February 28, 2021
ATS SE Feb 2021
Outdoor gear retailer REI opened in Uptown Boca in west Boca Raton.

Photo: REI

ATS SE Feb 2021
Gifford small-arms ammunition designer and manufacturer PCP Tactical will add 22 jobs to the region.

Photo: PCP Tactical

Southeast Florida Roundup

Online test proctor Honorlock is one of Florida's fastest-growing companies

The pandemic-fueled shift to online college learning proved a boon to a company founded by two FAU graduates

Mike Vogel | 1/27/2021

COVID-19 UPDATE

Honor Roll

The pandemic-fueled shift to online college learning proved a boon to Boca Raton-based Honorlock, an online test proctor founded by two Florida Atlantic University graduates.

Honorlock last year placed No. 236 on Inc.’s fast-grower list with 1,860% three-year growth. It raised $11.5 million in March as it plans to add to its 80 employees, further expand in the domestic market and develop the corporate and international market. Along with FAU and FIU, the company has UF and other Florida institutions as clients among several hundred nationally.

It’s led by CEO Michael Hemlepp, an investor who bought in along with Boca investor Dan Cane, who before co-founding Modernizing Medicine founded ed tech companies Blackboard and CourseInfo.

Honorlock detects suspicious behavior — such as someone other than the test-taker present for the test or the test-taker using a secondary device during the computer test — and can alert a live proctor to pop in as well as inform the instructor. The software also searches the web for postings of test content and removes it.

Some students have issues with it. FIU’s Student Government Council last year passed a resolution advocating Honorlock be replaced. Students said it’s impractical for those staying with family to get a private test-taking space. They also raised privacy issues.

SeaQuest Fort Lauderdale, citing the impact of the pandemic, says it may abandon plans to build a 1,200-animal attraction at the Galleria mall in Fort Lauderdale.

HOSPITALITY

  • Miami’s Menin Development plans a 150,000-sq.-ft. food hall and 220-space parking garage in Delray Beach a half block south of Atlantic Avenue. Menin also plans to open its Ray Hotel in Delray Beach this year.
  • Deerfield Beach-based short-cruise company Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line sold the larger and older of its two vessels, the 1,800-passenger Grand Celebration, leaving it with the Grand Classica.
  • A Hyatt Hotels affiliate signed a franchise deal with Banyan Cay Development to build a 150-room, 22-villa Banyan Cay Resort & Golf property to open in late 2021 near Palm Beach International Airport.

RETAIL

  • Weston energy drink company Bang Energy outbid Amazon for a lease of 60 county-owned acres near Pembroke Pines.
  • Related Cos’ Rosemary Square, formerly known as CityPlace in West Palm Beach, announced retail and restaurant tenants totaling 27,000 square feet. New tenants include West Elm, Urban Outfitters, Nantucket Whaler and mint&rose.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

  • Generic drug supplier KeySource will add 50 jobs as it bases a sales and logistics office in Cypress Creek, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance announced. Alliance projects from the past year include business automation company Accilerate (50 jobs), floating dock maker AccuDock (20 jobs), Amazon (125), medical device maker Arteria (92), medical industry financing firm Bankers Healthcare Group (220), Publix (265), hospitality industry tech company Shiji (70), Spirit Airlines (225) and personal protective equipment distributor TLB Enterprises Group Holdings (5).

REAL ESTATE

  • Pompano Beach retirement community John Knox Village awarded a $120-million contract to Moss Construction to build 150 senior living residences, a 350-seat performing arts center, two restaurants and a garage.
  • Housing Trust Group and the Riviera Beach Housing Authority began construction of a $21.4-million, 79-unit affordable townhouse development Heron Estates Family in Riviera Beach.
  • Indian River County commissioners approved rezoning 78 acres near Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital for Harbor Bluffs, a 624-unit residential project.

FINANCIAL

  • Palm Beach Gardens-based Anchor Bank, a community bank with $169 million in assets, three offices in Palm Beach County and a wealth management office in Coral Gables, will acquire Home Federal Bank of Hollywood and its $58 million in assets and rename its single location in Hallandale Beach as Anchor Bank.

EDUCATION

  • MacKenzie Scott, ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, gave $45 million to Indian River State College, the largest donation in the school’s history.

MEDIA

  • News site Newsmax, based in West Palm Beach, plans to open bureaus in Miami and two other cities.

 

Read more in Florida Trend's February issue.
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