Miami Dade College Receives $2.18 Million from Knight Foundation for Idea Center

October 17, 2014

4:30 pm

Miami Dade College’s new entrepreneurship hub, the Idea Center, announced their $2.18 million investment from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The Idea Center is set to become a collaborative space for students to find resources and training to develop their entrepreneurial ideas.

The funding was announced by Miami Dade College President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, where he outlined five key elements on how the funding will enhance the program:

  • Preparing college leadership and faculty to develop entrepreneurial methods and advance innovation across the curriculum;
  • Developing entrepreneur-focused programming and events
  • Creating co-working spaces for Miami Dade students to encourage idea generation, sharing and interaction;
  • Establishing an accelerator where students can test and build ideas; and
  • Leveraging the college’s extensive alumni network and community support to establish an entrepreneur mentoring/coaching program.

Knight’s investment will also fund a partnership with Babson College to introduce principles of entrepreneurship across the curriculum in all disciplines.

The Idea Center will also offer events and a special program for entrepreneurs, including:

  • An Idea Factory: an initiative for students with an interest in innovation and entrepreneurship, but who do not know where or how to start. Students will attend a workshop and then pitch an idea to a panel of experts who evaluate the idea and assess the likelihood of success.
  • The [email protected] speakers’ series: a regular gathering that will invite a leading successful entrepreneur to appear before a panel of aspiring student entrepreneurs.
  • The Startup Challenge: After a rigorous and competitive assessment of a small business idea, a student or a team of students will receive $5,000 to bring the idea to life.
  • Phase II Ventures: modeled after the successful Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. Next Step will be a resource for students whose families are already operating a small business ($50,000 to $150,000 in revenue) and are looking to scale.
  • Lean LaunchPad: designed for students who have a specific idea they would like to refine and launch.

The Idea Center will also house the CREATE (Center for Research and Transformative Entrepreneurship) Accelerator, which will support aspiring student entrepreneurs. The accelerator will be head by Wifredo Fernandez, co-founder of The LAB Miami in Wynwood

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Camila has been heavily active in South Florida’s tech startup community, where she is a co-host of a local radio show called pFunkcast. Camila previously worked at Greenpeace International and the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in various communication roles. A proud Brazilian who spent most of he life in Peru, she is passionate about traveling and documentaries.

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