January 27, 2016

South Florida fintech startups invited to compete at Temenos’ series of innovation events

Temenos, the market-leading provider of mission-critical solutions to the financial services industry, has announced its investment in creating various platforms that will allow fintech companies and start-ups to pitch their products and solutions to the world’s largest financial institutions.  

“The Fintech Innovation Jams provide a unique opportunity for us to engage, identify and partner with the hottest fintech companies in the world. Through the Temenos MarketPlace, fintechs get access to the more than 2,000 financial institutions running our software, who serve more than 500 million banking customers. Our clients in turn get access to cutting-edge innovation, making it a true win-win situation,” said Ben Robinson, CMO for Temenos. He added that “Latin America is a region bubbling with technology innovation and we are excited to help propel fintech to the forefront as a sector with great opportunities for innovative entrepreneurs.”

The series of events will include demo presentations from fintech companies and startups showcasing their innovations to Temenos’ world class banking customers. It will also include presentations from various thought leaders providing insights to the opportunities that market disruptive forces offer to innovative companies, including a feature presentation from financial disruption guru and best-selling author, Brett King.

Fintech companies and startups can register for a demo slot by January 29, 2016 (subject to the rules of entry) and compete for an opportunity to win a place in the Global Innovation Jam finals taking place at the upcoming Temenos Community Forum (TCF) in Barcelona, in May 2016.

About the series:

-           March 10, Miami

-           March 22, Singapore

-           April 6, Dubai

-           April 13, London

The Miami Innovation Jam will take place at The Lightbox at Goldman Warehouse in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District. Each demo will last for 7 minutes and the audience will vote to choose two winners at the end of the event.

For more information, visit the Innovation Jam Miami page.

- Submitted by Maria L. Mancuso, FinTech Americas 

January 20, 2016

Meet Keiretsu Forum’s new Miami president

KeiretsuIt’s official: Deborah Johnson is the new president of the Miami Chapter of Keiretsu Forum South-East, the 31st chapter of the international angel organization.

Keiretsu Forum was founded in 2000 in the San Francisco Bay Area, and now has 40 chapters and more than 1,500 accredited investor members across the globe.  Keiretsu Forum members typically provide capital in the $250k – $3 million range in Series A and B funding series.  Members collaborate in the due-diligence, but make their own investment decisions.  Keiretsu Forum members have invested more than $550 million in technology, consumer products, Internet, healthcare, life sciences and real estate companies.

“I’m excited to facilitate a role connecting our local Florida entrepreneurs to funding.  We have a growing entrepreneurial ecosystem in Miami and Keiretsu’s proud to be a part of it,” said Johnson, who has been no stranger to South Florida recently,  attending events regularly.

 Johnson has an extensive history working with entrepreneurs, investors and tech-sector innovators in Southwest Florida.  The founder of Plum Ventures, she has worked in region building awareness of the entrepreneurial community as the special events coordinator for Tamiami Angel Family of Funds.  She also served as the administrator for the Gulf Coast Venture Forum for several years, running chapters in Naples and Sarasota.  That entity has now morphed into Fusion Pointe, a non-profit that she currently consults with, providing mentorship to entrepreneurs and high-impact networking.  

She has hosted VenturePitch South Florida from Naples to Sarasota as well as founder talks and meetups.   She also works with the Southwest Florida Regional Technology Partnership whose mission is to be the leading technology interest group in Southwest Florida.  

Johnson plans to continue to build partnerships with other angel and venture organizations in South Florida.  Keiretsu's Miami chapter welcomes interested investors seeking membership or startups seeking funding; contact her at DJohnson@KeiretsuForum.net. The organization, which launched in Miami in 2014, meets monthly and the next meeting is Feb. 9. It has not made any local investments yet although one is in due diligence.

To find out more about Keiretsu Forum South-East, or to learn about angel investment in general, visit http://www.KeiretsuForum-SouthEast.com.

New AngelSummit Americas coming to Miami

Money

Startup Angels, a global platform that provides services to new angel investors, will host the AngelSummit Americas conference April 14-15 in the lead up to the eMerge Americas technology conference.

AngelSummit Americas aims to convene more than 300 investors, entrepreneurs and industry and community leaders from across the Americas to discuss ways to unleash the potential of startup investors in Miami and globally, said Leslie Jump, founder and CEO of Startup Angels. Speakers include Dave McClure of 500 Startups; Marc Nager of Techstars; Alex Mittal of FundersClub, and John McIntire of Open English. Community partners include AGP Miami, CREATE Miami, and Endeavor Miami, as well as global partners such as Techstars, 500 Startups, the Global Accelerator Network, the Latino Startup Alliance and Startupbootcamp.

“The AngelSummit will connect local investors with the best startup investment practices, and inspire them to invest in Miami’s emerging entrepreneurs and our city’s future,” said Matt Haggman, Miami program director of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which provided a $125,000 grant to bring the conference to Miami. Lack of a strong capital network has been one of the South Florida entrepreneurial ecosystem’s biggest challenges.

As part of a partnership with eMerge Americas, AngelSummit participants will have the opportunity to attend eMerge Americas April 18-19, while eMerge participants will be able to attend AngelSummit Americas. Startup Angels’ mission is to increase the number of startup investors across the U.S. and around the world. For more information and to register, visit americas.angelsummit.io.

January 19, 2016

Girls Who Code programs returning to Miami; registration open

LLcybergirls0800 Lab MSH (1)

At Tech Station at Florida International University's School of Computing and Information Sciences (SCIS), Taty Graesser, 15, of Cutler Bay, center, and Riya Srivastava, 16, of Miami, right, were among 20 high school girls who participated in an intensive computer skills summer immersion program in 2015 presented by SCIS and Girls Who Code, a national non-profit organization that equips girls with computing skills. MARSHA HALPER MIAMI HERALD STAFF



Girls Who Code, a tech education program for high school girls, is returning to Miami to provide another three years of Summer Immersion Programs, with $500,000 in new support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Applications for Girls Who Code’s 2016 Summer Immersion Program opened Tuesday in 11 cities across the country, including Miami. The program will begin this June and run for seven weeks, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The two Miami-based programs will include a total of 60 rising high school juniors and seniors who demonstrate a passion for technology, regardless of prior coding experience. Applications will be open until March 1 on the Girls Who Code website at girlswhocode.com/apply.

Launched in New York in 2012, Girls Who Code pairs intensive instruction in programming fundamentals, mobile phone development and robotics with engagement opportunities led by top female engineers and entrepreneurs. “The gender gap isn’t just a Silicon Valley issue anymore,” said Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code. “The shortage of women in technical roles, whether it’s retail, entertainment or finance is an enormous crisis both in terms of innovation and socio-economic equality throughout the United States.”

Since its founding Girls Who Code has taught more than 10,000 girls in 42 states. The nonprofit conducted programs in 2014 and 2015 in the Miami area with Knight Foundation support.

January 15, 2016

The Idea Center’s MarketHack to launch digital marketing class Feb. 2

An Information Session about Miami Dade College’s digital marketing training program for working professional will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 19

Submitted by Dan Grech, MarketHack Program Manager

 The Idea Center at Miami Dade College (MDC), Miami’s hub of innovation and entrepreneurship, is launching the second edition of its successful MarketHack digital marketing training program. The 16-week course offers a dynamic combination of lectures from top professionals, hands-on skills workshops, and real-life group projects that teach participants how to influence customers, create connections, and grow their businesses.

Aimed at filling a talent gap for highly skilled digital marketers in South Florida, the program will continue its successful partnership with República, a leading, independent cross-cultural advertising, communications and digital agency based in Miami. It will also build on relationships with other local companies and creative agencies that will help shape its curriculum and create a pipeline for internships, apprenticeships and jobs.

“Staying on top of digital trends is not easy, it seems like there’s a new social networking platform popping up every day, but understanding the nuances of 21st century communication is indispensable in nearly every industry,” said Jorge Azze, social media community manager at República and participant in the inaugural class. “MarketHack's stable of digital marketing pros makes staying up to speed feasible and actually really fun. The course provides a professional, yet laid back environment with people from all industries, ages and walks of life, that sparks new friendships, perspectives and opportunities.”

MarketHack is taught by two of South Florida’s top digital marketing professionals: program lead Dan Grech, Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations at OfferCraft, and co-teacher Mike Schott, Director of Online Marketing at Open English.

An Information Session with both instructors will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 19, at The Idea Center at Miami Dade College, 315 NE 2nd Ave Building 8, 5th Floor, Miami, FL 33132. RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/markethack-mixer-info-session-tickets-20509268775

Guest speakers in the fall course included NBCUniversal’s Cesar Conde, Uber’s Kasra Moshkani, República’s Jorge A. Plasencia, Natcom Global’s Bob Rodriguez and many other leading digital executives and marketers. MarketHack’s January course will build on this successful platform.

“The core of the MarketHack experience is working in teams on high-stakes group projects with real clients,” said Leandro Finol, executive director of the Idea Center at Miami Dade College. “We want to give participants a taste of life in a marketing department or at a top digital marketing agency.”

The upcoming 16-week course, MarketHack Introduction to Digital Marketing,” will begin Feb 2.'Classes take place on Tuesdays from 6:30 pm to 9 pm at the MDC Idea Center, Building 8, Fifth Floor, 315 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL.

Registration is now open at http://www.theideacenter.co/markethack. The course costs $1,999, with an early-registration price of $1,499. This is a non-credit class, and participants receive a Certificate from the Idea Center upon completion.

MarketHack is one of the 21st century skills-training programs for students and working professionals offered by the Idea Center at Miami Dade College. The program also offers coding education through its CodePro program.

For more information on MarketHack and to enroll in the class, please visit http://www.theideacenter.co/markethack

 

January 11, 2016

Startups can now benefit from the R&D tax credit

Guay.Louis-Oliver_2014By Louis Guay

Startups, welcome to the R&D tax credit party.

The days of the R&D tax credit’s temporary and retroactive extensions are finally over. Thirty-five years after its original introduction as a temporary provision of the tax code, the federal R&D tax credit was made permanent by The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (“PATH” Act) last month.

In addition, the PATH Act includes two new provisions that will make it easier for startups as well as small and medium-sized businesses to immediately benefit from the lucrative R&D tax credit. These two modifications to the credit are effective for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2015.

Immediate value for startups

The first significant R&D tax provision introduced by the PATH Act will have a major impact on emerging and early-stage startups.

Historically, these startups that have yet to generate enough income to have a federal income tax liability could not get any immediate value from the R&D credit. They had to carry forward the credit in hope of applying it against a future income tax liability.

Starting in 2016, eligible startups with less than $5 million in gross receipts will now be able to use their R&D tax credit (capped at up to $250,000) to offset payroll taxes, generating immediate value.

AMT turnoff

The second key provision removes one of the biggest limitations that had prevented certain small and medium-sized businesses from capturing the credit in the past.

The PATH Act will allow eligible businesses with $50 million and less in gross receipts (based on a three-year average) to apply the R&D tax credit against the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). This is huge news for shareholders of qualifying pass-through entities (e.g., S corporations and partnerships) who have an AMT liability.

Act now

A common misconception about the R&D credit is that only large companies are eligible and that it’s too complicated to qualify. However, with the two major barriers discussed above mitigated or eliminated entirely, startups as well as small and medium-sized companies have an unprecedented opportunity to benefit from this valuable credit – and they need to start planning now.

Even with the changes, this credit remains one of the most challenging provisions of the tax code; therefore it’s critical for businesses to establish appropriate tracking mechanisms and documentation strategies for their research and development activities. A tax professional with R&D tax credit expertise can assist businesses with qualifying for and claiming the credit. Act now to take advantage of this new opportunity.

Louis Guay is a tax manager in Kaufman Rossin’s Boca Raton, Florida, office, where he specializes in assisting taxpayers with R&D tax incentives. Kaufman Rossin is one of the Top 100 CPA firms in the U.S. Louis can be reached at lguay@kaufmanrossin.com.

January 07, 2016

Babson College to launch Women Innovating Now Lab in Miami this year, with Knight support

WIN Lab_2015-2016 Cohort (4)

Babson College's WIN Lab, an accelerator program for women entrepreneurs, will be coming to Miami this year. This is the current WIN Lab cohort in Boston. 

 

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

The typical startup accelerator is technology-focused and the company founders it helps are overwhelmingly male. A Babson College program wants to change that.

Babson’s Women Innovating Now Lab, known as the WIN Lab, is designed to help women entrepreneurs launch successful businesses. The accelerator-like program offers training sessions and connects women entrepreneurs to a wide range of experts for guidance. It also provides access to strategic networks and co-working space so participants can build and expand their ventures.

The WIN Lab will receive $800,000 in support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as part of a three-year grant to launch WIN Lab in Miami. The first cohort will begin this fall.

Babson, well known for its acclaimed business and entrepreneurship programs, is no stranger to South Florida. The WIN Lab in Miami is part of the college’s growing presence in the region, which includes one of the university’s most active alumni networks with 1,300 Miami-based alums, an advisory role at The Idea Center at Miami Dade College and its connection to Miami Dade College as the academic architect of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. This will be the first WIN Lab outside of Boston, and the organization is planning to expand to other cities.

The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership at Babson launched the WIN Lab in Boston in October 2013. It has been designated as one of the top two “specialty” programs for Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship; earned BostInno’s designation as one of Boston’s “50 on Fire” innovators and visionaries; and was honored by the prestigious Rosoff Awards for diversity.

Susan Duffy, executive director at the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership, said she and her co-founder, Heatherjean MacNeil, both entrepreneurs, believed  it was time to disrupt the accelerator model. They saw  gender imbalance even in Babson's own entrepreneurship programs.

"Accelerators around the country have less than 13 percent women, and Babson was courageous enough to say we can do more," said Duffy in a phone interview. "It is really important to begin to tap into the entrepreneurial potential of both men and women. When it comes to venture acceleration, one size doesn't fit all."

Duffy said that Miami ranks in the top five metro areas for its high rate of women-owned businesses but also ranks in the bottom five metro areas when it comes to women entrepreneurs' economic clout, a measure that combines the number of women-owned businesses, their revenues and employment numbers. "Women-owned businesses in Miami are not scaling up. Some would look at that as a problem, we look at that as an opportunity."

In addition to being for females, Duffy said the WIN Lab will be different from other accelerators in that it will be sector agnostic rather than focused solely on tech and it will be an eight-month program instead of  compressed into three months. WIN Lab will be focused on building competent confident CEOs with programing full of female role models as well as coaches and experts of both genders, she said.

Since launching WIN Lab in Boston, Babson has seen dramatically increased female participation in its rocket pitch contests, its Beta competitions and its summer venture programs. “We have the numbers to prove that what we are doing is having an impact,” said Duffy. “It changes the understanding of what is possible.”

Babson presidentBabson President Kerry Healey and Matt Haggman, the Knight Foundation's Miami program director, announced the launch of WIN LAB in Miami Thursday at a Babson College event hosted at MBAF in downtown Miami. "This is a first-of-its-kind program designed by women entrepreneurs to support women entrepreneurs," said Healey at the event. "We're honored to be a part of the [Knight] Foundation's mission here ... to make Miami a place where ideas are built."

Never has there been a time when entrepreneurs can solve such big important problems as now, said Haggman. In creating an ecosystem, he said, "this really has be about all of Miami. WIN Lab is the next step in this ... We can't wait to see the impact this will create."

Babson anticipates kicking off its Miami launch with a community event in March and then recruiting 20 WIN Lab Miami participants for the first cohort. Entrepreneurs will mostly be in the beta stage with their companies, but some strong candidates in the ideation stage may be accepted. The WIN Lab, which will be free for participants, is expected to officially launch in the fall. In the coming weeks, Babson will hire a director to head the program in Miami, secure a location for the WIN Lab and establish a regional advisory board comprised of local investors, women entrepreneurs, experts and coaches.

Over the past 3 1/2 years, Knight has committed about $20 million to more than 165 projects in entrepreneurship in South Florida and has been increasing its investments in programs such as Babson’s that aim to accelerate diversity. For more information about WIN Lab, visit babson.edu/WINLab.

Nancy Dahlberg; 305-376-3595; @ndahlberg

December 18, 2015

With Knight funding, PowerMoves entrepreneurship program to launch in Miami

PowerMoves

Miami Beach entrepreneur Dawn Dickson, CEO of Flat Out of Heels, won a PowerMoves pitch competition earlier this year. Pitch contests are one of the programs that PowerMoves will bring to Miami.

 

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

While black and Hispanic students earn nearly 20 percent of computer science degrees, they make up only 9 percent of the technology industry and less than 1 percent of technology company founders.

PowerMoves, a national initiative to increase the number of venture-backed, high-growth companies led by entrepreneurs of color, aims to help close that gap. The organization will open an office and program in Miami, with a $1.2 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

“Diversity is our greatest asset and differentiator and it’s our competitive advantage in Miami. As we continue to build Miami’s startup community and create more on-ramps into this rapidly growing community, we see PowerMoves as another important and impactful way to do that,” said Matt Haggman, Knight Foundation program director for Miami.

PowerMoves began in 2014 as a hyper-local program to position New Orleans as a hub for entrepreneurs of color. Since then, it has rapidly grown, offering education, mentorship and investment opportunities. It has helped 100 companies nationwide secure more than $27 million in capital commitments.

Miami will be the first city outside of New Orleans to host a PowerMoves office and year-round programming including pitch competitions, bootcamps and fellowship programs.

Earl RobinsonEarl Robinson, CEO of PowerMoves, said his goal in Miami is to help make the entrepreneurial ecosystem broadly inclusive, particularly for African-American, Afro-Caribbean historically under-represented startup entrepreneurs. “We want to give under-represented entrepreneurs the support they need in a nurturing way but also be a portal and plug them into the incredibly deep existing resources in Miami,” said Robinson, an entrepreneur with a background in the private equity industry.

 

Leveraging Miami’s diversity and increasing inclusion is also one of Knight’s key goals and there is more work to do, Haggman said. Knight’s efforts in this area kicked off with a $2.18 million commitment a year ago that opened the Idea Center entrepreneurship hub at Miami Dade College, America’s largest and most diverse college campus. Other efforts have included Knight support of Black Tech Week, Digital Grass, Code Fever, LaunchCode and Girls Who Code, as well as a scholarship program at Wyncode coding school. Noting the well-documented lack of diversity in Silicon Valley, “as we are building from the ground up in Miami, diversity and inclusion need to be a key part from the beginning,” Haggman said.

The new office will be led by Janelle Alexander, who has been an outstanding PowerMoves Entrepreneur in Residence in New Orleans, was a Goldman Sachs executive and has Caribbean family roots, Robinson said. She and her team, including entrepreneurs-in-residence and mentors, will help local entrepreneurs refine business models and market strategies and connect them with advisors and capital to launch and scale their businesses. The office will be in a co-working center, Robinson said, but the particular space has not been selected yet.

Janelle“I’m a true believer in the mission – I have a passion for early-stage companies and for inclusive innovation,” said Alexander, who also said she has always been a huge fan of Miami. In addition to running the programs, she plans to be on the lookout for outstanding companies. “My biggest worry is not that we can’t help them, it’s that there is a great entrepreneur of color out there who I don’t know about and I am not helping.”

PowerMoves Miami will host monthly meetups across the city open to the public. In addition, PowerMoves will hold bootcamps with six weeks of virtual classroom participation, three days of intensive in-person classroom development and a demo day. PowerMoves will also hold pitch contests for seed- and Series A-round companies. From those programs, six high-growth entrepreneurs will be selected to participate in a yearlong PowerMoves Miami Fellowship, Robinson said. The fellowship includes free rent at a co-working space; “Startup 201” education, part of which will be open to a broader population; mentoring; and access to investment capital and in-kind legal, marketing and financial services.

PowerMoves Miami will launch on Feb. 15 in conjunction with Black Tech Week, from Feb. 15-20, for which Knight is the founding sponsor. For more information about the organization: powermovesnola.org.

Over the past three years, Knight has committed nearly $20 million to more than 165 projects in entrepreneurship in South Florida.

Nancy Dahlberg; 305-376-3595; @ndahlberg

December 10, 2015

Miami area ranks No. 6 in nation for small business activity

Babyktan
Miami-based small business Baby K’tan participated in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program at Miami Dade College. Baby K’tan team members, from left: Robert Rincon, Michal Chesal, Isaac Wernick, Abby Schochet and Jamie Cohn, with dolls wrapped in Baby K’tan carriers. CHARLES TRAINOR JR. ctrainor@miamiherald.com 

 

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

The Miami-Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area ranked number six in the nation for small business activity in a new report released Thursday by the Kauffman Foundation. But the report also showed the region’s businesses are getting smaller, and nearly two-thirds have fewer than five employees.

Nationally, small business activity is on the rise in 49 of the 50 U.S. states, including Florida, and 38 of the top 40 largest metropolitan areas this year, according to the  2015 Kauffman Index: Main Street Entrepreneurship. The Kauffman Foundation, a national nonprofit, researches and supports entrepreneurship.

“Following a post-recession downward and stagnant trend in small business activity, we’re now seeing Main Street Entrepreneurship begin to rise,” said E.J. Reedy, director in Research and Policy at the Kauffman Foundation. “This obviously is good news given that these small businesses make up 63 percent of all employer firms nationally.”

In South Florida, small businesses make up roughly 90 percent of the economy by many measures. The new Main Street Entrepreneurship Index is an indicator of small business activity, focusing on established small businesses and trends in ownership rates. The Index measures the rate of business owners in the economy, as defined by the percentage of adults owning a business in a given month, and established small business density, as defined by the ratio of established small employer businesses compared to population.  

The top five metropolitan areas for small business activity as measured by the index were New York, Boston, Providence, RI, San Francisco and Portland, OR.

The Miami area came in at number 6, the same rank as 2014, but ranked high in several measures, including No. 1 in the rate of business owners, with nearly 8,690 business owners for every 100,000 adults. By contrast, the lowest rate was 3,810 business owners in the Cincinnati metropolitan area.

Established Small Business Density, a key component of the Index that measures the number of small businesses per 100,000 people in an area, ranged from a low of 560 established small businesses per 100,000 people in Riverside, Calif., to a high of 1,267 established small businesses per 100,000 people in New York. Miami’s ranking was high, about 1,099 per 100,000 people.  

The report also showed owner demographic trends in states and metro areas, broken out by gender, age, nativity, race and education. Miami came up in the top five of two lists: Metro areas with the highest rates of older adult business owners (ages 55-64); and the areas with the highest rates of young adult business owners (ages 20-34).

Another interesting trend was a look at the makeup of small businesses – defined in this study as at least five years old and having 1 to 49 employees -- and the changes over time. In 1996, 52.1 percent of the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area’s businesses had 1 to 4 employees, while 9.1 percent had 20 to 49. In 2012, the latest year of available census data: 63.7 percent had 1 to 4 employees and 6.1 percent had 20 to 49. Organizations such as Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at Miami Dade College are focused on helping small businesses develop a strategy for scaling up by providing education, access to resources including capital and a support network.

Among states, Florida ranked 10th, up one since last year’s ranking and brought up by Miami’s strong ranking (Tampa-St Petersburg was 21st and Orlando was 26th). Florida also showed up atop the top five in youngest and oldest adult business owners.

“This index provides a baseline for metro and state leaders to gauge the number and density of small businesses and the rate of ownership over time – including a first-ever look at trends by demographic groups,” said Josh Russell, senior research assistant in Research and Policy at the Kauffman Foundation. The report is available at www.kauffmanindex.org.

The Kauffman Index: Main Street Entrepreneurship is the second report to be released this year under the umbrella of the Index of Entrepreneurship; the first report, in June, was the Kauffman Index: Startup Activity, in which Miami ranked No. 2 in the nation. In a future index, Kauffman plans to include measurements of entrepreneurial growth, success rates and venture capital activity. 

Nancy Dahlberg; 305-376-3595; @ndahlberg

 

Miami area ranks No. 6 in nation for small business activity

Babyktan
Miami-based small business Baby K’tan participated in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program at Miami Dade College. Baby K’tan team members, from left: Robert Rincon, Michal Chesal, Isaac Wernick, Abby Schochet and Jamie Cohn, with dolls wrapped in Baby K’tan carriers. CHARLES TRAINOR JR. ctrainor@miamiherald.com 

 

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

The Miami-Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area ranked number six in the nation for small business activity in a new report released Thursday by the Kauffman Foundation. But the report also showed the region’s businesses are getting smaller, and nearly two-thirds have fewer than five employees.

Nationally, small business activity is on the rise in 49 of the 50 U.S. states, including Florida, and 38 of the top 40 largest metropolitan areas this year, according to the  2015 Kauffman Index: Main Street Entrepreneurship. The Kauffman Foundation, a national nonprofit, researches and supports entrepreneurship.

“Following a post-recession downward and stagnant trend in small business activity, we’re now seeing Main Street Entrepreneurship begin to rise,” said E.J. Reedy, director in Research and Policy at the Kauffman Foundation. “This obviously is good news given that these small businesses make up 63 percent of all employer firms nationally.”

In South Florida, small businesses make up roughly 90 percent of the economy by many measures. The new Main Street Entrepreneurship Index is an indicator of small business activity, focusing on established small businesses and trends in ownership rates. The Index measures the rate of business owners in the economy, as defined by the percentage of adults owning a business in a given month, and established small business density, as defined by the ratio of established small employer businesses compared to population.  

The top five metropolitan areas for small business activity as measured by the index were New York, Boston, Providence, RI, San Francisco and Portland, OR.

The Miami area came in at number 6, the same rank as 2014, but ranked high in several measures, including No. 1 in the rate of business owners, with nearly 8,690 business owners for every 100,000 adults. By contrast, the lowest rate was 3,810 business owners in the Cincinnati metropolitan area.

Established Small Business Density, a key component of the Index that measures the number of small businesses per 100,000 people in an area, ranged from a low of 560 established small businesses per 100,000 people in Riverside, Calif., to a high of 1,267 established small businesses per 100,000 people in New York. Miami’s ranking was high, about 1,099 per 100,000 people.  

The report also showed owner demographic trends in states and metro areas, broken out by gender, age, nativity, race and education. Miami came up in the top five of two lists: Metro areas with the highest rates of older adult business owners (ages 55-64); and the areas with the highest rates of young adult business owners (ages 20-34).

Another interesting trend was a look at the makeup of small businesses – defined in this study as at least five years old and having 1 to 49 employees -- and the changes over time. In 1996, 52.1 percent of the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area’s businesses had 1 to 4 employees, while 9.1 percent had 20 to 49. In 2012, the latest year of available census data: 63.7 percent had 1 to 4 employees and 6.1 percent had 20 to 49. Organizations such as Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at Miami Dade College are focused on helping small businesses develop a strategy for scaling up by providing education, access to resources including capital and a support network.

Among states, Florida ranked 10th, up one since last year’s ranking and brought up by Miami’s strong ranking (Tampa-St Petersburg was 21st and Orlando was 26th). Florida also showed up atop the top five in youngest and oldest adult business owners.

“This index provides a baseline for metro and state leaders to gauge the number and density of small businesses and the rate of ownership over time – including a first-ever look at trends by demographic groups,” said Josh Russell, senior research assistant in Research and Policy at the Kauffman Foundation. The report is available at www.kauffmanindex.org.

The Kauffman Index: Main Street Entrepreneurship is the second report to be released this year under the umbrella of the Index of Entrepreneurship; the first report, in June, was the Kauffman Index: Startup Activity, in which Miami ranked No. 2 in the nation. In a future index, Kauffman plans to include measurements of entrepreneurial growth, success rates and venture capital activity. 

Nancy Dahlberg; 305-376-3595; @ndahlberg