Florida Pitch Day flaunts innovative entrepreneurs in health, tech and more.

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FSBDC at FIU Business clients Octo Safety Devices presenting during Florida Pitch Day.

In a search of new groundbreaking ideas in the realms of infrastructure, healthcare and technology, the state of Florida hosted Florida Pitch Day at FIU Business. The event was organized by SelectFlorida, the state’s international commerce organization.

A group of 27 business owners were chosen to pitch their start-ups to a panel of state leaders from the departments of commerce, health care administration, elder affairs and management services on June 11.

Several Florida Small Business Development Center (FSBDC) at FIU Business clients, as well as FIU alumni and faculty participated in the event hoping to raise funds, explore potential partnerships or expand their networks.

“For me coming back here after so long, having the opportunity to present in front of such a select group of individuals and professionals has been very exciting,” said Christian Contreras, government affairs manager for EV Garage, a service center for electric and hybrid cars.

The team is looking to expand the mechanics workforce, currently in short supply. Contreras noted the FSBDC has been instrumental.

“We've had a great interaction with the SBDC, it has been a very productive experience,” said Contreras. “They've offered a lot of support in developing an understanding of the market. They've been a source of knowledge in order for us to better understand the pockets that we have to target and also the profile of the clients and what they were looking for.”

Opening remarks by TJ Villamil, president of SelectFlorida.
Opening remarks by TJ Villamil, president of SelectFlorida.

In the health sector, another FSBDC client, Lavior Pharma pitched their FDA registered, naturally derived line of wound care products, already available in Walmart and used in 50 hospitals around the world.

“Eczema, dermatitis for children, acne, psoriasis, we don't believe anything really works,” said Gilad Savion, co-founder of Lavior. “It’s a $57 billion category in the United States alone; all the big pharma is here, so it's a big industry.”

The last group of pitches came from the technology sector, where fintech startup Alfredpay, also an FSBDC client, caught the attention of panelists for their approach to cryptocurrency. The platform partners legacy financial institutions with web-based payment structures to make crypto-based payments more accessible in Latin America.

“This was a unique experience for us because it's a lot of regulators and folks who may view this space a little different,” said Deigo Yanez, founder of Alfredpay. “Being able to educate some really smart people about what's happening in this space, I think it's the most valuable part.”