Knight invests in three national organizations to help make Miami’s startup scene accessible to all residents

MIAMI — June 11, 2020 — The John S. and James. L. Knight Foundation announced today its support for three national organizations that are committed to expanding opportunities and creating more equitable access for Black and Latino entrepreneurs in Miami.

Knight is investing $750,000 in Black Girls Venture, Culture Shift Labs and The Plug because equitable and inclusive participation in Miami’s entrepreneurial community is essential for the region and, ultimately, for a healthy democracy. This core belief drives Knight’s Miami program.

Black Girl Ventures ($250,000) intends to increase access to financial and social capital for Black and Brown women entrepreneurs through coaching, crowdfunding and community by supporting the launch of Black Girl Ventures’ Miami chapter.

Culture Shift Labs ($250,000) intends to promote greater collaboration among Black and Latino venture capitalists, institutional investors and entrepreneurs by supporting the expansion of Culture Shifting Weekend to Miami.

The Plug ($250,000) intends to drive equity within growing innovation hubs by bringing transparency to tech companies’ racial diversity, gender representation and compensation practices through the development of the PLEXUS analytics platform.

“Each of these organizations has been leading the conversation around the country on how to support a truly inclusive startup and innovation economy,” said Raul Moas, Knight’s Miami program director. “We’re delighted that they see Miami as the next frontier in asking sometimes uncomfortable questions about who benefits from opportunity, and who doesn’t.”

Miami’s startup community has grown by leaps and bounds over the last several years. In 2019, Knight Foundation partnered with Startup Genome to take a closer look at Miami’s entrepreneurial community and offer a roadmap to reach the next level. The insights offered in Startup Genome’s assessment are especially relevant as Miami responds to the opportunities and challenges from 2020. 

Knight is hosting a virtual conversation with leaders from Miami’s startup community at noon, ET on Wednesday, June 17 to discuss insights from the Startup Genome report and discuss where we go next.

“It’s going to take all of us to build a Miami where everyone can benefit from the promises innovation and entrepreneurship offer—expanded individual opportunity and economic inclusion,” Moas said.

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About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy.

Media Contacts:

Black Girl Ventures
Communications: Sophie Aziakou, [email protected]

Culture Shift Labs
Founder/CEO: Andrea Hoffman, [email protected]

The Plug
Founder/CEO: Sherrell Dorsey, [email protected]

Knight Foundation
Communications Officer: Raul Garcia, [email protected]


Image (top): From Black Girl Ventures Foundation.