October 30, 2012
A new startup accelerator in Miami called Launch Pad Tech is now taking applications for its first class of startups, who will winter in sunny Florida.
Launch Pad Tech is a collaboration between Miami’s Downtown Development Authority, the Office of the Mayor of Miami-Dade, and the Launch Pad entrepreneurship program at the University of Miami. Because of the public support, startups get $25,000 and 12 months of office space free – no equity taken, unlike most startup accelerators.
“It’s all about the entrepreneur. It’s not about what we’re going to get out of it,” says Susan Amat, who started Launch Pad four years ago.
According to Amat, the program is for startups in three industries that Miami excels in:
- Hospitality/tourism: Miami is the headquarters of the cruise industry, with companies like Royal Caribbean and Carnival.
- Creative: Miami is also home to Art | Basel, one of the largest art conferences in the world, and the “new urbanism” movement in urban design.
- Health care: Miami hosts health care innovators like Mike Fernandez and his private equity firm MBF Healthcare Partners, and startup CareCloud.
The mayor’s office granted Launch Pad Tech a building downtown, which they hope will become a hub for the tech community. Another accelerator, Incubate Miami, is already underway downtown. In addition to 10 accelerator teams, Launch Pad Tech will be accepting 25 “community” companies (from any field) to receive office space and mentoring.
“This is the turning point for being the amazing place that everyone knows Miami-Dade can be,” says Amat. “It’s not just a stopover place; it’s a destination unto itself.”
The program takes place from January to April 2013. Applications are due November 5.
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