Startup Grind broadens networks of Miami’s emerging entrepreneurs

communities / Article

Watch Startup Grind videos from other cities on YouTube.

Knight Foundation supports Startup Grind Miami, part of a global community, to expand South Florida’s network for entrepreneurs. Jason Ibarra is the founder of Startup Grind Miami. 

Startup Grind is yet another piece of the puzzle we’ve been assembling for the Miami startup community. In this case, community is not an empty word; our startup scene is driven by people, an individual here, a group there, and it’s our ability to think bigger than most that drives us forward. We believe in Miami because we believe in ourselves. Whether we were born here or chose to move here, we call Miami home and wouldn’t build our businesses anywhere else.

It was that belief that led to the creation of Startup Grind Miami. On a recent trip to Tampa, Fla., to spend some time with entrepreneurial friends I met on The StartupBus, I learned about Startup Grind. I couldn’t make it to that month’s Startup Grind Tampa event to see Jonathan Cordeau, founder and CEO of LaunchTrack, speak, but I confidently shrugged my shoulders and said, I’ll catch a Startup Grind event in Miami; we have everything in Miami, so if it’s in Tampa I’ve probably just overlooked the Miami chapter.” Well, a week later I stood corrected; Startup Grind hadn’t made it to Miami and someone needed to step up and lead the launch.

We hosted Startup Grind Miami’s first event, a chat with Miami Herald tech writer Nancy Dahlberg, at the center of the startup community here, The LAB Miami in Wynwood. Our second event was there too, featuring Rodolfo Saccoman, founder of AdMobilize. Every second Tuesday of the month, we’ll recruit another founder, investor or visionary to join us for a “fireside chat,” a one-on-one interview where they can share their experiences with our guests. The idea is that local entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and thought leaders can show aspiring entrepreneurs that success can be had right here at home and it's not necessary to pack up your startup and head to Silicon Valley to make it big.

All sessions are recorded in HD video and uploaded to StartupGrind.com. It’s a chance to showcase Miami’s assets to the world and make the inspirational content available for people who were unable to attend.

While Startup Grind is new to Miami, the organization has grown to more than 100 cities in four years, and it is only one of two international organizations backed by Google for Entrepreneurs. Over the years speakers have included Eugene Stoltzfus, co-founder of Rosetta Stone, Mikkel Svane, founder and CEO of Zendesk, and Nigel Morris, co-founder of Capital One. In the future, Startup Grind will include Miami’s most ambitious, strategic and enthusiastic business leaders, further claiming the city’s place in the international mosaic of top cities to launch and grow the next big idea.

With a boost from Knight Foundation, a team of dedicated volunteers and the backing of a bonded startup community, Startup Grind Miami will be the megaphone that constantly reminds the world that Miami tech is here to stay.

Startup Grind Miami’s next event, scheduled for July 8 at Venture Hive in downtown Miami, will feature Daniel Cane, CEO and co-founder of Modernizing Medicine.

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