Miami has everything a city needs to foster entrepreneurship.
Matt Haggman believes that this is true. The Knight Foundation project manager, sat down with Tech Cocktail's co-founder and author of Startup Mixology Frank Gruber to talk about all the elements that make Miami the ideal city for entrepreneurs.
“Miami is enormously diverse and there is significant wealth. Even if VC capital is still growing, the ‘raw' material is here,” explained Haggman.
He also pointed out the fact that Miami is becoming more of an urbanized city, a key component to building a startup ecosystem. This is why Haggman saw an opportunity to help build the community, not by investing in the entrepreneurs directly but by investing in creating a system.
“We invest in places where entrepreneurs can gather, creating a mentorship programs and having a robust events calendars. In addition to that, we want to tell the story and champion the entrepreneurs,” said Haggman, who pointed to panelist and co-founder of .CO Lori Anne Wardi as one of the examples of success stories in Miami. “We don't want to bet on institutions, we want to be in the entrepreneur in Miami.”
When asked about Miami becoming a place for collisions to be made, Haggman explained that the Knight Foundation is addressing this issue by focusing on grants in Miami's Downtown Area. This vision of creating collisions to create a sustainable ecosystem was reaffirmed when he visited Las Vegas Downtown Project led by Zappo's Tony Hsieh.
“For this to work, proximity is key,” says Haggman.
Haggman and Gruber was joined on stage with Lori Anne Wardi (Neustar/.CO), Hugh McLeod (Gaping Void) and Jermaine Dupro (Global14). They discussed lessons from Startup Mixology and the future of Miami entrepreneurial community.