Media Contact: Pat Schneider pat@flventure.org

Awards For Venture Investor Of The Year, Venture-Backed Company Of The Year, and Venture Leader Of The Year Given At 2023 Florida Venture Capital Conference In Miami

February 10, 2023 – Miami, Fla. - Florida Venture Education Foundation today announced the recipients of its annual venture capital awards for 2022, given at the Florida Venture Forum’s annual Florida Venture Capital Conference, this week in Miami. The awards and winners announced at the conference were:

  • Venture investor of the year Hamilton Lane  
  • Venture-backed company of the year Material Bank Founder and Chairman Adam Sandow
  • Venture leader of the year City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez

Foundation Board Chair Tim Cartwright, chairman of Tamiami Angel Funds and partner of Fifth Avenue Family Office, said, “Congratulations to our winners, Hamilton Lane, Material Bank, and Mayor Francis Suarez, who have all demonstrated extraordinary contributions to Florida’s venture capital industry and entrepreneurial ecosystem.  The Foundation’s Board of Directors worked hard to select award recipients who have gone above and beyond to make Florida the best place in the country to start, fund and grow a business.”

Ankur Dadhania, vice president at Hamilton Lane, added, “What an honor to be the recipient of the Florida Venture investor of the year. The Florida State Board of Administration has invested with Hamilton Lane close to a billion dollars for growth and technology investments within the state. This has resulted in the most recent tranche generating top decile returns but also generating significant jobs, capital expenditures and wages for the state. We look forward to continuing to invest within the state of Florida and continue to be committed to this ecosystem.”

Adam Sandow, founder and chairman of Material Bank, said, “It is an honor for Material Bank to receive the Venture-Backed Company of the Year award at the 2023 Florida Venture Capital Conference. We have been fortunate to raise capital over the last few years from some of the best financial firms in the world, and we appreciate the organization’s recognition of our success, and their mission to help entrepreneurs grow their companies through access to capital.”

In accepting his award, Mayor Suarez, said, “We are in the midst of a transition from a highly industrial economy to a highly digital economy – and Miami has been at the forefront of this disruption.” The Mayor also thanked his team, relating it to the entrepreneurial teams attending the conference. “The truth is we cannot accomplish anything without being part of a team. They brought me up. They keep me caffeinated, they keep me inspired. So I want to thank them for this award.”

The three award winners are chosen each year based on criteria developed by the Florida Venture Education Foundation and using data from PitchBook. The Foundation’s mission is to drive participation from underrepresented communities in the venture ecosystem, create awareness of the depth and breadth of the venture ecosystem in Florida, and support education, data analysis and research projects on venture activity and impact in the state.

Florida Venture Forum Board Chair Carolyn Mathis, partner at investment banking firm Harbor View Advisors and also a board member of the Florida Venture Education Foundation, said, “Thank you to Tim and the Foundation’s board members and staff for their hard work in selecting such outstanding award winners. These companies and individuals are a major part of the reason Florida has become a serious player in the venture capital industry. I’m proud that the Forum and the Foundation shine a spotlight on these achievements.” 

About the Florida Venture Education Foundation: The Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization that partners with the Florida Venture Forum to give awards each year at the conference and invites winners to participate and accept awards in person. The Foundation provides aspiring and current entrepreneurs and growing entrepreneurial companies with educational programs, seminars, tutorials, one-on-one counseling and other programs that teach and hone effective strategies for the creation, growth, and success of entrepreneurial ventures. The Foundation conducts entrepreneurial education directly, and through supportive partnerships with other non-profit organizations such as incubators, educational institutions, and other organizations focused on helping promote entrepreneurship. Core to the foundation’s mission is to support entrepreneurship as a career choice for underrepresented population segments that might otherwise not be exposed to resources necessary for developing entrepreneurial businesses. For more information, visit: https://flventure.org/florida-venture-education-foundation/


About the Florida Venture Forum: The Florida Venture Forum is Florida’s largest statewide support organization for investors, managers and entrepreneurs, helping companies with headquarters, operations or supply chain in Florida connect with sources of capital from across the country. Since 1984 over 2000 companies have presented at Forum conferences and events and have gone on to raise more than $16B in equity capital and contribute well over that amount in total economic value to Florida. The Forum’s membership represents a “Who’s who” of venture capital and private equity dealmakers, including private equity investors and debt sources at all stages, as well as major law, accounting, and investment banking firms, and large corporates active in the innovation ecosystem. The Forum provides programs and programming statewide throughout the year in addition to hosting major annual conferences like the Florida Venture Capital Conference, the Statewide Collegiate Start-up Competition, the Early Stage Capital Conference, and other industry-focused events. For more information, visit: http://www.flventure.org

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