Domestic Cruises in the US for 2022

When we think of cruises, our thoughts usually turn to tropical waters and remote islands. However, you can still find many amazing trips without even needing a passport. For these closed-loop cruises, all you need is a boarding pass, a government photo ID, and a US birth certificate. With the pandemic forcing us to be more considerate about international travel, a domestic cruise could be the answer for scratching that itch to go somewhere exotic.

Let’s take a look at some of the best cruise destinations available at your doorstep.

Hawaii

Length: seven nights to 18 nights

Distance: roughly 3,100 nautical miles

Time to go: Between March-September

When it comes to domestic cruises, it’s hard to beat a trip to Hawaii. Hawaii is surrounded by the warm waters of the Pacific ocean and gives tourists the chance to explore the volcanoes, beaches, and waterfalls that span the islands. There are many departure ports across the West Coast — making it easy for you to reach this popular destination.

Most cruises stop off at Honolulu first—where the infamous Waikiki Beach and the Pearl Harbor monument is located. The other main attraction is Lahaina, providing the opportunity to take a helicopter ride and have a bird’s eye view of the dormant volcanoes. 

Alaska

Length: six nights to 30 nights

Distance: roughly 900 nautical miles

Time to go: Between May-September

Alaska undoubtedly has some of the most awe-inspiring scenery in the USA. You can be forgiven for equating a trip to the “last frontier” as going back in time— the historic mining towns and fish markets that have kept the same customs for decades. However, Alaska mixes the old with the new, with plenty of fine-dining and cultural experiences available in cities such as Juneau.

There is more wilderness in Alaska than anywhere else in the USA. All of that wild terrain and rugged beauty is home to fantastic land and sea animals. You can expect to see bears, moose, wolves, eagles, and humpback whales, to name a few. The most popular departure points are Vancouver and Seattle for those wanting to head out from the North-West.

New England

Length: six nights to ten nights

Distance: roughly 600 nautical miles

Time to go: Between May-October

Although it’s perhaps not a destination that would spring to mind for many people when considering a cruise, the Northeastern state represents a great way to combine seeing city landmarks of New York and Boston with natural wonders. One of the best times of year to visit is during early autumn, when the wilting foliage produces an incredible spectrum of colors. The Northeastern coastline is obviously home to spectacular seafood as well—Maine lobster, steamed clams, and oysters are all to die for.

The Boston Freedom Trail is an excellent resource for learning about the American Revolution. Furthermore, you can explore Peggy’s Cove and its lighthouse in Nova Scotia, as well as the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, a 19th-century military fort with spectacular views of Dartmouth Bay and the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge. Bar Harbor in Maine also has plenty of hiking trails in the surrounding Acadia National Park. The added benefit of a cruise in this part of the US, is the availability of departure locations from the many port cities in the area.

Uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic is not going away anytime soon, so travelers need options closer to home. These cruises mentioned above give you several possibilities that may only require a short drive or flight to get to the departure point. 

To learn more about cruising safely during the pandemic, check out our recent blog on this exact topic!

How Cruises Can Use Ship Technology to Keep Covid-19 at Bay

As the last Covid-19 wave caused by the Omicron variant comes to an end, cruise lines keep taking safety measures to avoid cases from spreading on board. The industry has been seriously hit by the pandemic and companies have been following the steps required to continue operating.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Conditional Sailing Order—a framework of mandatory safety procedures for foreign-flagged ships in U.S. waters—expired on January 15 and is now optional. Nevertheless, so far all U.S. based cruise ships have opted in, according to the CDC dashboard. The organization classifies ships according to their level of vaccinated crew and passengers, as well as the number of reported cases, and sets different rules for each group. 

In this scenario, it seems like the CDC guidelines plus the Healthy Sail Panel best practices are the criteria that cruises will continue to use in order to avoid a new wave of Covid-19 cases. Most of the rules have to do with social distancing, vaccination, and hygiene, such as: 

  • Implement physical distancing of crew members who are not up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations when working or moving through the ship (maintaining at least 6 feet [2 meters] from others).
  • Instruct crew members to properly wear a well-fitting mask when outside of individual cabins.
  • Modify meal service to facilitate physical distancing (e.g., reconfigure dining room seating, stagger mealtimes, encourage in-cabin dining).
  • Discourage handshaking – encourage the use of non-contact methods of greeting.
  • Promote respiratory and hand hygiene and cough etiquette.
  • Place hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol) in multiple locations and in sufficient quantities to encourage hand hygiene.
  • Ensure handwashing facilities are well-stocked with soap and paper towels.
  • Crew should remain up to date with their vaccines, which includes additional doses for individuals who are immunocompromised or booster doses at the appropriate time.

If Covid-19 cases are detected in a cruise ship, passengers infected get isolated and the rules become more strict:

  • Minimize the number of crew sharing a cabin or bathroom to the extent practicable.
  • Instruct crew members to remain in cabins as much as possible during non-working hours.
  • Cancel all face-to-face employee meetings, group events (such as employee trainings), or social gatherings.
  • Close all crew bars, gyms, and other group settings.
  • Close crew indoor smoking areas.
  • Provide all crew members with well-fitting, high-quality masks or respirators, such as KN95s.
  • Expedite contact tracing (including the use of wearable technology, recall surveys, and the onboarding of additional public health staff).

As cases increase, the CDC requires more measures that include massive testing and can even force the cruise ship to return to port immediately or delay the next voyage. For this reason, keeping cases under control is vital for companies. 

How Can Ship Technology Prevent A Covid-19 Outbreak? 

Ship technology is the best ally for cruise companies during the pandemic. From facilitating communications to enabling contact tracing, these services can help keep cases at bay. Let’s take a look at some of them:

Onboard communications and world calling: passengers and crew can text and call as they were inland, keeping in touch with medical services and health authorities, and respecting social distance. 

Contactless technology: passengers can check-in, open the door, turn on the light, adjust the temperature in the room, speak with the front desk, wait in line, and much more just by using an app on their phone.

Contactless Vital-Sign Health Screening: vital signs from passengers and crew are screened by an app installed on their phones. Data from network-enabled, medically approved electronic health-monitoring devices are securely relayed using end-to-end encryption, and the medical team is alerted if abnormal results are detected. This feature comes especially handy to control vital signs from people in quarantine. 

Private and anonymized contact tracing: when a contagious guest or crew member is identified, an app can trace the people that have had close contact for them to be tested and quarantined, if necessary. 

Air filtration: the air is the main vehicle for Covid-19 to spread. For this reason, high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are the best tool to keep the air clean and safe for passengers and crew.

Despite the CDC advising travelers to avoid cruising for considering it a “very high risk of Covid-19” activity, cruise lines have reasons to be hopeful: in a late-January Cruise Critic survey of 1,563 travelers who had taken a cruise in the past 90 days — during the peak of the omicron wave — 96% of respondents said they felt safe onboard and 88% said they would sail again under the same circumstances. 

If companies leverage these technological features to avoid more Covid-19 outbreaks, they will be for sure on their way to recovery. Get more information here.

Top 10 trends in the hospitality industry for 2022

There is no doubt that the hospitality industry was one of the most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Luckily, in 2022 hopes are on the rise – U.S. hotel demand will near full recovery this year, according to the upgraded forecast released by STR and Tourism Economics.

However, the world is not the same and neither are travelers. Hotels, cruise ships, and restaurants will have to adapt to the new tourist’s necessities if they want to take advantage of what will seemingly be a year of recovery. 

Let’s take a look at the top 10 trends in the hospitality industry for 2022:

1- Contactless experiences

Digital and contactless services’ popularity has spiked since the beginning of the pandemic, and by 2022, we can say this is a trend that is here to stay. Mobile check-in, contactless payments, virtual queuing, virtual front desk, voice control, and biometrics will be a must.

2- Heath diagnostic technology

Technology will also be a powerful partner to prevent the spread of coronavirus. This is the case of health technology apps that allow checking passengers’ and staff’s vital signs, and the response to health questionnaires. Using the smartphone front-facing camera, these apps capture vital signs that can then be seamlessly shared with medical staff during a video call. When a contagious guest or staff member is identified, this technology can also perform contact tracing to identify other people who may have had significant contact with that person so they can also be tested and quarantined, if necessary.

3- Remote work and leisure travel 

The Covid-19 pandemic forced companies to embrace remote work from one day to another. Two years later, it seems like this will be more than a passing trend: high-profile companies such as Twitter and Facebook have announced that they will remain remote even after the pandemic or adopt a hybrid and more flexible approach.

 

This change in the way of working plus the increasing blending of business and leisure travel creates a perfect opportunity for hotels and cruise ships, which should adapt to this new panorama by adding plug sockets, providing high-speed WIFI, and having comfortable workspaces. In the case of cruise ships, it will be fundamental to provide access to ship VoIP calling, maritime instant messaging, as well as ship PBX.

4- Personalization

According to Business Wire, 80% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that show they understand them. For this reason, it is important to personalize services like never before, from communications and marketing to rooms and entertainment. 

5- Solo travel

In the age of mindfulness and meditation, people are venturing to travel more on their own. For this reason, hotels have started to build more “homey” environments and offer better accommodations for solo travelers. Some cruise ships, for example, are offering discounts and sales, as traveling solo is usually more expensive than sharing the room with somebody else. 

6- Sustainability

According to Booking.com’s 2021 Sustainable Travel Report, 83% of global travelers think sustainable travel is vital, with 61% saying the pandemic has made them want to travel more sustainably in the future. In consequence, hotels are taking actions like eliminating single-use toiletry bottles, adding recycling bins to guestrooms, and using compostable to-go containers and utensils. The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), on the other hand, has committed to pursuing net carbon neutral cruising by 2050.

7- Virtual reality and gamification

Attractive visual content is the key to success these days, so hotels should take advantage of virtual and augmented reality to build virtual tours of their accommodations, and even features that can be used by guests to create their own content. Also, gamification helps make promotions, loyalty programs, and staff training more engaging. 

8- Goodbye to self-service buffets

In order to accommodate safety and distance, hotels, restaurants, and some cruise ships are replacing self-service buffets with takeaway and service to the table. They are also including healthier options, as well as menus that can accommodate guests and passengers with different kinds of diets. 

9- Educational experiences 

People want to learn and be entertained. Painting and cooking classes, trivia nights, wine-tasting, conferences, and one-on-one sessions with storytellers are popular new offerings at many venues. 

10- Minimalism and meaning

Travelers have changed their mindset regarding the way they spend their money and time. Instead of choosing luxurious accommodations, they prefer to spend wisely, purposefully, and make a positive impact on the world.

 

Finally, the hospitality industry has the opportunity to get back on track after two difficult years. If businesses act on what travelers need, their success will be almost guaranteed. 

 

Where Is Satellite Communication Heading in the Next 10 Years?

This new year is going to be important for the satellite communications industry. The pandemic hit this sector hard when the development, design, and manufacturing facilities entered lockdown, limiting the market’s growth. Nonetheless, during the same period of crisis, the global satellite data services market demand increased especially to monitor the crisis. 

Satellite services and their growth are crucial for different industries on earth. We rely on their imagery to monitor and manage the environment, surveil borders, map construction projects, managing natural disasters and city traffic. But satellites are also capital to communicate when traditional communications get hard: for navigation purposes, long distances transportation, military observation, and for defense and intelligence. 

Even though the global pandemic slowed down satellite communication’s (SatComm) development, the different verticals that rely on this technology with their particular end-use are demanding services that will boost the industry’s growth. That’s why it is not a surprise that the global satellite data services market that was valued at $6.09 billion in 2020, is projected to reach $45.85 billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 22.5% from 2021 to 2030.      

Which are the great advances and breakthroughs that we are going to see in the next 10 years? Here we give you four that will probably open your eyes to this incredible technology: 

Air Force Advancements

In March 2019, the Air Force launched a Wideband Global Satcom (WGS) satellite aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV medium rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. This WGS provides broadband communications for the U.S. military and six allied nations (Australia, Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, and New Zealand). This WGS is the number 10th providing this service and will maximize the military communications system to prevent, protect and respond to attacks during the next decade. 

Autonomous Vehicles

The upcoming decade is very exciting for the development of autonomous vehicles. Manufacturers will rely on secure software updates powered by satellite data about mapping data needed for the car to navigate city streets and highways. In the same industry sector, manufacturers are going to demand SatComm to update the software-driven cars with their improvement aiming to cut down car recall visits.

Fighting Climate Change

70% of the earth’s oceans will be covered by satellites, this is going to change how we protect our planet blue. In the years to come, thanks to satellite data we’ll be able to track plastic trash, coral reef crisis, plankton health, and water acidification. SatComm will be a vital ally in the global warming fight. In a similar vein, SatComm will help to fight deforestation. In the past, monitoring countries where deforestation was very common, like Malaysia, Indonesia, or Brazil, wasn’t even in the picture. But in the future, thanks to satellites the ‘No Deforestation’ commitment will be possible to monitor and control.   

Connectivity For All Modes of Transport

Today we are already experiencing high-speed access to the internet in planes, which will only become more attainable for everyone. At the same time, Unattended Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are going to reach this technology and, therefore, improve their results. At sea level, cruise and cargo ships will be able to get internet connection easily, improving touristic experiences and transportation and logistics productivity.  

Satellite communications have already improved communications on earth, on the ground, at the sea, or flying in an aircraft. This technology is going to take a big step in the next ten years. Military, defense, agriculture, maritime, and environment will be the verticals that will make SatComm technology grow immensely. In the post-pandemic world, studies made thanks to satellite data will be crucial to finally turn the crisis page. 

To learn more about how SatComm developments are being applied to help cruise ship communication, head over to netTALK Maritime.

Is Cruising Safer Than Other Types of Vacations?

We all remember that infamous March in 2020 when cruise liners started returning to their ports with alerts of possible massive Covid-19 infections. By that time, in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a no-sail order for cruises. It was a red flag for tourism, but at that time, any type of tourism was just completely impossible. 

We are now two years into the global Covid-19 pandemic and, so far, tourists have a lot of questions regarding which type of vacation to choose to be as safe as possible. The demand for cruises is spiking again and probably reaching the number of tourists that used to cruise before the pandemic, about 20 million passengers each year. Word of mouth is starting to promote cruising as safer than any other type of vacation, and so we decided to dig deeper into the topic of cruise safety so that people can make informed decisions.  

Cruising Can Be Safe 

The biggest argument for spreading the affirmation that cruising is safer than other types of vacations is that it is a controlled environment. A cruise is an enclosed place where those who entered for the first time are the same people who get down off the boat once the cruise is over. If all passengers use security measures like getting fully vaccinated and boosted before travel, wearing masks, keeping physical distance, and choosing the outdoors, a cruise vacation can be safe. 

This enclosed environment differs completely from other kinds of vacations, like hotels or restaurants where people come from very different places and countries, and it’s difficult to have thorough control.  

Furthermore, it’s important to remember that the cruising industry is gigantic. People who are behind the onboard security have worked much longer than the duration of the pandemic in procuring all measures to keep passengers completely safe. Every aspect of cruising is heavily regulated and monitored under maritime law. Therefore, it’s completely natural that today, with the Covid-19 crisis, cruising companies are taking new measures so everyone boarding their boats travel safely. 

The flaw of the enclosed environment comes from cruises that stop in different ports and that usually allow passengers to explore towns or natural places. But, new measures taken by some companies minimize or eliminate any opportunity for travelers to interact with local communities, reducing exposure for passengers and local people. 

Moreover, cruise companies have increased their medical support on ships, this measure can include infection officers, medical staff, quarantined rooms for sick passengers that have separated ventilation from other cabins, and agreements with hospitals and hotels in their route in case a passenger needs to recover off-ship. 

But, Cruising Isn’t Flawless…

Cruising means that passengers will be exposed to a lot of people—hundreds or even thousands—during a much longer time than in an airplane or a hotel. This goes against recommendations to stay safe from Covid-19. The longer people are exposed to a possible case, the more infectious possibilities they attain. 

So, is cruising safer than other types of vacations is not a yes or no question. It depends on how each cruise line approaches coronavirus, the rules they impose, and the control they have. To make this type of tourism safe, it’s necessary to implement a surveillance system that includes good on-ship communication and that can help act cruises promptly to any alert. 

all cruise measures can provide major control over Covid-19 to an extent that simply is not possible with other types of vacations. Nevertheless, in the end, only tourists can make their choice on how they spend their free time, but all tourist attractions have the responsibility to establish safety measures, and from what we have seen, cruises, in general, are making huge efforts.  

To read more about how cruise liners can keep you safe, check out our shipboard passenger & crew health monitoring feature.

The Sociable’s Top 20 Tech Leaders in Miami in 2022 Gaining speed on the historical leader Silicon Valley, 2021 was a banner year for the Miami tech scene

Gaining speed on the historical leader Silicon Valley, 2021 was a banner year for the Miami tech scene.

Investment in Miami spiked at the end of 2020, and has kept pace all the way through 2021. In the first three quarters of 2021, Miami tech companies raised $2.4 billion, tripling the $811 million they raised in the same period in 2020. 

Founders, entrepreneurs, and technologists based in Miami have boasted of the city’s legitimacy as a technology and investment hub for years to savvy venture capitalists, and now it seems their claims are finally getting their day in the sun.

It is safe to say that Miami will bring the heat to the future of the tech scene, both in 2022 and beyond. Here are The Sociable’s top 20 tech leaders in Miami in 2022 to watch. 

Alex Taub, Co-Founder and CEO of Upstream

Upstream focuses on generating meaningful connections through communities and events, aiming to create a professional network with products designed for organic interactions and life-changing connections. In the same realm as LinkedIn, Upstream is instead focused on the places that LinkedIn isn’t necessarily focused on—and they believe there are opportunities for big companies to better serve the needs of professionals in these spaces.

Alex Taub and his co-founder, Michael Schonfeld, are both serial entrepreneurs who together launched Upstream in October 2020. They lead with the belief that growing your network shouldn’t be draining, and are aiming to create a digital experience that draws from the best facets of in-person interaction in order to forge connections. Alex previously was the co-founder and CEO of SocialRank (acquired by Trufan), was featured in Business Insider as one of the “Top 20 Under 25” in the NY tech scene, and has written for a multitude of big-name media entities. 

Upstream started as a product that allowed users to crowdsource help from others. Drawing its strength from the diversity and generosity of its community, Upstream is a values-driven platform built to help professionals share useful insights with each other. Look out Miami (and maybe LinkedIn) 75% of the people who attend an initial Upstream event return for a second one so this will be a startup to keep an eye on.

Ana Paula González, Director of the Softbank Miami Initiative

The Softbank Miami Initiative is a $100 million funding commitment dedicated to supporting and building the community of technology start-ups. The firm’s keen eye for investing comes from an ethos centered around advancing human progress as a whole. The firm boasts a team of partners with a legendary track record in turning ingenious ideas into transformative businesses. They’ve invested in and worked with dozens of companies including Sprint, Alibaba, WeWork, SoFi, Uber, and Lemonade. 

Ana Paula González held 4+years of tenure at global VC firm 500 Startups before being appointed Director at Softbank’s Miami Initiative. As one of the most active VC investors globally, she held a variety of roles in her last job that included launching the 500 Startups Miami office, leading the Global Ecosystem and Accelerator Programs, and launching the firm’s global Managed Fund.

In the belief that Miami is on the cusp of becoming a major technology hub, Softbank is now eagerly hunting for their next unicorn in The Magic City. With the start-up ecosystem quickly picking up steam, Softbank wants to provide founders seeking guidance, capital, and the long-term growth resources they need to disrupt entire industries. Under Ana’s leadership, this is the fund to watch.

Amit Yoran, Chairman and CEO of Tenable

Tenable enables organizations to understand and reduce their cybersecurity risk, employing some of the greatest minds in security to provide their customers with the agility they require to stay one step ahead of bad actors. They use active scanning, agents, passive monitoring, cloud connectors, and CMDB integrations to provide unified visibility and a continuous view of all of a company’s assets. With coverage for more than 59,000 vulnerabilities, Tenable has the industry’s most extensive CVE and security configuration support to help businesses understand all of their exposures.

Amit Yoran, chairman and chief executive officer of Tenable, brings seasoned experience to his role leading this budding company. The crown jewel of experience for Yoran was serving as the National Cyber Security Division director within the United States Department of Homeland Security. Yoran  then continued on to a role as president of computer and network security company RSA, which he took on during his tenure as CEO of NetWitness Corp.

Combining vulnerability data, threat intelligence, and data science for easy-to-understand risk scores, Tenable quickly assesses risk and knows which vulnerabilities to fix first. They provide a risk-based view of your entire attack surface—so you can quickly identify, investigate, and prioritize vulnerabilities.

Zaid Rahman CEO and Co-Founder of Flexbase

Construction finance is currently facing a $1.6 trillion cash flow problem that Flexbase wants to solve by offering the first credit card and payment app built for the construction industry. It gives licensed contractors and construction firms a 60-day float at 0% interest and helps them get paid faster through AR/AP automation that looks towards future invoicing as collateral rather than a personal credit score. Giving construction workers the peace of mind to run their business, this payments platform is merged with a proprietary app connected to the card that makes daily operations easier. 

Zaid Raham founded this fintech startup in the construction space to try and solve the gigantic problem of cash flow in the industry. Prior to this, he co-founded San Francisco-based AI startup Volley, aimed at building a learning-focused search engine. He also invests through 305 Ventures, a venture capital firm based in Miami, which is for founders investing in other founders.

Flexbase Payments allows contractors to quickly file, track, and collect invoices and deliver compliant pay apps and legal notices with a few clicks. The app easily tracks receipts in seconds through its new receipt recognition algorithm that recognizes your receipt even if it is crumpled, dirty, or blurry. Easier than using Gmail, the flexbase app helps organize construction projects with the click of a button. Both Zaid, and Flexbase will be ones to look out for in the Miami tech scene.

Francesca de Quesada Covey, Partner at TheVentureCity

TheVentureCity is a group of operator-led investors that support startups from first ticket to first round. They invest in early-stage, mission-driven, and diverse founders and are committed to building a diverse network of companies, stakeholders, and an ecosystem of partners. Having already built a community of founders and startups stretching across the USA, Europe, and Latin America, their guiding principles are that the world’s minorities are their majority, and thinking outside the box is the norm, not the exception.

Francesca de Quesada Covey is not only a strategic partner at TheVentureCity, but is also a former White House aide and a current Tech Innovation Advisor for Miami-Dade County’s Mayor’s Office. An experienced business development technology executive and investor with over 15 years of experience, she has developed high-impact public-private partnerships and advised technology firms, elected officials, and government agencies. With TheVentureCity she invests in early-stage companies and is part of a group of investors who aim to become an extension of a startup’s team through providing strategic growth insights and capital.

Through Francesca’s leadership, TheVentureCity is helping to build a more resilient and inclusive tech ecosystem in Miami and beyond. In the belief that founders and ecosystems have no zip code, TheVentureCity is on a mission to make a difference for worldwide communities and economies, as well as for The Magic City. Empowering founders in emerging tech hubs through capital and expertise while also providing exceptional returns to their investors, they build the right foundation to turn the product itself into the primary driver of customer acquisition, conversion, and expansion.

Amyn Gillani, CEO of Talos Digital

Talos Digital is a team of professional software developers partnered with agencies and other businesses to provide consulting and development on their software products. Their specialties range from Software Development, Mobile + Web Design, Mobile Applications, UX + UI Design, Hybrid Certified Developers, Front End Development, Magento eCommerce, and Agile Methodology. They have teams located in New York, NY,  Miami, FL, Austin, TX,  Montreal, Canada, and Medellín, Colombia, and last year was acquired by Perficient, a global digital company. 

CEO Amyn Gilliani is a seasoned leader, bringing needed savvy to a company with scores of multi-faceted offerings. With over 20 years of experience in IT technologies, including databases, web development, and mobile application development, Amyn leads his team under the principle belief that world-class consulting and experienced capability can drive digital transformation.

Talos boasts award-winning custom software development services, including mobile and web applications, to provide emerging technologies to global brands and digital clients. They also offer staff augmentation services with full-stack capabilities, specialized talent, and seasoned managers to tackle any technology project. From their work in developing blockchain-based solutions and AI, to cutting-edge eCommerce solutions, this company will be one to watch in Miami as they continue to spearhead clients’ emerging tech needs.

Christian Seale, Co-Founder of Vitruvia

Vitruvia, is a wellness, recovery, and performance platform focused on tissue repair that aims to transform lives by restoring bodies. They take recovery to the next level in Miami Beach with their science-backed and physician-approved methods. Vitruvia has helped hundreds of the world’s top performers, athletes, musicians, CEOs, and leading medical experts get back on track and live life to the fullest again. Through its natural approach to restoring and repairing tissue, high-profile clients such as the home-run king Miguel Cabrera and Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz have gotten back into the game. 

Led by Christian Seale, who is also the Founder and General Partner of Startupbootcamp Miami, Vitruvia is trailblazing medical recovery into a new era. Their team of leading medical, biomechanical, and performance experts take a personalized approach to restore quality of life via their in-depth tissue analysis, ScarMap®, and breakthrough RELIEF® procedure to repair and restore tissue.

As global healthtech has received $51.3 billion in investment in 2021, a 280% increase on 2016 levels, Vitruvia will be a company to watch in this sphere in Miami.

Alex Nabutovsky, Co-founder & Co-CEO of QuickNode

QuickNode is a node-as-a-service deployment solution for dapp developers who are focused on launching their projects instead of focusing on supporting infrastructure. Their mission is to help blockchain ecosystems scale, by providing accessible core infrastructure. Making it simple to power your blockchain applications and scale up as you grow, they offer elastic APIs, dedicated nodes, and powerful tools and analytics—all on-command through a simple control panel. 

Alexander Nabutovsky brings in nearly 20 years of experience of being a CEO at other tech companies, leading his multinational team with over 40 years combined experience managing datacenters, high-speed networks, and distributed systems. With an ability to run a tight ship Alex will help steer Quicknode to success in the booming blockchain market in Miami.

QuickNode simplifies blockchain infrastructure for teams big and small with a lightning-fast global API that provides instant access to Ethereum, Bitcoin, Matic, BSC, Fantom, Optimism, and Celo & xDai networks. With multiple points of access, users can obtain chain data and monitor usage with an analytics dashboard. QuickNode has launched thousands of nodes in over 10 locations worldwide, is trusted by top blockchain projects, and has been a veteran of the blockchain ecosystem, helping it to grow since 2017.

Felipe Chávez Cortés, CEO of Kiwibot

Kiwibot is an innovative company changing the way food is delivered. Much like last-mile delivery apps like DoorDash or UberEats, Kiwibot enables customers to order food from participating restaurants in their area, but rather than dispatching a delivery person, the food is delivered by a Kiwibot—an autonomous robot on wheels. 

Led by CEO Felipe Chávez Cortés, Kiwibot has made over 150,000 deliveries and built over 400 robots making them the number one robot delivery platform globally since its start in 2017. Since then, the company has been making big strides, striking partnerships with industry giants and expanding across the globe from Medellín, Colombia, to California to Taipei, Taiwan.

Teaching a robot to navigate chaotic city streets and sidewalks is a huge technical challenge in itself, and one that Kiwibot is making promising progress in. According to Forbes, the startup has recently signed a collaboration with Careem, a subsidiary application of Uber operating in the Middle East, to launch 1,200 delivery robots in Dubai, UAE. With an office in Miami, this futuristic startup will be one to watch.

Ryan Feit, CEO & Co-Founder of SeedInvest

Shocked by how difficult it was for their Wharton classmates to raise capital for their startups, Ryan Feit and his partner James Han founded SeedInvest in 2012. Together they joined a movement to change 80-year-old securities laws to make it easier for entrepreneurs to raise capital online. During the following year, they became instrumental in arguably the most significant change to U.S. securities laws in our lifetime: the passage of the JOBS Act.

By leveraging their experience as investors and entrepreneurs, they built an online platform brick by brick in the hopes to make startup investing and fundraising simple and accessible to everyone, launching SeedInvest in 2014. In June 2015, SeedInvest was the first equity crowdfunding platform to open up to the other 98% of Americans who were previously restricted from investing in startups. Accepting just under 2% of startups that apply, interested applicants must successfully pass a comprehensive due diligence process that carefully vets feasibility. Offering a minimum investment of $500, which is 50 times lower than typical startup investments, allows investors to easily diversify across multiple startups.

SeedInvest’s team has grown to over two dozen team members, helped over 250 companies raise capital, and built a rapidly growing network of over 575,000 investors. Recently opening an office in Miami in June 2021, Feit says this office is intended to help support Miami’s burgeoning startup scene.

Michael C. Martocci, Founder & CEO of SwagUp

As they say, don’t hate the player, hate the game. This next company got wise to the escalating startup scene in Miami and decided to capitalize on it. SwagUp is a platform that allows users to create, automate, and distribute swag without hassle or high platform fees. ​An API-first platform that streamlines the creation and distribution of quality swag globally, they are disrupting this $30B market by digitizing the supply chain and making it available through beautiful interfaces and APIs.

Combining experience as both an Analyst and CEO for multiple other companies, Michael C. Martocci is young but has business swagger beyond his years. He wields experience in everything from co-designing a location-based social networking app to helping NFL veteran Steve Weatherford reposition his brand as a leading voice in the fitness space. At SwagUp, Michael aims to help the most exciting companies in the world help make their brands unforgettable through merchandise. 

SwagUp is completely customer-funded and works with over 2000 of the top startups and Fortune 500 companies to help them integrate quality swag into their workflows and make community a top priority. Serving up swag for big names such as Google, Facebook, Crunchbase, and Amazon—Swagup will be leveling up the game in the Miami tech sector.

Nabyl Charania, Co-Founder and Chairman ​​of Rokk3r

​​Rokk3r is a strategic holding company that invests in creating, acquiring, and integrating companies by leveraging exponential technologies to achieve maximum social impact, value, and returns. They aim to shine a spotlight on emerging markets as areas of immensely viable economic growth by uncovering opportunities powered by the democratization of technology, online connectedness, and human potential – unleashed.

Led by their chairman and founder Nabyl Charania, Rokk3r utilizes technology to create, acquire, and integrate companies that drive innovation. Charania wields experience as a globally-seasoned serial entrepreneur who co-founded Rokk3r Labs—the world’s first ‘co-building’ platform to fund, launch, and scale world-changing ideas. 

Charania accelerated the co-build model across multiple geographical regions and led the overall business which was responsible for establishing over 50 companies, enabling entrepreneurs to realize their dreams, and creating hundreds of jobs in the regions Rokk3r Labs operated. Based in Miami, Rokk3r will continue to bring the heat in innovation and will be one to watch in 2022.

Takis Kyriakides, Founder & CEO of netTALK MARITIME

NetTALK MARITIME is a communications intelligence company that develops and operates smart onboard communications networks, location services, and telehealth technologies for the maritime industry worldwide. This app not only makes communication out at open sea possible, but it also helps to avoid titanic catastrophes such as the COVID-19 outbreaks that were seen at the beginning of the pandemic on cruise ships. With the capacity to communicate anytime from anywhere on the ocean, this app brings peace of mind back to maritime and those who enjoy it.

With onboard world calling and messaging for passengers, people can stay connected with friends and family for the entirety of the cruise. Groups onboard can also organize meetups and share their favorite photos with everyone in their party with group messaging through the app. NetTALK’s robust technology allows guests to enjoy a cruise vacation with the ability to communicate as if they were on a land-based vacation.

Founder and CEO Takis Kyriakides founded the company in the realization that cruise lines needed to start prioritizing reassurance to their customers, and that cruises could be healthy experiences. NetTALK Maritime’s solution provides that capacity by integrating innovative technologies that improve health monitoring and contact tracing onboard cruise ships as well. The system remotely gathers and provides a medical team with a wealth of critical information they can use immediately. This rising star combining healthtech and communications is fittingly based in Miami—and has a whole ocean of potential for 2022 and beyond.

Fernando Botrán, CEO of Osigu

Osigu, a technology platform for the healthcare and insurance ecosystem, connects all parties in the medical space and enables automatization of processes, data analytics, and improved fraud prevention. Great for both private and public entities, the platform digitizes processes so that the healthcare experience can be streamlined, helping to better deliver an amazing experience to end customers.

Their cutting-edge technology exchanges data and interacts with payers and healthcare providers, making it possible to automate electronic claims and payments. With a single integration, Osigu’s API infrastructure enhances communication between payers and providers to expedite claims and obtain real-time responses without human interaction. They seek to eliminate the need for tedious phone calls, filling out paper forms, and conforming to numerous payer’s web portals. As a result, their partners can minimize administrative and back-office costs, reduce fraud, and patients get timely access to care.

CEO Fernando Botrán wields a seasoned financial background and is versed in M&As and Business Valuations at Ernst & Young. Less than a month ago in December 2021, he led the company to raise $7.5 million in Series A funding to further expand their platform and help streamline the healthcare experience for Latin American consumers. Helping to digitize Miami’s healthtech sector, will be one to watch.

Christian Buerk, Director, Cloud Business Development, US at Ingram Micro

Ingram Micro Cloud is the leading marketplace for the latest cloud technology products and services for enterprises. By facilitating and managing the cloud’s complex digital value chain, Ingram Micro Cloud operates in 59 countries offering more than 120 cloud solutions. Ingram Micro Cloud announced its plans to double its presence in South Florida recently, in the hopes to position itself in what is becoming a booming technology hub and bridging its operations in the US to its connections in Central and South America.

Christian Buerk, the Director of Cloud Business Development in the US, is seasoned with in-depth experience in managing a myriad of core business functions—with a demonstrated ability in recruiting, supervising, directing, and guiding a sales team in the fulfillment of goals.

A results-driven professional with experience in telecommunications sales management, operations, business, and marketing, Christian wields an impressive record of success at various tech companies. He is a key player at Ingram Micro in developing strategies and solutions that generate substantial revenue and growth, identifying and capturing market opportunities to accelerate regional expansion, and improving profit contributions. 

Ingram Micro Cloud helps businesses fully realize the promise of technology, helping them maximize the value of the technology that they make, sell, or use. With its vast global infrastructure and focus on cloud, mobility, technology lifecycle, supply chain, and technology solutions, Ingram Micro Cloud enables business partners to operate more efficiently and successfully in the markets they serve. This company excels at delivering a broad and deep spectrum of technology and supply chain services to businesses around the world. Ingram Micro Cloud is expanding in Miami and looking to fill about 200 positions, including roles in sales, customer support, marketing, and cloud engineering. Its next hiring event will take place on Jan 18th, with more details here.

Amanda Gorton, CEO & Co-Founder of Corellium

Corellium is a South Florida startup that enables companies and developers to test the resilience of mobile apps and devices. Corellium brings the power of virtualization to mobile, running Android, iOS, and Linux on ARM-based servers, combining the fidelity of native devices with the convenience of the cloud. Empowering seamless scalable solutions for the mobile ecosystem, this innovative company will be one to watch in The Magic City.

Being a female CEO in Cybersecurity, an industry traditionally dominated by men, certainly makes Amanda Gorton a rare breed. She co-founded the company with her husband but is the main driver behind business recruits which is propelling this company into the spotlight, with a noteworthy article written by Forbes. A significant company acquired by Amanda was the Australian company Azimuth Security, which has a long history of finding weaknesses in iPhones. 

Corellium is a company founded in understanding firsthand the challenges that mobile developers face. They strive to equip their peers with the scalable, efficient, and innovative tools they need to push the ecosystem of Arm-based devices forward. Constantly striving to break boundaries and set new standards through the power of virtualization—they put forth carefully crafted, well-designed products to answer real challenges. Watch out for this mover and shaker in MIami in 2022.

Garry Paxinos, CTO of netTALK CONNECT

netTALK CONNECT propels “have it your way” phone capabilities through their international communications intelligence company, offering customers various different phone services, from cloud-based PBX systems for businesses, to voice-over-IP (VoIP) systems designed to replace the antiquated landline. netTALK CONNECT uses simple payment plans with no complicated tie-ins to allow customers to speak in high quality to friends and family members via the internet.

CTO Garry Paxinos contributes 31 years of experience designing and developing cutting-edge products systems and services to his role at netTALK CONNECT. He has extensive knowledge and direct involvement with full system architecture design and development of Television services, Consumer Electronics, Military/Aerospace, and other mission-critical applications. He has remained an active participant of various standard organizations involved in the Consumer Electronics and Television Systems industries, keeping his finger on the pulse.

As remote work becomes more and more prevalent with many employees adapting to working from home, a functioning VoIP system becomes vital for businesses. The ability to have one phone number from which extensions can be added and calls can be transferred will be more and more important as we head into the future of communications. VoIP systems also reduce the cost of communications by eliminating the need for traditional phone line installation making netTALK CONNECT one to watch.

Alex Paley, Co-Founder of Faraway

Blockchain seems to be infiltrating pretty much every industry at this point in 2022, and its next stop will be in the gaming world. Faraway is a company that creates hyper-social blockchain games with player-driven economies. The multiplayer game already has about 300,000 monthly active users and 25,000 daily active users, not to mention that it will soon be available on the Solana blockchain. Faraway’s Flagship, Mini Royale: Nations is currently live with an established player base with up-and-coming updates on their way to its virtual economy.

Co-founders Alex Paley and Dennis Zdonov, and its chief technology officer, Duc Nguyen, all bring seasoned leadership experience in free-to-play and mid-core gaming. Faraway’s market strategy and social-focused approach to crypto gaming was a mind-meld of all three of the leaders, and although they only started the company in June of last year, Faraway has already raised $21 million in a Series A funding round. 

Faraway is already working across major games like WWE Champions, The Walking Dead: Road to Survival, Looney Tunes: World of Mayhem, among others. Wielding their solid foundation coupled with an uunderstanding of social mechanics in gaming, this company is setting the course for a browser-based approach to the crypto gaming space. Based in Miami, this booming startup will be changing the game, so to speak, in the city’s tech sector.

Keith Rabois, CEO and Co-Founder of OpenStore

The online platform OpenStore is building on the fast-growing Amazon aggregator movement, a trend where companies buy multiple Amazon sellers and leverage economies of scale to help brands grow. Started by e-commerce experts to empower entrepreneurs, their team has founded, led investments in, held executive roles at, or sat on the boards of these companies. This industry insight allows OpenStore to blaze trails in selling e-commerce businesses.

CEO and Co-Founder Keith Rabois specializes in guiding early-stage startups into successful businesses, bringing in his experience from serving as an executive at PayPal. He joined LinkedIn, Slide, and Square when they had no revenue and helped to build them into the well-renowned companies they are today. Keith is a very well-known venture capitalist, placing early bets on DoorDash, Affirm, Stripe, and Faire, and five of the companies he invested in are now publicly traded with market capitalizations of more than $1 billion. If we were to make a prediction based on Keith’s track record alone, we would bet that he will lead OpenStore to success. 

OpenStore technology streamlines the entire sales process so sellers receive offers in 24 hours and can move on without stress. This enables them to close in weeks with zero risk of financing fall-through with every offer powered by technology and data to build highly objective valuations.

This bright new Miami star allows those in this industry to get paid in weeks and transition seamlessly without affecting the customer experience.

AJ Yawn, CEO & Founder at ByteChek

ByteChek’s platform helps companies of all sizes establish security programs, automate cybersecurity readiness assessments, and complete cyber security assessments faster—all from a single platform. With ByteChek, companies can quickly build their information security policy from the ground up utilizing the ByteChek information security policy generator. The ByteChek platform then connects with the applications companies use every day to eliminate evidence collection and vague auditor requests.

For the past decade, CEO and Founder AJ Yawn has worked in the cybersecurity industry, and in the last few years has worked as a consultant sitting in conference rooms performing cybersecurity compliance assessments for startups, mid-size companies, and fortune100 companies. In the belief that the only way to fill the cybersecurity skills gap is by training and hiring more minorities and women, he leads his company with an edge in diversity—something that cybersecurity isn’t currently very well known for. 

Companies can connect a full suite of applications for continuous monitoring such as Slack, Github, Azure, or BambooHR. A company’s entire compliance needs are solved with one platform through ByteChek, allowing businesses to build, manage, and assess a cybersecurity program that can not only bolster trust with their customers but also unlock sales.

Source: https://sociable.co/technology/the-sociables-top-20-tech-leaders-in-miami-in-2022/

What’s The Technology Behind Contactless Vital Sign Health Screening?

What’s The Technology Behind Contactless Vital Sign Health Screening?

With the ever-changing rise and fall of COVID-19 rates, is it safe to go out? Or is another spike in cases inevitable? Either way, vacationers are ready for some good news in the hospitality and maritime industry.

By mid-March 2021, the cruise industry was one of the first and longest shut-down industries to pause commercial operations to protect the health of their guests. After taking extensive measures to resume operations, from 100% passenger and crew testing, tracing and screening, to improved response to logistics and coordination with destinations and ship medical, cruise crews are left with a lot to think about.

Wearable tech is already the next trend in cruise ships — on 23rd November 2021, Princess Cruises announced their 2023/24 cruise program comes with a coin-sized wearable device to allow touchless boarding and ability to locate friends and family aboard the ship. While CLIA claims wearable technology has the capability to allow cruisers to unlock their stateroom, swipe and pay, and even order food and drinks to their lido lounger.

With the use of technology and A.I, we are able to integrate these solutions into one user-friendly platform, providing 24/7 contactless health support. Here’s how:

Artificial Intelligence leads the way

A.I. powered telehealth services are allowing for the provision of healthcare, connecting doctors with patients remotely, by means of telecommunications.

Through the use of a smartphone camera, netTALK Maritime’s contactless screening technology is able to seamlessly share pulse reading, heart, and respiration rate of guests and crew, with maritime medical teams, in real time.

There’s an app for that

Supported by an A.I. chatbot and triage protocols, health questionnaires are sent to guests to review their symptoms via the NetTALK app and receive instant diagnosis.

Onboard and ship to shore voice calling, messaging and video calling, along with queue management for dining and activities, location services, a language translator, and port of call notifications, are all features available in the application.

Wearable tech for keeping out of a wreck

Wristbands are provided on entry to the cruise and check-in agents scan the QR code on the AEGIS-2020 Smart Wristbands to associate the device with the guest or crew member. This is then worn throughout the duration of the trip. Each wearable contains a unique ID and periodically scans for nearby wearables. This will constantly collect contact tracing data among all persons onboard, anywhere on the ship.

While guests and crew are at the port or on a private island, the wristband continues to collect contact tracing information and delivers the collected data once guests return to the ship.

How do we track contact fairly?

The wearable ID is stored in Oracle Fidelio, for protected access and anonymous end-to-end data encryption during data transfer, to ensure the security of personal information for all members onboard. Partnering with Inmarsat, the world leader in global and mobile satellite communications, provides users with low bandwidth functionality so the transfers can be made in even the most difficult conditions.

With compliance regulations from health authorities such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and WHO, integration with Tritan Software SeaCare ensures these are adhered to. The SeaCare platform can receive, process, monitor, protect, and manage the required health data, making sure all guests and crew are safely notified at any moment a health flag appears.

What next?

By leveraging existing infrastructure on ship, and combining the use of A.I, smartphone devices and wearable technology, cruise apps have the potential to lead the way into the future of safer, seamless travel.

netTALK Maritime provides a one-stop solution in communications for everyone onboard, from passengers to crew members and cruise teams onland. With the ability to accomodate contactless vital sign health screening, we are able to reassure a healthy cruise experience for our returning guests and crew. Find out more information about our netTALK Maritime vital health screening add-on and see how this can support your cruise experience.

How Can The Ever-changing World of Cruise Ship Communication Enhance The Customer Experience?

After decades of rapid growth, the cruise industry has become one of the most profitable in the entire sector of global leisure and tourism. The improvements in communication are an essential cog in the wheel, and while cruise lines might not always be engaging with the customer face-to-face, each step of the journey provides an opportunity to make the experience just as unique and tailored to each individual’s preferences.

With hesitancy to travel remaining due to COVID-19, cruise lines have taken the steps to implement and market the proper health protocols to their customer base. This includes contactless vital-sign health screening and private & anonymized contact tracing. You can find more details about these health solutions on our website.

Let’s take a closer look at other ways in which cruise lines are communicating both within the ship and with team members inland.

Staying Connected From Start to Finish

The concept of using a cruise-exclusive app that only gives access to ship-specific information, such as deck layouts and programming schedules, is very outdated now. Customers should rightfully expect to be able to contact family and friends on the ship, and even those on the outside world further down the line.

netTALK Maritime’s onboard communication package, with ship-to-shore voice and messaging for passengers, allows everyone to stay connected — and the app permits unlimited calls and messages for the entire cruise. This allows groups on board to meet in the various areas of the ship seamlessly. It represents the ideal future scenario whereby connectivity on cruises is indistinguishable from that on land.

Personalization At All Times

Priorities for cruise lines have changed throughout the pandemic as guests’ needs have adapted. During the early months of 2020, cruise lines were focusing on simply staying connected with guests online, creating social media campaigns to keep them updated. However, this changed as the itch to travel increased throughout 2020. Oceania Cruises, for example, offered guests trivia nights through Facebook Live, and even cooking challenges hosted by the on-board chefs. Moving forward, guests can expect this personalization to continue even with operations fully back underway.

Cruise lines could even issue a dedicated contact number to all passengers so that family and friends onshore can reach the passenger. This is especially useful for the older demographic that takes long world cruises, and even if they need medical assistance from their doctors, it’s an excellent way to stay in touch.

Ship-to-ship Communication and The Customer Effect

Improving communication between ships is one of the main goals of netTALK Maritime. We want crew members and captains from different vessels to easily communicate and coordinate in real-time (instead of relying on emails or radio comms). Even colleagues conducting audits or training on other vessels should be able to communicate with each other in real-time. The direct effect of this is that customers can feel more secure — adverse weather conditions or any other threats to a ship can be communicated to another ship much quicker, so the overall experience is safer for all involved.

To read more about netTALK’s communication solutions, head over to our homepage.