Building Miami’s innovation ecosystem side by side with our community

communities / Article

March 26, 2018 by Raul Moas

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A panorama view of Miami. Used under CC0 Creative Commons from Pixabay.

Over the last five years, Knight Foundation has proudly supported the creatives, entrepreneurs and changemakers who are shaping Miami’s future. We have sought to amplify key trends, supporting innovators in transforming ideas into ventures. Our goal throughout has been to foster a startup culture, open to the broader community, to establish Miami as a place where ideas are built and scaled.

Rather than providing funding to companies directly, Knight’s more than $25 million in investments have helped build an ecosystem in Miami, focusing on three pillars:

  • Connecting entrepreneurs at all levels.
  • Attracting capital and investment.
  • Building Miami’s talent base.

Some of our key investments have seen much success. They represent different building blocks in this journey: places to connect and build ideas, such as The LAB Miami; major events, including eMerge Americas and Black Tech Week; mentorship and funding opportunities, such as Endeavor Miami and Miami Angels; and entrepreneurship education programs that help to close the opportunity gap, including LaunchCode, Girls Who Code, Babson College’s Women Innovating Now Lab, CodeFever and Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. Taking the time to learn from the investments that did not meet intended goals is as important as celebrating successes. At Knight, we recognize that the keenest insights are often gleaned from missteps and failures.

We’re proud to be a part of what the Miami community has accomplished in such a small window of time. Miami’s innovation economy is growing, and each week we welcome an increasing number of amazing people to our city. Yet much remains to be achieved.

In a spirit of continuous learning, we want to hear from you – those building the future Miami – about what it will take to succeed. Where do the greatest untapped opportunities exist to enable Miami’s entrepreneurial ecosystem to grow stronger? What obstacles may arise? Where has progress been too stubborn and slow?

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with many Miami community members at events earlier this year and look forward to continuing this important conversation. 

If you have ideas, concerns or questions, please share them with me at [email protected]

Raul Moas is Miami program director at Knight Foundation. You can reach him at [email protected]; his Twitter is @rmoas.

*This post was updated on May 24, 2018 to remove past events.

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