How can Miami-Dade better support the growth of startups?
Miami is a robust and sophisticated ecosystem that supports startups. Opportunities for improvement include access to additional sources of capital – particularly on the seed level below $1 million and Series B funding with a level of $10 million to $20 million – and enhanced collaboration with universities and other innovators. It is important that large corporations in Miami-Dade support startups by purchasing their output. They should also provide input on market needs to ensure startups don’t innovate in a vacuum – producing products and services that don’t address market needs. Universities and other innovators in Miami-Dade have a powerful role in ensuring research is commercialized and students are trained in the technical skills the startup community requires.
How do you see The Beacon Council benefitting Miami-Dade’s growth moving forward?
The Connect and Grow initiative is very powerful. We have launched a new accelerator program formed through our trade and logistics committee. Trade and logistics is an important target industry responsible for more than 20 percent of our jobs in Miami-Dade. We have seen that Connect and Grow goes much further than just innovation, it brings together various aspects of Miami-Dade County. Our Urban Initiatives Task Force is doing great work to ensure all sectors of the county are connected, including those that have been historically underserved. We have brought marketing opportunities to those regions of Miami-Dade, such as South Dade, which have not received as much attention as other areas. These could be major game-changers for the region if they deliver as we anticipate. We’ve seen the power of Connect and Grow in achieving better connections with organizations such as the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, plus state and national players such as Enterprise Florida and SelectUSA.