“For Danny and myself, we’ve built the platform that we had always envisioned. Our goal was always to have a space in Miami where we could build ideas and explore new opportunities, learn new skills and meet like-minded people, and that’s what we’ll continue to do,” wrote Wifredo Fernandez for The Knight Foundation blog.
For many in the Miami community, these words feel like an era coming to an end.
Wifredo Fernandez (Wifi) and Daniel LaFuente created and managed a space, LAB Miami, unlike any other in Miami. LAB Miami is a place where entrepreneurs, creatives and the career adventurer can come in, find a desk and work on their ideas. It is a place where strict and conventional norms of a workspace are broken, and new ideas–as odd as they may sound–are encouraged. It is a place where it is okay to take a leap of faith, maybe fail, and yet find a support system to pivot and move on. It’s an entrepreneurial circus, where all you need to be accepted is courage, passion and a great idea.
“We’ve seen that grow into an incredible space for innovation. Now, we believe it’s time for someone else to bring a new perspective, and new ideas, to what has become an essential part of Miami’s startup community,” wrote Fernandez.
Co-working spaces are customizable for the needs of the individual entrepreneur. LAB Miami has not only fulfilled the needs of their own entrepreneurs — also known as LAB Rats — but it has become the center for the city’s tech ecosystem in Wynwood as well. The LAB has been a catalyst for collisions, through their events or the occasional walk-ins where people have made valuable connections. LaFuente and Fernandez created this mini epicenter of exchange of ideas.
“Where do you go when you have an idea in Miami? How do you find talent, connect with like-minded people or investors, get advice from other entrepreneurs and learn new skills? Those questions motivated [Danny] LaFuente and me in the spring of 2011 when we created a space to experiment, a LAB if you will, for Miami,” explained Fernandez.
Today we lose our ringmasters, but the show must go on.