New investments in Miami Tech will boost sense of community among tech practitioners, expand access to opportunities – Knight Foundation

New investments in Miami Tech will boost sense of community among tech practitioners, expand access to opportunities

Four Miami-based public and private organizations will increase local tech entrepreneurship and continue to build a sense of community among tech talent, with a $510,000 investment from Knight Foundation. 

(Miami, FL) — Miami continues its growth into an international tech hub, attracting world-class companies and talent at a faster pace than ever. To further drive that momentum, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced today new investments in four organizations and entities that are empowering local tech entrepreneurs and harnessing this growth to expand access to opportunities.

Knight’s latest investments in the Miami tech scene support:

  • community-building among technologists of Haitian-descent through Haitians in Tech;
  • the expansion of peer-mentorship communities for entrepreneurs at the Local Leaders Collective; 
  • the establishment of a Tech Innovation Advisor role in the Office of Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava to further accelerate the growth of Miami-Dade’s tech sector;
  • advancing the work of The Shrimp Society, which offers resources for early-stage tech entrepreneurs. 

“As Miami’s tech community continues its rapid growth, so too does demand for community and belonging,” said Raul Moas, director of Knight’s Miami program. “Organizations like Haitians in Tech, Local Leaders Collective and Shrimp Society are each building communities that are of, by and for Miami’s entrepreneurs and venture builders. They are creating on-ramps through which Miamians – including new residents – can plug into our tech economy and be welcomed into the startup community. A deep sense of community will be key to keep propelling Miami forward as a world-class home for tech and entrepreneurship.” 

Since 2012, Knight has invested in Miami’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by supporting initiatives that expand individual economic opportunities and build a community of innovators. Most recently, Knight has focused on growing the pipelines that develop tech talent to meet growing demand from companies who need more skilled talent to power their growth and from Miamians who seek to participate in the city’s tech economy. Recent investments include a $15 million commitment in Florida International University, the University of Miami and Baptist Health South Florida to expand Miami’s tech talent and accelerate innovation. 

A closer look at Knight’s recent investments: 

  • Haitians in Tech ($150,000): To support the growth of Haitians in Tech, a community of aspiring and established technologists in the Haitian diaspora that provides resources, training and networking opportunities to advance careers in tech. 
  • Local Leaders Collective ($140,000): To support the growth of Local Leaders Collective, a membership organization of Miami-based entrepreneurs who support each other through peer-mentoring. 
  • Miami-Dade County ($120,000): To establish the role of Tech Innovation Advisor in the office of Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava to accelerate growth of Miami-Dade’s tech sector and build a more resilient, inclusive economy. Francesca de Quesada Covey, a technologist and analyst with over a decade of experience developing public-private partnerships, will serve as the inaugural advisor. 
  • The Shrimp Society ($100,000): To support the growth of the Shrimp Society, a community of early-stage founders and early-career venture builders that creates on-ramps into Miami’s startup ecosystem and upskills entrepreneurs through meetups, workshops and peer-mentoring.

“This is a thrilling moment for the future of tech in Miami,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “It’s more essential than ever that we harness the momentum of Miami’s continued growth as a tech hub to expand opportunity for residents across our community – and at the same time leverage the spirit of innovation and collaboration with leading entrepreneurs to tackle some of our greatest challenges. I can’t imagine a better person to step into the Tech Innovation Advisor role than Francesca de Quesada Covey, a native Miamian with deep experience forging public-private partnerships. I look forward to working closely with her and leaders across the tech community to move forward together, and we’re grateful to Knight Foundation for this generous investment.” 

“We’re thrilled to be able to expand our impact in support of technologists of Haitian descent,” said Whitney Lubin, founder of Haitians in Tech. “With Knight’s support, we will help Haitian-American tech talent grow their careers, connect with each other and, together, develop a civic tech framework that helps improve community.”


About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

We are social investors who support democracy by funding free expression and journalism, arts and culture in community, research in areas of media and democracy, and in the success of American cities and towns where the Knight brothers once had newspapers. Learn more at and follow @knightfdn on Twitter.

Image (top) by Florida International University’s Upsilon Pi Epsilon