FIU-Venture Miami Opportunity Program Launches Cohort II

By Krysten Brenlla

The FIU-Venture Miami Opportunity Program recently selected nine women business owners of color for its second inaugural program cohort, housed in the CRF Office of Engagement.

The 14-week accelerator program, launched with support from JPMorgan Chase and in partnership with the City of Miami’s Venture Miami team, is designed to provide targeted access and support to women business owners of color in South Florida – a significantly underrepresented group in tech. and innovation sectors.

Since launching its inaugural cohort this year, the FIU-Venture Miami Opportunity Program has helped three founders participate in other programs, such as TechStars and BlackAmbition Prize, and helped three other founders raise millions in venture capital and in pre-seed financing.

“Any opportunity we have to demystify and paint the hard truths about what it takes to succeed in business and raise venture capital funds serves the entire ecosystem well,” said Kenasha Paul, director of the FIU-Venture Miami Opportunity program.

Meet the cohort below (descriptions provided by the FIU-Venture Miami Opportunity Program):

  • Astrositas started as an Instagram profile to help users understand and improve their personal relationship with astrology. Now Astrositas is creating a parental guide app as a tool for parents to understand their children on a deeper level using their star signs. The startup is led by its founder, Angelica Pierini.
  • Chelle’s Cutie Pies is an online plant-based e-commerce bakery that wholesales 100% vegan and gluten-free Japanese white sweet potato pies. The company hopes to expand its online e-commerce business to facilitate local, regional and national wholesale distribution. Chelle’s Cutie Pies is led by its founder, Michelle Collins.
  • Hactopia is a learning management platform that provides online learners with interactive content in STEM, VR, Metaverse, and AWS certification. Hactopia hopes to continue to improve its online curriculum so learners can build lasting careers in technology. The company is led by its founder, Kennashka DeSilva.
  • Hy-Lo News, short for Hyper-Local News, was launched in 2015 as a news source for black communities in South Florida. Now, Hy-Lo News covers stories from black and brown communities that aren’t usually covered by mainstream media. The company is led by CRF graduate and founder Janéy Tate.
  • Keeyahri is a footwear brand whose goal is to uplift women through unique and tastefully designed shoes. The company plans to design and produce shoes using 3D printing technologies in the near future, and also plans to launch more products, such as handbags, clothing, fragrances and accessories for the House. Keeyahri is led by its founder and designer Keya Martin.
  • Metadigm is a mobile and web software company that provides subscriptions and Web3 tickets to small and medium businesses that sell directly to consumers. With Metadigm, companies can use NFTs and sell them on a Web3 marketplace or a dedicated white-label landing page for typing. The company is led by Shirley Lopez, co-founder and vice president of corporate development, and Daniel Lowe, co-founder and CEO.
  • MUJUMIER is an independent e-commerce site that uses certified QR codes, or trackers, to sell unique and authentic fashion pieces/accessories created by renowned and up-and-coming designers. Products are tracked throughout the supply chain using tracking devices to ensure integrity. MUJUMIER is led by its founder, Crissan James (Mu Naju).
  • Pressy is a mobile and web-based party planning app that allows users to easily plan parties and celebrations. Users simply create an online profile of the type of help needed for their event, and Pressy will match users’ needs with carefully selected experience packages and approved vendors. Pressy is managed by its founder, Erdina Francillon.
  • World Wide Telemedicine is an online scheduling system that enables international consultations between healthcare professionals and clients. The company provides affordable telehealth options and is available to specialists and patients worldwide, increasing global accessibility to healthcare. The company is led by its founder, Faddy Abreu.

Founders will showcase their growth and businesses to investors and community members at the FIU-Venture Miami Opportunity Program Demo Day on December 8, 2022.

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