The Power of Collaboration Between Miami’s Ecosystem
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Plugging into Miami’s startup ecosystem should be an easy thing to do. We wanted to put together a brief article on coworking offices, accelerator / incubator workspaces, resources, ranging from Downtown Miami to Wynwood and beyond. Additionally, we shed some light on some of the fruits of this fantastic ecosystem’s collaboration.
In recent months, I’ve been able to witness some extraordinary developments in our community. Just recently this May, The Kauffman Foundation’s 2017 Index of Startup Activity declared Miami as #1 for the first time after trailing Austin for 2 years! This comes as no surprise, since startups that have been known in our town have begun the journey to scale and succeed which further promotes new businesses.
We’ve watched companies like Wyncode Academy outgrow their coworking space at The LAB Miami to open their brand new headquarters, Wynbase, while simultaneously raising $1M in funding. Ecommerce company Chewy.com was acquired by retail chain PetSmart for $3.35 billion and Modernizing Medicine attracted $231 Million in private equity investment. It’s been exciting, to say the least.
Beyond these stories of incredible business growth (that are sure to keep attracting investment eyes), is the fact that Miami has become such a collaborative place to grow our companies. Resources have become much more accessible, the connections far more meaningful, and funding organizations now seem more willing to help maintain this level of momentum.
There are numerous media organizations that have helped put #miamitech and at the forefront of our city that would be a great starting point for anyone new to the innovation ecosystem. In no particular order, Refresh Miami, The New Tropic, Miami Startup Digest and Miami Herald’s own Starting Gate covered by Nancy Dahlberg, can provide anyone a very thorough informational overview of all things innovation in Miami. You can additionally have a comprehensive view of all the coworking offices, business accelerators, incubators and investor(s) organizations in the greater Miami area and beyond in one map, thanks to the work of Refresh in collaboration with the Miami-Dade Beacon Council. You can check that out here.
Speaking of collaboration, a great example has been the effort spearheaded by the Miami-Dade Beacon Council, Miami-Dade County’s Official Economic Development Partnership. They have been responsible for gathering key Miami entrepreneurial support organizations to provoke cross-pollination and “engineer” serendipity. This has accomplished a better understanding of how each company/organization can complement each other and add value to entrepreneurs around the city. Community leaders in organizations such as The LAB Miami, Rokk3r Labs, Tedge as well as Starthub, are dedicated to helping local entrepreneurs in all stages of growth succeed through various services and offerings geared towards many different industries and opportunities.
Earlier this year, for example, StartHub Miami Accelerator and coworking space, launched a startup offer (Growth Solutions) allowing small and medium business to have access to ultra detailed, targeted analytics and data about their business. The data is being reported and commented by data experts as well as our Starthub development team and resources. All of this includes a desk or suite in our coworking office space in Downtown Miami.
Community & Funding
There’s a famous quote that goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Such is the case when it comes to lifting a city to the status of an entrepreneurial hub for business. It most certainly takes an entire community. Venture Cafe was launched late last year (2016) and since their inception, have hosted 150+ events where entrepreneurs from all walks of life collide to exchange ideas and witness thought-provoking sessions to help them grow healthy businesses. You can pay them a visit every Thursday evening at CIC to witness the value in connecting with other startups.
In areas of funding, there are very active organizations eager to create an impact in Miami starting with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. From having funded an initiative in Wynwood last year called LAB.Ventures aiming to build promising ideas, to backing diversity by empowering black innovators through Black Tech Week with an investment of $1.2 Million, they’re greatly responsible for lifting this city to its current stature. Most recently, a French-based AR startup, Magic Xperience, that launched in the US last year through a StartHub Soft Landing Program, obtained a grant with the PAMM to bring an immersive experience to its visitors under our management.
Angels, VC’s and even corporations have become very interested in helping and developing startups within accelerators and coworking spaces everywhere. A well-known group in this region is AGP (Accelerated Growth Partners). They’re an angel investor network whose average investment is around $200,000 ranging between $50,000 to $500,000. They’re not an actual fund, but rather a club of accredited investors passionate about disruptive startups. The goal is to give opportunities for ideas to be heard by the right people that can instantly move the needle forward to catapult your growth.
Once you’ve reached a certain level, you would want to have a coffee with Endeavor Miami. Their objective is to accelerate the growth of high-impact entrepreneurs through access to mentors, talent, capital and markets. The hope being to positively affect the South Florida economy through job creation and economic opportunities for you as you scale.
In summary, as mentioned by Gustavo Cisneros himself in a recent interview with the Herald, we also believe that “Miami has arrived.” We hope that the above information on coworking offices, accelerator workspaces like us, informational resources, funding and business support organizations, helps you navigate this amazing ecosystem that has begun evolving into a factory of powerhouses. What’s most exciting, is that the best is yet to come! We look forward to one day playing a part in helping you scale your company.