Alum Rings Opening Bell, Announces Plans to Go Public

March 02, 2018

Kendra Parks

UM alumnus Alan Knitowski made his Wall Street debut on Thursday, March 1, when he rang the opening bell in honor of his start-up company, Phunware, Inc., partaking in a reverse merger with Stellar Acquisition III, Inc., and was welcomed to NASDAQ.  

With this announcement comes the anticipation and expectation of Phunware, with an enterprise value of $301 million, going public by the end of the second quarter. Once finalized, the trading symbols for Phunware, Inc., on the NASDAQ Stock Market will be “PHUN” and “PHUNW.”

This business transaction brings together two of technology’s latest and hottest topics: mobile cloud software and blockchain. Phunware also plans to work on its own cryptocurrency, another popular subject, called PhunCoin, which will be unveiled in June as well.

Phunware focuses on developing mobile applications and services for Fortune 5000 companies within the sports, health care, and retail sectors. In 2016, the company made $47 million in net revenue.

“Our stated goal has always been to reach every connected device on Earth through mobile applications, and this transaction turbocharges our ability to achieve that vision,” said Knitowski. “Merging with Stellar will enable us to scale that foundation through organic and inorganic growth, including the PhunCoin Token Generation Event.”

Not only did he open Thursday’s market, Knitowski made sure to throw up “the U” to show off his University of Miami pride.

After graduating from the College of Engineering, Knitowski maintained a close relationship with UM. Over the years, he has actively contributed to the Miami Business School’s Entrepreneurship program within the Department of Management. He has also served as a member on the Entrepreneurship Advisory Board.

“He has graciously mentored students during the business plan competition and he has even spent hours with our students, one-on-one, when he has traveled to Miami to guest lecture,” said entrepreneurship professor Susy Alvarez-Diaz.

When it comes to business advice, Knitowski says he doesn’t “have any magic comments.”

“I share what I share with students, friends, and colleagues because I want them to be able to not have to go through any of my challenges or mistakes,” said Knitowski. “I really want kids and adults that want to pursue their passions to be able to fast track success, getting more out of their efforts for less than I had to put in.”

Knitowski plans to maintain his position as CEO of the company.

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