MIAMI – April 4, 2017 – The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation today announced $741,000 in new funding for six projects aimed at fostering community among entrepreneurs and tech innovators while advancing the city as a diverse and inclusive innovation hub.
From a workshop designed to promote leadership among Miami’s women entrepreneurs to web development scholarships for low-income and underrepresented students to Miami’s first full-scale Maker Faire, the projects focus on supporting and propelling entrepreneurs and innovators across the community. Led by key groups and organizations in Miami’s innovation ecosystem, several projects also work to expand opportunity for groups that are underrepresented in the technology sector.
“These projects draw on some of Miami’s most important assets, including its spirt of innovation and its unique diversity. They foster local talent by supporting entrepreneurs of all kinds, while creating new pathways for innovators from underrepresented groups to access resources and connect with Miami’s wider innovation community,” said Matt Haggman, Knight Foundation program director for Miami.
The projects receiving support include:
Digital Grass ($186,000) – Growing Miami’s inclusive innovation ecosystem by engaging entrepreneurs through regular programming. Digital Grass aims to strengthen the region’s diverse startup community by sharing the stories of South Florida’s entrepreneurs and hosting programs that educate entrepreneurs on topics related to business development.
International Women’s Forum ($105,000) – Creating new opportunities for Miami’s rising women entrepreneurs and civic innovators by supporting a two-day Executive Development Roundtable workshop July 25-26 to enhance leadership capacity. The program will focus on four topics crucial to high-growth efforts: scaling an endeavor, building leadership skills, increasing confidence and self-efficacy and addressing risk aversion.
Miami Made ($75,000) – Supporting Miami’s startup community by connecting startup founders through a series of collaborative events—including themed dinners, breakfast meetups and member-led outings — and creating an accessible network of resources focused on helping founders "not just survive but thrive."
MANO ($125,000) – Fostering connection among Miami’s artists, entrepreneurs and tinkerers through the Miami’s first full-scale Maker Faire being held from April 8-9, featuring inventions and interactive exhibits that celebrate the maker movement. After three years of presenting the Miami Mini Maker Faire with much success, the event is now one of only 30 featured Maker Faires in the world. Purchase tickets for the Maker Faire Miami at miami.makerfaire.com.
NewCo ($175,000) – Promoting awareness of emerging local employment and business opportunities through an innovative one-day conference that combines the style of an artist open studio with the feel of a music festival and connects Miami's growing entrepreneurial class with established businesses and budding startups.
Wyncode ($75,000) – Promoting tech diversity and nurturing local talent by offering low-income and underrepresented students full scholarships to the organization’s 10-week web development boot camp teaching computer programming. After the course, students will take part in a three-month paid technical internship at a top South Florida startup, including CareCloud, Clutch Prep, DVLPER, Kipu Systems, Trim Agency, and Watsco Ventures. Wyncode is now accepting scholarship applications to join the April 24th cohort. Visit wyncode.co/futureleaders.
Support for these projects is part of Knight Foundation’s broader effort to invest in Miami’s emerging innovators and entrepreneurs as a tool to build community while fostering talent and expanding economic opportunity. Over the past three years Knight has made more than 200 investments in entrepreneurship in South Florida.
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. For more, visit knightfoundation.org.
Anusha Alikhan, Director of Communications, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, 305-908-2646, [email protected]