Innovation Hub USA

ECOncrete ® – Brings Concrete to Life




Dr. Ido Sella,and Dr. Shimrit Perkol-Finkel - econcrete
Dr. Shimrit Perkol-Finkel, CEO & Chief Scientist Dr. Ido Sella, CTO & Head of Field Operation

ECOncrete® offers innovative, highly durable and environmentally sensitive concrete solutions, designed to encourage rich and diverse marine life as an integral part of urban, coastal, and marine infrastructure, for example, seawalls, breakwaters, bridge foundations and urban waterfronts.

The patented technology is based on three core elements: bio-enhancing concrete compositions, complex surface textures, and science-based designs, which work in synergy to decrease the ecological footprint of concrete infrastructure while enhancing their strength and durability.

ECOncrete®, a trendsetter in ecological design, is as an interdisciplinary science-based company with a unique blend of biologists, ecologists, environmental engineers, designers, and concrete technology specialists. Our bio-enhancing admixtures and designs have been validated in a variety of marine ecosystems across the globe, yielding excellent results.

Sustainable Solution
With over 50% of the world’s population settling along coastlines, the accelerated development will inflict severe stress on natural ecosystems. With growing threats of sea-level rise and increased storminess, coastlines require development, retrofitting and intensive maintenance.

COncrete® provides the only sustainable solutions for coastal and marine infrastructure that provides fully constructive, cost-effective concrete products, with significant structural, biological and environmental advantages.

Bioprotection – Growing Resiliency
Apart from its clear ecological significance, biological enhancement also provides structural and socio-economic benefits. Biogenic growth of organisms like oysters, corals or barnacles acts as biological glue that strengthens the structure and adds stability and longevity. This form of bioprotection can reduce the magnitude and frequency of structural maintenance, which translates into improved ecological stability on one hand (reduced anthropogenic intervention), and higher ROI on the other (lower maintenance costs.)

ECOncrete diving
ECOncrete Tailor-made Products & Services
ECOncrete - brings concrete to life

Tailor-made Products & Services
ECOncrete® products are manufactured using our patented Bio-Enhancing concrete admixtures with tailor-made Forms & Form liners. The company’s current line of products includes Bio-enhancing Armoring Units, Enhanced Seawall and Anchoring Systems, Tide-Pools for beach stabilization, Ecological Pile Encasement (for pile repair/ protection), Marine Mattresses for erosion control and protection of UW pipes, and Bio-active Wall (for non-aquatic applications). In addition, we are in the process of developing new products, including pre-stressed piles, retaining walls, and ecological solutions for bridge foundations and offshore energy facilities.

Product fit is offered through the company’s professional consulting services, ranging from initial planning and site assessment, through detailed design and product fabrication, to installation supervision and post-installation biological monitoring. This is a win-win solution where ecology and engineering work together to form thriving ecosystems that yield supreme structural performance.

ECOncrete Tech_Logo


Just Learn – Connecting the new Generation to the Outside World

Just Learn - planet Box
Just Learn Logo
Just Learn - planet Box

Just Learn has developed PlanetBox, a living model of our planet that fits inside any classroom. PlanetBox uses the sciences of aquaponics ecosystem to expose students to the water, carbon and nitrogen cycle. This is important because now is the time to understand the role that society and technology play on the natural environment and yet, the upcoming generation is the least connected to the outside world!

PlanetBox is a powerful tool of engagement, and that’s why Just Learn has also developed supporting curricula for it called “Think Outside The Box”. Just Learn’s lesson plans are in alignment with the Next-Generation Science Standards and empower educators with the subject matter expertise and confidence to teach inquiry-based instruction on multiple topics like water chemistry, plant anatomy, photosynthesis, and electricity to name a few. When combined, PlanetBox and Think Outside the Box take affordable and practical, hands-on, project-based learning experiences to a whole new dimension!

Just Learn - Maintenance benefits
Just Learn Aquaponic cycle
Just Learn - Ecosystem features

Just Learn is an EdTech spin-off of Just Grow ( that was born in the Lowth Entrepreneurship Center of The University of Tampa at the end of 2016. In 2017, Just Learn initiated an academic pilot with the aim of testing and refining the pedagogical potential of its ecosystem and curricula while also impacting under-served schools of the Tampa Bay area. Thanks to sponsors like Ciccio Restaurant Group, Canterbury School of Florida and Segrest Farms, Just Learn was able to include title 1 schools in its pilot! Just Learn recruited local instructional designer Yvonne Franco, Ph.D. to structure components of the pilot as well as host a curriculum development workshop with local champion educators. Upon completion of the pilot, Just Learn went on to iterate its product and curriculum to make it market-ready and currently remains as a non-resident incubator startup at the Lowth Entrepreneurship Center, while also being admitted to LearnLaunch, a premier incubator focused on education technology based in Boston.

Phone: 813-770-9616

Gbuild – Construction Managers

GBuild- Turn building exterior



GBuild- Turn building exterior

At our core, we help clients successfully complete their most challenging projects using a sustainable approach without adding costs to the budget. 

In 2009, after 25 successful years in the construction business, Doug Gianforte was inspired to take his own direction. His goal, to start a company that specialized in sustainable building for every project. Notoriously slow to change, the construction industry hadn’t quite caught on to sustainable or green practices and the benefits that they bring a project. With that, Doug saw the opportunity and founded Gbuild.

After nearly a decade, our commitment to the practice of sustainability is unwavering. This is evidenced by our mission of incorporating sustainable concepts in all of our building projects. We do this through several key initiatives. Two to highlight are our Construction Waste Management and our Indoor Air Quality programs.

GBuild Construction Managers Office building

Construction Waste Management – On average, our program diverts 85% of our construction waste from the landfill. As an industry that produces a significant amount of waste, it is imperative that we pay attention to recycling efforts. Not only has Gbuild used this program on every project we have done, but many of our clients have implemented this as the standard across all their projects.

Indoor Air Quality – This program is developed job-specific and outlines measures that are implemented during the construction phase resulting in improved air quality. This also reduces unnecessary health risks for construction personnel.

By setting ourselves apart, growing steadily, and being leaders in our industry, Gbuild has been recognized by various awards groups. We have been recognized for our growth eight times including the Philadelphia 100 fastest growing companies. For Construction Excellence, we have been awarded six times. For safety, we currently hold six awards. We are proud of these achievements and remain committed to the values that contributed to these awards.


Our client relationships are essential to our business. From us, not only are clients expecting sustainable solutions to their construction needs but they also look to us to be a source of accountability on the project. We are the go-to people.

“Your attention to detail and quality was very evident as the project was completed ahead of schedule and on budget. I look forward to working with Gbuild again in the near future.”
– Director, Higher Education Client

Having been at the forefront of sustainable construction practices, Gbuild has set the standard for all projects. This is a mentality and practice we take to every project whether asked explicitly by the client or not. We can do this all by adding zero additional cost to our client. With tight budgets and tight deadlines, keeping sustainable construction achievablefor everyone is a true innovation.

gbuild construction managers logo
GBuild Interior

Phone: 610-400-1900
instagram: gbuildcm

V&D Electric Bikes – A Safe, Eco-Friendly Way to Travel in Style

V&D ELECTRIC BIKES - safe transportation
V&D ELECTRIC BIKES - safe transportation


V&D Electric Bikes has created a worldwide phenomenon in safe, easy travel. Our lightweight, fully foldable electric bikes offer a secure yet eco-friendly way to travel to your end destination in style!

V&D Electric Bikes are easy to ride, which means they offer the perfect solution for short trips around the city, and they make commuting to and from work a much more comfortable experience. They can be folded up to make transportation through crowds a breeze, and best of all, our e-bikes are entirely customisable – you can choose the colour, come up with the design, and truly let your imagination run wild to make your electric bike your own!

V&D Electric Bikes provides e-bikes for adults and kids alike. Browse our website to learn more about these innovative products, and don’t hesitate to contact us directly if you have any questions regarding our creations.

Our Mission
Founded in 2016, V&D Electric Bikes marries the commitment to the outdoors and stylish transportation with a desire to sustain an eco-friendly world. Our ergonomically-designed, functional, and compact electric bikes charm explorers and thrill-seeking enthusiasts alike. At V&D Electric Bikes, we thrive on enhancing our customers’ bike-riding experience through providing our local and global communities with reliable products and impeccable customer service.

Our Story
What happens when riding enthusiasts experience electric bikes? They discover pure joy in finding a unique way to commute to work and around town. V&D Electric Bikes combine high-quality materials, with fresh innovations designed to add oomph to your travel and leisure. Fold them and take them on your next flight; transport them easily in your RV, boat or car; you can even take them to your class! Whether alone, on a date, or enjoying free time with friends and family, our exceptional products remind you to live, laugh & love for many, many miles.

Sergio Romo, Tampa Bay Rays are current clients and are supporters of V&D Electric Bikes

V&D Electric Bikes boasts premium craftsmanship and materials to take on your toughest activities. The lithium battery is capable of 30-mile ranges, 4 hours of power, and 20 mph speeds! Our frame is light enough to carry around but strong enough to support up to 285 pounds.

The foldable design of our electric bike makes commuting easier. It can fold to fit in trunks or on buses and trains. And it’s a sweat-free substitute for biking to work or around campus.

Inexpensive transportation that even a college student or a fixed income person can afford. V&D Electric Bikes offers affordable & flexible payments for everyone. These bikes last a long time and are a secure investment!

Whether you are 15 and dying to drive something or 115 and needing to have a hobby that gets you outdoors, you will LOVE the freedom this bike gives you. Be prepared to hear, “Where’d you get that?!”, from envious onlookers that want a V&D Electric Bike of their own.

With its emission-free electric design and zero carbon footprint, our electric bikes fit in perfectly with your Green lifestyle.

You’ll be amazed at the money you save on parking, gas, and tolls. Save hours of commuting time every week by riding our bikes to work instead of walking. Spend that money traveling and finding adventure.

V&D Electric bikes - GREEN LIFESTYLE

Vanessa Sweeting & Darren Forde
Phone: 877-245-2494




Finexio – The Future is Paperless

Finexio How It Works
Finexio logo
Ernest Rolfson, Finexio’s founder and CEO


Even though most consumers are comfortable with paying their bills electronically, businesses have been slower to reject the paper check in favor of more advanced payment technologies. Finexio, the Orlando-based payment execution company, is changing all that.

Through their proprietary “network of networks,” Finexio can deliver B2B payments in 9 different ways. From an accounting file, Finexio’s software intelligently determines the best way to pay vendors and suppliers, then routes their payments electronically without requiring bank account information. Because electronic payments generate rebates and discounts, CFOs appreciate how Finexio’s product transforms accounts payable into a revenue hub. Finexio’s benefits go beyond the financial, although the average $300k return from Finexio’s product is a compelling proposition. By eliminating customers’ time-consuming manual processes, such as supplier onboarding, customer service, and payment reconciliation, Finexio alleviates the business burden of this back office labor. In addition, because Finexio’s payment network is ERP-agnostic, it works seamlessly with customers’ existing software and systems.

Said Ernest Rolfson, Finexio’s founder and CEO: “As a long time financial operations executive and working capital expert, I was struck by the manual processes and challenges that the majority of large corporates in the United States face while making their business payments. Finexio is an important technological advancement for businesses across the country to deliver savings, automation, and strong financial benefit for both these companies
and their supplier bases.”

Finexio How It Works

Finexio has steadily grown since its inception in 2015, moving from Silicon Valley to Orlando in 2017 and receiving a $4m Series A round of funding in early 2018. Customers like The General® insurance and Morgan & Morgan, the nationwide personal injury law firm headquartered in downtown Orlando, have seen millions of dollars converted to electronic spend because of Finexio’s exceptional supplier enrollment and a multitude of payment
options. For more information, please visit their website at

Phone: (407) 627-0600 | Email: | | twitter: finexiopayments | linkedin: finexio | youtube:  UCBsVvhLA8ndFSaNcYcV8liw


Underground Refuse Systems

Underground Refuse Systems


Underground Refuse Systems
Underground Refuse Systems recycling

Jay Wheeler started Underground Refuse Systems Inc. in 2015, and in 2017 Ron Howse became an equal partner in this exciting new technology. Since becoming fully operational in April 2017, dozens of city representatives from all over the United States have been to Kissimmee for a system demonstration. This new technology poses an exciting option from the old smelly, overflowing, animal infested options currently in use nationwide.

In 2017 Underground Refuse Systems bought the first mold from Europe to start fabricating the 5-ton concrete vaults. The vaults seal the containers, which keep anything from leaking into groundwater. We plan to expand to more components in the 2018-2020 period, and our primary business goal is manufacturing in the United States.

The Future and Smarter Solution for Solid Waste
Containment and Collection

The containers are aesthetically pleasing, take up less space, and are graffiti proof. It eliminates traditional dumpsters and dumpster enclosures from parking lot areas. The units can be creatively wrapped using artwork or advertising. A key-locking mechanism comes with all units to curb illegal dumping and dumpster diving.

This system increases recycling, and organics/composting. There are no banging sounds – reduces noise pollution – and it contains odors. The system works with high water tables and is contained in a five-ton concrete vault keeping anything from leaking into groundwater.

It is the most animal proof solid waste system in the United States. Bears, rats, and people cannot get into these containers. It removes a food source from animals and reduces their population while improving public health and safety. A sensor option is available that transmits when units are full, saving unnecessary trips by the truck and allowing customers only to pay when emptying is needed.

Underground Refuse Systems Side by Side Construction

UCF Business incubator client since 2016
Jim Bowie, Manager of the UCF Business Incubator Kissimmee, says “The incubator accepted Underground Refuse into the program and helped them
establish a solid business foundation. It has allowed the company to focus on growing their sales revenue. Underground Refuse is the type of client
company that the UCF Business Incubator was intended to help. They continue to be an excellent client growing jobs in the Kissimmee/Osceola area.”

This technology is in use currently in France, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Turkey, and growing. This solid waste containment and collection system has been
in use worldwide for more than twenty years. Kissimmee is the first North American City to utilize this superior solid waste technology. Schedule a visit, so you too can see the “Art of Invisible Waste” as a first step towards improving the sustainability of your neighborhood.

Underground Refuse Systems - Garbage
Underground Refuse Systems Logo

Better collection concept – Better living environment
Underground Refuse Systems is the United States agent for Nord Engineering.

111 East Monument Ave.
Suite 401, Kissimmee, FL 34741
Office: 407-944-9000
Cell: 407-973-4141

Underground Refuse Systems Social Media Handles

Just Grow Strengthens Society’s Connection to Nature Through Gardening Technology and Design

Just grow team
just grow logo


Just grow team

Cesar Mendoza – Director of Engineering, Bekah Vigin – COO, Dan Holahan – Director of Operations, Djimo Serodio – CEO/CTO, Ed Williams – Director of Business Development, Monica Petrella – Director of Programming.

Just Grow is disrupting the indoor gardening industry with a sustainable solution that reduces the time, energy and cost needed to bring nature indoors.

Djimo Serodio (founder & CTO), began working on a product to help reconnect urban society with nature. After years of research, he found that global food production is the leading cause of disruption to the natural environment and that our disconnect from nature has led to the over consumption of nonrenewable resources. Just Grow was founded in 2015 to provide a solution. The result was a sophisticated and sustainable gardening experience for the indoors. Just Grow’s garden, Malawi, is a compact yet complete living ecosystem that combines nature and technology to provide innovative adaptation to gardening for indoor environments.

Just grow - Malawi


Just grow gardening

Student at St. Mary’s Episcopal Day School

Just Grow is also launching a 501c3 educational branch, Just Learn. They believe STEM education is essential way to cultivate the future generation’s interest with the environment and critical thinking skills. Just Learn has gardens in 25 classrooms in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties as part of an Academic Pilot. They are testing Malawi as a compact environment-based learning tool, developing inquiry-based curriculum and supporting teachers through professional development workshops that encourage their confidence in engaging students in STEM.

USF College of Marine Science – The Legacy Begins in 1967 when USF Opened the Marine Science Institute Here with Only three Faculty Members



The College of Marine Science legacy begins in 1967 when USF opened the Marine Science Institute here with only three faculty members.

In 1972, the Marine Science Institute became the Department of Marine Science within the USF College of Natural Sciences and in 1978 the Florida Board of Regents awarded the Department of Marine Science a Center of Excellence designation and doubled the number of faculty members.In the 50 years since this modest beginning, CMS has expanded in size and capability, and is now internationally recognized as a leader in ocean science.  There are presently 26 faculty, about 100 graduate students, 47 full-time support personnel, and 48 temporary staff.  CMS researchers currently attract about $15M in annual research expenditures and there is a total endowment of about $18M.



The CMS impact on the local economy goes beyond our research expenditures and our endowment. The CMS has served as the nucleus for the development of the St. Petersburg Marine Science Cluster. The Florida Institute of Oceanography was established at the same time that we began.In 2000, we became the College of Marine Science and Peter Betzer was named Dean. With Peter’s leadership and later with Bill Hogarth (2008 to 2011) and Jackie Dixon (2011 to present) leading the way, the pieces fell into place. The USGS Office of Coastal Geology made St. Pete its home in the renovated the Studebaker Building in 1989, USF and FWC celebrated the groundbreaking of the joint-use Knight Oceanographic Research Center in the Congressman Bill Young Marine Science Complex in 1994, NOAA NMFS moved to their Bayboro Building in 2005, and SRI St. Petersburg was recruited in 2008.

College of Marine Science - diving
USF College of Marine Science - tests
college of marine science - expedition Antarctica

CMS faculty and students have led the creation of a number of innovative private companies. For example, CMS graduates created the highly successful and internationally known Ocean Optics and Blue Water Recoveries companies, and SRI was born from the CMS Center for Ocean Technology. Several faculty members have created successful businesses. For example, one of our faculty created PureMolecular to market the “grouper detector” that you might have seen on the news.This technology is also being expanded to detect red tide. Another faculty member has partnered with the USGS to develop a novel pH detector that is accurate, inexpensive and portable, and will enable citizen scientists to contribute to ocean acidification studies.

And our basic research enables future innovative applications. Our scientists were first responders to the Deep Water Horizon disaster and continue to study the event in order that we will be better prepared for the next one. We have developed state of the art computer models of Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico that will be applied to storm surge warning, red tide prediction, fisheries management and many other problems. Our people are leading the way in studies of environmental issues from the global to the local scale and providing tools and knowledge that allows our leaders to plan for a sustainable and resilient future for all of us.


140 Seventh Ave South, St Petersburg, FL 33701

Phone: +1 727-553-1130

Mote Marine Laboratory – Today’s Research for Tomorrow’s Oceans

Mote Marine Laboratory - turtle




Mote Marine Laboratory scientists conduct world-class research to expand and ultimately transform our understanding of the ocean – the life-support system that provides essential oxygen, food, medicines and enhanced quality of life for communities worldwide.

Mote Marine Laboratory - turtle
Mote Marine Laboratory - Aquarium
Mote Marine Laboratory - Spotted Eagle Ray Tagging

Mote scientists work in the waters around all seven continents, leading more than 20 diverse research programs based at Florida campuses from Sarasota to the Keys. They are investigating new cancer- and infection-fighting substances from the sea; finding innovative ways to restore, in our lifetime, dwindling coral reefs – the ocean’s “rainforests”; elucidating and mitigating the impacts of climate change, ocean acidification and major oil spills; educating the public on conservation techniques and marine science; developing new technology and expanding vital ocean observing efforts; uncovering threats to sharks, sea turtles, marine mammals and other imperiled wildlife; seeking new ways to sustain fisheries while boosting sustainable seafood farming; and much more.

With more than 30 Ph.D. scientists in its staff of more than 200, Mote has intellectual power comparable to many colleges of marine science, but the Lab stands out as an independent, 501(c)3 nonprofit institution. Independence allows Mote to respond quickly to emerging environmental challenges, think outside the box to find innovative solutions and prioritize its research to do maximum good. Mote is able to maintain this important independence through the generosity of philanthropic supporters.

The Lab’s guiding “roadmap,” the 2020 Vision & Strategic Plan, emphasizes studying the sea to support conservation and sustainable use of marine and coastal biodiversity, healthy habitats and natural resources. It also lays out goals for translating and transferring research to benefit the oceans and human society.

Mote shares its discoveries through intellectual property products, with around a dozen patents obtained and several more pending. Mote-patented technology helps detect wastewater contamination, monitor for red tides that can severely affect Florida communities, enable sustainable seafood farming and more.

Mote’s estimated economic impact is $86.8 million in Florida. The Lab’s research helps to fuel the marine-driven “Blue Economy,” which is critical: Ocean-related activity contributed $17.5 billion to Florida’s gross domestic product as of 2010. The fishing, ecotourism and aquaculture industries, and rising powers like marine biomedical research, are critical to a healthy economy.

The Lab’s most priceless gift is shared knowledge. Mote provides independent, science-based information and expertise for policymakers, resource managers and other decision makers. Mote scientists also exchange knowledge with fishers and others who value marine resources; the Lab conducts inclusive workshops and leads citizen-science projects such coral-restoration and monitoring efforts with the help of volunteers.

Mote Marine Laboratory - Loggerhead Patient

Mote’s estimated economic impact is $86.8 million in Florida. The Lab’s research helps to fuel the marine-driven “Blue Economy,” which is critical: Ocean-related activity contributed $17.5 billion to Florida’s gross domestic product as of 2010.

Recent research highlights:

  • In May 2017, Mote opened its new Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research & Restoration at its existing Summerland Key campus. The facility emphasizes research on the challenges facing Earth’s coral reefs and the scientific solutions for restoring reefs in this lifetime — including identifying and selectively restoring genetic strains of coral resilient to challenges such as warming water temperature, ocean acidification and coral disease.
  • Since the early days of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which began April 20, 2010, Mote has played a significant role in research investigating how oil exposure can affect marine life during and after a spill. Currently, Mote scientists are working toward developing rapid health-diagnostic tests based on sub-lethal responses that will better predict short- and long-term impacts of oil exposure in Gulf of Mexico fishes. Mote Senior Scientist Dr. Dana Wetzel is Toxicology Task Lead in the Deepwater Horizon research consortium CIMAGE II (and its predecessor, C-IMAGE), which is based at the University of South Florida, which has St. Petersburg and Tampa campuses.
  • The toxic Florida red tide algae, Karenia brevis, affects people and wildlife and can cost Florida’s economy millions of dollars. Mote scientists are working to take red tide research and response efforts to new levels. Their current work includes: developing new tools to better detect the red tide toxins that can affect wildlife and people; expanding knowledge about red tide impacts on shellfish to protect public health; developing new smartphone apps to significantly improve the reporting of red tide impacts and help the public choose the best beach on a given day; exploring the possible uses of drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) for better detection of red tide; and more.
  • Mote has hosted three lionfish derbies – competitive events where divers remove this harmful invasive fish, Mote scientists study its impact and the public learns how to fight the invasion, while tasting delicious lionfish dishes from local chefs.
Mote Marine Laboratories - Dr. Erinn Muller
Mote Marine Laboratory - Mercury Marine.Spotted Eagle Ray Research June 2017
Mote Marine Laboratory - Last Turtle Hatchlings of the Season
  • Mote scientists work closely with their communities to study popular sport fish, gaining knowledge to benefit Florida’s $6.5 billion saltwater fishing industry. For example, in 2016 Mote scientists released hundreds of hatchery-reared, ID-tagged juvenile snook into Phillippi Creek in Sarasota County for an ongoing study seeking the most effective methods to replenish and enhance wild snook populations. The researchers worked with creek-side residents to place antenna arrays on residential waterfront property to monitor for the fish, sharing knowledge in the process.
  • At Mote Aquaculture Research Park in eastern Sarasota County, Mote scientists are studying new ways to clean and re-use fresh and salt water in closed-loop, recirculating systems, to grow fish for seafood and environmental restoration, sea vegetables and plants for wetlands restoration in ways that sustainably utilize natural resources — especially water. Their goals emphasize environmental and economic benefit. One recent example: Mote’s 2016 research demonstrated that excess mullet from the local Cortez commercial fishery could be used to produce a healthy commercial diet for a farmed, freshwater fish — a major first step toward new income opportunities for west Florida’s heritage mullet fisheries and an important line of research the Lab plans to continue with farmed saltwater fish.
Mote Marine Laboratory - Eagle Ray Release

Education and outreach

Mote’s Education, Aquarium & Outreach Division plays a significant role in our effort to translate and transfer science and conservation information to our communities and the world.

We inform and engage hundreds of thousands of people each year through:

  • Mote Aquarium, which features more than 100 marine species — from sharks, other fishes and invertebrates to sea turtles and manatees — andhighlights the work of Mote scientists;
  • Interactive education programs for pre-K children through adults;
  • Distance learning efforts involving traveling exhibits and SeaTrek digital learning programs that reach people across the U.S. and beyond;
  • Events such as science cafes and an annual lecture series;
  • A chapter of the Gills Club geared toward engaging girls in science;
  • Conservation-focused fundraisers such as Mote’s annual 5K Run for the Turtles (which recently had its 30th year of raising support for sea turtle conservation and research);
  • Policy-oriented briefings and publications. For example, we provided 21 briefings/testimonies to government representatives in 2016.

Mote Aquarium continually introduces new exhibits. Our latest additions, “Otters & Their Waters: Exploring a Florida Ecosystem,” and “The Teeth Beneath: The Wild World of Gators, Crocs & Caimans,” feature North American river otters and several crocodilian species as ambassadors for watersheds, highlighting the connection between watersheds and oceans while providing wildlife- and environment-friendly facts and tips.

More than 1,500 Mote volunteers donate their time as Aquarium docents, trained educational ambassadors, Aquarium, education and scientific program support volunteers and much more.

Mote Marine Laboratory - logo • Phone: 941-388-4441 • 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236
Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and more: @MoteMarineLab

STATWEATHER – founded on the belief that the weather and climate system could be predicted one year in advance


StatWeather was founded on the belief that the weather and climate system could be predicted one year in advance.

In the early 1990’s, Statweather founder, Ria Persad worked on early climate models at Lawrence Livermore National Labs, then solar system models at NASA, then in the late 1990’s in energy and  financial trading at Goldman Sachs, Enron, and Duke Energy. The Harvard and Princeton educated mathematician would apply her knowledge of modeling the atmosphere and space to inform those in commodities about the potential rise and fall of stock prices based upon the weather.

The impact of weather upon business is hundreds of billions of dollars in the U.S. alone, with trillions of dollars in impact globally. It is the convergence of math and science, finance and business, and computer technology. With the rise of computing capabilities, in 2009, Persad teamed up with Mark Carlo – a chemical and software engineer – to hire a team out of Tampa Bay, Florida, to create what would become the world’s most powerful artificial intelligence-based weather and climate model.

This model would prove to be ground-breaking in its ability to predict storms, extreme and high-impact weather such as heat waves and freezes, and even hurricanes with a 70% hit accuracy even 3 months in advance. The StatWeather models also demonstrated landmark accuracy in predicting seasonal climate trends such as temperature, precipitation, and drought even 2 years in advance.

StatWeather’s first pilot customers in 2012, which included a roster of investment banks and energy companies, found that in the face of extreme and high impact conditions, StatWeather could be used as a highly useful commercial tool in the day-to-day functioning of a business to manage risk and predict events with reliable accuracy.

Funded by customer subscription sales alone, StatWeather was bootstrapped as a lean startup and continues as a private company with no outside capital sources. StatWeather soon garnered significant attention from the press, including coverage in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and Reuters, on this remarkable new technology as a quantum leap in weather prediction.

StatWeather has won numerous awards such as Energy Risk’s #1 Global Data Provider of the Year, top weather company in North America, Meet Advisors’ Top 5 Most Innovative Companies in America, and inclusion in Platts’ Global Energy Awards Top 10 List of Rising Star Companies. 

StatWeather has become a widespread tool in the energy industry in the prediction of futures prices, utility load forecasting, and energy demand response for the utilization of sustainable energy solutions. 

Founder Ria Persad was elected as the inaugural Renewable Energy and Power-Generation Woman of the Year and as a Platts’ Global Energy Awards Top 10 Lifetime Achievement Leader.

The future of this Tampa Bay-based technology company is to innovate more expansive and powerful systems in the prediction of major global weather and climate events and to be a force in helping to promote sustainable energy solutions worldwide. 

StatWeather works together with industry risk management partners and government agencies such as NOAA’s National Center for Environmental Information (NCEI) in providing users with a comprehensive SaaS platform to access weather and climate forecasts. 

Data offerings range anywhere from hourly to yearly, by point-location up to region, with valuable statistical information included as to likelihood of events and post-verification statistics for customers to manage their weather-dependent risk in a uniquely effective and quantifiable manner.

Ria Persad

Chief Executive Officer Ria Persad studied mathematics and physics at Harvard, Princeton, and Cambridge Universities with doctoral study at Rice University. Her experience in climate modeling began at Lawrence Livermore Lab’s Supercomputer Center in 1991. Persad performed earth and solar system modeling at NASA and went on to model geophysical systems at Bell Geospace. She worked on the trading floors of Lehman Brothers and was a consultant to Goldman Sachs. As a climatologist at Enron and Duke Energy, she was alerted to the needs of the energy trading sector and weather risk management. She later went on to develop state-of-the-art long-range weather prediction systems which were peer-reviewed among academia and U.S. Department of Defense scientists and rigorously tested for the top meteorological broadcasting station in the Midwest. She models complex systems for the U.S. Space Program and is an innovative Subject Matter Expert. Persad has been collaborating with NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information and their academic research partner, CICS-NC on numerous climate and energy engagement activities to advance environmental intelligence. Persad received the Highest Honor from the Society of Women Engineers and Citations from the U.S. Secretary of Energy and the U.S. Senate on Scientific Achievement on her original contributions to computational and applied mathematics. Persad has been recently recognized by Platts Global Energy Awards as one of the top 7 global leaders for Lifetime Achievement and as the International Power-Gen and Renewable Energy Woman of the Year.

Mark Carlo

Chief Information Officer Mark Carlo graduated from the University of South Florida in Chemical Engineering, has served as the President of the Florida Engineering Society, and has performed cutting-edge research on alternative and renewable energy. He has worked as a Chemical and Process Engineer and Project Manager. Carlo served as partner and Chief Information Officer of a financial services company, managing teams of financial, sales, and technical personnel. He developed innovative software products for scientific, engineering, and business applications and has designed and coded extensive financial systems, web-based database applications, and weather tracking and climate modeling systems. With a specialty in financial infrastructure and extensive leadership experience, Mark Carlo provides the technical and business oversight of the StatWeather organization including the Operations and Software Development Teams.

StatWeather, Inc.

701 S. Howard Ave

Suite 106-532

Tampa, FL 37066

Office phone:  (941) 799-7911