May 05, 2015

At eMerge country pavillions, companies put on a smart face

More than a half-dozen countries have pavilions this year, cooperative efforts between their various commerce departments and tech companies in their homelands.

Among this year’s newcomers are Holland and Israel. Both said representatives had attended last year, taken the temperature and decided to come in this year with showcase booths.

“The feedback we got from a lot of people who attended last year was positive,” said Israeli Consulate spokesman Ariel Roman. “Miami is at the beginning," he said, and is making progress explaining that the city more than a sun-and-fun destination.  "We see eMerge expanding tremendously.”

While response to the companies in the booth varied, Deputy Chief of Mission Revital Malca said last year’s connections already resulted in a tech-oriented mission by a Miami group to Tel Aviv and an R& D agreement with the Space Coast thanks to Enterprise Florida.  “The networking here is very, very good.”

Ruthgal

Companies featured in the booth included Digisense, which creates a sensor for caregivers of babies and the elderly; EZface, which allows women to virtually “test” makeup shades from eight major cosmetics companies including Loreal and Cover Girl; and Mobileye, which created the collision avoidance systems used by car manufacturers including Jaguar and Nissan and commercial fleets including FPL.

EZface founder Ruth Gal is using eMerge to launch the app in the U.S. The app itself is free; a woman takes a photo with her smart phone and then scans the bar Ezfacecode on the product to see how the color appears on her face.  Gal said she eventually expects to make money through product coupons and personalized advertising. Though the app has been available for several years, she previously marketed as a business-to-business service. Now she hopes to attract funding to sign up new brands and retailers and take the service direct to consumers.

In Holland’s booth,  five companies showcased tech products for e-learning, warehouse logistics, unobtrusive wind power generation, micro training for companies and health and education games. Barbara Staals, senior commercial officer, said she expected Holland would come back again next year. “The media exposure and the type of people coming through” made the effort worthwhile, she said.

“As a consulate, our job is to get Netherlands on the map of Miami. eMerge wants to get Miami on the map of the Netherlands”– making them good partners, she said. 

Jane Wooldridge

April 06, 2015

News: Pipeline Workspaces announces minority investor

Pipeline 3

Pipeline Workspaces, a fast-growing shared workspace concept that started in Miami and is expanding nationally, announced Monday that it has sold a minority stake valuing the company at about $15 million.

The investment comes from Gordon G. Pratt, founder and CEO of Fund Management Group (FMG), a private holding and investment company. Pratt has been a member of Pipeline Brickell, the company’s original location, for two years.  FMG became a limited partner in Pipeline’s second shared workspace located in Philadelphia and followed up with the minority investment in the Pipeline Workspaces general partner.

Todd Oretsky headshot“Gordon tested our business platform first-hand as a member and experienced how the concept we offer and our management team is different from other co-working spaces in the US today,” said Todd Oretsky, co-founder of Pipeline Workspaces, in a news release.

In 2 1/2 years, Pipeline has opened collaborative workspaces in Miami’s Brickell Financial District and Philadelphia’s Center City. A third location is under construction in Coral Gables and should open in the first half of this year. In the planning phase is a co-working and co-warehousing space in Little River area for artists and small business owners.

Philippe Houdard - headshot 2Pipeline is also exploring expansion in Atlanta, Charlotte, Denver and Dallas, as well as other locations in South Florida.

 “Across our current locations, we already are seeing members take advantage of the opportunity to work out of multiple offices and network in new cities, which makes expansion of their businesses into new markets much more seamless,” said Philippe Houdard, co-founder of Pipeline Workspaces. “Imagine having a network with one degree of separation from many industries in multiple cities.”

That is what the Pipeline team is building.

January 30, 2015

Miami-Dade Public Library System wins Knight News Challenge award for co-working concept

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation named 22 projects as winners of the Knight News Challenge on Libraries, awarding the recipients a share of $3 million for their ideas. One of the national winners was the Miami-Dade Public Library System.

The library system won a $35,000 grant from the Knight Prototype Fund, which helps innovators take media and information projects from idea to demo, for its idea to create a collaborative co-working space for freelancers and entrepreneurs within the walls of the library. The grant will be used to create a prototype in one of the branches.

All the winning projects aim to leverage libraries as a platform to build more knowledgeable communities. Eight of the winners will receive investments of $130,000 to $600,000, while the other 14 early-stage ideas will receive $35,000 each.

Knight News Challenge on Libraries was the second Knight News Challenge announced in 2014. In June Knight announced 19 winners of the 2014 Knight News Challenge on Strengthening the Internet, which sought ideas to strengthen the Internet for free expression and innovation. Since 2007 Knight Foundation has reviewed more than 10,000 News Challenge applications and provided nearly $50 million in funding to 133 projects.

See the full list of winners here.

 

December 05, 2014

Pipeline Co-warehousing and Creative Studios: In renderings

In this week's Business Monday, I reported on a new twist on the co-working concept in the works by the team behind Pipeline Brickell:  Co-warehousing and Creative Studios.

As envisioned, the 5-story complex in the Little River section of Miami, would have co-working, storage space and shared shipping and logistics services for product businesses and artists, and the idea is to co-mingle product businesses, tech businesses and art entrepreneurs under one roof -- that is, a roof with an organic garden on it.

While these are very preliminary -- it's still in the design phase and an architect has not been chosen -- but here are a few renderings provided by Pipeline to give you a visual of what might be... See the full story here.

Exterior of Pipeline Co-warehousing (1)

Interior of co-working and warehousing

Interior of warehousing

 

Posted: Dec. 5, 2014

November 17, 2014

Pipeline to open coworking center in Coral Gables

95 Merrick Way

The wave of new coworking spaces for entrepreneurs continues to roll in, with Pipeline Workspaces announcing Monday that its third U.S. shared-office location will be in Coral Gables.

PipelinePipeline opened its first shared-workspace location on Brickell two years ago (shown here) and is opening a site in Philadelphia’s financial district next month. Now it has leased the third floor — 14,000 square feet — at 95 Merrick Way (pictured above), an office complex that also houses Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Pipeline was one of the pioneers in bringing the concept to Miami’s entrepreneurial community, and Pipeline sees Coral Gables as an underserved market. Coral Gables is home to Latin American headquarters, more than 20 consulates and government offices, more than 140 multinational corporations and numerous banks.

Pipeline Gables, with a planned opening this spring, will feature a mediation center that caters to the large legal community in Coral Gables, as well as entrepreneurial shared spaces starting at $200 per month, private offices starting at $600, and amenties such as conference rooms suitable for weekend corporate retreats and member access to all Pipeline locations. Like they saw with its center in Brickell, which has about 250 members and caters to startups, serial entrepreneurs and service professionals, Pipeline’s cofounders saw an opportunity to create another space that would draw a diverse group of people to connect and build a broader network.

“Pipeline is built on the theory that diversity positively impacts success. Geographic diversity draws people with different networks and expertise and being a member of Pipeline gives you one degree of separation from anybody else within the community, while serving as a catalyst to further grow the city’s business community,” said Todd Oretsky, who co-founded Pipeline with Philippe Houdard, in a news release. Members “can share perspectives, exchange ideas, create business opportunities, and develop meaningful business relationships,” he said.

Posted Nov. 17, 2014

November 08, 2014

Miami Mini Maker Faire brings tech, crafts, family fun to Wynwood

 

Makerfaireshoes

Arts for Learning teaching artist Aurora Molina, upper left, guides youngsters through a shoe innovation challenge at the Miami Mini Maker Faire in Wynwood on Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014. The young shoe crafters, from left, are Sunrise siblings Tyler, 5, and Jared Nortman, 7, and from right, Miami siblings Chelsea, 14, Phoenix, 6, and Aiden Thomas, 10. Photo by MARSHA HALPER/MIAMI HERALD STAFF.  SEE MORE PHOTOS IN A PHOTO GALLERY HERE.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/article3669150.html#storylink=cpy

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood may be best known for its art and hip culture, but Saturday it was all about robots, drones, 3D printers and family fun.

There were all kinds of high-tech and low-tech handmade projects on display at the daylong 2nd annual Miami Mini Maker Faire in Wynwood on Saturday. Not even a 45-minute power outage could dampen the spirit of the event, which attracted about 3,700 — more than double last year’s attendance and nearly half of them kids. About 110 exhibitors participated in the giant block party.

“The Miami Mini Maker Faire is a celebration of our local creatives,” said Ric Herrero, who co-founded the nonprofit MIAMade to foster a local “maker movement.” Fittingly, the Miami Mini Maker Faire itself is a homemade and volunteer endeavor, run by Herrero and MIAMade, The LAB Miami and its co-founder Danny Lafuente and a number of partnering organizations and maker groups. “The fact that we had so many more makers and so many more attendees, it shows the maker movement is alive and growing in South Florida,” said Herrero.

For a second year in a row, The LAB Miami, a coworking center, was the nucleus of the fair, which this year also included the LightBox next door and the Wynwood Warehouse Project across the street. The LAB became one big maker space on Saturday, with interactive exhibits from the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, Florida international University, Starbot, Miami-Dade Public Libraries, DesignLab and many other organizations, maker spaces, student groups and small companies. Robots literally took over the LightBox and, for the first time, the fair included a street party with crafters, food trucks and live music.

Photo (26)Inside the LAB, in the Frost science museum’s exhibit with Arts for Learning, a group of middle school students were making shoes. With their designs in hand, they were building prototypes with cardboard. Some of the students, including Dexter Pomilban and Mayisha Perez (pictured here) of Mater Academy of International Studies, were also taking their designs out into the crowds at the fair, doing market research.

The next step will be building 3D models with software and then turning that into 3D-printed shoes, which were all designs that melded artistry with strong engineering. It’s all part of the Shoe In(novation) Design Dash, which involves 24 teams of middle school students from public and private Miami-Dade schools. The winners will take part in The Art of Fashion Show at the Adrienne Arsht Center during Art Basel.

The young shoe makers may be one of the more unusual participants, but there were all kinds of projects on display. The FIU School of Computing and Information Science’s Discovery Lab was showing off a table full of drones it built, including ones designed for border security surveillance.

“A lot of great companies were started in the garage,” said Victor Vincent, who was exhibiting a “Makey Makey” piano you play through carrots. “The maker movement is about exploring that innovation, that creativity. And Miami is a great town to find creative people.”

Photo (27)Daniela Rodriguez, 15, (pictured here) of Archbishop McCarthy High School in Broward County, was exhibiting her “brain-powered computer” that can be controlled by movements such as a blink of the eye rather than touch. She said she started the project, which combines her passions for robotics, anatomy and engineering, when she was 12 because she wanted to help people with disabilities, like her mother, to be more independent, including with their technology needs.

The more than a dozen 3D-printing exhibits were very popular with the crowds young and old, including one that would print, well, you. Kids as young as 5 could take part in a coding classes, and older youngsters could learn about civic hacking, using government data to create ways to improve cities, and even space-based technologies through Countdown Institute.

Artists and crafters were out in force, too. Jorge Roldan was showing his robot-like art figures made from recycled materials – parts of clarinets, pool balls, horse shoes, mail boxes, sewing machines and chair legs all went into creating the designs. His son Christopher, 15, collaborates on the projects. “It comes from the heart, and children see things we as adults don’t,” said Roldan.

The street party, new this year, added another dimension to the fair, with people pedaling away on the blender bikes, shopping at the booths, or trying their hand at soldering. Another crowd favorite: a drone that hovered overhead all day shooting video and pictures.

“You could feel the energy, the excitement,” said Tamara Wendt, managing director of The LAB Miami. “One man told me he wishes he could be a kid again.”

Follow @ndahlberg on Twitter.

Makerfaireernie

 Ernie Hsiung of Code For Miami and Code For America gives a workshop on civic hacking at the Mimai Mini Maker Faire. Photo by Marsha Halper of the Miami Herald.

SEE MORE PHOTOS IN A PHOTO GALLERY HERE.

October 28, 2014

Büro coming to MiMo: Opening 3rd Miami area coworking center in early 2015

BuromimoThe wave of coworking expansion continues to roll: Büro Group will be opening its next upscale coworking center in Miami’s hip MiMo District in early 2015.

Büro MiMo, to be located in the iconic Coppertone Building located at 7300 Biscayne Boulevard, will consist of 11,000 square feet of flexible workspace designed for entrepreneurs and creative companies.

Büro MiMo will be the third location for the fast-growing young company, following its flagship in Midtown Miami in 2010, which recently doubled in size, and its expansion to Sunset Harbour last year.

“We are thrilled to be further expanding the Büro community, which now includes over 200 dynamic companies from a wide range of industries,” says Büro founder and CEO Michael Feinstein. “And we are excited to bring more talent and energy to Biscayne Boulevard’s MiMo.” In addition to occupying roughly half of the Coppertone Building, Büro is also a part-owner of the property, alongside local investor Greenstreet Capital.

Brad Safchik of Greenstreet is bullish on the rapidly changing MiMo District. “The neighborhood is clearly emerging as a hotspot and creative hub. With the recent re-development of the Vagabond and all the new restaurant openings, I think it’s a very compelling real estate opportunity.” In addition to Büro, popular local brands Jugofresh and Panther Coffee have recently announced new locations in the MiMo District as well.

Büro will be taking reservations for its  new location  starting in January.

 Posted Oct. 28, 2014

September 25, 2014

EcoTech Visions receives $172K in grants for its green-business incubator, programs

With a mission of creating jobs that make both business and environmental sense, EcoTech Visions announced it received $172,000 in grants. That brings the nonprofit closer to its goal of hatching an incubator in Liberty City for green manufacturing small businesses.

EcotechThis week, the 7th Avenue CRA awarded EcoTech Visions a $60,000 grant to build out its accelerator space and make Northwest 7th Avenue its new home, said Pandwe Gibson, EcoTech's founder (pictured here).  The CRA also awarded two young companies within EcoTech’s incubator a total of $20,000 in grants for equipment: EarthWare, a biodegradable tableware company, and Aeolus Motors, an electric motor bike company.

In July, EcoTech Visions was awarded $52,000 in Miami-Dade County County CDBG funds to provide training for its Blue to Green Collar fellowship program.  The Blue to Green Fellowship is a second-chance program for formerly incarcerated adults who have blue collar certifications such as electrician, mechanic, AC repair, carpentry and other trade skills. This fellowship is also available to veterans. “Who better to install solar panels than the electrician who already has the basic skills, who better to create electric motorcycles than the mechanics who have been toying with the idea for years,” said  Gibson, who has been working passionately on EcoTech for nearly two years. 

Gibson was also awarded the Gulf Coast Fellowship, selected as one of five fellows from a pool of 500 applicants from Texas to North Carolina to represent the region as an ambassador for Southern “Ecopreneurs.” The Gulf Coast Fellowship comes with a $40,000 award to support her research and incubator development at EcoTech Visions.   Gibson said she was also been selected by the Peter Lang international publishing group through the University of New Orleans to publish a book highlighting the work of Miami’s blue collar to green collar conversion process, with publication planned for next spring.

In collaboration with Miami-Dade Commissioner Jean Monestime and his green corridors plan, EcoTech Visions nurtures a growing collective of “EcoPrenuers” from across South Florida and the country, Gibson said.  The incubator is located at 667 NW 90th St., in Miami-Dade County's Liberty City, and will contain meeting space, co-working space and offices. It will also have a Kitchen Lab for the development of topical products, and it is currently being used by  Raw and Precisions Barber Club Products; a bio-plastic molding lab for EarthWare’s  biodegradable tableware; a hydroponics lab and garden; and a mechanics lab, currently occupied by Aeolus. Gibson believes that with nurturing, these companies can grow and provide jobs in low-income areas.

The county grants require matching private funds; EcoTech is crowdfunding for the private funds on the Global Giving platform. Donations can be made at http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/create-50-new-jobs-in-impoverished-miami-areas/ “We are so excited and so close to our goal,” Gibson said.

Posted Sept. 25, 2014

Read previous post about EcoTech here. 

 

 

 

August 04, 2014

How to choose an entrepreneurial co-working space

The good news is options abound. The best way to choose a co-working space is to test-drive a few because each space has its own vibe and mix of amenities and co-workers. Most offer free or discounted day passes to try them out.

When weighing the options, here are some other factors to consider:

• Does the environment fit you and the culture of your company and clients? Some are more artsy and creative, while others are more modern and business-like.

• Does the mix of co-workers suit you? Most spaces curate their memberships, going for a mix of startups, consultants, professionals, investors and larger companies. Some are more concentrated in tech, others not. During your test drive, you will get a feel for the mix.

• Do you want a place with lots of events? Check out their event schedules and member-only educational offerings. These spaces typically offer more than a Friday afternoon happy hour.

• Is being near public transportation important to you? Some are close to Metrorail or Trolley stops.

• If you drive, is parking included in the cost? If not, what will it cost and how available/convenient is it?

• Are there restaurants and cafes within walking distance? Some offer bike-sharing.

• When do you really plan to use the space? Some are open 24/7, while others aren’t. However, if you don’t plan to work in the wee hours of the morning, the limited hours may not be a factor.

• If you will need regular use of conference rooms or meeting areas, are they available enough of the time and included in the cost? If extra, put that into your cost equation.

• Are the founders and management teams on site and do they know all the members? Because of the collaborative nature of these spaces, friendly management is an important consideration.

 

Entrepreneurial spaces: The new wave rolls in

 

Cowork2

A team at work in a small conference room at Axis Space, a new co-working center for entrepreneurs in Fort Lauderdale. Photo by Charles Trainor Jr.

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

Jordan Melnick found his first investor at The LAB Miami, a collaborative workspace for entrepreneurs.

LAB co-founder Wifredo Fernandez introduced him to a new member, angel investor Mark Kingdon who had recently moved from New York. Melnick introduced Kingdon to Sktchy, an app he created that has attracted thousands of artists worldwide to create and share their portraits inspired by submitted photos. Kingdon was impressed with the app and the team and further discussions resulted in seed capital.

“We feel very lucky to have hit it off with Mark and grateful to The LAB folks for creating a space where connections like that can happen,” said Melnick.

Cowork6Connections — in entrepreneur-speak, they are called collisions — are what these workspaces are all about, and an important ingredient of the entrepreneurial ecosystem South Florida is trying to grow. Many of the  160 members at The LAB (pictured here) are technology entrepreneurs and developers, many working in the creative industries; others are social entrepreneurs, investors and service providers. The popular LAB, in an artsy converted warehouse in Wynwood, is one of a dozen or so such spaces — some for co-working, some for mentoring and “incubation” — that have flourished mainly in Miami’s urban core in the last couple of years. For entrepreneurs, they provide fertile ground to work, connect, collaborate and thrive.

As the ecosystem grows, new entrepreneurial spaces are taking root and spreading across South Florida.

While options in Miami’s urban core from Midtown to Brickell continue to grow, the new wave of spaces is moving into other entrepreneur-rich parts of South Florida, such as Fort Lauderdale, Coral Gables and Boca Raton. This new group also includes co-working spaces and incubators that cater to specific industries.

Entrepreneurial co-working spaces typically draw a mix of startup companies, consultants and other professionals. Often the spaces provide educational and networking events for members and sometimes, the public. Costs vary, but most run about $200 to $300 a month for full-time use of the co-working space and its amenities; a dedicated desk or four-walled office costs extra. While amenities vary, they all offer wifi, access to conference rooms, generous hours of operation to accommodate night owls and weekend warriors, and of course plenty of java.

“But it’s not really about the space, it’s the community inside,” said Juan Casimiro, who heads Casimiro Global Foundation that teaches entrepreneurial skills to students and micro-businesses around the world. He works at Fort Lauderdale’s Axis Space.

AxisOn Las Olas Way fronting the New River, Axis Space is poised to fully open in early fall. The 21,500-square-foot, four-floor 24/7 co-working center (pictured at left) has modern offices, co-working desks, a large event area and a host of amenities including a nap room.

The fourth floor, with glass offices and conference rooms in a variety of sizes with river views, is already buzzing. The space will soon have two open floors of communal work space, an event floor and a large shaded (and wired) work space outdoors — this is South Florida, after all. Just as  The LAB does, Axis plans to host its own classes and events to benefit entrepreneurs and technologists as well as allow organizations to use the space. Already, Code for Fort Lauderdale, a group that works on technology projects to serve the community, has been meeting there.

Axis Space’s founders purchased the building several years ago. Originally the plan called for executive offices. But about two years ago, after learning about the collaborative spaces popping up in startup communities around the country, the team changed focus and started a new design. As part of its research, Sebastian Vela, co-founder and Axis’s “community chief,” traveled to New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles, visiting co-working spaces and learning about their best practices.

The founding team, which also includes Sebastian’s father, Jairo Vela, an architect, and Alex Yokana, a builder, also hired Brett Hudson, formerly business development director at The LAB Miami, as community curator (pictured below). “We are looking to expand the ecosystem. We want to be part of the larger network — it’s about building it out and expanding the pie,” said Hudson.

Cowork3The downtown Fort Lauderdale area, central to all of South Florida, is swimming with condos and young professionals. But it lacks cohesion, said Hudson, making it an untapped market for Axis Space. “It looks a lot like Miami a few years ago,” he said.

By pulling nontraditional workers together, spaces like Axis are becoming ecosystem developers that encourage collaborations, said Hudson. And trends are working in their favor: By 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 65 million Americans, or 40 percent of the U.S. workforce, will be independent contractors or solo entrepreneurs. Workspaces that offer educational programming and other opportunities to foster community, innovation, creativity and social interactions will be in demand, Hudson said.

Carlos Zamora of Sensation Enterprises, a small marketing firm, is one of the early adopters at Axis Space. When the home office and the library were no longer working for him, he spent about two months hunting for office space before finding Axis. “Seeing co-working and office space together, we were sold. The emphasis is on community. We all like to share knowledge,” said Zamora, who has already made key connections with developers and designers working at Axis. “The way businesses can grow is helping other businesses.”

BRICKELL ACTIVE

Coworking1Axis Space’s founders are not the only ones seeing opportunities in new markets. Pipeline, which opened in the Brickell financial district in November, 2012, (pictured here)  is now actively scouting for a second location in South Florida, said co-founder Philippe Houdard.

Adam Boalt is one of the 250 members in the Brickell location. Since early last year at Pipeline, the serial entrepreneur conceived, launched and grew his current startup, LiveAnswer, a <XA>24/7 business phone support company. He has hired mobile developers, a designer and a lawyer he got to know at Pipeline and received expert advice through his development and prototyping process and while building a sales team.

“For everything I’ve needed, there are people here who do that or know someone who does,” he said.

Now a team of nine, with seven of them at Pipeline, LiveAnswer could find a larger space elsewhere but is staying put because of the connections, Boalt said. “Every day, you never know who will walk through that door.”

Those kinds of connections were exactly what founders Houdard and Todd Oretsky had in mind when they opened the contemporary 14,000-square-foot Pipeline with sweeping views of the city and Biscayne Bay. Their idea was to build a membership that includes young startups, larger companies, serial entrepreneurs, lawyers, investors and service providers. Houdard said about half of the membership is international, such as Latin American entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs looking to grow their businesses in the United States.

“We fundamentally believe the way young entrepreneurs benefit most is when they are not only around other entrepreneurs but also seasoned veterans,” Houdard said. “There’s a gentle hand that pushes the people together, and we do this in a variety of ways.” For instance, at its regular PipeUp series where members share their stories and expertise, designer and HGTV host David Bromstad recently gave a talk on creativity.

Houdard won’t say yet where the second South Florida location will be, but it is not in Miami’s urban core. Still, like the Brickell location, it will be set in an area with a high concentration of entrepreneurs. Pipeline is also opening a location in central Philadelphia this year.

Going where the entrepreneurs are is a key strategy. Büro Miami, one of the original co-working spaces in central Miami that opened in 2010, last year opened a second location in the Sunset Harbour neighborhood of South Beach. That office now services 150 members, including many startups, said Michael Feinstein, founder of Büro Group.

As Miami’s tech startup scene has grown, Büro Miami’s flagship center has expanded. In June, Büro’s three-floor Midtown location nearly doubled in size to 18,000 square feet and serves 250 members, including startups such as Everypost, Futbol Sites, Stepflix and Fish Indie.

“We are in expansion mode with plans to open an additional two South Florida locations in 2015,” Feinstein said. Buro has also forged partnerships with co-working spaces around the country, allowing members to work from New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and other major cities, he said.

Meanwhile, more niche players have moved into the market, joining facilities such as The Innovation Center at the University of Miami Life Science and Technology Park that offers co-working space and offices plus access to shared wet and dry labs and other services to about 25 life science and health-tech companies. It’s a hub for events too, including the eMerge Americas hackathon it hosted in May.

Reportedly in the works is an incubator for cloud technology companies as well as several co-working and incubator spaces geared to creatives and the design community. Last month, Macy’s announced it would be opening an incubator for fashion design in Miami.

Recently opened on Coral Way in Miami is the Center for Social Change, a collaborative work environment for social entrepreneurs and nonprofits. The center itself is a collaboration of Charity Deposits Corp., Charity Services Centers and the new nonprofit entity, Center for Social Change.

“Social innovation is exploding but Florida is lagging behind. There is so much potential,” said Lauren Harper, one of the center’s founders. South Florida has a number of social entrepreneurial ventures in their infancy that need nurturing and funding to get to the “venture-ready” stage, she said. At the same time, nonprofits need to build new, innovative revenue streams to fund their missions. “We are seeing a real need for a social entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

While half the area is still being finished, about a half-dozen organizations with a social purpose have moved in and the space is already taking on a community center feel. When complete there will be nine offices, a yoga and workout room and conference spaces that surround a large open co-working area and kitchen — putting collaboration literally at the center of things, Harper said.

Calling itself “part think tank, part community builder,” the center plans to offer an accelerator and host social entrepreneurial and impact-investing events and workshops on site and at larger venues around South Florida, Harper said.

INCUBATORS

Incubators differ from co-working spaces in that they are typically geared to startups and require a startup to apply for membership. In addition to work space, they typically offer below-market rent, some structured programming and a mentor network to help the selected companies grow. Where the definitional lines blur, some co-working spaces offer incubators or incubator-like services, and some incubators accept some co-workers.

Venture Hive in downtown Miami is South Florida’s largest space for entrepreneurs. The two story, 35,000-square-foot facility houses an accelerator, incubator and other services for technology startups.

Cowork5Venture Hive currently houses 29 companies in its incubator, which includes 14 mostly international tech companies in the hospitality, logistics, healthcare and creative industries that were in its accelerator classes. The new Microsoft Innovation Center open to the public is at the Hive, and a large “living room” welcomes entrepreneurial events, from Startup Grind (pictured here) to Tech Cocktail to the weekly 1 Million Cups. Taking its ecosystem-growing role seriously, Venture Hive held technology-entrepreneurship summer camps for 2nd- through 5th-graders and will host a program for high school students in the fall.

A few blocks from Venture Hive, Miami Dade College’s CREATE incubator in the new Idea Center @ MDC is set to open this fall on the Wolfson campus, serving Miami Dade College’s 165,000 students with entrepreneurial education and resources.

And in Broward and Palm Beach counties, incubator options are expanding.

Boca Raton’s Technology Business Incubator inside the Research Park at Florida Atlantic University is a 15,000-square-foot incubator serving 20 companies. Each member is assigned a TBI Council of Advisors member as part of an organized program to track success, the incubator said. Last month, it announced a partnership with FAU’s Center for Cryptology and Information Security to help startups in the cyber-security industry, said Andrew Duffell, CEO of the research park.

And this fall, Florida Atlantic University will be opening an incubator as part of Tech Runway, where startups will get mentoring, office space and other support. Initially funded with $1 million in state dollars, Tech Runway will help at least six startups this fall but will accept applications from the public starting this fall for a larger spring program.

The Enterprise Development Corporation of South Florida runs a new incubator in Boca as well as one in Coral Springs. This fall, the nonprofit organization will be opening an incubator with Broward College in west Fort Lauderdale for promising startups, regardless of whether they are affiliated with the college. In Boca, the 12,000-square-foot incubator, located in the technology corridor off Congress, now houses nearly 20 startups. With 34 offices and co-working space, there is room to grow. The EDC also mentors Palm Beach County startups that aren’t in the incubator, said EDC’s CEO Rob Strandberg.

The EDC program is a prime example of the growing movement of collaboration among co-working centers. EDC recently expanded to more fully service Miami-Dade County, where it currently assists more than two dozen startups with mentorship, strategy and capital raising assistance.

  ShaunRather than opening a full-size incubator, the nonprofit is sharing an office at Büro Miami with the Accelerated Growth Partners angel network and Florida Venture Forum trade group, giving the organizations an opportunity to collaborate on services and events. The organizations are also planning to assist at Miami Dade College’s new incubator. Strandberg said he and other EDC mentors can meet with entrepreneurs at Büro or go wherever the startups are based. EDC also supports entrepreneurs at the MEC261 co-working center in downtown Miami.

“Organizations are becoming location-agnostic, giving the entrepreneurs access to resources wherever they are located. Everybody’s jumping in to help,” said Strandberg. “It really does take an entrepreneurial village to raise these startups.”

Follow Nancy Dahlberg on Twitter @ndahlberg.

 Photo here: Shaun Abrahamson, one of the original members of The LAB Miami and co-founder of Urban.us, works on his computer at The LAB, which currently has 160 members and hosts events and classes.  Photo by Peter Andrew Bosch /  Miami Herald Staff

More photos of all the spaces here.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/08/03/4267251/new-wave-of-entrepreneurial-spaces.html#storylink=cpy