Exciting News From The Florida Institute

Issue 7

Ceremonial Bill Signing Celebrates Renewed Seed Funding for Florida Startups


Rep. Ritch Workman, DEO Executive Director Jesse Panuccio, Dean Minardi, Gov. Rick Scott, Jamie Grooms,
John Fraser, Jake VanLandingham, Patricia Palmer, David Massias, Jason Robotham

Entrepreneurs and others gathered in Tallahassee at Bing Energy on July 9th to join Governor Rick Scott for the ceremonial bill signing of House Bill 705. Sponsored by State Representative Ritch Workman, District 52, the bill creates the Florida Capital Technology Seed Fund which will enable the Institute to continue bridging early funding gaps for start-up companies based on publicly-funded research in Florida. Companies that receive funds through the program must provide a 1:1 private investment match, leveraging state dollars to increase the flow of private investment into Florida companies.

With the bill, the Institute will continue to carry out its mission of building companies and changing lives. According to Governor Scott, “The bill we are celebrating today will encourage greater investments into Florida’s start-up companies, ultimately leading to more jobs and opportunities for Florida families.” For full press release, click here


Life Science Companies Receive Funding Through Seed Capital Accelerator Program

The Institute finalized agreements with two companies recently, bringing the number of startups funded through the SCAP program to eighteen.

Biscayne Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in advancing commercial drug development. The company, based on technology licensed from the University of Miami, is discovering and developing novel therapies based on growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) analogs. The company’s technology stems from the discoveries of Dr. Andrew V. Schally, a Nobel laureate and pioneering endocrine drug developer and initial disease targets include cancer, heart disease and other medical conditions where these therapies may prove effective.

ClearSpec Medical, a company based on technology licensed from University of South Florida, is developing advanced speculum solutions that enable improved cervical examinations and patient outcomes. The ClearSpec device allows for a significantly enhanced visualization of the cervix during every exam, greatly improving the diagnosis and treatment of cervical disease.


Institute-assisted Company Awarded SBIR Grant

eTect has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to for the development of their “smart capsule,” product. The first application based on the eTect platform is ID-Cap, a breakthrough system that provides real time indication of when a patient has ingested a prescribed medication. Information provided by ID-Cap can help empower patients, improve care and lower healthcare costs for patients, healthcare providers, and payers.

This Gainesville-based company licensed technology developed in collaboration with the University of Florida to create a patented technology platform of ultra-low power wireless integrated circuits, novel combinations of sensor and self-powering circuits and specialized materials to deliver low cost ingestible and disposable wireless sensors for digital health, medical, and consumer applications.  


Fostering the Growth of Life Science Professionals 


Institute CEO Jamie Grooms

A group of 60 life science researchers and business professionals gathered on June 15th to attend The Saturday Exchange, a reprise of the old Biomed Exchange held for many years during the 1980’s and 1990's in Miami. Hosted by Mako Surgical, the agenda focused on new companies forming around technologies developed at South Florida universities, with presentations that covered research, product, and company development “from bench to bedside”.
New BioFlorida President and CEO Nancy Bryan delivered opening remarks, followed by Jamie Grooms, who spoke about his experience as an inventor – turned company founder and CEO. Grooms was followed by three researchers: Antonello Pileggi of the University of Miami Diabetes Research Institute, Ken Dawson-Scully of the Florida Atlantic University College of Science, and Tan Ince of the University of Miami Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute, who each spoke about their groundbreaking discoveries and individual paths towards commercialization, with promising outcomes for treating many diseases including diabetes, stroke and cancer.

Thanksgiving in June? Turkeys vs. Turnkeys

Last month’s newsletter included an article announcing the Institute’s partnership with OwnForce, a Florida-based company that offers web-based HR, Payroll, Benefits, and Legal Support Services to startup companies at affordable rates. The article mentioned that the company provides turkey, rather than turnkey, business process solutions.

The Institute is indeed thankful for its partnership with OwnForce, and apologizes for the error. More information may be found at www.ownforce.com



About Us

Founded in 2007 as a non-profit organization, the Institute is Florida’s One-Stop-Shop for investors and entrepreneurs who seek to identify new opportunities based on technologies developed through publicly-funded research. The Institute delivers programs that facilitate new venture and job creation through commercially-viable technologies in major industries that are driving the global economy. The Institute administers the Florida Research Commercialization Matching Grant Program launched in 2010, and the Seed Capital Accelerator Program launched in 2011. 



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