Miami is growing as a global city for tech and entrepreneurship. It’s been a long time coming, thanks to the people that power the city.

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📸: Upsilon Pi Epsilon, the largest student organization for technology at FIU.

On February 24, 2021, Knight Foundation announced a $15.3 million investment in Florida International University, the University of Miami and Baptist Health South Florida. Knight’s support will allow these three cornerstone institutions to expand Miami’s tech talent and accelerate innovation. More here.

There’s really no other way to put it — The 1980s were rough for Miami. In 1980, the Mariel Boatlift saw nearly 125,000 Cuban refugees arrive on Florida’s shores over a six-month window. That same year, four white police officers were acquitted of criminal charges in the murder of Arthur McDuffie, a Black insurance salesman who was beaten…

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I was recently catching up on my CB Insights newsletters (I love you too, Anand) and came across this line:

“Not a lot is written about the challenges of scaling a company in its ‘teenage years.’”

I was intrigued by the parallels to the challenges in building a thriving startup community during that same period of adolescence. Over the last decade, several regions have made it a priority to invest in their startup communities and have found early success. Miami is chief among them. The initial challenges usually involve there not being enough capital, talent or mentorship for early-stage ventures…

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On May 1, 2019, Knight announced more than $1 million in new funding for nine projects to forge greater connections between Miami startup founders and open new pathways for talent and capital. See the press release for the announcement here.

As someone with an almost 2-year-old, I can’t help but notice that building an entrepreneurial ecosystem and raising a child have a lot in common. There’s no instruction manual; each has its own unique needs, strengths and weaknesses; you love watching it grow, but its unpredictability can drive you crazy.

I’d argue the Miami startup community is a teenager: coming…

Raul Moas

Miami Program Director at Knight Foundation

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