The LAB Miami raises $650K for new innovation work-learn campus

Knight Foundation backs Miami’s first collaborative work-learn campus, offering in-house mentors to entrepreneurs and innovators

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MIAMI, FLA. — (December 13, 2012) – Following a successful fundraising round, The LAB Miami announced today that it will open a new 10,000 square foot collaborative work-learn campus for local and international innovators in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood.

As Miami’s entrepreneurial community continues its evolution, The LAB Miami’s unique work-learn campus will offer an in-house community of mentors consisting of experienced angel and venture investors that will provide guidance, support and counsel for up to 300 members. The campus is seeking a diversified mix of tenants that includes tech startups, programmers, designers, investors, serial entrepreneurs, nonprofits, artists and academics to create a dynamic environment.

“We have seen a surge of interest and a need from the local community for a space where local entrepreneurs can work and learn collaboratively to spark innovative ideas,” said Wifredo Fernandez, cofounder of The LAB Miami. “To help, we also plan to provide the programming and mentorship that start ups and fast growing businesses need to scale and be successful.”

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is investing a total of $250,000 with the rest of the funding coming from a group of investors lead by Marco Giberti, Faquiry Diaz-Cala, Boris Hirmas Said and Daniel Echavarria.

“While the Miami startup community is developing, it is still fragmented,” said Matt Haggman, Miami program director for Knight Foundation. “We see the power of a collaborative campus, like The LAB Miami, to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem and connect it to the broader community.”

Knight Foundation’s investment is part of its local efforts to help build South Florida’s startup community.

In addition to its expanded space, The LAB Miami will offer an education and event curriculum with courses on business, technology, art and design. The programming will be open to the public.

“We are very excited to be involved in the development of The LAB Miami and the role we hope it will play fostering the development of the future generations of innovators and entrepreneurs,” said Marco Giberti, a veteran entrepreneur and angel investor.

The LAB Miami campus is now accepting applications for its first tenants and will officially open for business in January of 2013.

For more information on The LAB Miami, its list of upcoming events and how to become a tenant or mentor visit www.thelabmiami.com.

About The LAB Miami

The LAB Miami is a 10,000 square foot collaborative work-learn campus for innovative entrepreneurs located in Miami’s Wynwood Art District, home to over 70 galleries, museums, art collections and the world's best graffiti and street artists. The LAB Miami is a startup focused on providing an interactive space to learn, act, build, create and disrupt under the guidance of experienced mentors combined with an educational curriculum to foster collective inspiration and an entrepreneurship ecosystem. For more information visit www.thelabmiami.com.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit KnightFoundation.org.

Contact

Pabla Ayala, CVOX Group, pabla@cvoxgroup.com , cell: 954-554-4011, office: 305-573-4775

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.