based company with technology developed at the University of Florida, each received first-round investment. Additionally, Aviana Molecular Technologies, an Orlando-based company with technology developed at the University of Central Florida received follow-on funding for achieving significant development milestones since receiving initial funding.
Curtiss Healthcare is providing a disruptive vaccine technology focused on improving food safety and food quality. Candidate.Guru delivers a patent pending cloud-based solution that can predict a culture fit between job candidates and companies without the need for surveys and assessment tools. BluAzu has developed Scout, a personal GPS tracker that provides 24/7 real-time precision location tracking and status alerts anywhere mobile service exists. Aviana is a point of care (POC) diagnostics company that is developing miniaturized biosensors capable of attaching to a smartphone/smart device through Bluetooth or other wireless connections.

Register Today for the University of Florida

“A Celebration Innovation Startup Showcase”

This year the University of Florida (UF) will hold its eleventh annual startup showcase, “A Celebration of Innovation” on April 4, 2017  at the Hilton University of Florida Hotel and Conference Center. The showcase is a unique opportunity to see startup companies commercializing the latest life science, medical device, and cutting-edge technologies generated as a result of the more than $700 million in research conducted annually at UF. Those interested in licensing, commercializing, investing or otherwise becoming involved with getting new discoveries to the marketplace won’t want to miss this year’s showcase. More details and event registration may be viewed here.

TAO Connect featured in Tampa Bay Business Journal

Sherry Benton, Founder of TAO Connect was recently featured in a video in the Tampa Bay Business Journal for eliminating mental health treatment barriers with the Therapy Assistance Online (TAO) Connect solution, a suite of online tools for client education, interaction, accountability, and progress assessment. TAO Connect facilitates effective treatment for anxiety and other mental health problems that have been growing significantly in recent years, particularly on college campuses. The company received funding from the Institute in December 2014, and has achieved significant milestones in the treatment of university students and other at-risk populations who can benefit from streamlined access to treatment.


Eskayra Pagan, Institute Marketing Coordiantor attended the USF Connect 3rd Annual Women In Entreprenuership Breakfast where women entrepreneurs from the Tampa Bay Community came together to share their successes and experiences in the world of business

Register Today  for the Innovation Awards 2017

Join Innovation Coast and the Office of Economic Development and Engagement (OEDE) at the University of West Florida for the Innovation Awards being held on April 12-13, 2017 at the Pensacola Beach Hilton. Registration is open for companies seeking to compete for cash prizes ranging from $5,000 to $100,000 before a live audience of entrepreneurs, industry leaders, and potential investors. More details and event registration may be viewed here.

Register Today for
2017 Florida Early Stage Capital Conference


Join the Florida Venture Forum for the 10th Annual Florida Early Stage Capital Conference and the 7th Annual Statewide Collegiate Business Plan Competition on May 19, 2017 at the Omni ChampionsGate Resort in Orlando, Florida. Listen to pitches from some of the most dynamic Florida based early stage companies and network with investors.

The 10th Annual Florida Early Stage Capital Conference is one of the largest gatherings of angel and early stage investors in the Southeast, and features panel discussions, speakers, and presentations by some of Florida’s fastest growing private companies. Also, hear from students representing the top universities throughout the state as they compete to win the 2017 Statewide Collegiate Business Plan Competition. 

About Us

Formed by the Florida Legislature in 2007, the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research is a non-profit organization that works collaboratively with the technology licensing and commercialization offices of Florida’s state universities and private research institutions to leverage a $2.5B+ research base and form investable companies that create clean jobs in new industries that are driving the global economy. The Institute provides company building services, and seed funding through the Florida Technology Seed Capital Fund, to promising Florida startups. Sixty-seven companies have been funded to date, and the Institute’s economic impact through June 30, 2016 was $630 million, with an annual return on investment of 22 times to the State of Florida.


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