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Business briefs: Magic Leap at Synapse, MarTec honors and more

Margie Manning

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Magic Leap's augmented reality headset

Attendees at the upcoming Synapse Summit will be able to try out the much-anticipated augmented reality headsets being developed by Magic Leap.

Omar Khan, chief product officer, Magic Leap

The Plantation, Florida-based company is setting up a large demonstration area at the Jan. 23-24 summit at Amalie Arena, and will give demos of Magic Leap One, a wearable computer that combines digital and real-world content.

The company has raised $2.3 billion from investors to develop its much-anticipated product, which sells for $2,295 on a limited basis, according to Techradar.

“Summit attendees will be able to experience the Magic Leap One, understand the opportunities to create new experiences in spatial computing and learn about how Magic Leap will transform education,” said Lauren Prager, Synapse vice president of communications and programming.

Omar Khan, the chief product officer of Magic Leap who is speaking today at CES in Las Vegas, is scheduled to be the premier keynote speaker at Synapse Jan. 23. See other Synapse speakers here and register here.

Investigation

The Johns Hopkins Medicine Board of Trustees named a former federal prosecutor to lead an independent external review of the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital’s Heart Institute.

F. Joseph Warin and his team will review the events that led Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg to suspend heart surgeries at the Heart Institute, a news release said. Warin is a partner at the law firm of Gibson Dunn and co-chair of the firm’s investigations practice group, and previously was an assistant United States Attorney in Washington, D.C.

After that review is done, no later than May of this year, the board of trustees will commission an independent monitor to track the progress of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital as it implements the recommendations listed in the review.

Reports about high death rates in the pediatric cardiology program led to the resignation of Dr. Jonathan Ellen, All Children’s CEO, and other hospital leaders.

E-commerce

Andrew Shelton, CEO, MarTec360

The Synapse Summit also will be an opportunity to check out the seven companies in Tampa Bay Wave’s post-accelerator cohort, including MarTec360, a Tampa digital services company that has been named one of the top 10 e-commerce solution providers by Retail CIO Outlook.

MarTec provides an e-business suite of marketing, technology and strategies to manage and deliver bottom-line growth for online retailers and e-commerce companies. That allows those firms to make faster and smarter business decisions, said Andrew Shelton, MarTec founder and CEO.

MarTec and the other companies in Wave’s post-accelerator cohort will be featured at a demo day at Synapse Jan. 23.

Minority business

The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area is one of the top places in the United States for minority businesses.

 

The area ranks No. 20 among 50 cities where minorities entrepreneurs are succeeding, according to LendingTree. The Tampa-St. Pete metro ranks higher on the list than Miami (No. 23), Orlando (No. 42) and Jacksonville (No. 43).

About 2.6 percent of minorities in the Tampa-St. Pete metro are self-employed, and more than one-third of the minority-owned businesses — 38.7 percent — have revenue of $500,000 or more. Over half — 52.7 percent — have been in business for six years or more.

The metro area has a 63 on Lending Tree’s “parity index” — a way of comparing the number of business owned by minorities with the area population. An index score of less than 100 means that minorities are underrepresented among business owners, and a score over 100 means that they are overrepresented.

Four of the top 10 cities on the list are in California, with San Francisco ranking No. 1, while St. Louis, Mo. came in last place in the study.

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