When you think of the biggest disruptors, SpaceX, Uber, Airbnb and 23andMe probably come to mind. But even the most popular unicorns started as a small idea before becoming global household names and attracting billions in venture funding.
Every year, up-and-coming young companies from around the globe head to Miami Beach to compete in a pitch-a-thon at the eMerge Americas conference — a two-day technology summit in Miami Beach focusing on connecting North America, Latin America and Europe. Hundreds of companies submit their business plan to the conference organizers and an advisory council that narrows the field down and invites the top entrepreneurs to 'Silicon Beach' for the chance to pitch to Mr. 305 himself, Pitbull.
"[The Startup Showcase] is the heart and soul of the conference," said Melissa Medina, executive vice president of eMerge Americas. "We're providing start-ups from around the world this platform that they can connect with investors, pitch onstage in front of thousands of attendees and share their stories."
Here's a small group of the 120 Startup Showcase contenders gaining investor attention and scaling globally with the hopes of becoming the hottest names of the future across the largest industries, including travel, agriculture, health care and more.