Southeast Florida Roundup
Eye in the sky: Scott Adams offers airborne intelligence
Scott Adams made his name and fortune as founder of Hiway Technologies, an early web-hosting company that became the world’s largest a year before he sold it in 1998. A Florida Atlantic University grad, Adams went on to fund the Adams Center for Entrepreneurship there and began working with new companies.
Adams’ latest venture is EagleEye Intelligence, a company in Boca Raton that combines equipment such as drones with sensors, analytics and a proprietary software platform called Strax. The combination allows law enforcement and other government agencies to integrate on - the-ground personnel with airborne intelligence for monitoring situations, conducting search-and-rescue operations, supporting SWAT missions and combating trafficking, terrorism, illegal mining and other activity. He believes the unified intelligence and mission management and Strax technology will have applications in the private commercial security sector as well.
“I’m absolutely more excited about this than anything I have ever done,” Adams, 53, says.
Founded by Adams and Boca businessman Rex Ciavola in 2015, EagleEye raised $3.6 million in a venture capital round and came in second in a Florida Venture Forum tech showcase. It employs a couple dozen software engineers, executives and pilots and plans to add business development and more tech staff this year. “I look at this as a similar time and space as when the internet got started,” he says. He’s quick to say he doesn’t know whether Eagle- Eye will repeat Hiway’s success, but he likes the “opportunity to really make a difference.”
Drone businesses have proliferated, but Adams’ presence gives EagleEye credibility. “This is what I’m doing 100% of my time, full time. I’m all in on this right now,” he says.
- Scott Adams
Modular and Sustainable
Karen Adams founded Palm Beach Gardens-based Green Dwellings to create a modular, solar, LEED Platinum-certified, hurricane-resistant home for south Florida.
She and investors financed the design and construction of its first model. The 2,500-sq.-ft., three-bedroom, two-bath house — 90% of which was built at a central Florida factory — was installed in one day in a West Palm Beach neighborhood. The house’s price tag is $675,000, without land. It has rooftop solar panels and an 80-gallon solar hot water heater. It also has “smart home” features accessible remotely from mobile devices. Adams says her process will scale for multi-family buildings and commercial offices. She expects her market will be in Florida, Gulf states and the Caribbean.
- Rony Abovitz, Magic Leap CEO
BOCA RATON — The U.S. Department of Transportation will give $1.4 million a year for five years to Florida Atlantic University’s Freight Mobility Research Institute for work on intermodal freight transportation. The money will be matched with state and private funds. The school will get another $1.5 million over five years to co-direct a road safety center at the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill.
DELRAY BEACH — Boca Raton-based Kaufman Lynn Construction paid $3.2 million for a three-acre site on South Congress where it plans to build a 135-employee headquarters and 132,000-sq.-ft. self-storage facility.
FORT LAUDERDALE — Orlando-based Tavistock Development acquired the 22-acre Pier Sixty-Six Marina and Hyatt Regency Hotel, a south Florida icon. Tavistock says it will announce plans for the property later this year. » Marine Industries Association of South Florida CEO and Executive Director Phil Purcell, who took the job in February 2014, will step down in January 2018. The association recently received approval for a 16-site foreign trade zone “marine industry subzone” from the Foreign Trade Zone Board and city of Fort Lauderdale trade zone. Each of the sites in the subzone, the first of its kind in the nation devoted to the recreational boating industry, operates as a commercial marina, marine parts or yacht-repair facility. » New York-based Property Markets Group wants to tear down the Las Olas Riverfront entertainment and retail center and replace it with riverside apartment towers. » Con-way, Ark.-based Home BancShares acquired Landmark Bank parent Giant Holdings for $88.5 million.
PORT ST. LUCIE — Outsourcing company iVox Solutions moved its call center operations with 300 jobs from Martin County.
SUNRISE — Aviation Inflatables, a repairer and reseller of evacuation equipment and other passenger aircraft accessories, opened in Sunrise, employing 69.
WEST PALM BEACH — The South Florida Water Management District told the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which runs the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge on land leased from the state, that it will cancel the lease unless the federal government acts to control the spread of Old World climbing fern, a non-native species. Some environmental interests say the state is trying to maneuver the federal service out so that the state has more latitude in running the lands and meeting water-quality requirements.
» People’s Trust Insurance has hired former Florida Insurance Commissioner Tom Gallagher as COO.
» Fort Lauderdalebased home warranty company Cross Country Home Services hired Chris Askew as COO. He formerly was president of services at Best Buy.
- Tom Gallagher
Philanthropist Marti Huizenga
Marti Huizenga, 74, wife of billionaire H. Wayne Huizenga, was ever-present supporting charities in south Florida, especially those devoted to, as she said, “kids and critters,” as well as cheering on the Miami Dolphins, Florida Panthers and the Florida Marlins, all of which her husband owned at different times. “There isn’t a local Boys and Girls Club or an animal shelter that hasn’t been touched by her kindness, along with so many other worthwhile causes,” the Dolphins organization said.
Huizenga died in January after a 14-year fight with cancer.