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Florida Funders partners with Miami organization to identify promising startups

Margie Manning



Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Florida Funders continues to expand its reach throughout the Sunshine State.

The Tampa-based organization, a hybrid venture capital fund and angel investor network, has a new partnership that will help it find promising startups in Miami and South Florida.

Florida Funders is partnering with 305 Ventures, a Miami-based collective created to fund early-stage Miami-area firms.  The goal is to  identify growing companies that eventually could be a fit for Florida Funders’ portfolio, a news release said.

Tom Wallace, managing partner, Florida Funders

“Miami’s tech and innovation ecosystem continues to accelerate. We want to prepare the entrepreneurial community in south Florida for growth. That’s why we’ve chosen to partner with 305 Ventures,” said Tom Wallace, managing partner at Florida Funders. “With their community building values and company portfolio services, combined with our singular focus on uncovering the next breakout technology companies, it is our joint mission to support the entrepreneurial community in south Florida and draw founders across the country to the region.”

Florida has become an increasingly attractive home for startups. The state ranked No. 6 in terms of number of venture capital deals and No. 10 in terms of the amount of capital raised in the first quarter of 2021, according to the PwC/CB insights MoneyTree report. A total of $978 million was invested in 44 companies during Q1 2021.

Miami was identified as an “emerging market ecosystem,” in the most recent Venture Monitor, a collaboration between Pitchbook and the National Venture Capital Association.

Florida Funders will be have a presence in Miami through three of its team members: Maria Derchi Russo, director of community; Christian Leon, director of investor relations; and Saxon Baum, vice president of investor relations. They will review potential deals and build the organization’s vision for the future in South Florida, the news release said.

Florida Funders had invested in nine Miami-based startups even before the new partnership was announced Thursday. One of them is Simplebet, a global sports betting technology company.

Related: Florida Funders wagers $2.1 million on micro-betting startup

Joey Levy, founder of Simplebet, also is a founder and partner of 305 Ventures.  Other 305 Ventures partners are Zaid Rahman, founder and CEO of Flexbase; Michael Melikian, former president and CEO of Mel Pharm Inc.; and Kingsley Advani, founder and CEO of Allocations. All are angel investors.

Note:  This story was updated to correct and error in the press release about the amount invested. 

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