The Eight Coolest Technology Startups in Broward County

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When people think of startups, they might imagine a warehouse office in Silicon Valley, crowded with young software engineers who prefer T-shirts to suits. Think Google, Facebook, and billionaires under the age of 30. But could Broward County become the Silicon Valley of the East? Don't laugh! The burgeoning startup scene is nothing to sniff at. 

Last November, Fort Lauderdale-based RedCap Valet Service won $100,000 in a statewide startup competition. Then, in February, one secretive Dania Beach-based startup called Magic Leap secured close to a billion dollars in funding. Broward County is a lovely place to live and work, and more affordable than Miami (and Palo Alto!). Combined, these factors make Broward a decent breeding ground for entrepreneurs. 

So, here are the eight coolest startups based in Broward:

8. SetMusic
Dania Beach-based startup was founded by two 20somethings, Jesus Najera and Oscar Lafarga. Like any Google Bro, both have penchants for T-shirts and backwards caps. Their app allows artists to release their music or a certain deal to a specific retailer or venue. Then, in turn, the artist will get a royalty, the customers will get free music, and the venue or retailer will get more traffic. Win. Win. Win. 
7. Boatyard
This Fort Lauderdale-based company is all about convenience. It's meant for boat owners who don't want to hassle with chores. Instead of taking your boat to an actual boatyard for maintenance or fuel, the app will deal with it for you—delivering fuel, boat washes, and parts to you.  6. InSite GPS
With offices in Coral Springs, this company is reworking our concept of GPS. No longer is it limited to the outdoors. InSite GPS lets you track movements inside a building. They've done this by mapping billions of square feet of inside space. Now you'll never get lost in big building or ask a receptionist for directions again.
5. CarePredict
CarePredict is like the Apple Watch for seniors. It's a wearable watch-like band that has a sensor that tracks small changes in daily activities. It learns a person's daily activities and then alerts medical staff to any abnormalities dealing with anything from eating and sleeping habits to repetition of certain activities. This way staff can intervene before these tiny changes might lead to more serious problems. Based in Plantation, this company has already raised a million dollars

4. RedCap Valet Service
This Fort Lauderdale-based company is directed towards car dealers and people who would rather not drive. It offers, for example, a personal driver to drop off your car after it's done with maintenance from the dealer and then drive your loaner car back to the dealer for you. They also have features to test drive a certain vehicle at the time and place of a customer's choosing and lets customers service their cars without ever leaving home. 

3. Coastal Risk Consulting
This Plantation-baesd startup has delved elbow-deep into the doom and gloom of climate change by offering realistic predictions regarding a property's vulnerability to rising seas. The company compiles data into a program so that individual South Florida homeowners can go online and search their property's risk of sea-level rise. And it doesn't cost a fortune. For $99, a person can look up any address in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Monroe counties and determine its risk of flooding from sea-level rise over the next 30 years, the length of a standard mortgage.
2. SpeedETab
SpeedETab launched in Fort Lauderdale in 2015. It allows users to pay for food and drink on their phones, so they can skip the lines and have their orders ready once they arrive. It's currently available at more than 100 locations in the tri-county area. Earlier this month it was announced that the startup secured another $650,000 from a private investment firm and will soon be expanding to new markets, like New York. 

1. Magic Leap
This Dania Beach-based startup might be the biggest secret in Broward County. It's been called a "cinematic reality" device, but no one is entirely sure what that means. So far, the company has raised $793.5 million in its third round of investment capital from outside sources — that's been called the biggest sum in Internet history. The idea is to create more "immersive environments" by placing sensors everywhere to project a digital image in real life. Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz lives in Dania Beach and that's where company headquarters are. The company also has offices in New Zealand, Los Angeles, Seattle and Mountainview, California. 

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