Florida Justice Center Wins Pitch Competition
Newly formed non-profit awarded top prize by judges in competition hosted by Broward College and CareerSource Broward.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Fort Lauderdale, FL (December 16, 2019) –
For the first time a non-profit organization has been declared the winner of the Start-Up Now Pitch Night competition. Presented by Broward College and CareerSource Broward, the contest was in its sixth iteration. Each entrant completed a nine-month start-up incubator and business plan, qualifying them to present before a panel of esteemed judges. Twelve companies were evaluated by the committee that determined the Florida Justice Center (FLJC) to be the most viable business based on the presentation, business plan, and financial plan.
The FLJC was represented by Executive Director Jonathan Bleiweiss who completed the program and presented in front of the judges. Bleiweiss, a former police officer who spent time behind bars as well says his unique perspective and experiences made him want to do something to help. With the emergence of the FLJC, he is doing just that.
“The justice system in South Florida is stacked against those who cannot afford an attorney. They are assigned public defenders who have hundreds of cases and cannot provide a constitutionally acceptable level of representation,” said Bleiweiss. “The Florida Justice Center is here to help ease that burden and give defendants the right to counsel to which they are entitled by law,” he added.
The presentation included information about Bleiweiss’ qualifications for creating and directing the FLJC. It also encompassed the current work and future plans of the FLJC, the need for criminal defense services and bail assistance, and financial details of the operations of the FLJC.
Pitch Night judges included: Jim Ryan, Founder and CEO of OutPlex; Nate Vasel, Principal at Las Olas Venture Capital; Sandi Finn, former President of Cross Country Home Services; and Mark Smith, Co-Founder and COO of C3 Interactive.
Business plan judges included: Nancy Leve, Owner and Internet Marketing Specialist at Virtual Fundamentals; Enrique Triay, Venture Mentoring Manager at the Launch Pad at the University of Miami; and Terence Bentley, Tech Corporate Development and Mergers and Acquisitions at CorpDeveloper Investments.
Many individuals provided guidance in the creation of the Florida Justice Center (FLJC) and in the perfection of its business model including: Terri-Ann Brown, Human Resources Director at the Dan Marino Foundation; Michael O’Donnell, Founder and CEO of SellBiz and StartUPbiz.com; George Gremse, Chairman of SCORE Mentors Broward; Bryan Cunningham, Small Business Development Officer at the Urban League of Broward County; and George Gadson, Advisor of the Florida Atlantic University SBDC and Owner of George Gadson Studios.
ABOUT FLORIDA JUSTICE CENTER
Florida Justice Center is the state’s only legal aid organization dedicated to helping people with justice-involvement. Authorized by the Florida Supreme Court, FLJC works to lower the effects of an arrest through free and low-cost legal services, as well as connections to community service providers.
With a mission to empower individuals by providing legal support, community education, and removing barriers to success caused by the criminal justice system, FLJC succeeds in helping thousands of individuals each year.