March 18, 2022

The 41 Most Fascinating Founders in Florida

Business leaders

Here’s our pick for the most fascinating founders and their stories in Florida so far in 2022.

When you think of Florida, you might picture the sunny beaches, people getting their tan on while sipping piña coladas on Miami Beach…and of course, Disney World. Yet, Florida is also a great place to start a business. According to Business News Daily, there are ~2.5 million small business in Florida, which accounts for 99.8% of all business in the state.  

Starting a business from scratch, though, is far from a day at the beach.  The adrenaline, the pivots, endless investor pitches towards finding your product-market fit and ultimately, scale. . 

Check out our pick of the 41 founders in Florida making it happen!

How did we shortlist the entries? 

Given the large number of startups in Florida, there were plenty vying for a place on our list. We decided to focus on founders who raised Seed through Series B funding with stories that caught our eye. 

Let’s dive right in! 

1. Kim Perell, 

100. co is an AI-powered consumer brand group with a mission to disrupt the consumer-packaged goods (CPG) market. 

Founder Kim Perell  is an award-winning entrepreneur, best-selling author, and top angel investor. She has combined experience in investing, scaling, and selling companies. Kim began her journey as an entrepreneur from her kitchen table with a $10,000 loan from her 80-year old grandmother and grew the company to over $100 million in annual revenue. Her passion is to help aspiring entrepreneurs achieve success. 

Location: Miami, Florida 

2. Sean Lashley, 10K Cards

10K cards is a digital business card with an easy way to share information with anyone on the Internet. 

Founder Sean Lashley helps people connect and create authentic digital products that influence the tech industry to bring awareness, drive sales or create societal impact. After seeing the effects the pandemic had on people, he wanted to give everyone the ability to connect like never before. 

Location: Davenport, Florida

3. Jared Yellin, 10X Incubator

10X Incubator gives everyone the opportunity to become a tech entrepreneur. They help companies create, innovate, launch and accelerate. 

When Jared was 20 years old he had a milestone moment, realizing he was going to be a father, which meant to him only one word: “Freedom”. He started thinking about the path to create freedom and a chance of having it all which was entrepreneurship. He went all in and now has helped 10,000 tech companies build and scale.

Location: Miami, Florida

4. Grant Cardone, Cardone Capital

Cardone Capital acquires and manages real estate properties with a focus on both near-term income generation and long-term value creation. The company had its last round of funding and raised a whopping $277.5M in December 2021.

Real estate investing has allowed him to live a lifestyle he never imagined, which was led him to create Cardone Capital so that everyone could have the same opportunity. He’s also a New York bestselling author, sales trainer,  and an internationally renowned speaker on leadership, real estate investing, and entrepreneurship. 

Location: Aventura, FL

5. David Harroch, Booking Ninjas 

Booking Ninjas is a software company which helps property managers consolidate all the components of their business in a mobile interface. 

David, the Founder and CEO of the world’s first PMS based on Salesforce, has helped businesses manage their properties with the best digital tools in the hospitality and real estate industry and loves finding out ways to make them better. He started the company while completing his MBA in Tel Aviv to help give travelers a better accommodation experience. While managing a small hotel in Tel Aviv, guests kept returning because of the way he marketed and serviced the hotel - and that led to the birth of Booking Ninjas. 

He now wants to make Booking Ninjas a solution to every management problem. 

Location: Miami, Florida

6. Alexander Irigoyen Azcona, Cofi

Cofi is a real-time planning and performance management platform founded in 2020 and has raised $250K 5M so far

Alexander and his three Co-founders met while working in a European debt fund. While there, they saw that finance tools were an advantage to just a few companies, whereas small and mid-market size companies needed to battle with multiple spreadsheets for reporting, planning and consolidation. Compelled to help these companies with an all-in-one finance and performance management platform, they launched Cofi. 

Alex supports his team by providing knowledge in the data field, strategy, investor relations, and key partnerships. 

Location: Miami, Florida

7. Sanjay Shah, Cognisun

Cognisun is a top-rated software development and digital marketing company with over a decade of experience in providing dedicated IT solutions. 

Sanjay, the founder had a clear objective of delivering exceptional quality software solutions that provide value-added benefits to clients. He is a passionate and persistent IT expert who believes in taking up the technological challenges, converting them into great opportunities for enterprises, and imparting clients with a competitive edge. He has more than two decades of experience in IT consulting, project management, strategic planning, business development, corporate leadership, collaborative growth, and mentoring teams.

Location: Tallahassee, Florida 

8. Favad Qaisar, Communication Square

Communication Square helps SMB’s get more productive & secure in the cloud. Communication Square LLC is a leading Microsoft Partner across the globe. 

Favad is one of the top cloud communication experts in the US and has also co-authored Microsoft Lync Certification exams. 

Location: Stuart, Florida

9. Chase F, CyberTech Analytics

CyberTech wants to help companies solve their cybersecurity problem. Every company has one, and they are here to fix that. 

Chase has always found the best way to stand out from the competition; be passionate about what you do. He has found that passion in cybersecurity and truly cares about protecting people from cybercrime. 

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 

10. Jeremy Lessaris, Designed. Co 

Designed. co was founded way back in 1999. They are a subscription-based, graphic design service built for brands of the future. 

Jeremy had his biggest frustration of scaling quality design without the expense, complexity, and lack of clear communication of an agency. This led to years of money spent on design, lack of process, and unreliable communication. That's when he founded, where he helps companies achieve and scale quality design with a subscription service leveraging sophisticated tools, powered by talented designers, art directors and project managers 

Location: Miami Beach, Florida

11. Tim Moore, Diamond View

Diamond View is an Emmy award-winning video production company. They create stories that inspire and build strong brand connections.

Tim, the founder is a three-time Emmy Award-winning director who connects with his audiences through emotion-driven stories, dynamic visuals, and compelling audio. 

Location: Tampa, Florida

12. Kelson Schmitt, Invian 

Invian is an all-in-one platform to Manage Digital Screens, Traditional Billboards, Street Furniture, Transit, and Spectacular advertising elements.

Innovation and Advertising have always gone hand in hand for Kelson. He also co-founded Dooh-Smart Solutions. However, after selling Dooh-Smart Solutions, in 2015, he dedicated himself to creating Invian.

Location: North Miami, Florida. 

13. Alex Irvin, eCosmetics

eComestics wants to offer unrivaled savings on skincare, haircare, and the cosmetics you love without ever having to leave the comfort of your home. 

Alex, the founder is an accomplished, data-driven omnichannel marketing leader with 20 years of success delivering innovative traditional and digital marketing and e-commerce solutions. As an expert in online marketing, branding, customer experience, and reputation management, he helps businesses acquire and retain profitable customers at scale.

Location: Pompano Beach, Florida

14. Constantin Dietrich , Ella Paradis

Ella Paradis is an eCommerce startup company positioning itself to become the market leader in the sexual wellness market. 

For seventeen years, Constantin has established himself as a leading digital expert with extensive knowledge of social networks and social discovery. He played a pivotal role in its launch in several countries, which resulted in the company's membership growing from a few hundred thousand to over 14 million members worldwide.

Location: Coral Gables, Florida. 

15. Rohana, Enterprise Software Solutions

ESS is a Software application development company; developing amazing user experiences through hardware & SaaS products! 

Rohana, the founder has over 30+ years of management experience in multiple industries. However, over the last 18 years, he has emphasized design and architecture in enterprise application platform development, with extensive experience in business process software development and SaaS. 

Location: The Villages, Florida. 

16. Mario Behr, Green Dot Advertising

Green Dot is an advertising agency with expertise in digital marketing, web development, content production and offers similar services.

Mario, the founder is an insightful, award-winning Creative Director gifted with a keen understanding of business principles including Finance and Capital Markets. He has more than 25 years of experience in developing marketing communications and helps his clients tap into the hearts and minds of consumers while staying focused on results.. He believes in working with every client personally to give a personal touch. 

Location: North Miami, Florida.

17. Fabio Cristilli, Infinity Doctors 

Infinity Doctors is a Digital Healthcare Market Place, that provides access to affordable health services and online consultations with doctors. 

Fabio, the CEO has been an Entrepreneur | Intrapreneur & Senior Executive for more than twenty years. He helps build and scale new businesses from scratch and has also been an investor for technology companies like Flyflapper, Jetbov, MelhorEnvio, and QueroQuitar. 

Location: Miami and São Paulo, Florida

18. Jason Torres, Jastor 

Jastor Branding is a collective of designers, strategists, and artists that focus on creating positive consumer experiences for all sizes of businesses, ranging from startups to Fortune 100 companies. 

Jason, the founder, and creative director has been on a mission to help businesses connect with GenZ and Millennials. He is an award-winning C-level executive with global experience in developing brands for many industries. 

Jason started his career during the 1990s dot-com era. At age 22 he co-founded Zantafe; The Brand Shop, a B2B Marketing agency, parallel to executing a successful career as a creative professional working inside leading advertising agencies. 

In 2007 he founded Jastor Branding, Florida’s first Millennial-niched agency; dedicated to serving the needs of the fourth industrial revolution. 

Location: Miami, Florida 

19. Katrina Summers, KSB Sales & Digital Marketing Agency

KSB is an expert in Strategic Sales Consulting and Social Media Marketing. They help business owners and team leaders develop and execute more effective strategies to help their businesses grow — whether that’s in revenue, brand awareness, or otherwise.

Katrina, the founder has over 10 years of corporate sales management and managing $80million+ in revenue under her belt. She started KSB Agency to feel more authentic and true to herself, which made her take the leap of faith into her business. She is laser-focused on empowering her clients to level up their confidence, business, and most importantly their lives. 

Location: Tampa, Florida

20. Dave Rietsema, Matchr 

Matchr is a 100% FREE and vendor-neutral website that helps HR professionals choose the right HR software. 

Dave, the founder, worked as an HR professional for 10 years. During this time, he realized there had to be a better way to find the right HRIS/HRMS software. As a result, in 2012 he started HR Payroll Systems. In 2021, the company rebranded to Matchr. 

Location: Orlando, Florida. 

21. Bob McKay, Mckay Advertising + Activation

McKay Advertising + Activation increases client's revenue and profits by designing a customer journey from the first touch to paying customers,track all the way through. 

Bob has 28 years of experience in media including founding Tampa Bay’s first digital media agency in 2005. He developed a unique advertising agency experience for clients, employees, and associates. Bob McKay is a fixture at AdTech, Mobile Marketing, and other digital events. 

He is also a member of the Forbes Agency Council with ongoing articles published on

Location: Tampa, Florida

22. Alex Sidorenkov, Medical Marketing Agency

Medical Marketing Agency provides marketing services to medical wellness practices offering cash-based medical treatments to men & women looking to improve their sexual performance, restore maximum hormone levels, and improve their overall wellbeing. 

Alex founded the company in 2010 and has been helping medical practices increase their sales and grow their revenues by maximizing the flow of new patients. 

He has over 20 years of experience in Marketing and has aided over 200 new patients per month to several medical wellnesses to reach their monthly sales target. 

Location: Miami, Florida. 

23. Frank Vertolli, Net Conversion

Net Conversion agency makes marketing efforts a real breeze. 

Frank co-founded the company in 2007 and has nearly 20 years of digital marketing experience in many industries. Frank spent 11 successful years at Universal Orlando Resort on the internet marketing team, growing and leading the channel from inception to its current position as universal’s largest sales channel - and has been working & learning in the space ever since. His motto is: Strive to keep a balance between pace and intensity. 

Location: Orlando, Florida.  

24. Steve Seeberg, Ngagge

Steve, the founder, had a “light bulb” moment many years ago when he founded a communication outsourcing company. 

Years later he had his second “light bulb” moment when his subscribers had been asking him to expand his communication channels offering live chat to their customers. They wanted something easy to use, simple with one login and one team inbox. That’s when he thought of Ngagge. 

Ngagge is a Multi-Channel Business Messaging Platform for SME e-commerce. Ngaage was founded in 2019 and raised a pre-seed round of $2.9M on February 3, 2019. 

Location: Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

25. Julieta Ross, Okee Labs

Okee Labs is building capabilities to digitize agriculture for smallholder farmers and home growers. 

Julieta, the founder has a track record in innovating and patenting ideas in architecture, disciplines, software, product design, and development. She is a global technology leader with 25 years of experience developing and executing business and technology strategies across various industries. 

Julieta believes in solving problems, those that will mainly affect the next generation, and thinks that technology is the catalyst to make things happen! 

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

26. Carlos Laserna, ONR App

ONR app is an All-in-one Community Management Platform for Condos and HOAs, designed to tackle the challenges of the 21st century. 

Carlos has spent over ten years in technology sales by monetizing technology and figuring out how to get to market by making the transition from tech to business. ONR raised $1.5M in March 2021. 

Location: Miami, Florida. 

27. Brian Knight, Pragmatic Works

Pragmatic Works is a data and analytics training company focused on driving technology adoption through education. 

Brian, the founder is a serial entrepreneur, starting many companies throughout his prolific career. He is the author of more than 15 technical books and has spoken at dozens of conferences over his career.. 

He has received a number of awards from the state, governor, and press including the Business Ambassador Award (Governor) and Top CEO (Jacksonville Magazine). 

Location: Fleming Island, Florida

28. Jason Bennick, Product Lab

Product Lab is a digital product agency and expert technology consultancy focused on digitally transforming businesses using emerging technologies with innovative digital solutions and services for clients across the US. 

Jason founded Product Lab in 2019 to solve resourcing his own ventures with his co-founder while addressing the lack of enterprise custom development services for businesses using emerging technologies. 

With deep roots in technology and business leadership, Jason brings over two decades of experience helping navigate innovation through integrating emerging technologies.

Location: Miami, Florida

29. Cesar Jimenez, prosourceIT

ProSource IT is a consultative staffing & solutions provider based out of South Florida. They focus on providing solutions that support, complement, and contribute to organizational strategy.

Cesar's vision for the company was to create a technical recruiting service that worked harder for its customers than any other resource on the market. He is known as an entrepreneur who instills a culture of hustle and hard work that drives his business and permeates every aspect of his staffing services to clients. 

Location: Miami Lakes, Florida. 

30. Marcelo Russo, QRoom

QRoom is a team of entrepreneurs and tech experts that provide complete turnkey solutions to those looking to turn their mobile app dreams into reality. 

Marcelo, has over 17+ years of experience in making people feel good about technology. He wants to help companies maximize the revenue of their ideas by using amazing no-code tools like Webflow and Flutter. 

Location: Miami, Florida 

31. Jorge Plasencia, Republica Havas

Republica Havas is a leading creative, media, and communications agency. They’ve built meaningful relationships between people and brands across cultures, traditions, and languages. 

Jorge, the CEO, has been in advertising and communications since he was in high school. He started interning at a Miami radio station, and by his senior year he was part-time promotions manager. Later he became the first Hispanic marketing director for the Florida Marlins and then teamed up with his business partner to launch Republica. 

Location: Miami, Florida 

32. Mike Ibrahim, RewardLion

RewardLion brings the power of business solutions to startups and corporates alike. RewardLion helps companies identify, target, and engage with the correct market in the most effective ways possible. 

Mike has 10+ years of experience in the marketing industry and has written five books about Marketing and Business Management. He is passionate about helping business owners achieve their goals through Solution Selling, Account Development, High Impact Sales Presentations, Key Account Management, Customer Needs Assessment, and more.

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 

33. Paul B, Rever

Rever is a next-generation media company focused on telling technology and business stories through premium content in podcasts, video, and virtual events. 

Paul has more than 20+ years of experience in Computer & Consumer Science and Digital Media. He exclusively focuses on delivering ideas across various business verticals through video and podcasts, research and analytics focused on Blockchain, Technology, Consumer Science, and Investing. He’s been recognized as a Top 50 Technologist Award, Top 5 Industry Innovators to watch, Forbes Top 50 Power influencer, and more… 

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 

34. Rafael Garcia, RG2

RG2 helps companies grow through content strategy, digital marketing, and execution. 

Rafael Garcia founded RG2 in 2018 with a group of international creative, and technology professionals. 

Before founding RG2, Rafael held executive positions at VIX, Cisneros Group, and AOL working in digital media strategy, digital marketing, product development, video production, sales & brand strategy in international entertainment, music, and news organizations.

Location: Miami, Florida

35. Kirsty Barany, RxGenesys

RxGenesys Biotech aims to revolutionize the standard ways to keep skin young and enhance the speed and quality of wound healing solutions through regenerative technology. 

Kirsty Barany founded the company along with her now husband, Dr. Jeffery Gibson. 

Kirsty discovered Dr. Gibson’s first formulas while desperate to do something about her own aging skin. As she approached her 40s she could clearly see the visible signs of aging appearing all over her skin, and nothing seemed to be working.

As a last, she tried the formulas her husband was using on his chemo patients’ skin. After trying it for a couple of weeks, she quickly realized how great she felt and immediately proposed to join forces and make this amazing new technology available to people all over the world. 

Location: Miami, Florida 

36. Shawn Elledge, SalesRocket

With SalesRocket, sales teams manage outbound campaigns, book more meetings, build pipelines, and close deals faster. 

As Founder & CEO, Shawn developed deep expertise in B2B Demand Generation, Lead Generation, and Direct Marketing including Database Marketing, Email Marketing, Sales Automation, and Marketing Automation. 

After evaluating over 20 sales automation platforms that didn’t meet his needs he decided to build the which has recently launched in early 2021. 

Users have unlimited access to over 70 million B2B contact records and a very powerful, unique sales automation platform designed to generate conversations and opportunities across multiple channels.

Location: Homosassa, Florida. 

37. Leon Ginsburg, Sphere

Sphere Partners is a strategic technology partner offering consulting services, cutting-edge software development, expert teams on-demand, and enterprise platform implementations.

Leon is an innovative leader, technologist, investor, and entrepreneur. He founded Sphere in 2005 to revolutionize the delivery of remote teams. He has a passion for people, products, processes, and technologies that not only perform well but also are human-centric and meet the needs of the user.

Location: North Miami Beach, Florida. 

38. Jeffrey Harris, springbig

springbig is a leading provider of customer loyalty and communications solutions for cannabis dispensaries and brands. 

Founder Jeffrey Harrisis designing and developing a Marketing Services Saas Platform with the goal of helping our cannabis retailers get closer to their customers and grow their business.. 

Jeff is an innovator in loyalty marketing technology, and who recently announced that springbig reached the five million customer milestone, making them one of the fastest-growing cannatech companies in the cannabis industry. 

Springbig raised an$11.5M Series B in August 2020. 

Location: Boca Raton, Florida. 

39. Guillermo Garcia, SmartHop

SmartHop is on a mission to help independent truck drivers and carriers get more while stressing less. Smarthop’s smart trucking solutions empower our customers to maximize their profits while minimizing downtime and cutting overhead costs. 

The company raised a $12M Series A in February 2021. 

Guillermo's passion to elevate smaller fleets stems from his experience as a fleet owner himself. His trucking roots can be traced back to his native Venezuela, where his career began as a master production scheduler for Nestle before founding his own trucking company, ALCARIN, which grew to nearly 500 employees. After  completing his master’s at Columbia University, he and his fellow Venezuelan team members  built Smarthop. 

Location: Miami, Florida

40. Chad Sandstedt, TagniFi 

TagniFi believes that great financial data should be accessible to mid-market firms of all sizes. 

Chad, the founder, is an entrepreneur who enjoys building companies where finance and technology intersect. In 2013 he co-founded TagniFi to build a better financial data platform. Today, TagniFi  helps finance professionals with high-quality financial data that costs a fraction of what legacy data providers charge.

Location: Tampa, Florida. 

41. Jonathan Rivera, The Podcast Factory

The Podcast Factory specializes in helping you drive conversions from podcasts. 

Johnathan started the podcast factory as a passion project. He knew some amazing people who were responsible for so many good things in his life and business that he wanted to help more people to create an even bigger impact. 

He started recording conversations and put them on air and from there, his audience grew. He started it in 2009 and now has helped close to 100 experts launch their podcast to engage with their audiences. 

Location: Orlando, Florida

We hope you enjoyed our list of the most fascinating and inspiring founders in Florida of 2022. Their stories serve as inspiration for so many other founders looking to break through!

Did we miss anyone that you believe should be on our list? Let us know at



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