September 27, 2016

How to get a hot tech job? Miami Dade College offering big data degree

Bigdata2

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

Data scientist, data analyst, data architect, business intelligence analyst – the job titles vary but companies can’t seem to get enough of them in this hot tech sector.

What’s more, these data analysts that prepare and analyze large data sets are garnering average salaries exceeding $100,000, several recent national salary surveys show. Yet, companies say workers lack the skills for the abundant opportunities in both public and private sectors, including healthcare, finance, manufacturing, energy, education, logistics and construction.

To help fill that gap, Miami Dade College’s School of Engineering and Technology on the Wolfson campus plans to launch a new big data program in spring 2017, becoming the first educational institution in Florida to offer an undergraduate degree in data analytics. The program was recently approved by the State of Florida.

“Data science and analytics has been identified as a field where the shortfall in the workforce will be in the hundreds of thousands,” said Djuradj Babic, director of MDC’s School of Engineering and Technology, citing a McKinsey & Co. report that forecast nearly 200,000 vacancies nationwide in the field by 2018. “The effect of this gap in related fields such as information technology and cybersecurity will be threefold.” 

The program will begin with a College Credit Certificate in Business Intelligence, progress to an Associate in Science in Business Intelligence, and culminate in a Bachelor of Science in Data Analytics. “As we researched nationwide, we found that degrees were only being offered at the graduate or post-graduate level. Our undergraduate pathway is a model that can be replicated and applied nationwide,” Babic said. 

 Industry partners include NextEra Energy, Siemens Energy, the Business Higher Education Forum, Oracle, SAS, Accenture, Miami-Dade County, Miami Children’s Hospital and Miami-Dade County Public Schools, MDC said. For more information on the program, visit http://entec.mdc.edu/BS-DA.htm.

[Read more: Tech talent in South Florida: Making progress?

MDC's Idea Center, Tel Aviv University hosting daylong CyberMiami tech conference

 The Idea Center at Miami Dade College (MDC), in collaboration with Tel Aviv University, will host CyberMiami, a one-day technology conference featuring cybersecurity experts from business, education, and intelligence fields on Thursday, Sept. 29, at 9 a.m. at MDC's Wolfson Campus in downtown Miami.

The conference will connect the business ecosystem of the Latin American market with top entrepreneurs from the U.S. and Israel, where there are currently more than 400 cybersecurity companies in operation.

“We live in an increasingly risky world, from private information, personal banking and government infrastructure,” said Leandro Finol, executive director of the Idea Center.  “Cyber risk should be at the top of the agenda of both executives and the general public.  CyberMiami is a forum where we are bringing top cybersecurity leaders to discuss the most relevant issues of today and tomorrow.”

Attendees at CyberMiami will learn from cybersecurity industry leaders about defending and protecting their organization against imminent cyber-attacks in order to prevent data breaches. The conference will include discussions about cyber threats as well as an exhibition of cybersecurity technologies.

The lineup of guest speakers at CyberMiami includes: Hadar Blutrich, CEO of Source Defence; Inon Elroy, Economic Minister of North America; Sam Friedman, director of sales of Cyberbit; David Gladshtein, director of business at Minerva Labs; Avital Grushcovski, V.P Product of Source Defence; Yasmin Hami, business development manager of Votiro; Greg Lenox director of sales of Secdo; Derek Schwartz, CEO North America of Safe-T; and Shay Zandani, CEO of Cytegic.

To register or for more information, please visit http://cyberweekmiami.com.

 WHAT:            The Idea Center @MDC to Host CyberMiami

WHEN:            Thursday, Sept. 29, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

WHERE:         The Idea Center @MDC, Building 8, 1st Floor, 315 N.E. Second Ave.

COST: $150

- Submitted by Miami Dade College

September 25, 2016

Entrepreneurship Datebook: Events, workshops in South Florida

The State of Miami's Tech Hub: Jurnid Sessions presents part III of this series, with investors Estaban Reyes and Mark Kingdon, and entrepreneurs Gabriela Sabate and Ric Herrero, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept 27, Miami Ad School, 571 NW 28th St. More info on Eventbrite.   

Tech egg

Hispanic Unity of Florida's Entrepreneur Summit: Successful entrepreneurs, business experts, educational institutions and marketing gurus will share their insights and best tips for success at this free summit, 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesdday, Sept. 28, Nova Southeastern University,  Carl DeSantis Building, Fort Lauderdale. More information: www.Hufesummit.org

The Innovation M Conference: Three-day-long mix of inspiring entrepreneurs, educators and innovators that will be held Wednesday through Friday, Sept. 28-30, at The Idea Center at Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus in downtown Miami. Each day’s event kicks in at 5:30 p.m.; Peter Blacker, executive vice president of digital media and emerging businesses at NBCUniversal, is keynote speaker. Free. More information here.

Refresh Miami Demo Day: South Florida startups  AlulA, Bid.Aero, Citizen, Coach HQ, DocuVital and Moulin.io were selected to pitch for prizes that will  propel their  business forward, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, Miami Dade College, Chapman Conference Center (Building 3, 2nd Floor, Room 3210). More info here or refreshmiami.com.

LaunchCode's HappyHire: Are you an aspiring technologist looking to start your career in software development? A CTO on the hunt for rockstar coders? Come join us for LaunchCode's HappyHire. Employers including MasterCard, LifeWallet and others will be on hand, 6 p.m.-8 p.m, Thursday, Sept. 29,  Venture Cafe Miami, 1951 NW 7th Ave., Miami. More info: happyhire.eventbrite.com

Have an event you would like considered for Entrepreneurship Datebook? Email it to ndahlberg@miamiherald.com. Want to see a more comprehensive listing? Check out the Community Events section of the revamped refreshmiami.com.

September 23, 2016

Spotlight: Rising Tide Car Wash makes waves in social impact

Risingtide
From left, Andrew D’Eri, Donna D’Eri, John D’Eri, Tom D’Eri and Rajiv Chandrasekaran, celebrate ‘Employing the Full Spectrum,’ part of Starbucks’ new ‘Upstanders’ series.

This social entrepreneurial company focuses on employing adults with autism. 

Name: Rising Tide Car Wash

Location: 7201 N. State Road 7, Parkland

What it is: A car wash with a focus on employing adults with autism. 

Website: risingtidecarwash.com

Services provided: Washes, some cleaning services. Prices start at $6 for a simple, basic wash of the exterior and use of a free vacuum. 

How it began: An existing car wash was purchased and renovated in 2012, and then launched as Rising Tide in April 2013 in Parkland. The business gives job opportunities to people with autism. When John and his son Tom D’Eri learned that 80 to 90 percent of adults with autism are unemployed, they set out to change that statistic. The D’Eris researched options and determined a car wash would be the ideal business for creating jobs for people with autism, like Tom’s brother Andrew, who likes structure and performing repetitive tasks and follows safety guidelines to the letter. 

Management team: John D’Eri, CEO; Tom D’Eri, co-founder and COO; Tom Sena, CFO. Dr. Michael Alessandri, executive director of the University of Miami-Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, is an advisor.

Number of employees: 42, with 35 on the autism spectrum. 

Competitors: Others are in the area including Express Car Wash in Boca Raton and Sample Road Auto Spa in Pompano Beach.

Year-over-year: Six months after it started its car-wash operation, the business had tripled its customer base of 35,000 to 40,000 and had its first profitable month in October 2013. In its first full year, Rising Tide did about 110,000 car washes. In its second year, it did 142,000. For its third year, the company projects 160,000 to 170,000 washes. 

Milestone: 

September 2016: Starbucks is highlighting the business in one of 10 videos “about ordinary people doing extraordinary things to create positive change in their communities,” as it says in a news release. The “Upstanders” series, as it’s called, is available through the coffee chain’s mobile app, website (Starbucks.com/Upstanders) and its YouTube account. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and Rajiv Chandrasekaran, senior vice president of public affairs at Starbucks and the executive producer of the company’s social impact media initiatives, wrote and produced the series. Shot over two days in August, the six-minute video entitled “Employing the Full Spectrum” shows Andrew D’Eri drying cars and polishing tires with fellow employees at Rising Tide as well as scenes from D’Eri’s family’s home life in Fort Lauderdale. John and Tom D’Eri also are in the video.

Watch video below:

Upcoming: A second location in Margate is planned, with groundbreaking expected in the next two weeks. It’s projected to be completely built in about six months, with a spring opening. The new car wash  will be on 1.5 acres at 2970 N. State Road 7 that were purchased for $1.5 million and will be about one and a half times larger than the one in Parkland. It will cost about $3.4 million to get  it up and running. More than 50 people will work at the Margate location. 

Major keys to success: “You can’t do this without dedicated employees,” John D’Eri said. He cites “the dedication of all his employees, their willingness to follow proper protocol, their desire to deliver value, the fact that they treat clients with respect, value their position in the company and create a culture of acceptance” for the success of Rising Tide.

Strategy for success: John D’Eri said the company plans to replicate the success of the business locally, regionally and then nationally with a hub-and-spoke concept with the Parkland operation as a hub. In addition, he said, the company plans to analyze and use the knowledge gained to produce a superior product and delve into other businesses, using best practices as they relate to people on the autism spectrum — “the autism advantage,” he calls it.

RORY CLARKE

 

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To see all Startup Spotlights, go to the Startup Spotlight category of this blog.

 

MDC’s Idea Center, NBCUniversal and Telemundo to present free Innovation M Conference next week

The Idea Center at Miami Dade College  is partnering with NBCUniversal and Telemundo to present the first ever Innovation M Conference, a three-day event from Sept. 28 – 30, featuring an extraordinary mix of inspiring entrepreneurs, educators and innovators.

Innovation M will explore a new America. This groundbreaking initiative will include experiential learning, inspiring talks and wrap-up with a thrilling community challenge. Sessions will discuss leadership, media and social innovation in the millennial age, among other topics.

Guest speakers will include Peter Blacker, EVP digital media and emerging businesses at NBCUniversal; Durell Coleman, founder and CEO of DC Design; Dr. Constance Iloh, assistant professor at UC Irvine; Zivthan Dubrovsky, platform lead at Bioinspired Robotics; Reny Dias Arango, VP insights and consumer intel at NBCUniversal; Lisa Atia, creative brand strategist at Blavity; Nuria Santamaria Wolfe, digital media and tech strategy at Twitter; Vanessa Hauc, Telemundo correspondent; Francesca Kennedy, founder and CEO of lx Style; and Christine Souffrant, Venededy founder. 

"The generation that created Facebook, Uber, Change.org, and countless other disruptive platforms are poised to reshape politics and government in the United States and abroad, said Leandro Finol, the Idea Center’s executive director. “We are thrilled to partner with NBC Universal and Telemundo to host this extraordinary Conference."

Get free tickets to this event at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/innovation-m-conference-join-3-days-of-innovation-tickets-27155776659?mc_eid=ce9c4e6266&mc_cid=0013f1416a.  

For more information, visit www.theideacenter.co.  

WHAT:        Innovation M Conference

WHEN:        Wednesday – Friday, Sept. 28 – 30, various times  

WHERE:     MDC’s Wolfson Campus, Building 8, 5th floor,  315 N.E. Second Ave. 

- Submitted by Miami Dade College

For small businesses stung by Zika, here's help

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

Small businesses who suffered business losses due to being in the Wynwood “Zika zone” may be eligible for a loan program.

Miami Bayside Foundation, an economic development nonprofit, will be extending loans of up to $20,000 to minority- and woman-owned businesses in the city of Miami that can demonstrate their business has been adversely affected by the Zika vrus.

The new Zika Emergency Assistance Loan Program, or ZEAL, part of the Miami Bayside Foundation’s micro-loan program, is designed to specifically provide assistance with payroll expenses in order to ensure job retention in what was previously designated “Zika Zone.” The loans are for two years at 6 percent and the only fees are $100 for pulling credit and closing costs, said Kathleen Murphy, the foundation’s executive director.

The Zika zone designation was lifted by Gov. Rick Scott on Monday, but businesses are still feeling the impact, said Murphy. "We know local small businesses are struggling to recover until the season kicks in and our number one priority is to help them stay open and ensure they are able to pay their employees."

For more information on loan criteria and to apply, visit www.miamibaysidefoundation.org.

September 22, 2016

Endeavor Miami honors Goldman Properties CEO for vision, leadership

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

JessicaEndeavor Miami will honor Jessica Goldman Srebnick, a serial entrepreneur who has played a major role in the development of Miami’s burgeoning Wynwood Arts District, including the expansion of the Wynwood Walls, an international attraction.

Because of her vision and leadership, Goldman Srebnick, CEO of Goldman Properties and co-founder and CEO of Goldman Global Arts, will receive Endeavor’s IMPACT Award at Endeavor Miami’s third annual gala next month, said Laura Maydon, managing director of Endeavor Miami, a non-profit that supports and accelerates high-impact entrepreneurs in South Florida.

Since 2012, Goldman Srebnick has been at the helm of Goldman Properties, an award-winning real estate and development company credited with revitalizing the Wynwood neighborhood. Founded in 1968, previously Goldman Properties spearheaded revitalizations of at-risk pedestrian neighborhoods in New York and Philadelphia.

“Each neighborhood has its own DNA and soul,” said Goldman Srebnick. “We use different forms of art to accentuate that soul and make the neighborhood more accessible and inviting to the public.”

This week, Goldman Srebnick announced the renovation of Miami’s new Hard Rock Stadium with giant street art murals through its newest company, Goldman Global Arts. Goldman Global Arts is dedicated to major art projects.

Miami is the perfect ecosystem to try new things, said Goldman Srebnick. “We are a transformational and aspirational city, one that has matured to the true international destination that still has room for growth an exploration. Together we should have a goal of making Miami the perfect case study for what happens when entrepreneurial spirit is set free.”

The event will celebrate the high-impact entrepreneurship movement in Miami, uniting more than 350 business leaders, entrepreneurs and investors. Endeavor Miami is the first U.S. affiliate of Endeavor, a global nonprofit dedicated to accelerating entrepreneurship. With the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Endeavor Miami launched in 2013, and since then,15 South Florida companies – most recently Pincho Factory – have been accepted into Endeavor’s global network of business leaders, mentors and investors.

Last year, Jim McKelvey, co-founder of Square and founder of LaunchCode, and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, co-founder of Gilt and GLAMSQUAD, were honored.

The Endeavor Miami 2016 Gala will be Saturday, Oct. 22, from 7 p.m. to midnight at Wynwood’s Soho Studios. Tickets: www.endeavormiami.org. Proceeds support Endeavor Miami.

September 19, 2016

MealPass rebrands as MealPal, unveils 'Pal' feature, launches in Chicago, DC


By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

Screenshot 1 (1)When subscription lunch service MealPass launched in Miami in January, and over the next few months in three other cities, it was all about offering customers lots of lunch choices from a curated list of local restaurants. Turns out, maybe it was too many choices for some customers. 

"One of the pieces of feedback we kept getting was that it was getting increasingly difficult to select what you wanted to have for lunch because there were so many choices on the site ... We needed to make it easier," said Mary Biggins, who co-founded the company with Katie Ghelli. 

So MealPass today re-brands as MealPal, and introduces "Pal," a smart bot that uses artificial intelligence to make reserving lunch easier and more personalized. "Pal will know if you like big lunches or small lunches, if you like cheese, if you like meat or are a vegetarian, if you likes beets, etc, so it can make really good recommendations to you," Biggins said.

MealPal is an app and browser-based subscription service that offers members access to a wide selection of restaurant-prepared lunch dishes near where they live or work, while providing an efficient way for restaurants to increase revenue during their busiest hour of the day. To use the service,  MealPal subscription members visit the website or mobile app to browse the daily menu, reserve a meal by 9:30 a.m., choose a pickup time and skip the line.

In conjunction with the rebranding, MealPal also launches in Chicago and Washington, DC, today with more than 50 restaurants in each city. The fast-growing Miami-based venture-backed startup now with 22 employees followed its launch in the Brickell area with Boston in February, New York in April and San Francisco in June.  In eight months, members of the service have  now ordered over 500,000 meals from more than 1,000 restaurants. Members can use the service in any of the six cities where it’s now available.

Mealpal_beatsNew York is its biggest market, with 600 restaurants from Central Park to Wall Street, said Biggins, who also co-founded ClassPass. "New York is such a perfect market for us, with the density that works really well."

MealPal's Pal bot will ask consumers a series of questions to understand which ingredients they like and don’t like, so they will only see meal options that will please their palates. Pal will remind users to reserve lunch on any given day if they have forgotten, and will integrate lunch reservations in their calendar.

“Our goal is to eliminate the everyday hassle associated with the lunch hour rush,” said Biggins. “The new personalization features and calendar integration take the platform a step further in easing the lunch hour burden for thousands.”

MealPal in Miami offers 50 restaurants in the downtown-Brickell area and three meal plans: 20 meals per month ($5.19 per meal) for $103.80 per month; 12 meals per month ($5.39 per meal) for $64.68; or 6 meals per month ($5.99 per meal) at $35.94 per month.

"People in Miami tend to eat healthier than in the other markets," said Biggins. "There are more Latin influences -- places with authentic cuisine do very well in Miami."

Read more about Mary Biggins here.

 

 

 

 

Following up on White House pledge, Wyncode releases its graduation, placement rates

  WyncodedayWyncode bootcamps end with pitch days. This one is Pitch Day IX at The LAB Miami. Photo by David Salazar.

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

While Miami's Wyncode Academy has been busy growing its bootcamp business, the coding education startup has also been at the forefront of a national effort to  build a strong -- and transparent -- foundation for its emerging industry.

Last year, in support of the White House and President Obama's TechHire initiative, Wyncode and nine other young coding schools formed a new trade organization called the New Economy Skills Training Association (NESTA). NESTA's purpose is  to establish best practices, standards and increase accountability for claims such as graduation and placement rates for students nationwide who typically plunk down $10,000 to $12,000 or more  to learn to code in under three months. One only has to look at the mess the for-profit college industry is now mired in to know the importance of building in  standards and transparency from the beginning.

Today, Wyncode will release its first independently verified job placement report for 2014 and 2015,  following its commitment made publicly in a letter to  President Obama in March 2015. Wyncode follows New York’s Flatiron School, San Francisco’s Hack Reactor and Austin’s MakerSquare  with its results. (Other bootcamps that have pledged are App Academy, Dev Bootcamp,  General Assembly, Galvanize, Turing School and Hackbright Academy.)

“Wyncode continues to lead the way for transparency in the coding bootcamp industry,” Wyncode co-founder Juha Mikkola said. "This is a major milestone for this type of education, not only in Florida but across the country. We are just the fourth school in the nation to release reviewed outcome results, something that is a major topic in for-profit education."

The findings, verified by accounting firm MBAF, show that  Wyncode's graduation rate is 97 percent and nearly all of its job-seeking graduates found jobs in time. Today, Wyncode is also releasing an interactive web app that allows interested parties, including potential students, to drill down using gender, ethnicity and educational background in order to visualize how students with particular  backgrounds have fared after the program, said Johanna Mikkola, the other half of the co-founding team.

Later today, find the app at http://wyncode.co/studentoutcomes/ and the job placement report at http://wyncode.co/jobs-report/.

Wyncode offers 10-week full-time coding bootcamps in Wynwood and Fort Lauderdale. The program attracts people without a programming background from a variety of careers, including chefs, lawyers, salespeople, accountants, concierges, marketing executives and entrepreneurs, and it focuses on tech skills like Ruby, JavaScript, HTML and CSS and the business skills that startups require to be successful.

Wyncode's report showed that 97 percent of its job-seeking graduates in 2014 and 2015 found work, though some took more than four months; 43 percent were placed in jobs within 30 days of graduation and 77 percent within 90 days. Of those that found work, 73 percent were fulltime jobs; the others were entrepreneurial, internships, apprentices,  part-time or  contract. The percentage of students placed in "technical" roles was 84 percent. The average age of Wyncode graduates is 30.

Here are a few other highlights of Wyncode's report for 2014 and 2015:

 * Straight out of Wyncode, more than 1 in 10 students make over $60,000 per year and 1 in 20 make more than $80,000. The average salary, based on available information from 111 respondents, was $46,200. The majority of graduates stayed in South Florida. 

 * Females graduating from Wyncode have a higher starting salary than males. Females started at an average of $2,000 more, despite the fact the technology industry is male dominated;

 * Wyncode graduates have created 12 startups and counting;

 * Post-Wyncode, students with a high school diploma perform at similar levels to those with advanced degrees and overall placement rates are similar among all ethnicities.

Wyncode Academy is licensed by the Florida Department of Education and has graduated over 300 Wyncoders. About 80 companies have hired Wyncoders and more than 30 companies hiring at least a second Wyncoder. Wyncode's campuses are in the Wynwood Arts District of Miami and Fort Lauderdale’s Flagler Arts and Technology Village, and it is the leading student reviewed in-person program on  Course Report, with over 100 reviews and a 4.7 out of 5 star rating. Current bootcamps cost $11,500.

Wyncode’s next 30-person cohorts, which always end with popular demo nights, begin in Miami on Oct. 3 and Jan. 9 and in Ft. Lauderdale on Oct. 10 and Jan. 17. Apply at wyncode.co.

“Learning to code is the new literacy,” Johanna Mikkola said. “We get a lot of questions if this is really possible after our 10 week course. This is why transparency of outcomes is extremely important to Wyncode, so that prospective students can see the real picture of Wyncode grads after graduation.”

Read more: Learn to code in 10 weeks? Try one day  

September 18, 2016

Why every incubator needs social entrepreneurs

Startupfiucohort1

Photo by Daniela Cadena

By Robert Hacker

In January 2016, Emily Gresham and I began to design the program that became StartUP FIU, Florida International University’s (FIU) new incubator. Emily, who is Assistant Vice President for Research and Economic Development, holds the strong belief that hospitals and universities are the anchor institutions in cities. This philosophy lead to StartUP FIU’s focus on serving the entire community and not just the Brickell-Wynwood corridor. I believe there is much confusion between small business management and entrepreneurship and that Miami would be best served if StartUP FIU supported the entrepreneurship that grows large, scalable ventures. With community and scalable ventures in place as the founding principles, Emily and I quickly added other key principles:

Inclusion We welcome everyone to apply to StartUP FIU, from high schoolers and college students to faculty from any university in South Florida. We welcome retired people, FIU alumni and people with no formal education. We received 160 applications to Cohort 1 and the applications were split almost evenly between students, alumni and the community. As they say, “we bet on the jockeys and not on the horses”.

Free: To be truly inclusive a program cannot have financial barriers to entry. The signature, 13-week incubator program “Empower” is totally free--no application fees, no payments or charges during the program and no equity participation for the incubator. We also provide mentors, consultants, space and university resources at no charge.

Stage Agnostic: When we first started talking to prospective entrepreneurs, we realized that many people did not even know how to advance their ideas beyond their first doodles on a piece of paper. Therefore, we decided that we would accept people who just had ideas, people that had a minimal viable product (MVP) but no revenue and companies with revenue. Applicants did not even have to have a company formed.

General Incubator: We think of StartUP FIU as a startup. We are iterating to determine the best way to serve the South Florida community. Today we accept all types of ideas from food and fashion to edtech, high tech and medical diagnostics. We even have a chair company in Cohort 1. We may experiment with specially “themed cohorts” in the future as we continue to explore what types of entrepreneurship will best serve South Florida, but today we welcome applications from all industries.

Authenticity: When one spends a lot of time with students, one realizes that they are most engaged by hands on, experiential learning. StartUP FIU’s incubator is offered through a group of entrepreneurs that use the customer fieldwork approach in a modified Lean Startup methodology. We do not use the professorial approach so common in most academic incubators. Demo Day at StartUP FIU is a pitch day to angel, seed and “A” round VCs.

The last key decision Emily and I made was to combine traditional and social entrepreneurs in the same cohort. Several institutions have separate incubators for traditional and social entrepreneurs, but we found that perhaps only Y Combinator shares our view that all the entrepreneurs should be combined in one cohort. We opted for this approach in part because we believe that diversity breeds better collaboration.

Secondly, we believe that the social entrepreneurs will help the traditional entrepreneurs to remember their responsibility to not only make a profit but also to improve society.

Lastly, millennials have a high level of genuine social concern. As they reach the years where they become the major purchasers, they will force all entrepreneurs to become social entrepreneurs.

Perhaps the evidence for this view of social entrepreneurship comes from the people and companies that began Cohort 1 Sept. 6 (pictured above). We have a former Detroit schoolteacher trying to provide better information about higher education alternatives to students. We have a team originally from Venezuela working to use bee keeping as a micro-entrepreneurship concept to help poor women raise their standard of living. We have a team composed of about fifteen FIU computer science graduate and undergraduate students from all over the world creating a new pedagogy for early child learning using the agile development methodology. We also have a PhD researcher from Baskin Palmer working on a new approach to eye diagnostics and a team building prosthetics with 3-D printers. As is obvious, the line between social and traditional entrepreneurship is becoming very cloudy.

[Who's in Cohort 1? See the list here.]

StartUP FIU will begin accepting applications Sept. 19, 2016, for its second cohort beginning in January 2017. Applications and more information about StartUP FIU can be found at Startup.FIU.edu.

Robert Hacker is the Director of StartUP FIU and teaches social entrepreneurship at FIU, MIT and UM. He is the former CFO of One Laptop per Child and prior to that built a publicly traded billion-dollar company in seven years in Indonesia. He consults to companies in the U.S., the Caribbean and Central America on growth strategies and complex problems through GH Growth Advisors. His books on entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship are available on Amazon.

READ MORE: Multi-campus StartUP FIU gets ready for takeoff

READ MORE: Q&A with Robert Hacker on scaling social entrepreneurship, finding partners, thinking big

Hacker1

 Above, Bob Hacker introduced the mentors to the StartUP FIU entrepreneurs. At top of post, the first cohort of StartUP FIU.