Silicon Valley tech accelerator pops up in Miami again – Knight Foundation

Silicon Valley tech accelerator pops up in Miami again

Angela Benton is founder and CEO of NewME Accelerator, which jump-starts promising tech businesses through hands-on classes and facilitating connections with venture capitalists and other advisers. Below, she writes about NewME’s return to Miami Sept. 27-29, an effort that is supported by Knight Foundation.   One of the things we’re known for is our program in San Francisco that accelerates businesses led by minorities and women. Providing access to venture capital and advisers for these underrepresented groups is good for tech and our communities at large.

But we also like to take our expertise on the road to help cities develop their startup communities. Knight Foundation brought us to Miami last year, and we’re coming back to South Florida this month to build on the success we had at that event.

It gave the NewME team a huge boost of confidence as we marched into 2013 with a mission to impact more communities across the country. Over 150 accelerated startups later, we definitely know there’s something special about Miami.  

The truth is, it’s not hard to gravitate to Miami’s tech scene–especially with all of the wonderful things that this community has to offer.  Though we originally set a date closer to a year after our original Miami PopUp last November, we just couldn’t wait. Based on all the emails and updates we received from the Miami startup community neither could Miami!  So we pushed the date up and we’ll be returning Sept. 27-29, this time to The Lab Miami in the Wynwood Arts District.

We’ll have a demo competition again, and the winner will have a chance to participate in a 12-week NewME Accelerator program in San Francisco in 2014. The winner and runners-up will also receive $45,000 in products from Google, Envolve, Rackspace, Microsoft and others.

Last year the idea of popping-up in a city we weren’t familiar with was something new for us.  We took a risk, but Knight Foundation was right there beside us. The success of the Miami event  helped us launch more than a dozen pop-ups in other cities.

Countless participants from last year have told us that the experience had a positive impact. One example: Rick Santos of Swing Academy, who we met last year, said, “I personally went through a much-needed metamorphosis which took me out of my singular engineering focus and made me open my eyes as to what my company truly is and what we need to be focusing on.”

Startups such as SportsManias have gone on to build successful ventures and attract funding; they recently closed $1 million in seed funding.  Even companies such as Vividly (formerly Sew Love which won last year’s Miami PopUp demo event) or Bimotics show how a company can transform in just a short amount of time.

We can’t wait to meet new startups at this year’s Miami PopUp and catch up with many of the attendees from last year.  It’s exciting to bring together so much talent and creativity and to watch them take off with new ideas and energy–and build great connections.

The three-day event costs $99 per person. You can register and book your one-on-one coaching session here.

Knight Foundation, The Lab Miami, Refresh Miami,  the Technology Foundation of the Americas and a few others are proving that there is a vibrant tech community in South Florida that is here to stay. We’re looking forward to joining in again and can’t wait to see you Sept. 27-29.

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