Companies find capital at FIU conference

Growing South Florida and Latin American companies, hungry for capital, pitched their businesses, as investors and other professionals attended panels and mingled at the 2011 Americas Venture Capital Conference, held at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables last week.

Twelve “Top Global Innovative Ventures” were given 10 minutes each to make presentations, and six “Top Global Emerging Ventures’’ had 2 minutes each to pitch their companies to venture capitalists during the second annual conference, hosted by Florida International University’s Eugenio Pino and Family Global Entrepreneurship Center and College of Business Administration. More than 350 people attended the two-day conference that was themed “Latin America: Building on Success.”

For many of the businesses, it was their first time presenting at a venture capital conference, including Miami-based Taylannas, whose SpeechMED hand-held, portable device offers audio-delivery of medical information in any language. The company is seeking $6 million and has already received interest from a group of doctors, said Taylannas Chief Executive Susan Perry.

The conference helped, she said.
“I think it has been a great learning experience, an incredible learning experience,” Perry said, citing the three-minute video and two-page executive summary that businesses were required to create for the conference. Each company was also given a coach to prepare the presentation.
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