Latest Happenings For Entrepreneurs In Florida

By Marco Santana Orlando Sentinel

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) From a new co-working space targeted at female entrepreneurs to an app that helps parents with scheduling, there is plenty of entrepreneurial activity in Florida right now. Below is a snapshot of some of the latest "Goings On."

Orlando Sentinel

PikMyKid Expands

Orlando-based FAN Fund has taken part in a nearly $1 million funding round for Tampa-based PikMyKid, a platform for parents and school administrators to manage students' after-school pickup.

PikMyKid has been downloaded a more than 60,000 times in 14 states.

Using mobile and web platforms, PikMyKid gives parents a way to let school administrators know about changes in childrens' pickup times.

At the same time, administrators can notify parents when their child has been picked up.

"Our decision to invest was supported by PikMyKid's expanding user base and the high levels of engagement and customer satisfaction that the solution achieves," FAN Fund managing director Mitchel Laskey said in a release.

FAN Fund and Florida Funders co-led the $980,000 round.

Florida Funders CEO Marc Blumenthal said the investment means more hands-on advising for the company.

"In addition to capital, we'll continue to provide advice and connections on executing his next steps for growth," he said in the release.

Blunt advice at investors panel

No one will ever accuse VenVelo investor Richard Licursi of holding back opinions, as he's often the one who gives entrepreneurs the most direct advice.

For example, at a recent panel he shared a way to upset your investors: Hire family.

"We are all in it to make money," Licursi said. "We are not in it to see you hire your sons and daughters."

Four other investors, including Blaire Martin and Kathy Chiu of Florida Angel Nexus, David Chitester of Florida Funders and Idea Fund Partners' Richard Fox, joined Licursi on a panel Tuesday in downtown Orlando, sharing tips. The group advised entrepreneurs to tailor a pitch to an investor, find good stories to tell and be careful getting involved with family.

Licursi's straight-forward advice included CEOs post-investment activities: "As a CEO, you should stop playing golf if you're going to take my money." On what investments mean to company control: "Don't take the money if you want to be in absolute control."

Coworking space in Celebration A coworking space that targets female business owners plans to open in November in Celebration.

Coterie Company announced that Central Florida will be one of six locations to open by the end of next year.

The company describes its mission as one to "elevate, educate and empower the female entrepreneur while supporting the surrounding community," in a news release.

"While our focus is advancing the lives of women worldwide, we appreciate and applaud inclusion," the group's website reads, before going on to say that "people of all ages, gender identification and cultures are welcome."

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Coterie offers memberships that range from $195 per year to $595 per month, with higher prices for more amenities.

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