New angel investor seminars to spark more funding in South Florida companies

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Florida Institute for Commercialization of Public Research will connect investors with promising university-based startups with $60,000 from Knight Foundation


Jane Teague

MIAMI – (April 15, 2014) – The Florida Institute for Commercialization of Public Research, a nonprofit that works with state research universities and institutions to create new companies and jobs, will launch a program to educate participants on the power of angel investing. The “Doing Well While Doing Good” angel investor seminars will kick off on April 17, 2014 with $60,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Florida universities produce over $2 billion a year in research, with a large percentage generated in Miami and South Florida. Focusing on this opportunity, the “Doing Well While Doing Good” seminars will help spur local investment by educating participants on the angel investment process and highlighting innovative technologies and products developed by public universities. Seminars will bring university startup experts, entrepreneurs and experienced angel investors together with an audience of potential investors and business leaders. Events will be held quarterly and may include themes such as investment trends in the life sciences or mobile technology, or tackle a broader topic such as best practices to expedite the funding process.

“Developing new investment activity is essential to Miami’s success as a hub for entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Matt Haggman, Knight Foundation program director for Miami. “This series will fill a knowledge gap for investors, while helping to create a strong network of local financers, with the ultimate benefit of backing rising young companies.”

“In most cases many years and millions of dollars go into developing new discoveries locally, but too often the potentially game-changing technology leaves the state and is developed elsewhere,” said Jane Teague, chief operating officer of the Florida Institute.  “The goal of the seminars is to educate investors about the local spinout companies that are bringing these technologies and products to market, and the rewarding opportunities that the local market holds.”

Florida Institute CEO Jamie Grooms, a successful inventor and serial entrepreneur, will deliver opening remarks at the first seminar on April 17.

“Having founded or co-founded several companies in Florida around university-based research, I look forward to sharing my experiences building and funding new entities that today are delivering life-changing products that improve lives,” said Grooms. “This event will preview companies from both University of Miami and Florida International University, and offer networking opportunities and education for seasoned as well as novice angel investors.”

The Florida Institute for Commercialization of Public Research works with technology licensing offices at public universities and private research institutions to create viable companies primed for investment. It offers both company building and company funding programs for promising startups, as a way to support top talent and help develop Florida’s innovation ecosystem.

The first event in the series will take place on April 17, 2014 at the Coral Reef Yacht Club in Miami. For more information contact: Space is limited.

The launch of the Florida Institute for Commercialization of Public Research angel investor seminars forms one part of Knight Foundation’s efforts to invest in Miami’s emerging entrepreneurs as a tool to build community, while fostering talent and opportunity. Over the past 18 months Knight has made more than 50 investments in entrepreneurship in South Florida.

About the Florida Institute for Commercialization of Public Research

Formed by the Florida Legislature in 2007, the Florida Institute is a nonprofit organization that works collaboratively with the technology licensing and commercialization offices of Florida’s state universities and private research institutions to leverage a $2 billion-plus research base and form investable companies that create clean jobs in new industries that are driving the global economy. Over 100 new company projects have been identified across the state, and the Florida Institute deploys both company building and funding programs to promising Florida companies. Twenty-seven companies have been funded since the program’s inception.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and


Anusha Alikhan, Director of Communications, Knight Foundation, 305-908-2677,

Jane Teague, Chief Operating Officer, Florida Institute for Commercialization of Public Research, 561-368-8889,

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