Northeast Florida Roundup
After spending time with his grandparents, who live in the Villages, Lyman Starmer, 19, of Jacksonville started to think about the online platforms that connect residents of adult communities. At age 17, he started an online platform called Perspective with the goal of connecting people on bipartisan issues. He decided to shift into a platform where residents of 55+ and multifamily communities could connect socially, and managers could use the platform for practical purposes such as for announcements or planning events. The platform is more customizable than Facebook or NextDoor, he says.
Starmer, who graduated from Samuel W. Wolfson High School last year, rented a house in the Villages for 30 days to meet with residents and community managers to form the ideas for PeerLyfe, which launched earlier this year. He and co-founder Vince Cavin continue to visit the Villages weekly to gather feedback that will make PeerLyfe more effective. That includes updating the sign-on instructions six times to make them less complex.
PeerLyfe has raised more than $600,000 so far, Starmer says. The platform recently was set to sign on three communities around Florida with a total of 30,000 residents and had 16 communities in the pipeline.
Southeastern Grocers of Jacksonville, the parent company of Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie, announced a partnership with Relocalize for ice manufacturing in an autonomous micro-factory. The factory aims to eliminate middle-mile logistics to lower global greenhouse emissions and plastic pollution. The factory is centrally managed by an AI software platform that uses robotics for production labor.
- Mayo Clinic and 13 other institutions around the U.S. have received $41 million from the National Institute on Aging to research precision medicine biomarkers and potential therapeutic targets of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in multiethnic populations. Nilufer Ertekin- Taner, a neurogeneticist at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, will lead the research along with neuroscientist Minerva M. Carrasquillo of Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville and two researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine.
- Baptist Heart Hospital in Jacksonville has opened a $170-million Heart Rhythm Center for patients who require electrophysiology care.
- HCA Florida Ocala Hospital has opened its Hybrid Cath Lab to provide coronary, structural heart and cardiac electrophysiology services. MLM Biologics of Gainesville has been awarded almost $1.5 million from the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command to create a device that will prevent infection in battlefield wounds. MLM specializes in the design and manufacture of biologic medical devices.
- Jax Federal Credit Union has changed its name to RadiFi Credit Union. VyStar Credit Union has launched VyStar Foundation, a philanthropic division to support youth, military members and veterans and the community at large within the credit union’s service area. Patricia McElroy is the foundation’s president.
- Custom Brands Group has laid off 79 employees and is shutting its Jacksonville facility by early August. Custom Brands is located in Salt Lake City and makes window treatments.
- Cybersecurity firm Truesec of Sweden has opened its U.S. headquarters in Jacksonville. The company has more than 280 employees. Tomas Sjöström is the CEO of the U.S. subsidiary.
- Acosta has rebranded as Acosta Group, reflecting the company’s variety of brands in food service and retail, including Acosta, Core Foodservice, Mosaic, Premium Retail Services and ActionLink.
- Alachua Conservation Trust has purchased 84 acres just north of its Marjorie A. Hoy Memorial Park at Orange Lake Overlook in McIntosh. The new land more than doubles the size of the preserve.
- The UF/IFAS Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory has discovered another mosquito species in Florida called Culex lactator. Researchers have found the species in Collier, Lee and Miami-Dade counties. The mosquito originally comes from Central America and South America. More research is needed on the species and its potential risk for disease.
- The state has acquired 565 acres in Nassau County called Little Tiger Island. The land was acquired with $965,000 from the Florida Forever program and a $1-million grant that the North Florida Land Trust helped to secure from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program.
- Six artists have been selected to create public art for the Miller Electric Center, which will be the new home for Jacksonville Jaguars football operations. The artists include Aisling Millar McDonald, Casto Solano, Will DuBois, Timothy R. Smith, Arlin Graff and DAAS. The Jaguars and the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville selected the artists among 150 entrants.