May 9, 2016
PowerMoves Miami Accelerator Launches To Help Minority Entrepreneurs Access Capital
Black Enterprise’s 2016 Techpreneur of the Year nominee Brian Brackeen is the founder and CEO of Kairos, an innovative facial recognition company in Miami. Kairos’ tech platform provides advanced facial recognition API for its users’ apps and services.
It delivers fraud management and work automation solutions with features such as 3-D facial recognition, one-to-many identification, anti-spoofing, mood detection, gender analysis, security and compliance, mobile authentication, and more.
In four years, Brackeen has gone on to raise $6 million in venture capital. He is currently doing a $10 million Series A Round to handle volume, hire more engineers and sales people, and to scale the business. Miami is one of the most entrepreneurial cities in the country; there are also a large number of angel investors here, says Brackeen.
“In California there are three companies for every one angel investor, and Florida has three angel investors for every one startup,â€ he claims, noting the State of Florida, at $100,000, is an investor in Kairos. Early this year Brackeen was one four companies selected to present Kairos to a room of investors at the Morgan Stanley Disruptors Showcase as part as a three-day event hosted by PowerMoves Miami.
PowerMoves, a national initiative to increase the number of venture-backed, high-growth and high-tech companies led by entrepreneurs of color, opened an accelerator in Miami this February. PowerMoves began in 2014 as a program to position New Orleans as a hub for entrepreneurs of color. Since then, it has rapidly grown to become a national initiative.
In just one year, PowerMoves.NOLA has nationally sourced 100 companies led by founders of color from 26 major cities across the country and helped secure more than $17 million in capital commitments.
Miami is the first city outside of New Orleans to host a PowerMoves office and year-round programming, including pitch competitions, boot camps, networking events, and fellowships. “With the help of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (a $1.2 million investment), we decided to launch a physical presence not just a three-day convening in Miami,â€ says Janelle Alexander, managing director of PowerMoves Miami and former Entrepreneur-In-Residence at PowerMoves NOLA.
Alexander identifies talented entrepreneurs, serves as a mentor, and assists with programming. “Five or six companies will be chosen to participate in PowerMoves Miami. We will give them office space, guidance, mentorship, and access to networks.â€
PowerMoves helps participating entrepreneurs refine their business models; shape their go-to-market strategies; connect with advisers; and secure early investment to launch, grow, and scale their businesses. “We make connections and introductions. That is one of the barriers to entries that entrepreneurs of color face,â€ adds Alexander.