AUTHORITY MEMBERSMichael R. Allison, J.D. Stacy A. Volnick, Ph.D. Andrew Duffell, MBA Francis E. Salazar, D.O., M.P.H., M.S. Fred Yentz, MBA Sherry Ambrose, MPA/URP Chairman Broward County Member Florida Atlantic University President Research Park at FAU Member Broward County Vice Chair Palm Beach County Member Palm Beach County Bob Swindell Member Broward County Alex Price, MS Member Palm Beach County
RESEARCH PARK AT FAU
Promote scientific research and development in affiliation with Florida Atlantic University, to foster economic development and broaden the economic base of Palm Beach and Broward counties.
Recognized as Florida’s foremost university research park, distinguished for its contributions to research and development, commercialization, and economic development in affiliation with Florida Atlantic University.
The Research Park at Florida Atlantic University®’s economic development initiatives are gratefully supported by
GrowFL Florida Companies TO WATCH HONOREES
workforce FAU ALUMNI % Research Park at FAU COMPANIES IN HEALTHCARE % Global Ventures companies IN HEALTHCARE % net NEW JOBS
new ARRIVALS consulting HOURS TO COMPANIES companies provide INTERNSHIPS & EMPLOY
% job growth OVER 2021 %
Greener Process Systems
Helix Virtual Medicine
Unicorn Children’s Foundation
Global Ventures Re-designated as an International Soft Landings Center by
THE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS INNOVATION ORGANIZATION
The Soft Landings designation recognizes entrepreneurship centers that excel in providing companies with various services. Ultimately, Soft Landing designees ensure that foreign companies experience a “soft landing” when entering a new country.
The designation recognizes Global Ventures’ proven track record of serving foreign-owned companies, on-site management specializing in helping foreignowned companies enter the South Florida market and the availability of a full range of business services that address the needs of international firms.
Global Ventures Welcomes
NEW PROGRAM MANAGER
In February 2022, Global Ventures welcomed its new Program Manager, Ryan Lilly who joined us from the Ocala Metro Chamber and Economic Partnership.
Lilly has quickly become a valuable member of the team, building relationships with all our Global Ventures companies, and even finding time to mentor Young Entrepreneur Academy middle and high school students through the Boca Chamber.RYAN LILLY
Daruma Tech Lands
Daruma Tech, a client of the Global Ventures and developers of custom software solutions for the transportation, hospitality, and other specialty sectors, has secured a contract for an ambitious website overhaul for the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency. The project involves a complete reorganization and rebuild of the complex site, along with a refreshed graphic design and more userfriendly front-end and back-end user interfaces.
In addition, Florida Atlantic University students will now enjoy shorter and less-stressful commutes to campus while helping researchers better understand the link between accessible transportation and college success, thanks to U-Ride, a multi-modal mobile trip-planning app built by Daruma Tech for Florida Atlantic University. U-Ride will calculate optimal routes incorporating realtime information from three South Florida public transportation agencies — South Florida Regional Transit Authority, Palm Tran, and Broward County Transit — along with information from rideshare
providers and walking and biking routes. Data collected from the app will be used to help FAU researchers study public transportation usage and its impacts on college students.
U-Ride is being developed as part of a research grant awarded to FAU by the Kresge Foundation, which had identified transportation challenges as a major impediment to retention in commuter college students and was seeking to support projects offering meaningful solutions. The FAU project — a collaboration with the three transit agencies as well as with Broward College and Palm Beach State College — seeks to determine if better access to information about public transportation options leads to better academic performance and accrual of credits, said John Renne, principal investigator and associateprofessor in FAU’s School of Urban and RegionalPlanning, Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. To determine this, data collected from the app with be examined along with information about the app users’ school attendance and academic progress.
DNALabs Launches At-Home GENETIC
Canadian-owned genetics company, DNALabs is now providing genetic testing solutions direct to consumers from the comfort and convenience of their homes. Founded on the belief that good health belongs to everyone, DNALabs uses DNA to determine critical and unique information to improve people's wellbeing, from how someone will interact with medicine to what nutritional and wellness needs they should be aware of and specific recommendations they can act on. With a simple cheek swab from an at-home DNA collection kit, DNALabs helps people make informed choices, whether they are a consumer taking an empowered approach to their own health, or a healthcare provider that wants to curate the best solution for their clients.
DNALabs and FloSpine Launch FUND RAISING ROUNDS
FloSpine researches and develops innovative and high-end instruments and medical devices for spinal implants. FloSpine currently has three product lines cleared by the FDA and has a revolutionary new fusion product which is currently under review with the FDA, with an expected launch date in Q1 of 2023. FloSpine was approached by StartEngine, which is strategically partnered with Kevin O’Leary “Mr. Wonderful,” as the ideal medical device company to launch a capital investment raise. StartEngine gives private investors the unique opportunity to get in on the ground floor and invest in a medical device and spinal implant business, starting at just $300.
Since its first product launch in 2015, more than 20,000 FloSpine products have been implanted in patients around the USA. In the process, Harris and his team have defied conventional norms, successfully building the company using his own funds and sweat equity to-date, generating $8.5 million in sales, including $1.65 million in 2021.PETER HARRIS CEO, FloSpine
DNALabs announced that its first public stock offering was qualified by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This stock offering under Regulation A of the JOBS Act (also known as a Mini IPO), allows anyone in the general public to invest in DNALabs.
“Every investor dollar that we receive helps us build our company with the goal to grow quickly - but responsibly. We are building a company together with our investors and are focused on innovation and a better future for everyone. Every investor's contribution will help us scale and help our goal to become a leader in the U.S. and Canadian markets and globally,” said Moni Lustig, president and CEO of DNALabs.
Flospine and Reachlink Recognized
AS FLORIDA COMPANIES TO WATCH
FloSpine, which researches and develops innovative and high-end instruments and medical devices for spinal implants, and ReachLink, a growing provider of behavioral telehealth counseling, are both among the 50 honorees in GrowFL’s annual Florida Companies to Watch program.
The awards program – now in its 12th year –honors impressive second-stage companies from throughout the state for developing valuable products and services, creating quality jobs, enriching communities, and broadening new industries throughout Florida. Research Park at FAU companies have been among the honorees in almost every edition of the awards.
Aventusoft Named 2022 TechConnect Iinnovation Awardee
Game Room NOW OPEN
Come checkout the new game room, complete with Ms. Pac-Man, Golden Tee Golf, basketball, table-top shuffleboard, a treadmill, trampoline and more.
MPLT Healthcare and ReachLink Honored
Best Places to Work by South Florida Business Journal
PEBB Enterprises and Banyan Development
Acquire Significant Portfolio at
RESEARCH PARK AT FLORIDA ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY ®
The joint venture paid $37.5 million for a long-term ground leasehold interest position in the Research Park at FAU, consisting of a portfolio of seven multi-tenant office buildings totaling 308,305 square feet.
PEBB and Banyan have embarked on a substantial improvement program to upgrade the office-based research park and drive leasing activity in conjunction with the Research Park at FAU’s existing economic development team.
Collective goals are to grow and evolve the park as a leading university-affiliated healthcare and medical hub,
as well as an advanced engineering center, building upon a community where entrepreneurs and academic researchers come together to collaborate and develop thriving businesses. The group also sees tremendous opportunity in the fields of artificial intelligence, sensors, machine learning and others where the University already has a significant presence.
The long-term lease landlord remains the Research Park at FAU’s governing Authority, the Florida Atlantic Research and Development Authority, with a dual research and development and economic development mission, aligned with Florida Atlantic University.
PEBB and Banyan have worked closely with the Research Park at FAU and will continue to work with it to pursue its mission.
“The commitment of the PEBB and Banyan teams to strengthening the tenant roster with companies focused on R&D and creating new technological and economic energy for Boca Raton and Palm Beach County is very exciting as we continue to seek to be the premier destination for innovative R&D companies in Florida,” said Andrew Duffell, president of the Research Park at FAU.
Material Bank Raises $175M, VALUED AT $1.9B
In May 2022, Material Bank, a leading design materials marketplace, secured its second mega-round in a year, bringing the Research Park at FAU-based company’s valuation to $1.9 billion.
The company raised a $175 million Series D funding round led Brookfield Growth, with participation from additional strategic partners Fifth Wall, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, and RXR. This raise brings the company’s total funding to more than $325 million, including its $100 million announced in May 2021.
Material Bank intends to use the new capital to develop more technology tools and further automate its Tennessee logistics facility, fuel more international expansion, particularly in Europe, and make acquisitions. In March, the company acquired Amber Engine, a product information management software company and last year bought Clippings, a procurement platform.
Material Bank CEO Adam Sandow said Brookfield brings them a strategic investor with massive holdings in real estate and related industries and $700 billion under management. “We believe that the synergies between Material Bank and Brookfield will have a material impact on the speed of our growth and provide new opportunities to help our almost 500 brand partners capture additional market share,” said Sandow.
Aerospace Technologies Group
Aerospace Technologies Group (ATG) is branching out beyond business aviation to tackle the commercial widebody and single-aisle markets with its newly developed aerBlade concept.
“The whole concept around the aerBlade is to bring a business-class kind of experience into a single-aisle aircraft,” said Mario Ceste, CEO of Research Park at FAU-based ATG. “That’s what we originally started out with, but then
people came to us and wanted it for the Airbus A350. We’ve electrified the movement of the blade and made it touchless. We also incorporated a second blade as an option, which gives you a tinted capability to diffuse the bright sunlight.”
Ceste said the design “has all the benefits of a dimming window where you can dim but still see through it, but it has none of the negatives — you don’t get reflective glare, and you also have a complete blackout. The opaque blade for blackout can be cosmetically printed with branding for the airline. The product will fit onto the existing attachment points for a manual shade on the A321 or the A350 with no cutting of a sidewall.”
FAU Wins $26M NSF Grant: ENGINEERING RESEARCH CENTER FOR SMART STREETSCAPES
Florida Atlantic University’s Institute for Sensing and Embedded Network Systems Engineering and College of Engineering and Computer Science have landed a major National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Center (ERC) with Columbia University, Rutgers University, the University of Central Florida, and Lehman College.
The new Engineering Research Center for Smart Streetscapes (CS3) is supported for five years with $26 million; renewable for an additional five years, for a total of up to $52 million. The ERC program is NSF’s flagship engineering program to catalyze convergent research to address large-scale societal challenges. As one of the most competitive research programs in the country, CS3 was selected from among hundreds of candidate centers.
CS3’s mission is to advance livable, safe and inclusive communities through new streetscape
applications built upon real-time and hyperlocal streetscape intelligence. This will require fundamental engineering advancements in wireless/optical communications, edge/cloud computing, situational awareness, and privacy and security, while balancing public sphere data collection requirements with community-defined benefits. CS3 will apply these advancements across five application themes: road safety and traffic efficiency, public safety, assistive technologies, future of outdoor work, and hyperlocal environments. The applications will be realized within three distinct urban environments, leveraging strong partnerships with community organizations and municipal agencies in Harlem, N.Y., West Palm Beach, Fla., and New Brunswick, N.J.
FAU Announces the Formation of the FAU HEALTH NETWORK
Three South Florida counties that collectively are home to the largest metropolitan population in the state will soon be served by an academic health network that is a true collaboration of the region’s leading public and private academic and medical leaders.
More than 3 million residents currently live in the threecounty region, with the numbers growing daily. Florida has an estimated shortage of 60,000 nurses, and a shortage of more than 17,000 doctors is anticipated. The FAU Health Network will not only meet these growing patient-care needs, but also will address these workforce challenges.
The Research Park at FAU will collaborate on this important project and contribute to its success in 2023.
Behnaz Ghoraani, Ph.D., is a faculty fellow at the Institute for Sensing and Embedded Network Systems Engineering, one of the research institutes of the University’s Race to Excellence strategic plan. Ghoraani is the founder and director of the Biomedical Signal and Image Analysis Lab at FAU.
The multidisciplinary research of her lab focuses on applying novel engineering techniques and machine learning to find solutions for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of illness, particularly those that occur more frequently with age, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cardiovascular disease. Ultimately, she said she hopes her work can lead to more individually targeted treatments. The National Science Foundation awarded her an early career grant to study advanced data analytics for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease using wearables and smartphones.
Ghoraani’s journey to studying biomedical sensors and Alzheimer’s disease first began with her work as an
engineer. She earned her bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from the Sharif University of Technology and her master’s degree from the AmirKabir University of Technology, both in Iran.
It wasn’t until her doctorate degree that Ghoraani discovered she could combine her passion for engineering with her interest in human health. During that time, she said, “I realized I wanted to be able to implement my own ideas in the lab and use those ideas to help people to receive better healthcare.”
Ghoraani frequently consults with the Research Park at FAU on technology its companies are developing, or on new initiatives and her work has resulted in numerous patents, grants and relationships that enabled new entities to move to the Research Park at FAU to pursue better health outcomes.
The Research Park at FAU names Behnaz Ghoraani its 2022 Distinguished Researcher.
Robert Weinroth has been a fixture of public policy in southern Palm Beach County for many years now, and has developed a reputation as a reasonable, consensus building pragmatic leader. It was while serving on the City Council of Boca Raton that Weinroth enthusiastically embraced the technology-focused economic development initiatives of the Research Park at FAU and helped ensure the City invested in our efforts to diversify and strengthen the economy.ROBERT WEINROTH
Since that time and after becoming a county commissioner and now mayor, Weinroth has remained a stalwart supporter, increasing the investment the county makes in our initiatives when we announced the creation of Global Ventures. Thanks in part to Mayor Weinroth’s confidence in the Research Park at FAU team, companies representing ten countries are now expanding their businesses here in Boca Raton, adding jobs for local residents and creating new opportunities for FAU’s research faculty to work on smart cities technologies, for example.
Beyond his support of the direct work of the Research Park at FAU, Weinroth understands that economic development is an all-encompassing discipline: an
effective strategy requires resilient infrastructure, strong education, robust civic institutions and a responsive government.
Mayor Weinroth has demonstrated his commitment to a holistic approach to economic development so that our Palm Beach County economy can continue to scale-up second stage companies, creating jobs for our residents, it can commercialize new technologies from FAU and support large corporations as they evolve.
Mayor Weinroth continues to strive for reasonably priced housing, quality education and a diverse, resilient economy and so, the Research Park at FAU names Mayor Robert Weinroth its 2022 Distinguished Leader.
James Farese is the founder and CEO of ReachLink. Farese founded the evidencebased, cost-effective teletherapy company in 2019 aiming to provide discrete, convenient therapy for substance abuse patients, however the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic fueled a wave of acceptance of telehealth and teletherapy for many other needs, including depression and anxiety as well as recovery. The company has grown steadily, adding therapists across the U.S. and technology support, training and compliance at its Global Ventures HQ. ReachLink’s genius is found in its use of artificial intelligence that can help ensure long term recovery in patients and efficacy in therapists.
Farese is a product of Boca Raton, having attended school here and taking classes at FAU. His vision and success got him noticed by Forbes Next 1000: the upstart entrepreneurs redefining the American Dream in 2021. Forbes recognized that Farese’s passion and determination have helped make telehealth a mainstay of the healthcare landscape post-pandemic. His technology, partially funded by local investors, is improving people’s lives not just in South Florida but across the United States. ReachLink was recognized by GrowFL as a finalist of its Florida Companies to Watch Award this year and is continuing to grow. Farese and his team hire heavily from FAU’s
School of Social Work, College of Social Work and Criminal Justice, and other units of the university.
A typical entrepreneur, Farese’s mind never stops creating. He’s already working on the next venture and had his concept of extracting lithium as more sustainable energy source from ocean water, accepted by FPL’s 35 Mules as part of its second cohort of innovators.
The Research Park at FAU names James Farese its 2022 Distinguished Entrepreneur.JAMES FARESE
Upon its launch, the Hispanic Entrepreneur Initiative (HEI) instantly became a strategic partner for the Research Park at FAU and Global Ventures. HEI offers training to entrepreneurs in Latin America who are thinking of expanding their offerings to the U.S. and some of those end up being candidates for Global Ventures. It works with Hispanic entrepreneurs already in the U.S. who are in need of some guidance and helps them find resources, creating a pathway to success for them and a more vibrant economy for all of us. The upcoming Hispanic Impact Symposium promises to be a rich agenda of ways Hispanic entrepreneurs and businesses community can contribute to the tapestry of South Florida’s diverse economy for individual and societal benefit. Founders Mary Sol Gonzalez and Yulimar Trumbo have exemplified the entrepreneurial spirit and created a valuable resource for the community: the Research Park at FAU looks forward to a long, mutually beneficial relationship with HEI.
The Research Park at FAU names the Hispanic Entrepreneur Initiative its 2022 Distinguished Organization.