The Miami Herald blog, The Starting Gate, written by Nancy Dahlberg provides the best coverage of the Miami tech scene. The Starting Gate has excellent coverage of events, company fundings and infrastructure development. Infrastructure would include new incubators, new venture capital funds and the other types of organizations required to support entrepreneurship.
Yesterday's article in The Starting Gate, "A closer look at four organizations nurturing the ecosystem", highlights four infrastructure projects:
- The Lab Miami
- Venture Hive
- eMerge Americas
Lab Miami (an incubator) and Endeavor (a venture capital fund) have backing from the Knight Foundation. The Knight Foundation also has a program to provide seed funding to early stage companies. The program, Knight Prototype Fund, provides grants up to $35,000 for companies to develop demos. In a perfect scenario, a company could be awarded a grant from the Knight Protype Fund, move into Lab Miami to work on its demo and then be funded by Endeavor. Effectively,the Knight Foundation has funded all the key parts of the startup ecosystem in Miami. Particularly insightful on their part is that each piece of the ecosystem is a private sector type initiative, which is the same way that Israel successfully launched itself as a high tech hub.
I commend the Knight Foundation.