Immersion Phase of the FIBA Launch Program 2020: Florida Road Show

March 3-11, 2020

For the first time, FIBA took the Launch Program on the road!  Our team travelled with the 9 Israeli FIBA Launch Program participants to other major  cities outside of Tampa as part of the “Immersion” phase of our program over 10 days from March 3-11.

This road trip was an intense portion of our 2020 program with a jam packed schedule consisting of various one-on-one investor meetings and pitch opportunities, sales meetings with potential customers, public and private networking events and more. We visited the following places (in this order): Palm Beach County, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando and St. Petersburg.

We could not have accomplished this successful road show without the collaboration and hard work of our partners: Greenberg Traurig Law Firm, BDB Palm Beach County, BDO West Palm Beach, The Lab Miami, Venture Café Miami, The City of Ft. Lauderdale, The Israeli Consulate in Miami, Tavistock ), Orlando Economic Partnership,  and St Petersburg EDC. See more coverage of our day- to-day of the Immersion Phase below. 

March 3: Palm Beach County

We kicked things off on the east coast.  This was the first time since our initial program kick-off in Israel that the healthtech and urbantech companies were all together. The “welcome back” dinner in Palm Beach was graciously hosted by our partners at Greenberg Taurig Law Firm at The Regional.  

March 4: Palm Beach / West Palm Beach 

Pictured (left) CEO & Co-founder of Aura Air, Aviad Schnaiderman and (right) CEO of ArTack, Ziv Tamir giving their pitches. 

After a fun and relaxing evening, we kicked off the second day with a jam-packed schedule in beautiful Palm Beach with one-on-one industry meetings, hosted by Palm Beach BDB at the West Palm Beach Marriott Convention Center, followed by investor meetings and much needed cocktails. The investor meetings consisted of each of our companies doing their 5 minute pitches followed by one-on-one meetings. Special thanks to Palm Beach County BDB, BDO West Palm Beach and Comiter Singer Baseman & Braun.

Next stop: Miami!  

March 5: Miami

(Top left) Pictured is the Interim Consul General of Israel to Florida greeting the audience with Leigh-Ann Buchanan, Executive Director of Venture Café Miami. (Top right) Pictured is Aviad Schnaiderman, CEO and Co-founder of Aura Air. (Bottom left) Pictured is Amit May-dan, CEO and Co-founder of Milagro AI.  

Keeping the momentum going, we began our Miami day at the incredible Lab Miami.  Lab Miami is an innovative coworking space in the Wynwood District of Miami.  At The Lab, we held  one-on-one investor meetings  for a number of our companies. A few of our urbantech companies took a quick trip to Lennar corporate headquarters and had a chance to see their innovation center and meet with the leaders of Lennar Ventures in the morning.

Afterward, we promptly headed to Venture Café Miami for the remainder of the day to participate in the #ThursdayGathering event at the incredible Cambridge Innovation Center in Downtown Miami. This weekly event attracts a diverse crowd of hundreds all focused on the startup ecosystem in Miami.  Many local Israelis attended the event specifically to meet and connect with our companies.  The Israeli entrepreneurs networked with local Miami investors and entrepreneurs and were welcomed by the Interim Consul General of Israel to Florida, Jonathan Peled. 

March 6: Ft. Lauderdale 

Pictured above is Dean Trantalis, Mayor of Fort Lauderdale, giving welcome remarks to our group. 

We started a great day in Ft. Lauderdale with a visit from the Mayor, Dean Trantalis.  The Mayor’s excitement about FIBA and the strength of Israeli innovation was palpable.  The Mayor told the packed room, full of FIBA participants and local industry leaders about his recent trip to Israel , which was the impetus for our collaboration.

The full day event took place at the Broward Center for the Performing  Arts where our companies were fortunate to learn a lot about the City of Ft. Lauderdale.  They also met with and explored opportunities with local investors and industry partners, including each of the region’s major healthcare systems, real estate developers and local government. We ended the day- and the week–with a VIP tour of the brand new Inter Miami soccer stadium. We can’t wait to visit again for a game!

March 10 & 11: Weekend free time exploring and enjoying beautiful South Florida

March 9: Orlando  

Pictured (left) is the Beep autonomous shuttle. Pictured (right) is the industry meeting hosted by OEP at Tavistock. 

Our day spent in Orlando was strategically planned for our urban-tech companies.  The urban-tech companies met up with the FIBA team in Orlando on Monday morning after weekends spent with family, friends or exploring parts of Florida.  In Orlando, we were hosted by the Orlando Economic Partnership (OEP) and the Tavistock Company. At the event, the OEP showcased the Orlando ecosystem, the Central Florida International Trade Office discussed the resources available to startup companies in Orlando, representatives from the City of Orlando described the City of the Future initiative and the Director of Innovation at Tavistock described the Lake Nona project.  It was incredible to learn how much is happening along the I-4 Corridor from Tampa through Orlando! 

The event ended with a tour of Lake Nona where we all got a chance to ride the Beep autonomous shuttle.  The shuttle is active and in use in Lake Nona transporting residents around the property on a daily basis.  The tour also included a visit to the WHIT House, a residential model house fitted with the latest smart home technologies, including some Israeli technology.  We had a great discussion with the folks operating the WHIT House and hope to have some FIBA companies featured there in the future!

March 10-11: Tampa Bay 

Pictured above is  FIBA Director of Communications and Strategic Partnerships, Rakefet Phillips, breaks down the Immersion Phase of our program for the audience.

We wrapped up the Immersion phase in Tampa Bay.  That evening we hosted our quarterly event , Connection to Innovation, and featured some of our incredible companies and their technology, alongside local partners. The event was attended by 120 people who all came out for this unique opportunity to meet our companies over cocktails and a light dinner.

Pictured (left) Rachel Feinman, Executive Director of FIBA, kicks off Demo Day for a crowd of investors. Pictured (right) J.P. DuBuque, President & CEO, St. Petersburg Area Economic Development Corporation gives opening remarks at their meet and greet. 

The final day of the program began bright and early with our exclusive demo day with a focused group of investors, hosted at the new Embarc Collective space. All 9 of our 2020 companies pitched to the group of investors.

Before all companies headed home, we stopped in St. Petersburg for a wonderful lunch, beautiful view and an investor and industry partner meet and greet hosted by the St. Pete EDC.



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