TechCrunch is almost here and Florida’s trying to boost its innovation rankings.

It was a big week for women entrepreneurs. On Tuesday, MealPal, co-founded by a female Miami transplant, raised ten figures in a venture capital round. And earlier in the week, we reported the launch of Aminta Ventures, a network of women dedicated to reversing the gender imbalance in South Florida’s investing world. It’s another sign that Miami has made strikes toward bucking many of the diversity issues that plague the rest of the startup community.

MealPal gets $15 million

Brickell-based MealPal, which allows users to pay a monthly fee to get their lunch from selected restaurants, announced this week it had received $15 million in Series A financing to help fuel its growth in other cities. The company also announced it would start offering its product in London.

In an email to The New Tropic, CEO Mary Biggins said the company has no plans to move out of Brickell, and are looking to hire a Miami-based partnerships associate. MealPal also operates in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington DC.

The funding round was led by Comcast Ventures, a unit of the cable behemoth. Miami-based Krillion Ventures also participated in the round, the Herald’s Nancy Dahlberg reported.

Biggins also co-founded ClassPass, a service through which users pay a monthly fee to attend any gym or exercise class they wish.

Launch Florida launches

A recent Bloomberg report showed Florida, the third-largest state in the U.S., ranking near the bottom in terms of ability to grow innovative companies. Launch Florida, a new network made composed of entrepreneurship promoters from across the state, is trying to change that.

Founded by Lucas Lindsey, who runs Tallahassee incubator Domi Station, LF will work to promote innovative businesses in the state by sharing resources and access to state business leaders. Numerous South Florida venture organizations have already signed up, including The LAB,, and Refresh Miami.

TechCrunch pitch-off next week

TechCrunch’s Miami meetup will take place on Feb. 23. Ten companies will have exactly 60 seconds to pitch their wares to the audience and a panel of expert judges, including local VCs and TechCrunch editors. You can see the 10 Miami startups that have been chosen here, although there is one wildcard spot that will be raffled off. First place gets a table in Startup Alley at Disrupt NY in May. Second place gets two tickets to Disrupt. Audience choice gets one ticket to Disrupt. Tickets can be found here.

Splacer goes live in Miami

Splacer is the Airbnb of parties. Have a gallery space you want to rent out, or are you in the market for a spot to hold an impromptu dance party? Splacer now has more than 100  listings in the 305 that you can browse to find your venue.

Like what you see here? You should check out our Startup.Miami newsletter, which goes out twice a week with info on events, news, job and award opportunities, and other highlights from the startup scene. Sign up here.


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.