FloridaInstitute Commercialization of Florida Technology

Supporting Florida’s Innovation Economy

Issue 103 – March 2023



Join the FAU Tech Runway Venture Program and Get Over $100,000 in Resources and Services


Boca Raton, FL - Are you an entrepreneur looking to create and scale your startup? Then apply to the FAU Tech Runway Venture Program! This program offers ventures and entrepreneurs over $100,000 worth of entrepreneurial resources and services.

The program is now accepting applications for its Venture Program, and the deadline to apply is Friday, April 14. To apply, visit https://www.fau.edu/techrunway/tech-runway-venture-program/.

The FAU Tech Runway Venture Program is designed to provide entrepreneurs with the resources and support they need to grow their startups. Accepted ventures will have access to mentorship, educational programs, networking events, office space, and funding opportunities. In addition, they will receive legal, accounting, and marketing services to help them establish and grow their businesses.

If you're an entrepreneur looking to take your startup to the next level, the FAU Tech Runway Venture Program is the perfect opportunity. Apply today and get ready to create and scale your startup!

Panoramic Ventures Releases State of Startups in the Southeast Report for 2022 

Florida Funders and Florida Institute Named Top Investors in Florida



Atlanta, GA – Panoramic Ventures, one of the most active venture capital firms focusing on the Southeastern United States, has recently released its annual report on the State of Startups in the Southeast for 2022. The report provides a comprehensive overview of the startup ecosystem in the region and highlights key trends and insights.

According to the report, the Southeast continues to be a hotbed for startup activity, with a growing number of companies securing funding and achieving successful exits. In 2021, the region saw a record-breaking $18 billion in venture capital investment, representing a 62% increase over the previous year.

Florida is a key player in the Southeastern startup scene, with several notable highlights in the report. The Institute is recognized as a top performer in the region, with a portfolio of companies that have raised significant funding contributing thousands of jobs and $4.1 billion in economic impact for Florida.

The report also highlights the success of our private fund manager, Florida Funders, a Tampa-based investment firm that has closed its $60 million second fund in 2022. Their team comprises serial entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and experienced angel investors singularly focused on uncovering Florida’s next breakout technology companies. The firm remains the most active VC in Florida and the Southeast, according to CBInsights.

Other highlights from the report include the growth of fintech and health tech startups in the region, as well as an increase in the number of early-stage deals. The report also notes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the startup ecosystem, with many companies shifting their focus to remote work and digital solutions.

The State of Startups in the Southeast 2022 report provides valuable insights into the region's startup ecosystem and highlights the Southeastern startup's continued growth and success. With Florida at the forefront of this growth, the state is poised to continue its trajectory as a top destination for entrepreneurs and investors alike.

The report can be found here.



CAST AI Captures $20M, Aims for 10x Growth and Entrance into New Cloud-related Verticals


Miami, FL – CAST AI, a cloud-based software startup and portfolio company of the Institute, has secured $20 million in funding to fuel its growth and expansion into new verticals. The company provides a platform that simplifies cloud deployment and management of machine learning workloads.

The funding round was led by Two Sigma Ventures, with participation from previous investors, including StageOne Ventures and INcapital. Cast.ai plans to use the funds to accelerate its growth and expand into new cloud-related verticals, such as DevOps, security, and cost optimization.

According to Lior Abraham, CEO and co-founder of Cast.ai, the company's platform can help businesses reduce cloud costs by up to 90% while improving the performance and scalability of their machine-learning workloads. With the new funding, Cast.ai aims to achieve 10x growth and reach new markets with its innovative technology.

To learn more about CAST AI and its cloud-based machine-learning platform, visit their website at https://www.cast.ai/.

The full press release can be found here.


Panbela Therapeutics Reports Positive 2022 Financial Results and Advances Clinical Trials and Collaborations


Gainesville, FL - Panbela Therapeutics (Nasdaq: PBLA and formerly known as Sun Bio Pharma), funded by the Institute in 2012, announced its Q4 and full-year financial results for 2022, reporting progress on its clinical trials and collaborations. The company initiated its ASPIRE trial in January 2022 and received approvals to expand it to Australia, Spain, France, and Italy. Panbela also closed two registered public offerings yielding a total of approximately $21 million. Its Phase II Trial of CPP-1X-T for Recent Onset Type I Diabetes in collaboration with Indiana University and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation started in January 2023. In March 2023, the European Medicines Agency issued an orphan drug designation for ivospemin.

Learn more about Panbela Therapeutics here.



Rewst Brings Automation to MSPs with $21.5M Series A Funding Round


Tampa, FL - Rewst, an Institute portfolio company and startup providing automation tools for managed service providers (MSPs), has raised $21.5 million in a Series A funding round led by Elephant and General Catalyst. The funds will be used to accelerate Rewst's growth and expand its product offerings.

Rewst's platform streamlines the operations of MSPs by automating workflows such as ticket handling, customer onboarding, and network monitoring. This enables MSPs to focus on higher-level tasks, resulting in better service delivery to customers.

Founded in 2020, Rewst has rapidly attracted customers from small startups to large enterprises. The company plans to develop its platform further and expand its team with the proceeds of the Series A funding round.

According to the press release, Rewst is thrilled to have Elephant and General Catalyst onboard as they work towards transforming the MSP industry. The funding will enable Rewst to take its platform to the next level and bring automation to more MSPs.

Rewst's focus on automation and streamlining operations puts it in a good position to continue its growth and help MSPs deliver better service to their customers.

The release can be found here.


About Us


Formed by the Florida Legislature in 2007, the Institute for Commercialization of Florida Technology supports and funds innovation 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 that are developing products that improve and save lives and help companies improve their bottom line. The organization’s investment decisions are guided through a strong partnership with its Private Fund Manager, Florida Funders. The Institute’s economic impact on Florida’s economy is $4.1 billion, with fiscal revenue impacts of nearly $453 million to federal, state, and local governments.