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FIU’s AVCC Showcases Top Global Enterprises

Florida International University’s (FIU) 2012 Americas Venture Capital Conference awarded Trapezoid Digital Security and Fotopigeon top prizes at closing ceremonies today. The conference brought together nearly 400 investors, ventures and other attendees to network at the JW Marriott Brickell. The 2012 AVCC was presented by the Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center at the FIU College of Business.

The focus of this year’s conference, Data, Design & Dollars, brought 29 companies at various stages of development from throughout Latin America and Florida to present their ventures.

World-class speakers from the investment and tech communities addressed the audience, including Gerald Brady, managing director of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB); Richard Hale, Worldwide Executive Analytics and Information Warehousing for IBM; Gaston Legorburu, CEO of SapientNitro, and Dan Maccarone, co-founder of Charming Robot.

Hot topics at the conference included the need to establish an entrepreneur-driven infrastructure in Miami to foster venture growth, the role of a network of mentors and accelerators in the venture development process, and the importance of maintaining a meeting place in South Florida for the Latin American venture community.

“The tremendous reception to this conference by both entrepreneurs and top global investors reinforces our determination to create the infrastructure we need to have a true entrepreneurial ecosystem in Miami,” said Jerry Haar, director of the Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center and co-chair of the AVCC. “The need for greater mentoring, the development of accelerators and incubators—these elements, combined with the presence of an outstanding community support system, will drive Miami into world-class prominence as a center of innovation and entrepreneurial achievement.”

Trapezoid, a Miami company that provides hardware-based security solutions for enterprise and cloud environments, is the winner of the Tres Mares Innovation Prize, a $10,000 cash award and a work of innovative art by Iñaki Bonillas valued at $5,000.

Tampa-based Fotopigeon, a niche-market photo sharing and printing company, was awarded the Miami Innovation Fund Start-Up Prize of a $20,000 cash investment in the form of a term sheet. It also received the New Frontier Nomads Idea Validation and micro-MVP Prize: $10,000 in-kind services to validate, design and develop a winning startup’s mobile MVP.

itMD, a Miami cloud-based medical software company, received the CP Capital Later Stage Company Prize: $15,000 in investment banking services.

Cognicor, an innovative customer service management system based in Spain, received the CP Capital Start-Up Company Prize: $10,000 in investment banking services.

About FIU:

Florida International University is recognized as a Carnegie engaged university. Its colleges and schools offer more than 180 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs in fields such as engineering, international relations, architecture, law and medicine. As one of South Florida’s anchor institutions, FIU is Worlds Ahead in its local and global engagement, finding solutions to the most challenging problems of our time. FIU emphasizes research as a major component of its mission. It has 160,000 alumni and enrolls 48,000 students in two campuses and three centers including FIU Downtown on Brickell and the Miami Beach Urban Studios. FIU is a member of the Sun Belt Conference and has 400 student-athletes participating in 18 sports. For more information about FIU, visit

About the College of Business:

Florida International University’s College of Business, South Florida’s leading business school with unique expertise in international business, entrepreneurship, healthcare management, and a broad range of financial services, is the largest of the university’s professional schools. Among the college’s more than 36,000 alumni are some of South Florida’s most successful business leaders and entrepreneurs. More than 6,000 students are enrolled in undergraduate business courses in its R. Kirk Landon Undergraduate School of Business, and more than 2,000 graduate students study in its Alvah H. Chapman Jr. Graduate School of Business every year. Another 1,000 business professionals participate annually in one or more of its professional and executive education programs. For more information, visit

About The Eugenio Pino and Family Global Entrepreneurship Center:

The Eugenio Pino and Family Global Entrepreneurship Center facilitates the entrepreneurial activities at Florida International University. The Center is supported by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the College of Business at FIU. The Pino Center, directed by Dr. Jerry Haar, has been designated a Kauffman Campus by the Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City. For more information about the Pino Center, please visit or call 305-348-7156.

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