Exciting News From The Florida Institute


Building Companies, Changing Lives

Issue 29- May 2015

Florida Institute Welcomes Two New Board of Directors Members


Earlier this month, Governor Rick Scott announced the appointment of Manuel A. Fernandez and Renee Finley to the Florida Institute Board of Directors. Mr. Fernandez of Sanibel is Managing Director of SI Ventures, a venture capital firm focusing on IT and communications infrastructure that he co-founded in 1996. He has 35 years of experience as a venture capital investor and senior operating executive in the information technology and semiconductor industries. Ms. Finley of Jacksonville is the Vice President of Enterprise Innovation for GuideWell, the parent holding company of Florida Blue. She has held several leadership positions with Florida Blue over the last 20 years, and is responsible for promoting and enabling an enterprise-wide culture of innovation and imagination. In her role she serves as the executive champion for key innovation partnerships including the Lake Nona Institute and Healthbox, an entrepreneurial accelerator for health care startups. 

Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems (IRIS) Receives Institute Funding

The Institute has finalized a funding agreement with Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems (IRIS), the only retinal telemedicine assessment service cleared by the FDA. Based in Pensacola, IRIS is currently preventing two of the leading causes of blindness in adults: diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. Based on technology developed at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, IRIS’s systems were developed by retina specialty physicians to more efficiently diagnose the early stages of preventable eye disease, giving patients and physicians unprecedented access to drive quality outcomes and reduce the cost of care.


Register Now for the 
8th Annual Early Stage Conference, May 14, 2015 

Don’t miss the 8th Annual Early Stage Conference that highlights early to mid-stage investment opportunities throughout Florida. The conference is taking place at the Vinoy Renaissance Resort and Golf Club in Tampa, where attendees will preview some of the most dynamic early stage companies in the state as they present their company pitches in front of a national audience of investors. The conference will feature expert panel discussions, exclusive networking opportunities, featured speakers and many of Florida’s top entrepreneurial companies. For more details and event registration, click here.

Florida Institute Launches Florida Patent Pro Bono Program

The Florida Institute announced the launch of the Florida Patent Pro Bono Program in partnership with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The program links qualified inventors and small businesses with volunteer patent agents and attorneys who provide pro bono legal assistance on specific aspects of the patent process and is now active in nearly all 50 states.

In 2011, the U.S. Congress passed the America Invents Act (AIA), which called for the USPTO to establish regional patent programs to assist financially under-resourced independent inventors and small businesses. The establishment of the Florida Patent Pro Bono Program recognizes that Florida inventors are among the top sources of new patent applications in United States.  Launch events to announce the program will be held at the eMerge Americas conference in Miami on May 4th, and at a reception in Tampa on May 6th.

Save the Date for BioFlorida’s 2015 Celebration of Biotechnology
Thursday May 7, 2015

Join BioFlorida for the 12th Annual Celebration of Biotechnology which will be held at the RTI Surgical Campus, Progress Park in Alachua.  Each year, the Celebration of Biotechnology draws hundreds of life science professionals at every level and scope of expertise, where they come together to expand the tools and techniques needed to compete in today’s dynamic industry. More details and event registration may be viewed here


U Innovation: C2C Concept to Commercialization Series event
sponsored by the Florida Institute with support from the Knight Foundation

 Startup Quest® Sessions Underway

Startup Quest is a 10-week entrepreneurial training program that pairs unemployed and underemployed professionals with yet-to-be commercialized technology and experienced entrepreneurs to learn how to develop business plans, pitch to investors and build successful companies.

Regional Program Managers across the state are seeking mentors, judges and other program participants who wish to be involved in upcoming sessions.   For more information contact Stephanie George at sgeorgefl@gmail.com.

About Us
The Institute delivers company building and funding programs to facilitate new venture and job creation through commercially-viable technologies in major industries that are driving the global economy. In addition to providing company support services, the Institute manages the Seed Capital Accelerator Program launched in 2011, and the Florida Technology Seed Capital Fund launched in 2013. For more information, visit www.florida-institute.com.


Facebook icon
Twitter icon
LinkedIn icon
Pinterest icon
e-mail icon