The five most promising Miami startups we met at eMerge

eMerge Americas means a lot of things to a lot of people. For some it’s a chance to hear from titans of industry, like Marcelo Claure, the head of Sprint. For others it’s a giant networking opportunity.

And it’s always about Pitbull.

Above all though, it’s a chance for startups to introduce themselves to the world and show off their progress.

We met many of them over the two-day conference, but five in particular stood out to us for the promise of their products and the momentum they’re showing. Check them out below.


The winner of eMerge’s late-stage pitch competition, VoyHoy, a booking site for travel within Latin America, has been quietly been featured for months on Startup.Miami’s jobs page as they continue to hire and expand. They’ve already raised more than $300,000,  and are likely on the verge of raising more. They are an exemplar of Miami’s goal of fostering companies that straddle the entire Americas region.


Chirrp, a chatbot and artificial intelligence company being spun out of Miami, and Washington-based tech company Abeyon, won the early-stage pitch competition. Chirrp was founded by Mallesh Murugesan, who originally came to Miami to help with a tech overhaul at Miami Children’s Hospital. Chirrp is part of a wave of apps coming along to overthrow Siri, using better and more specific data and more advanced learning software. Chirrp was also chosen for SeedInvest, a new kickstarter-like site where handpicked startups are featured to receive investment from VCs.


An entire mini-economy seems to be developing around South Florida’s food trucks. First came SpeedETab, the fast-growing takeout app recently profiled by Startup.Miami. Now comes Kater, an online platform that allows you to order from food trucks — and dial up the food trucks themselves to your office or job site. The company was founded last year by Diego Kramer, an FIU and UM grad, and currently operates out of Miami and New York.


HubSpring, a mobile task management app for hospitals and medical offices, was one of Startup.Miami’s earliest startup profiles. But in just a few short months, they’ve managed to grow to 5,000 subscribers. Their biggest announcement: They are now the official mobile app for the entire University of Miami health system; when it’s fully rolled out, HubSpring will have added 8,000 more users. HubSpring is also officially the first ever co-build app for the university; the company and school will split royalties going forward for any products they roll out together. HubSpring is also featured on SeedInvest.


There are plenty of apps out there that allow you to buy, sell, lease or rent your boat. But Boatrax is the only one that allows boat owners to manage the boat itself so that they can properly manage its use. The company was cofounded by FIU grads Arturo Malave and David Villegas. With Boats Group, the largest owner of boating marketplaces, moving to Miami, Boatrax seems well positioned to capitalize on South Florida’s growing boat tech community.   



By Rob Wile
Rob Wile, the curator for Startup.Miami, is a writer and entrepreneur living in Miami Beach. He’s a former staff writer for Fusion and Business Insider. His work has also appeared in Slate, Newsweek, Money Magazine and The New Tropic. He writes a newsletter on tech, business, and the South Florida economy called The Heatwave.