Category Archives: florida

Florida Entrepreneurs in the Valley

tesla motorsI spent most of last week out in the Valley for some portfolio discussions and had the chance to catch up with some old friends. It was a nice reunion, giving me a taste of the impact Florida entrepreneurs are making in the Bay Area.

For example, I sat down with the MyBlogLog guys (Todd Sampson et al), founded in Orlando, FL prior to their acquisition by Yahoo and move to SF. That crew has spawned a host of new startups, including Gnip, Lookery, yet to be released Famery & Zentact, and a few others that are still on the drawing board.

I also saw Jason Baptiste (Publictivity), Phil Carter (QuinStreet), and Randy Glein (DFJ Growth, UF alum). Bryan Scott (prior Inflexion intern) is a busy man over at OpenDNS; he and I missed each other this time, but I really like his current gig.

None of these guys forget their roots. If you’re ever out West, look them up…maybe they’ll have their Tesla’s by then.

Related images: dfj growth, famery, gnip, lookery, mybloglog, opendns, publictivity, tesla, tesla motors

Where’s Dan Now? #3

Well, just like WDN #1, you folks solved WDN #2 faster than I expected. Given the long time gap between those, I thought I’d toss you another one I snapped this morning. Where is this Papa John’s commercial being shot? I gave plenty away in the picture so I need the exact address.

UPDATE, 02-29-08: Congrats to Brian who nailed it (I shoulda blurred the Cantina). Thanks for playing along!

As usual, I’ve created a pushpin on my WDN map AND I was able to solve embed this time. Enjoy!

View Larger Map

Where’s Dan Now? #2

As I shared in my first Where’s Dan Now? post, I’m on the road a lot. Today’s pic is very different than last time. Can you be the first to name this location within 1 block (e.g. address, google map etc) via comment?


UPDATE, 02-27-08: Congrats to Kris for guessing my Tampa, FL location — looking out from the downtown Bank of America. I’ve added this WDN #2 to my GOOG map. Am I missing something or does GOOG still not have YouTube-ease cut/paste for embedding MyMaps? It looks like they require you to get a Maps key and write your own embed code. I must be missing something…

Florida BioDatabase

florida biotechA friend of mine, Mike Schmitt, has been collaborating with the University of Florida for some time on a database for Florida’s biotech sector. Some early results from that work are now available via the Florida BioDatabase, hosted by the Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator.

According to the new site, companies included are:

“Florida companies that use modern biological techniques to develop products or services for human health care or animal health care, agricultural productivity, food processing, renewable resources, industrial manufacturing, or environmental management are included. Some are very early stage companies. This reflects our interest in tracking development stage companies in Florida. For definitions used in Florida BioDatabase see BioDatabase Definitions.”

If you know a Florida company that should be listed, but isn’t, drop them an email.

Where’s Dan Now?

It’s gotten to be a running joke among family and friends. Because Florida has great entrepreneurs spread across hotspots around the state, any given day can find me in Orlando, Ft Myers, Boca, Melbourne, Tampa, Miami, Gainesville or anywhere in between.

I’ve seen the exciting and the mundane from my traveling office (AKA car). While buying gas today (yes, I do that ALOT), I realized my varied destinations are fertile ground for interesting blog pix.

Thus, I present the first installment of “Where’s Dan Now?” Can you be the first to name this location within 1 mile (e.g. Interstate/exit#, google map etc) via comment? I’ve already provided one hint in this post and welcome yes/no questions to help pin it down.

(treo post, please pardon spelling/grammar)

UPDATE 09-18-07: Wow, I didn’t expect this to be solved so quickly. Evidently that giant gator sticks in your subconscious more than I thought. Congrats to gc (if you have an active blog, I’ll link it) on getting within a mile the quickest and to Qian for even naming the gas station parking lot where I was standing — great job!

As a test of Google’s My Maps, I’ve created a map just for Where’s Dan Now. You can see a pushpin for WDN #1 here — best viewed in hybrid mode.

Floridian Judging Next "American Inventor"

Clearwater, FL native, runner-up on “The Rebel Billionaire” and inventor of Spanx body shapers, Sara Blakely, recently spoke with the Tampa Tribune about her experience judging “American Inventor“. She worked with Simon Cowell, George Foreman, Peter Jones and entrepreneur Pat Croce on the show’s second season.

I remember being excited about “American Inventor” when it was first announced, but I only saw one episode. I was hoping it was about entrepreneurs and startup companies, but it was really about wacky inventions. As with all those reality shows, it’s about entertainment.

This season sounds like no exception. As a venture capitalist, I see a lot of crazy ideas, but this quote sums up what we might expect from season two:

“We saw a man who had invested $1 million to create a new superhero, The Cougar,” Blakely said. “He showed up with his friend dressed from head to toe in the all-black ‘The Cougar’ costume. It was weird. Another man invented what was basically a wheel, and when we told him that it had already been done, he started yelling at us.”

Here’s a couple videos for all you inventors out there — passion is critical, but it ain’t everything:

UPDATE, 06-07-07: The brother of one of the AI contestants commented below and I liked the core idea. How can Greg make it a no-brainer for buyers? Enjoy the video via Jeff at Northstar Thinktank:

Related images: American Inventor, George Foreman, Pat Croce, Sara Blakely, Simon Cowell, inventions

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