Exploration Park, Miami and Tampa, Fla. (June 5, 2020) – Space Florida and the Florida Venture Forum are pleased to announce Archangel Lightworks, Agriculture Intelligence, Inc., and Vital Vio as the top three winners, respectively, of the 2020 Aerospace Innovation & Tech Forum. Aerospace and innovative tech companies from related industries were invited to apply to present in a first-ever web-based competition for the Space Florida Accelerating Innovation (AI) awards, totaling $100,000. Twenty presenters were selected from a pool of more than 100 applicants by a committee of active venture investors.
A panel of judges reviewed each selected company’s presentation and supporting materials. Archangel Lightworks was named the top company and received $40,000 of Space Florida’s $100,000 Accelerating Innovation Award. Agriculture Intelligence, Inc., and Vital Vio were each awarded $20,000. Additionally, all presenting companies received $1,000.
Grand Prize Winner: Archangel Lightworks, Harwell Research Center, United Kingdom (www.archangel.works)
Archangel Lightworks is an optical communications company that builds products and services employing laser (optical) communications for the aerospace sector. These products and services include space terminals that can be mounted on satellites, air terminals that are mounted on drones or manned aircraft and ground communications terminals. Using their proprietary laser technology, Archangel integrate air, space and ground assets into hybrid architectures, accelerating the development of major aerospace market segments. Archangel already has a revenue stream, with advanced plans to enter the US market, headquartered in Florida.
Joint First-Runner Up Winner: Agriculture Intelligence, Inc., Gainesville, Florida (www.agroview.farm/ )
Agriculture Intelligence is dedicated to making agriculture smarter. From citrus to corn, from lumber to livestock, from field to water management—they are bringing artificial intelligence, deep learning, and expert systems combined with UAV-collected aerial imagery to help reduce cost, eliminate waste, increase yields, and improve sustainability. Their flagship product is a powerful AI-based software engine called Agroview that changes how growers view their fields.
Joint First-Runner Up Winner and Viewers’ Choice: Vital Vio, New York (www.vitalvio.com)
Vital Vio’s antimicrobial light illuminates & protects surfaces and meets international standards for continuous and unrestricted use around people. Their planet-friendly antimicrobial LED lights combat the growth of bacteria, fungi, yeast, mold and mildew at home, in public places, industry and has enormous potential for both the aerospace and aviation industries. Unlike harmful chemicals and dangerous ultraviolet light, which clean intermittently, Vital Vio antimicrobial lights are at work 24/7, delivering continuous protection and creating an inhospitable environment for microbes. Recently, Vital Vio successfully tested its antimicrobial lights onboard a Delta Airlines 757 aircraft.
“Congratulations to the winners of our first-ever Aerospace Innovation & Tech Forum webinar series,” said Frank DiBello, President and CEO of Space Florida. “We were pleased to partner with the Florida Venture Forum on this unique opportunity that was able to promote the capital acceleration ecosystem and aerospace industry, even with the challenges that social distancing measures have presented during this unprecedented time. Space Florida applauds each of the presenting companies and Florida Venture Forum on a successful virtual event.”
“This was an extremely tough competition due to the overall outstanding quality of our selected companies,” said Kevin Burgoyne, President and CEO of the Florida Venture Forum. “Congratulations to the winners, and to all of our presenters, on what was truly an inspiring competition that bodes very well for the aerospace and technology industries in Florida. They join a growing list of cutting-edge companies the Forum has helped propel forward and upward. We are extremely grateful to our partners at Space Florida for their continuing support and leadership in this effort.”
This webinar series provided a chance for early stage, Florida-based companies in the fields of aerospace and related technologies, as well as non-Florida entities with commitments to relocate to Florida, and/or other demonstrable engagement in the Florida aerospace and innovation supply chain. Specifically, the opportunity is to broaden access to funding sources. The Aerospace Innovation & Tech Forum allowed presenting companies to engage with the Florida Venture Forum investment community, which includes private equity, venture capital and angel investors.
About Space Florida: Space Florida was created to strengthen Florida’s position as the global leader in aerospace research, investment, exploration and commerce. As Florida’s aerospace and spaceport development authority, we are committed to attracting and expanding the next generation of space industry businesses. With its highly trained workforce, proven infrastructure and unparalleled record of achievement, Florida is the ideal location for aerospace businesses to thrive – and Space Florida is the perfect partner to help them succeed. www.spaceflorida.gov.
About The Florida Venture Forum: The Florida Venture Forum is Florida’s largest statewide support organization for investors and entrepreneurs, helping emerging Florida companies connect with sources of capital from across the country. The organization provides programs statewide throughout the year in addition to hosting the Florida Venture Capital Conference, the Statewide Collegiate Business Plan Competition and the Early Stage Capital Conference. www.flventure.org.