As Miami’s startup community continues to grow, The LAB Miami said its “work-learn campus” will offer an in-house mentor network that will include investors and serial entrepreneurs, said Wifredo Fernandes, co-founder of The LAB Miami with Danny Lafuente and Elisa Rodriguez-Vila.The LAB Miami, now in a 720-square-foot space in the same neighborhood, turned a Goldman building at 400 NW 26th Street into an artsy, modern space that can support 300 members, including tech startups, programmers, designers, investors, nonprofits, artists and academics. The smaller space will close.
In addition to offering space to work, the new co-working space plans to offer courses and workshops in business and technology — including a startup school and code school — as well as art, design and education, Fernandez said. It will be a welcoming space for traveling Latin Americans, too. “We want this to be a community center for entrepreneurs,” said Fernandez, explaining that the mix of activities and workshops will be structured by the needs of the LAB’s members.
While the Knight Foundation’s Miami office has sponsored many entrepreneurship events in the past four months, this is the foundation’s largest investment announced so far in its efforts to help accelerate entrepreneurship in Miami, said the Knight Foundation’s Miami program director, Matt Haggman. The Knight Foundation’s Miami office, which made accelerating entrepreneurship one of its key areas of focus this year, is investing $250,000 with the rest of the funding coming from a group of investors lead by Marco Giberti, Faquiry Diaz-Cala, Boris Hirmas Said and Daniel Echavarria.
“This is an important part of our strategy,” said Haggman. “Entrepreneurs need places to gather, connect and learn.”
The LAB Miami has already hosted several events, including HackDay and Wayra DemoDay earlier this week, and the co-working space plans to open for membership in January.
Co-working space will start at $200 a month to use the communal tables, and private offices that will accommodate up to six are also available. The LAB Miami (www.thelabmiami.com) will also offer “Connect” memberships for $40 a month, which allows members who do not need co-working space to participate in events. In addition, there will be phone booths, classrooms, flexible meeting spaces, a lounge area, a kitchen, a “pop-up shop” for local fashion, art or technology products, a shower for those who bike to work and an outside garden with native landscaping.