November 25, 2015

Miami Heat player, other eclectic speakers join Sime MIA's speaker roster

Miami Heat player and NBA all-star Luol Deng, 500 Startups co-founder Christine Tsai, singer-songwriter Imogen Heap,Erik Voorhees, creator of the instant bitcoin and altcoin exchange, and Val Spiridonov, the first full-body transplant candidate, are some of the recent additions to the speaker lineup at next week’s Sime MIA technology conference. They join startup founders, artists, musicians, filmmakers, a neuroscientist, a Special Olympics world champion and four multisensory performances already on the agenda for the third year of the creative homegrown conference, which explores trends and innovation in technology, art, media, fintech and big data.

The event, hosted by Ola Ahlvarsson, takes place on Tuesday at the New World Center in Miami Beach with the main event, called Converge, and continues Wednesday with “Summit” sessions on fintech and big data and startup demos at The LAB Miami in Wynwood. “The goal of the summits is to complement the Sime MIA journey with a multi-sensory experience, ranging from coding classes to virtual reality exhibits, and covering some of today’s more significant opportunities in the tech space,” said Demian Bellumio, co-founder of MIA Collective, which is producing the conference.

For more information: (for 50 percent off, use discount code SimeMIA50).

November 24, 2015

GEW Shark Tank-style at Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy High School


Submitted by Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy High School

The  MAV Tank, a business plan competition featuring student business plans and celebrity judges, highlighted Global Entrepreneurship Week  at Archbishop Edward A McCarthy High School last week.

The third annual MAV TANK featured four entrepreneurial student teams who created companies for the annual competition.  FIND Me, an innovative way to find a wallet was presented by Tommy Rodriguez, Rhett O’Donnell and Andy Rodriguez; BEBECOEUR a crib sheet with an alarm to help prevent sudden infant death was presented by  Neilah Richadson, Vincente Giordano and Christina Martinez-Mercado; STOPIT, a magnetized multiuse door stopper, was presented by Daniel Imbriaco, Nick Henning, Adam deArmas and Andrew Infante; and EXERO, the ideal way to incentivize a fitness program, presented by Josh Samarista/Miramar and Osmar Coronel/Weston. 

The first-place winner of this year’s MAV Tank was STOPIT (pictured above) and  received $500.

“At its core, MAV Tank is a platform for our students to fully develop their ideas and then put them into practice,” commented Kim Zocco, a teacher of Business Education at Archbishop McCarthy. “Our faculty fosters a culture of innovation which empowers and inspires our students to enter college and the world as change-makers.”  John Anfuso and Ashley Murphy, members of the MAV Tank teaching team, implement the business plan element into all the economics classes, in addition to the business entrepreneurship classes.

MAVSThis year’s Celebrity Judges were Tim Robbie, former owner of the Dolphin Stadium and the Miami Dolphins, President of the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers Soccer Team; Bianca Moreiras, founder of Bianca Moreiras & Associates Consulting Firm, handles high level acquisitions and mergers, managed top level law firms for over 30 years; James Donnelly, founder of Castle Group, NOVA University’s Entrepreneur Hall of Fame recipient; Chris Cerda, Maverick Alumni, CEO & Founder of KANYU, FAU Business Student, Entrepreneur.

Led by Zocco, the entrepreneurial spirit thrives year round at Archbishop McCarthy.  Students have competed and placed in the top ten ranking at the Wharton School of Business Finance Competition for High Schools  and support the Café Cocano project by selling organic heirloom coffee beans and iced café lattes at the school directly benefiting and empowering Haitian Coffee Farmers to earn a fair wage. 


Entrepreneurship Datebook: What's coming up after Thanksgiving

TecheggSIME MIA: The conference that has explored technology trends by bringing in speakers from Singularity University, Hollywood and the Oslo Freedom Forum is returning to Miami Beach for a third year Dec. 1-2 . Speakers on Dec. 1 include startup founders, artists, musicians, filmmakers, a neuroscientist and a Special Olympics world champion. Speakers recently added: NBA star Luol Deng, Christine Tsai of 500 Startups; Val Spiridonov, full body transplant candidate; and Erik Voorhees, creator of the instant Bitcoin. On Dec. 2, there will be half-day summits on fintech and big data. Tickets and info: (get 50% off with discount code  SimeMIA50)

ITPALOOZA: Now in its fourth year, the conference on Dec. 3 at Nova Southeastern University in Davie brings together the South Florida IT community. The all-day event includes discussions, an expo, a hiring fair and more. Bring two unwrapped toys for charity for free admission. Tickets and info:

AT&T HACKATHON: ITPalooza and AT&T are teaming up for a free hackathon at Nova Southeastern University on Dec. 4-5; form teams, build solutions in a weekend and compete for prizes. More info: http://developer.att .com/community/events.

TECHWEEK MIAMI: Activities Dec. 7-13 will include the national finals of the Launch startup competition Dec. 10 with startup champions from Miami and five other cities. Another featured event is Hatch Match Miami on Dec. 8. Tickets and


South Florida startups Kairos and Genetics Networks received funding from the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Resources. Büro Group opened a co-working center in Coconut Grove, its fourth location. CappSci Inventors announced the winners of its first two $100,000 prizes. The winners will build their solutions at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science. Read more on the Starting Gate blog at

Nancy Dahlberg @ndahlberg

Big ideas come to life at Startup Weekend @ FIU


The winning team Headliner, shown with Startup Weekend @ FIU mentors and organizers.

By Amy Ellis

An idea to “disrupt” the music industry and make it easier for loyal fans to see hot new bands at local venues stole the show this weekend at Florida International University’s first Startup Weekend Miami event.

Headliner (pictured above) – an online platform designed to enable users to crowdfund for the bands of their choice to perform locally – took the $500 first prize during the event, along with high praise from organizers.

“Headliner worked hard on their idea throughout the entire weekend,’’ said Jeff Brown, FIU’s Entrepreneur in Residence at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and a key organizer of the event. “It wasn’t planned this way but they are an all-FIU team and we plan to support them on their journey to make this a reality.’’

Gregory Jean-Baptiste, a computer science major at FIU who came up with the idea for Headliner, said the concept empowers fans but also benefits artists and venues. 

“Everybody wins,’’ he said. “The venue gets the crowd. The artist gets the show and the fans get to see the bands they want to see.’’ 

More than 200 people – developers, designers, coders, investors and entrepreneurs – attended the three-day startup event, held at the university’s $3 million innovation hub, Tech Station.

Eighty-eight participants competed in 16 teams, pitching their business ideas to a panel of judges and investors on Sunday evening.

Second place went to an application called Tip N’ Go that allows users to tip for service without needing to carry cash. A social platform for soccer enthusiasts called XOGO took third place.

“The quality of teams that competed this weekend is the best I’ve ever seen out of any Startup Weekend event ever,’’ said Brown, who has participated in startup weekends for years. “On average, only 12 percent of teams go on to create a viable business. From this event, I believe nine of the teams will likely launch. That’s an impressive percentage possibly becoming viable companies.”

CUXglmfUsAA26MH.jpg large

Teams pitched ideas ranging from a mobile app for scheduling in-home hair and makeup appointments to online portals to connect would-be entrepreneurs or encourage civic engagement.

Other participants talked of wanting to make a difference by using new technology to help Alzheimer’s patients remember simple tasks or individuals who are hard of hearing experience the joy of music.

“The passion and commitment we witnessed this weekend was transformational,’’ said FIU VP for Engagement Saif Y. Ishoof, another key organizer. "Our students demonstrated that our faculty have well prepared them to compete in the globally competitive entrepreneurial ecosystem in Miami.”

“As every part of our institution races forward to make our “BeyondPossible 2020” goals a reality, we intend to continuously capture, harness and expand the culture of innovation in every part of our FIU."

TipNGo (1)

Tip 'N Go (above) won second place and XOGO won third at Startup Weekend @ FIU.


November 23, 2015

Andres Cardona of FIU wins regional finals of Global Student Entrepreneur Awards


 Miami entrepreneur and college student Andres Cardona took home the big win at the regional finals for the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards last week.  The regional finals for the contest, in which college students from 50 countries ultimately vie for a prize of more than $500,000 in cash and services, was sponsored by Entrepreneurs' Organization South Florida and hosted at the Idea Center at Miami Dade College.

Six finalists were chosen to participate in a live pitch competition Nov. 19 at MDC’s Idea Center, which also included a keynote speech by Peter Kellner, venture capitalist and co-founder of Endeavor Global. For winning, Cardona received $1,000 in cash and $20,000 in services such as web, accounting and marketing from EO South Florida professionals.  Cardona will now go on to compete against 25 student entrepreneurs at the GSEA national finals in the spring, which will also be hosted at the Idea Center, and a $10,000 cash prize. The winner of the national competition will go on to complete in the global finals in Bangkok Thailand in May, with a $40,000 cash prize plus services.

Cardona, a  Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship alum and now a finance major at Florida International University, created the business plan for and began working on a youth basketball academy called Elite Basketball Academy ( while in high school because the student athlete was passionate about coaching young athletes and found a big need in the market. He's continued to grow the academy while a full-time college student,  and now the academy  has nearly 200 students/athletes. It's the largest of its kind in Miami, he said.

 “Our mission is to instill success principles in the youth of our community using the sport of basketball as a tool. We emphasize academic success, hard work, dedication, and a no-excuse mentality in order to achieve success. We focus on creating habits that will be everlasting and always present in the minds of our disciples,” said Cardona, who has also been honored by NFTE and Ernst & Young. Within three years, Cardona hopes to expand nationally, he said.

“This competition is special because the winners are not chosen solely on profit potential or the financial merits of their business plans, but largely based on their entrepreneurial journey,” said Mark Sanna, National GSEA Chairman, and EO-South Florida’s past president. “What challenges did these student entrepreneurs overcome, or what problem are they solving for others?  Compelling questions like these play a big role in the competition, and we know there are many great stories like this in South Florida.”

EO-South Florida is one of the world’s largest EO chapters, with  180 members whose businesses account for more than $1 billion in annual revenues and 30,000 jobs in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. EO-South Florida and the Idea Center, Miami Dade College's entrepreneurship hub, have partnered to support entrepreneurial innovation for MDC student entrepreneurs and other South Florida startup businesses.  To learn more about the GSEA competition or EO-SOFLO, visit

 Photo above is Andres Cardona presenting his business at the event and to the left is Mark Sanna of EO-SOFLO.


November 22, 2015

Startup Spotlight: Mundo Lanugo


From left, Mundo Lanugo’s Natalia Becerra, Avery Bailey, Roberto Castro and Carla Curiel. Photo by Hector Gabino.

Company: Mundo Lanugo

Headquarters: Venture Hive, downtown Miami.

Concept: Mundo Lanugo is a Latino entertainment brand that, through fun and authentic stories shared via digital videos and apps, inspires children to maintain their Latin culture and Spanish language while building the child’s self-esteem and identity.

Story: The second Carla Curiel became a mom, she had an urge to share with her twins her culture’s traditional songs, games and stories. She also wanted to pass along her Latino values and traditions as well as give them the gift of being bilingual. “But when I went to the stores looking for tools to help me raise proud bilingual and bicultural children, I just could not find any products that resonated with me,” she said. “I longed to see our spice, our culture, our uniqueness represented in media and consumer products.”

Next, the Babson College graduate set out to figure out if this was just the experience of “one crazy Latina mom” or a real unmet need in the market. Seeing the staggering numbers from her research, she concluded: “My calling was to develop those characters and that brand that I so desired for my kids, and that would serve as a bridge to help them grow a healthy identity with both cultures.” Curiel is creating a Latino children’s lifestyle and entertainment brand of American appeal and Latin feel that promotes the Spanish language and rich Latino culture.

Launched: September 2014.

Management team: Carla Curiel (co-founder and CEO), Roberto Castro (co-founder and VP), Natalia Becerra (creative director).

No. of employees: Four.


Financing: Mundo Lanugo has mostly been financed by Curiel’s husband and co-founder, Roberto Castro, and herself. Four months ago, the company raised a friends and family seed round of $200,000 and plans to raise more money in 2016. 

Recent milestones: Mundo Lanugo’s special 45-second animated interstitials centered on teaching values through Latino idioms were broadcast on Univision’s Despierta America during the summer, and ratings increased while animations were on the air. The company’s Christmas YouTube and Facebook videos have reached 1 million views and over 33,000 shares. Corporate partners have included Macy’s, Humana, Seventh Generation, Jackson Memorial Hospital, Hialeah Hospital and Miami Children’s Museum. The Mundo Lanugo: Juega & Aprende app has been downloaded more than 25,000 times. Alongside President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, Curiel celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month and the 25th anniversary of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics in Washington, D.C.

Biggest startup challenge: “Our biggest startup challenge has been organizing a complex and comprehensive idea for teaching culture to children into one single product, and also finding an ecosystem in Miami that supports entrepreneurs building brands, rather than a tech product,” Curiel said. 

Next steps: Continuing the path toward developing a full children’s animation series. In the meantime, the company will continue to share the Latino story and culture through shorter animations and interactive apps. “There are so many opportunities in the works for Mundo Lanugo,” Curiel said. “I can’t spill the beans on some of those yet, but you can expect great partnerships with broadcasters, co-production companies, distributors and direct-to-retail programs.”

Advisers’ views: As a board member, Michelle Spinale lends her expertise to help direct brand efforts anchored in content development and key partnerships to drive awareness, grow a loyal audience and connect with both Latino parents and kids in memorable ways. “I believe Carla and Roberto have the right vision, commitment and passion to make Lanugo Mundo a tremendous success,” said Spinale, brand marketing strategist and principal at The Spinale Group.

Venture Hive mentor Andrew Heitner, an entrepreneur and investor, has been helping Mundo Lanugo on the business side: “Carla is the expert on animation and creative endeavors. I have helped them create a sales funnel in order to categorize and prioritize potential key partners for the animation series, as well as future licensing opportunities. We have also explored together their go-to-market strategy and pricing model for their apps.”


 By Nancy Dahlberg; @ndahlberg


4 takeaways from 500 Startups’ Juan Lopez Salaberry at Startup Grind Miami



500 Startups partner Juan Lopez Salaberry recently was interviewed by Jason Ibarra  as part of the monthly  Startup Grind Miami event. The event was hosted at, one of Miami's newest co-working centers serving the Miami tech community. Salaberry has been in Miami the past couple of months to help run  500 Startups Miami Distro, a 10-week program on growth marketing for eight selected startups taking place at Here is a guest post from the Startup Grind event in November.

By Peter Kovach

From Argentina to Sweden, Mexico and now Miami, Juan Salaberry has seen it all, or a lot of whatever “it” is. Since his youth in Argentina, Juan has always been adventurous and willing to take risks.

He moved to Sweden to finish his university studies and to experience something new. That led him to a wild path that took him on a unexpected journey, allowing him to meet world leaders from around the globe.

Juan later moved to Mexico City and became a partner with 500 startups. He lead investments in over 80 early-stage companies in Latin America, Europe and the United States. For over two years he headed the accelerator for 500 Startups in Mexico City empowering entrepreneurs seeking opportunities in Spanish speaking markets.

Juan is now in charge of 500 startups expansion into the U.S. He is working with a group of startups in Miami. He is helping them identify and maximize on key indicators to help them grow.

Juan is extremely excited about the growth of the Miami tech scene especially in the last two years. More importantly, Juan sees a ton of potential in Miami’s future and he is glad to play a part.


* Mind the Gap - This is Juan’s philosophy. A gap is a disconnect between technology, information, society, economics etc... If we can identify the gap it means we notice something is missing, can be improved or does not exist yet. When we mind the gap we can create a bridge between the disconnect. To mind the gap means you are observant of things that can be changed or built to create a better and more efficient community.

* When Bringing on Partners ... -  When looking to bring people on your team, Juan suggests a trial period. Work on a project together before the person is a permanent member, learn how the other person works and how you work with them. If there is a good vibe, then bring the person on, if not you can separate ways before anything serious happens.

* To Make Miami Stronger, It’s Up to Us - Miami is a very young tech ecosystem. A lot of the major players are still building their reputation and businesses. In order for Miami to continue to grow as a Tech community, we need to collaborate with each other. Whether it is promoting a competitor's event or grabbing coffee with someone who wants to learn about the ecosystem, we need to go the extra mile in building relationships. It is easier to sustain growth with healthy relationships and strong environment. This goes back to Minding the Gap. Be open to allowing others to fill your gaps and do the same for others in the community in return.

* Seize the Day - If an opportunity presents itself, go after it no matter how unsuspecting or challenging it may seem. Juan recalls landing a big meeting after seeing a person of interest go and use the restroom. He didn't think he would have another chance to schedule the meeting , so he went into the bathroom, introduced himself and scheduled a meeting.

It's important to be mindful and aware, because you never know when a golden opportunity will appear.

Peter Kovach is a recent graduate from Loyola University of New Orleans. He moved to Miami to be a part of the rising tech scene and is currently an associate at

NEXT UP: Investor Mark Kingdon will be the featured speaker at Startup Grind Miami Dec. 8. More info:

November 20, 2015

ITPalooza to return with hiring fair, expo, talks

Palooza crowd in exhibit area(8)


By Nancy Dahlberg /

Looking for tech talent for your business? Want to find out who is hiring or learn more about the tech community? It will all be in one place. 

More than 2,500 IT professionals, tech entrepreneurs, corporate executives and students are expected to turn out for a day of learning and networking at ITPalooza Dec. 3 at Nova Southeastern University.

The fourth annual event will offer a hiring fair, IT Expo, an after-party and nine education tracks on subjects such as agile technology, cybersecurity, women in IT, the Internet of Things, professional development and the startup lifecycle, among others. “This is a great opportunity for the IT community to gain critical knowledge, make new contacts or explore new career opportunities,” said Rick Sebaly, event leader and vice president of the South Florida Technology Alliance. “It will be a day of learning and a night of celebration and networking.”

A big focus of the event is the hiring fair and educational sessions on technologies and trends. In conjunction with the upcoming event, ITPalooza co-founder Alex Funkhouser administered an online survey of 200 South Florida-based chief information officers and IT professionals.

With the virtualization of many IT jobs, local employers must now compete for talent with companies from higher-paying regions, the survey showed.

“Companies based in Silicon Valley and New York are paying 25 percent salary premiums to hire local South Florida talent – and they are remote work jobs. We’re in a candidate-driven market and local companies must pay more than ever to hire tech talent,” said Funkhouser, CEO of the tech-focused staffing firm SherlockTalent.

For example, a web application developer in South Florida makes about $110,000, but in Silicon Valley, $140,000. A network security engineer makes about $115,000 in South Florida but his or her counterpart working for a Boston-based company commands $145,000.

The survey showed high demand for mobile application software developers, network security engineers and now, in its infancy, virtual reality and augmented reality software developers. “There is also high demand for chief information officers from larger corporations and tech startups,” said Funkhouser.

There could be plenty of matchmaking going on: About 37 percent of respondents said their companies are hiring new IT personnel, while 33 percent said they are considering new hires. About 65 percent of IT professionals surveyed said they are seeking new career opportunities or are unsure.

The homegrown event that involves more than a dozen tech organizations is hosted by NSU’s College of Engineering and Computing and will be held in the CarlDeSantisBuilding at 3301 College Ave. in Davie. Admission is $35, which will be reduced to $20 if attendees bring at least one unwrapped toy or free with two toys, to be donated to Toys for Tots. Register online at at or on Eventbrite. Student tickets are $10.

Since its inception, ITPalooza has raised more than $125,000 in cash and toys for various South Florida non-profits including Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ STEM Advisory Board, The Stockdale Foundation, Marine’s Toys for Tots and others. Last year, about 2,000 people attended the event.

On Friday, AT&T and ITPalooza will host a two-day hackathon at NUS for software developers, engineers and students interested in gaining additional skills in software and mobile application development. More information is here.


November 19, 2015

Start small, be realistic as well as optimistic, founder says

Diener founder offers insights on entrepreneurial success during talk at University of Miami School of Business for Global Entrepreneurship Week.

 By Richard Westlund

To succeed as an entrepreneur, do your homework, limit your spending, start small, and be willing to give back. Bob Diener, founder of and, offered that advice to students, alumni and others during a talk at the University of Miami School of Business November 16. Diener spoke in the inaugural Fouad H. Scandar Memorial Speaker Series as part of the University’s Global Entrepreneurship Week activities.

“Most entrepreneurs don’t think things through,” said Diener. But you have to be realistic as well as optimistic. That means being careful and frugal, as well as moving quickly to take advantage of a market opportunity. You also have to treat your customers right in order to keep them coming back to your company.”

Diener’s talk on "Conservative Entrepreneurship: A Business Philosophy"

was supported by the School of Business Entrepreneurship Program, the Launch Pad, and RefreshMiami. Will Silverman, director of The Launch Pad, introduced Diener, who signed copies of his book, “Biblical Secrets to Business Success,” after his presentation.

Susy Alvarez-Diaz, director of entrepreneurship programs at the School of Business, thanked the Scandar family for making Diener’s appearance possible. “Fouad Scandar was a lifelong entrepreneur, who came from his native Egypt, studied nuclear medicine at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital program and managed a successful consulting and diagnostic business,” she said. “He believed that someone who was willing to boldly seek new solutions, dream big, and take advantage of available resources could become a great entrepreneur, and this series imparts that message.”

In his talk, Diener traced the evolution of the online travel industry, dating back 25 years to when the Internet was in its infancy. “We looked at the hotel industry and saw the average occupancy was only 60 percent,” he said. “That provided us with an opportunity to take those excess rooms and sell them to travelers at a discount.”

In 1995, Diener launched his first online travel site, which took off as the Internet’s popularity grew. Realizing that hotels were slow to pay commissions on the rooms his company sold, Diener created today’s “pay in advance” model, and changed his brand to in order to attract more consumers.  

Three years after a successful initial public offering (IPO) Diener sold the company, and recently launched a new brand,, offering a VIP program, flash sales and other features to give consumers lower room rate.

“Our industry is moving toward greater personalization,” Diener said in response to a student’s question about the future. “You will be able to get a simple, streamlined experience based on the destinations, types of rooms and deals you like, and you will be able to do it all on your watch or other mobile device.”

Drawing from his own experience, Diener gave attendees a number practical tips for entrepreneurial success. “I was trained as a lawyer, so I learned to think about what can go wrong,” he said. “Most business people focus on the upside, but you have to avoid taking on too much risk.”

He also emphasized the importance of researching the competition, gathering feedback from others, building a solid business model and offering an appealing value proposition to prospective customers. “You need to achieve a positive ROI (return on investment),” he said, “Always remember that you can’t conquer the world without figuring out how to make a profit.”


November 17, 2015

Sime MIA update: Startup contest, discounted tickets, new sponsors

If you haven’t purchased your Sime MIA ticket yet, here’s a way to get a big discount and help a South Florida startup win exhibit space at the same time. The Sime MIA conference, taking place Dec. 1-2, explores the intersection of media, innovation, technology and art. The events take place in Miami on Dec 1-2, 2015, at the beginning of Art Week.

 This week, a competition launched for select startups called "Bring Your Fans to Sime MIA." They are competing to win a free demo area to showcase their company at the Sime MIA Summits dedicated to FinTech and Big Data on December 2 at the LAB Miami and Lightbox, and attend the Sime MIA VIP exclusive events.

Fans can use the unique discount code for their favorite startup between Monday 11/16 at 9am and Friday 11/20 at 5pm. The startup that has the most fans purchase discounted tickets will be given a high-profile demo area.

With the fan discount, ticket purchasers can attend the half-day Sime MIA FinTech and Big Data Summits for $48 (normally $249), participate in the full day of Sime MIA Converge for $148 (regularly $399); get an “All Access Pass” for $248 (normally $799)

The startups for “Bring Your Fans to Sime MIA” 2015 Contest and their discount codes are:

SimeAdmobilize: AdmobilizeSimeMIA

Alzhup: AlzhupSimeMIA

Blackdove: BlackdoveSimeMIA

Centric Consulting: CentricSimeMIA

Eco Tech Visions: ETVSimeMIA

Kurator: KuratorSimeMIA

LiveNinja: LiveNinjaSimeMIA

Pidelo Rapido: PideloRapidoSimeMIA

POS Movil: POSMovilSimeMIA

SoStereo: SoStereoSimeMIA

Tesser Health: TesserSimeMIA

Tracks: TracksSimeMIA

Videoo: VideooSimeMIA

Sime MIA's speaker list includes startup founders, musicians, artists, inventors, social entrepreneurs an author, a neuroscientist and a Special Olympics World Champion. Day 2 is the summits. Recently, MIA Collective, the co-producer of Sime MIA, said Citi will be the co-host of the Sime MIA | Fintech summit; and arago will co-host the Sime MIA | Big Data summit, both taking place Dec. 2.

Each summit will be a half-day conference and will gather 400 attendees comprised of global entrepreneurs, startup founders, industry executives and investors. During the course of each summit, attendees can expect knowledge-packed keynotes, engaging panel discussions between industry leaders and hands-on workshops. 

“The goal of the summits is to complement the Sime MIA journey with a multi-sensory experience, ranging from coding classes to virtual reality exhibits, and covering some of today’s more significant opportunities in the tech space; all of which will be designed in partnership with our thought-leading partners Citi and arago,” said Demian Bellumio, co-founder of MIA Collective. Mr. Bellumio added, “The Co-Hosts will not only work with Ola and the rest of the team to select the most important topics to cover during the events, but also collaborate with us to ensure we gather the industry’s leading experts, executives and entrepreneurs under one roof."

Sime MIA is  supported by the Knight Foundation,  as well as leading local organizations such as The LAB Miami, New World Symphony, eMerge Americas, YellowPepper, Rokk3r Labs, Wyncode Academy and Senzari.  The event is produced by MIA Collective and Stockholm-based Sime, led by Ola Ahlvarsson. To learn more about Sime MIA 2015,  visit