FIU’s AVCC announces presenting companies

Published by The Miami Herald

The moment many startups have been waiting for: Florida International University’s 2012 Americas Venture Capital Conference has selected its presenting companies.
The presentations are one of the high points of the two-day conference of speakers, panels, networking and deal-making. AVCC will be Dec. 13-14 at Miami’s JW Marriott Brickell and hosted by the Eugenio Pino and Family Global Entrepreneurship Center and FIU College of Business.

More than 100 companies applied this year to present their ventures to the AVCC’s audience of venture capitalists, angel investors, consultants and entrepreneurs and compete for $70,000 in cash and prizes.

Faquiry Diaz Cala, co-chair of AVCC and president of Tres Mares Group, explained that this year the selection committee worked with leading global accelerators and incubators — such as Telefonica’s Wayra, NXTP Labs, Start-up Chile, SUMA Conectivo and others. “With their access to new and exciting companies, they worked to put the very best of Latin America and the U.S. into the competition,” he said.

Among the selected presenters: a company that develops Internet courses that cut employee healthcare costs and increase productivity; a crowdfunding platform for creatives in Latin America; a webcam-based platform that connects users with experts in a variety of subjects; and a facial recognition system to identify employees clocking in on the job. “We looked for true innovation, proven management teams and the ability to scale and become a pan-regional player,” Diaz Cala said.

So far 25 companies representing 11 countries have been selected and confirmed to present, and seven of those are from South Florida. Three more companies will be added to the list in the coming days, said Diaz Cala.

The presenting companies that will be giving five-minute pitches are:

•  Cognicor, Spain

•  eMindful, USA-Vero Beach

•  Gemelo, Brazil

•  Ideame, Argentina

•  Kairos, USA-Miami

•  MxHero, USA/Brazil

•  Traetelo, Venezuela

•  Trapezoid, USA-Miami

•  Urthecast, Canada

The companies that will be giving two-minute pitches are:

•  AgentPiggy, Chile

•  AlmaBox, Argentina

•  aPlicativa, Costa Rica

•  Bevelity Design, Spain

•, Peru

•, Argentina

•  Esenem, USA-Miami

• Fotopigeon, USA-Tampa

•  LiveNinja, USA-Miami

•  OnTrade, USA-Miami

•  PagaPraMim, Brazil

• Rokk3rLabs, USA-Miami

•  t-Art, Argentina

•  Urbita, USA-Los Angeles/Argentina

•  Zavee, USA-West Palm Beach

•  Zeb Studios, Mexico

Besides the company pitches, a packed agenda awaits conference attendees. This year the conference theme is data, design and dollars. “This is going to be closer to a conference like LeWeb or TechStars than it is your usual academic conference,” said Jerry Haar, associate dean of FIU’s College of Business, director of the Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center and AVCC co-chair. AVCC, along with many other groups and events in South Florida, has an important role to play in developing the entrepreneurial ecosystem here, Haar said.

The conference will feature more than two dozen speakers, including Martin Varsavsky , Argentine tech entrepreneur, investor and founder of Viatel,, Jazztel and FON; Hernan J. Kazah, co-founder and managing partner at Kaszek Ventures and co-founder of Mercadolibre; and Jason L. Baptiste, CEO and co-founder of Onswipe, said Demian Bellumio, COO of Senzari and the AVCC program committee member who enlisted this year’s speakers. There’s also Veronica Allende Serra, one of Sao Paulo’s most important investors in technology; Michael Jackson, former COO of Skype and now a venture capitalist; Ola Ahlvarsson, the founder of a media technology conglomerate in Sweden; and Jean-Paul Schmetz of Germany, one of the world’s premier speakers on big data, Bellumio added. “We wanted to inspire this community with amazing people doing amazing things all over the world.”

A number of the speakers have ties to Miami, including Albert Santalo, founder and CEO of Carecloud, and Peter Kellner, co-founder of Endeavor who now runs Richmond Global in South Florida.

For registration information, to purchase tickets and to view the videos of the AVCC presenting companies visit: Organizers said special discount codes are available to entrepreneurs; email or call the Pino Center ( to request a code.

To keep up with entrepreneurship news, follow Nancy Dahlberg on Twitter @ndahlberg