The city of Miami is seeing more and more startups, from socially oriented gems to civic journalism. Coworking spaces are blossoming, too, as a solid indicator of future potential. One problem? Miami tech stars are still fighting an issue common to burgeoning tech ecosystems: a lack of funding opportunities. But that's just why the local Miami accelerator and incubator programs are so important.
The Miami tech world is heating up, and these incubators and accelerators send a strong signal that the ecosystem will only continue to strengthen in the future.
Venture Hive Miami
Venture Hive is an entrepreneurial hub in downtown Miami that runs an accelerator program, though it also offers a virtual accelerator and shared workspace for those not in the main program. Their accelerator is a 12-week program that comes in two tracks, one for those in the stage between idea and a minimum viable product (Pre-revenue), and one for those between a startup and a sustainable business (Pre-revenue to $3M in revenue).
One hidden benefit of joining: The ability to network with the other startups that have been through Venture Hive. They have helped companies from more than 50 countries, so new applicants will tap into a global network.
You can look up the application process here, and check out a list of the 10 accelerator participants from 2016 here.
WIN Lab Miami
Created by Babson College's Center for Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership, the Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab ia aimed at growing the businesses of Miami women entrepreneurs. It's in partnership with the Knight Foundation, and accepts up to 20 businesses into an eight-month program from September to April. To be considered, you'll need to be high-growth and women-led. Participants will attend a two-day kickoff event followed by 3-hour weekly meetings. They'll receive one-on-one coaching and have a variety of experts available for guidance.
You can apply here and learn more by reading their FAQ page here.
The South Florida Accelerator
This program is aimed a four specific tech industries: life sciences, IoT, Cybersecurity, and financial technology.
“Projects are evaluated based on commercial viability and potential as a strategic fit with an Industry Partner, technological impact, potential financial returns, and likelihood of success. Selection is made by the Innovation Committee comprised of the organization’s management team, the Strategic Partner’s key decision maker (when Applicable) other experienced innovation committee members,” they explain on their site.
You can contact them through their site here.
Since their 2013 launch, Endeavor Miami has aided 24 entrepreneurs across 15 companies in the South Florida region. Their programs usher in participants to a variety of new talent, markets, and investment opportunities.
You can learn more about Endeavor Miami's selection process here and you can apply through this link.
Startupbootcamp Digital Health Miami
It's a long name, but Startupbootcamp Digital Health Miami packs a lot of information into its title: The program is an outcropping of the international Startupbootcamp family, it's based in Miami, and it's for those in the health tech space.
With sixteen hospitals and over 1,000 life science companies, Miami has a booming healthcare industry. If selected, your startup could forge connections with leading Miami hospital systems and angel VCs, as well as gain access to a “national network of healthcare providers, insurers, technology companies and universities.”
The program starts in December, with a Demo Day in late March. You can learn more about how to apply over here.
Rokk3r Labs launched a Miami investment fund in March 2017, but the hybrid investor-accelerator was around long before that. Here's how their business model has been explained, via Entrepreneur.com:
“A developer, designer and business team calculate the cost and time for strategy development, product design, staffing up and technology tweaks, plus market size and price values. If things add up and a management team passes muster, Rokk3r Labs accepts work through sliding scale fees and equity stakes. “
You can apply to the program here.
Tampa Bay WAVE
Sure, it's pretty far from Miami, but this Tampa accelerator is worth mentioning as a bonus.
It offers three tracks: Build, Launch, or Grow. The first allows participants to build and test their MVP, the second (and most difficult) allows them to iterate in search of a scalable revenue model, and the third helps them boost customer acquisition and optimize their conversion funnel. Local sponsors give this accelerator a deep connection to its city: The city itself is even a sponsor. You can apply here.
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