Cade finalist Paracosm scores big in Orlando competition

In this March 14, 2014 file photo, Amir Rubin of Paracosm explains his company's involvement in the development of Project Tango, a phone that can see and interact with the surrounding world in 3-D.

Erica Brough/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Monday, June 9, 2014 at 4:03 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, June 9, 2014 at 4:03 p.m.

Paracosm just missed winning the $50,000 Cade Museum Prize as a Final Four contestant last month, but a second-place finish in the CAT5 Awards in Orlando was just as lucrative.

The Gainesville company won $50,000 as runner-up for its 3D scanning and imaging technology.

CAT5 - which stands for Capital for the Acceleration of Technologies - was hosted by Space Florida and the University of Central Florida during the Innovation Concourse of the Southeast - Manufacturing and Safety 2014 conference.

CAT5 was created to introduce small, high-tech Florida businesses to potential investors.

Hysense Technology of Rockledge won first place and $100,000 for its tape that turns black to detect gas leaks.

In addition to Paracosm, Gainesville companies in the Top 10 included ReliOx - a 2012 Cade Prize Final Four selection for its disinfectant products - and Sensory Integrated Solutions for its device to help people with neurodegenerative diseases swallow without aspirating. NanoPhotonica, another Top 10 CAT5 finalist, is based in Orlando but is developing materials for flat panel displays licensed from the University of Florida. The company also won the 2013 Cade Prize.

Reached by email in Turkey, Paracosm CEO Amir Rubin wrote that the $50,000 award “is a great consolation prize” following two great experiences with Cade and CAT5.

“It is really encouraging to have validation and community support when you’re an early-stage company.”

In addition to funding, Rubin said participation brought coaching from UCF’s Venture Accelerator on marketing and how to find customers, plus introductions to potential business-development partners. He noted that the 18-person company has also received a lot of help from UF’s Office of Technology Licensing, especially introductions to investors.

“I think the future Gainesville/UF’s tech community will involve a deep connection to the Orlando/UCF’s community,” he wrote.

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