startups

Miami-Dade County Public Library System / Courtesy

The Miami-Dade Public Library System is trying to find a way to stay relevant in the digital age.

It’s getting a bit of help from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which recently awarded it a $35,000 grant to prototype a co-working space.

Miami Beach Tech Hub Responds To Mayor With Invitation

Feb 26, 2014
Hillary Lindwall/WLRN

A Miami Beach tech company invited Mayor Philip Levine to their lab for a visit this week in response to comments Levine made at the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting last month. Levine said he could not see Miami Beach becoming a tech hub.

"It's the dumbest idea in the world," Levine said at the Mayors meeting, according to the Washington Post. "People cling on to things that are not the highest and best use for their city. Miami Beach is never going to be a high tech hub. As much as it sounds great, it's sexy, that's not who we are."

New Report Says Entrepreneurs Are Attracted To Miami

Jan 29, 2014
freedigitalphotos.net

Days after Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine was quoted in the Washington Post saying his city would never become a tech hub, a small-business group released a report that says entrepreneurs are attracted to the Miami area.

RELATED: Tech CEOs Respond To Philip Levine

Since the financial crisis hit five years ago, there aren't as many Americans starting new businesses. In uncertain economic times, it's harder for entrepreneurs and investors to take the risk.

And if you look back over the past 25 years, it turns out the overall trend is toward fewer new businesses getting started, too — and that's not good at all when the country needs more jobs.

The Next Google

In an alley in Northeast Washington, D.C., hundreds of pounds of produce are piled haphazardly on pallets. Mexican Fruits, a discount grocer, can't sell the fruit and vegetables inside these boxes because the food has gone soft or is lightly bruised. Some will be donated, but most boxes are destined for a large, green Dumpster nearby.

What does an app born from the spirit of Miami look like?

It looks like Sktchy, a start up mobile app motivated by Sketchy Miami, a blog and series of parties spotted around town two years ago where the goal was to create a portrait of every person in Miami.

Sketchy Miami comes from a time when “a burgeoning artist community in Miami and the average Miami resident had very little interaction with that community,” said co-founder Jordan Melnick. He wondered, “how can we come up with a way to bridge that gap?”

The rising costs of commercial real estate throughout Miami-Dade County means fewer choices for would-be independent retailers. See, for instance, the full mall-ification of Lincoln Road, and the sweep of new high-end luxury retail through the Design District. Small-business proprietors are even starting to move out of Wynwood’s main drag; punky street fashion boutique the Kult, to name one, recently closed up shop off NW 2nd Ave.

Gabriella Watts / WLRN

 

Miami Club Rum, located in the heart of Wynwood, was launched in November of 2012.  Owner and operator Matt Malone’s family comes from a long history of rum making: his children are the sixth generation of rum makers in a tradition that dates back to the 1800's. So, after his grandfather-in-law passed away, Malone decided to bring the family tradition from Puerto Rico to Miami. 

Alex M. Sanchez/Miami Herald Staff

Many U.S. cities are competing to bring biotech companies and jobs to their communities, places like Phoenix, Buffalo, Gainesville and of course, Miami.

They all want to develop an industry cluster, and while cities like San Diego and Boston have already successfully grown theirs, Miami’s efforts are still somewhat nascent.

The suburban Broward County town of Coral Springs has big plans to attract artists. In January 2014 it will open a high-tech workspace for artists and creators to work with a gamut of equipment, including 3D software tools, iPads, and the latest computers.

The 1,000-square-foot facility is part of the cities' "Tech Walk," incubator that will house a series of tech and healthcare startups located in The Walk, a public plaza off University Drive.

In the past decade, Mexico's tech industry has flourished, growing three times faster than the global average. Most of that growth has been fueled by demand from the United States. But as Mexico's startups strive to make it in foreign markets, they say they need more engineers and ways to finance their growth.

When Andrés Moreno, the chief executive officer of Open English gets off the plane in Bogotá, São Paolo, Caracas or pretty much any other major Latin American city, people who recognize him from the company’s TV ads stop to ask for photos and autographs.

So why, with all this notoriety, did the CEO of a $350 million dollar company that specializes in teaching English online to Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking students move the company’s main office from Latin America to Miami three years ago?

Miami Startup Helps Book Authors Help Themselves

Jun 14, 2013
Sarah Darville

Miami may have an emerging start-up culture but it definitely does not have much of a publishing culture.

Bookigee

For Bookigee, a Miami-based startup looking to help authors market their own books, that absence has brought attention to the company. But its founders say there have also been real challenges in reaching the rest of the industry and much-needed capital from South Florida.

Linda Kinstler

On the second story of the posh Albion Hotel on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach sit the U.S. offices of Animal Politico, an online news site dedicated to Mexican politics that is quickly becoming one of the most respected—and hip—news sources in Latin America.

Founded in 2009 as an anonymous Twitter account called “PajaroPolitico,” or “Political Bird,” Animal Politico has quickly emerged as a must-read news source among Mexican youth.

Building Miami's Silicon Beach One Startup At A Time

Jun 12, 2013
Marie Gilot

As classmates at Ransom Everglades School in Coconut Grove, Wifredo Fernandez and Daniel Lafuente were “always cooking up ideas for businesses” that the pair dreamed of launching.

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