Watsco Launches Accelerator for B2B Startups in Miami

May 4, 2015

3:00 pm

Watsco, the largest distributor of air conditioning and heating products announced that it will start an accelerator. According to the Miami Herald, the 12-week program will work with early-stage companies focused on the B2B or home comfort industries.

Watsco is the largest distributor of HVAC/R in the United States and currently generates about $4 billion in annual revenue. Accelerator participants will reach receive initial funding of $25,000, HVAC and distribution industry expertise, concept validation, and office space in Watsco’s Coconut Grove headquarters. Watsco Ventures will also retain a small equity interest with an optional follow-up investment.

“We’re interested in any technology that can add value to a distribution business like Watsco, whether it’s internet-of-things applications, supply chain management, sales and marketing or anything that may help consumers or businesses become more comfortable, more economical or more environmental-friendly,” Ivan Rapin-Smith, director at Watsco Ventures to Nancy Dahlberg. “When people think of innovation in the heating and air conditioning industry they usually think slick, new thermostats or the connected home. Our scope is much broader.”

According to Business Insider, Watsco’s accelerator program is part of its Watsco Ventures division. Watsco Ventures invests in technology through three primary channels: a new fund that is beginning to make strategic investments in startups, an innovation lab for its entrepreneurs, and this new accelerator program.

“Watsco Ventures adds a new ingredient in the growing Miami technology scene in the form of a corporate venture fund, innovation lab and accelerator. For the tech community this means a new source of funding for both early stage and later stage startups but also a strong support system for entrepreneurs who want to build b2b/enterprise. Our innovation lab also offers opportunities to intrapreneurs to work on exciting tech that we are building in-house,” Rapin-Smith shared with Tech.Co.

Only 10 startups will be selected for the program. The accelerator application period is May 18 to July 26. The accelerator program runs Sept. 1 through Nov. 20.

Read the full story at The Miami Herald

Image Credit: Bryan Sereny 

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Camila has been heavily active in South Florida’s tech startup community, where she is a co-host of a local radio show called pFunkcast. Camila previously worked at Greenpeace International and the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in various communication roles. A proud Brazilian who spent most of he life in Peru, she is passionate about traveling and documentaries.

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