Invest: Miami speaks with Dr. M. Narendra Kini, President & CEO, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital

While technology is creating new opportunities in health, it is, in fact, health care that will catapult the growth of innovation and technology in Miami-Dade. A number of underlying factors support this – we have a large concentration of health care institutions and academic capability in this market, but just as importantly, we have a highly diverse population, whose unique health needs will spark innovations in personalized care.
Many small innovations are being incubated here – from next-generation consumer apps to innovations that drive efficiencies in the health care work environment, which include digital workflows, three-dimensional mapping of facilities and asset tracking, and innovative drug and device trials.
Today we are entering into an area of more personalized medicine. For instances, if two individuals were diagnosed with diabetes, even simple, long-held medicine would work differently on each of them. Dietary restrictions for patients with diabetes are highly variable and there is no true national standard that would apply to all racial groups.
Hispanics are the least represented in clinical trials today, even as they are the fastest-growing demographic in the U.S. There is an immense opportunity, therefore, to personalize present-day treatment diagnosis, including screening and prevention, for Hispanics. This is not something that is a focus in the Northeast or Silicon Valley – areas where technology is being developed. It is an enormous opportunity that would be of true value to the country, and it places Miami-Dade in the pole position.
The concept of wellness, prevention and rapid ac-cess to consumers, as well as the capability to personalize care will drive growth in the health sector in the medium term. The capability to geographically disperse services, whether or on a physical or virtual basis, will be an important theme. Better access is no longer just about physical access, but virtual access, digital access, and ethnic-appropriate access. Investing in platforms that change the awareness of the consumer and enable the consumer to interact with medical experts regardless of education status or income status is the next big step.

Invest: Miami speaks with Matt Haggman, Program Director-Miami, Knight Foundation

We want to make Miami a place where ideas are built. In the past, if somebody had a great idea, they would question whether Miami was the place to launch it. We are changing this paradigm by directing significant dollars towards creating a robust network of talent, funders, inspiration, supported by a rich calendar of events.

In 2012, the Knight Foundation launched an initiative around entrepreneurship to better connect and propel emerging communities of innovators in Miami. This idea-agnostic initiative sought high-impact and scalable ideas, with high growth potential. The goal was to improve talent retention and attraction, and add another layer to the identity of this rapidly changing city, as well as foster a community of problem-solvers.

Two exciting programs we have supported un-der this initiative are Endeavor and LaunchCode. We provided a $2-million grant to make Miami the first U.S. city to launch Endeavor and 2014 marked its first full year. Endeavor is a global non-profit that identifies promising entrepreneurs and pairs them with highly accomplished mentors with the intention of nurturing the young talent to stardom. Based on a pay-it-forward model, the idea is that once these entrepreneurs become successful, they will mentor and sponsor other budding innovators, thereby creating a virtuous cycle. In 2014, the Knight Foundation also invested $1.25 million to bring LaunchCode – a St. Louis-based program that offers students guided coursework in programming and coding – to Miami in 2014.

This community’s efforts to foster a tech hub is paying off. One notable example is Mako Surgical – a homegrown, Miami-based surgical robotics company, which had a $1.65 billion exit in late 2013. Maurice Ferre, Mako’s founder, is now on the board of Endeavor Miami, and contributing to creating that multiplier effect. Other notable examples include .co that sold for $109 million, Open English that raised $130m in Miami for their U.S. expansion and Magic Leap that sold for $500 million. As the local tech ecosystem continues to evolve, we will hear more stories like this coming out of Miami.