New research on women entrepreneurs: Quality but not enough quantity

Early-stage venture capital firm First Round recently released findings from its deep dive into 10 years of investment data. Among the Silicon Valley firm’s findings among the 300 startups it has invested in over the decade: Its investments in companies with at least one female founder performed 63 percent better than its investments in all-male teams. And, if you look at First Round's top 10 investments of all time based on value created for investors, three of those teams have at least one female founder — far outpacing the percentage of female tech founders in general.

You can read about First Round's other findings, all very interesting, at

While women-founded companies perform better, there needs to be more of them. The Kauffman Foundation, an authority on all things entrepreneurship, also released some interesting research about women in entrepreneurship recently.

While the number of women entering the workforce has significantly increased over several decades, they are still half as likely as men to start a business, and the findings are fairly consistent across all age groups, according to Kauffman’s most recent Entrepreneurship Policy Digest.

Women are one-third as likely to access equity financing through angels or venture capital, and they begin their companies with about half the capital of men.

Kauffman Foundation found the lack of women entrepreneurs is not just a gender issue, it’s an economic issue. Research shows a lack of female mentors (in one survey, half reported challenges finding mentors), challenges to maintaining work-life balance and an implicit bias against women as entrepreneurs as major obstacles.

The Digest offered suggestions to entrepreneurial programs and organizations to help more women become successful. Among them:

* Develop and report entrepreneurial program metrics by gender to better understand what works best for women entrepreneurs.

* Increase the number of women represented in entrepreneurship programs to expand access to female mentors.

* Partner with women’s professional organizations to increase awareness of Small Business Innovation Research awards. Just 15 percent of SBIR awards went to women-owned businesses in 2012.

* Celebrate successful women entrepreneurs to counter the false narrative that only men are successful entrepreneurs.

Read more from the Policy Digest here.

Follow @ndahlberg on Twitter.

July 28, 2015

Pipeline Workspaces announces fifth location: Doral

Pipeline 3


Pipeline Workspaces is on the expansion track again. The Miami-based co-working company announced Tuesday that its fifth U.S. location will be in Doral.

Pipeline, which caters to entrepreneurs, startups, lawyers and international business executives with workspaces that include shared desks to private offices, has leased 13,000 square feet at Doral Concourse at 8400 Doral Blvd., in the heart of the Doral Business District and adjacent to CityPlace Doral, a mixed-use development that will add residences, more than 20 restaurants and shopping.

With the entrepreneurial movement growing rapidly in South Florida and across the country, Pipeline Doral will become the company’s fifth location. It follows Pipeline Brickell (pictured above) in Miami’s Brickell Financial District, Pipeline Philly in Philadelphia’s Center City and Pipeline Gables slated to open in September. The company also has plans to build Pipeline Co-warehousing and Creative Studios in Miami’s Little River area. Pipeline is part of a growing trend of co-working networks, where entrepreneurs can drop in with their laptop and work at a number of locations.

“Doral's growth and international population makes it an ideal community to serve as a complement to our other South Florida locations and in line with our hub and spoke model,” said Todd Oretsky, who co-founded the company with Philippe Houdard.

Pipeline’s Doral location is expected to open in the first quarter of 2016.

See a recent report on South Florida co-working spaces here.


June 29, 2015

Co-working networks @ work in South Florida

22 BM cover cowork Buro MiM

Jonathan Strauss and Steven Quayle work at Buro MiMo, a new co-working space opening up in northeast Miami. Quayle of 3Floorsup is helping Strauss, who owns Skateboard Supercross, with some work on his digital platform. Buro MiMo has a retro-chic design to reflect its historic MiMo neighborhood of ‘50s architecture. Photo by Al Diaz/Miami Herald. FIND A PHOTO GALLERY OF SOUTH FLORIDA CO-WORKING SPACES HERE.  

By Nancy Dahlberg /

Step into the retro-chic lounge, choose your seat on furnishings inspired by the ’50s and ’60s, and open up your laptop. Or if a desk or office is more your style, that’s available, too, at Büro Group’s new co-working center in northeast Miami’s MiMo district.

Travel north about 10 blocks, and MADE at the Citadel has an artsy vibe, with works by local artists all over the place. And as you roam the Little Haiti space, you’re likely to peek into a painter’s studio or see a set designer in action.

If you live in Fort Lauderdale, you might prefer the more intimate General Provision, with unique work spaces, some tucked away in a loft upstairs, a funky wooden bar in front, phone booths for Skyping and a generous conference room in the back.

And in Miami Beach, the ocean itself will be celebrated at the new WeWork, the largest co-working space yet in the region, which is set to open this week on Lincoln Road. Need a break? Cabanas will be available to members so they can change and head straight to the beach.

WeWork, with 42 locations open or ready to open around the world, is opening a 40,000-square-foot,
four-floor facility to accommodate up to 750 members — the first of at least five WeWorks planned for the Miami area. Said co-founder Miguel McKelvey (pictured here): “We want to be wherever entrepreneurs are.”

Miguel mckelvey of WeWork

Indeed, entrepreneurs are all over South Florida these days — in new collaborative co-working spaces such as these and dozens of other spaces already in operation. The Brickell-downtown Miami area alone is home to 20 including CityDesk, KeyWorking and Quest, according to a listing by the Miami Downtown Development Authority. The newest players also include 360SpacesBuildingMindwarehouse and Delray Tech Space. Opening in the next few months: Pipeline Coral Gables, Büro Coconut Grove, StartHub in downtown Miami and a handful of smaller specialized spaces. Some existing places are expanding, includingAxis Space in Fort Lauderdale and the Center for Social Change in Miami.

Continue reading "Co-working networks @ work in South Florida" »

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.”


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



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:

By Nancy Dahlberg /

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.


 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.


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 “We are so excited and so close to our goal,” Gibson said.

Posted Sept. 25, 2014

Read previous post about EcoTech here.