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39 posts from July 2014

July 31, 2014

Report looks at 6- and 12-month Florida VC data

InternetCoast has crunched the numbers and prepared a 6- and 12-month rolling report on Florida venture capital. According to the report, Florida businesses raised $185 million from venture capitalists in 25 transactions during the first half of 2014, compared to 26 transactions and $189 million 1H 2013. During the twelve months ended June 30, 2014 there were 50 venture capital investment transactions valued at $422 million, compared to 45 transactions and $256 million during the same period in 2013.

The report includes venture capital investments by industry sector, stage of development, and Enterprise Florida region, said Dale Gregory, executive director of InternetCoast, who plans to do these reports after each quarter. The source is the PwC/NVCA MoneyTree™ Report with data provided by Thomson Reuters.

Nationally, 1H 2014 venture capital investments increased 71 percent to $22.7 billion compared to the same period in 2013. During the twelve months ending June 30, 2014 Florida businesses raised $422 million from 50 transactions, a 65 percent increase in dollars raised compared to 2013. Nationally, venture capital investments increased 45 percent during the twelve months ending June 30, 2014.

Florida's "share" of U.S. venture capital investments during the twelve months ending June 30, 2014 was anemic: 1.1 percent compared to 1 percent during the same period in 2013. Florida's share has been in declining for many years, peaking at 3.4 percent in 1997, the report said.

Download the full report here or find it at the InternetCoast "Florida Innovation Highlights" portal at icoast.com.

'You've Built It, Now Launch It!' panel shares tips for success


By Carolina Wilson

Budding entrepreneurs about to begin their businesses gained key insights last week from entrepreneurs who have already made the journey, during a Refresh Miami event titled “You’ve Built It, Now Launch It!” It was part of a startup-focused series Refresh Miami put on this summer culminating in Refresh's Demo Day Aug. 28 at Miami Dade College; there is still time to apply to present or get tickets on RefreshMiami.com.  

A packed house turned out at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science on Thursday for the latest installment in the group’s “summer startup series.” Three panelists provided their takes on missteps to avoid and actions to take that encourage success. They included:

  • * Sari Azout, the founder of New York-based Bib and Tuck, an online platform that allows users to sell clothing items they no longer wear and then use those proceeds to fund their next fashion find.
  • * Dawn Dickson, the founder and CEO of Flat Out of Heels, a Miami-based business that sells easy-to-carry and rollable flat shoes for when a person has passed the breaking point with her high heels.
  • * Igal Aciman, the head of global sales and marketing for Miami-based ParkJockey, a mobile app that allows users to find and reserve parking ahead of time.

Pabla Ayala, co-founder of pFunk media, a South Florida PR and digital communications service, served as moderator. During a broad-ranging discussion, three key questions emerged.

1.    What challenge did you face when launching your product that you perhaps didn’t expect?

“You spend so much time building this startup and it means everything to you. Then you launch and nobody really cares,” Azout said. “So the first 1,000 people are the hardest to get onboard.”

Dickson faced the opposite problem: getting people too excited about her project before she could deliver. She then had to work quickly to get the product out to her impatient customers.

“I think I just jumped the gun by telling everybody about the business,” Dickson said. “I didn’t give myself enough time to develop the product, so I just launched it initially before I should have launched it.”

Just because you understand your product doesn’t mean everybody else does, Aciman said.

“Everybody has a different approach, so that means you have to budget in more time and resources to try and convince people.”  

2.    How did you build buzz around your business before you launched?

“Definitely social media,” Dickson said. “Even if you don’t have a following and you know you’re about to launch, go out there and connect with your customers in advance.”

Spend time collecting contacts, Azout said.

“Make sure you have a launch page where you’re gathering emails. Email marketing is incredibly affective,” Azout said. “One of the advantages of taking so long to build and being able to launch a product is that you have time to build the right relationships.”

Aciman said keep your friends close.

“I think you should find a good ally or a few allies,” Aciman said. “Think about what’s the pain point you’re addressing with your product and then who will care about that. There are a bunch of influencers for any product.”

3. What tools do you use every day that you find invaluable?

“Making sure that we’re very organized in terms of outreach is key,” Azout said. Azout uses a platform called Highrise to track outreach to influencers and Pivotal Tracker for project-management tasks. 

Asana, a project-managing tool, is helpful to businesses with team members working from different locations, such as Aciman’s.

“If you’re across different time zones, email becomes a huge problem,” Aciman said. “For us, it was unmanageable.”

Carolina Wilson is an editorial intern for Knight Foundation. This post was cross-posted with permission from Knight.

July 30, 2014

Running a social media contest? Our top five tips.

Echo herald blog supersocial (1)

By Susan Linning

SusanLinning_001 rt2So you want to run a contest on social media??  Isn’t that interesting.  Everyone else wants to do the same thing.  And they want their contest to be way more successful than yours – producing more likes, higher engagement, increased brand recognition and awareness and more…well…sales.

What’s the value of running a Facebook contest? How will a contest help a business market itself? How do I make my contest different?  How do I make it stand out in a sea of rhetoric? 

We hear it over and over. Business owners know the importance of having a solid social media presence, but many are still trying to understand the benefits of running contests.

Review our top five tips, below, and get your brand’s contest to the top of the list, with the highest engagement, traffic and likes/new fans/followers. 

 1.      Choose the Type of Contest that Meets Your Goals

What kind of contest best suits your goals, objectives and target market?

 Sweepstakes  - Anyone can enter by simply by liking your page and/or supplying their email address.  These contests quickly build likes and your email distribution list (marketing’s holy grail). They also provide a huge boost to brand awareness. Prize is critical.

Vote Contests - Get consumer feedback. Let your fans/followers choose your next product tag line, product offering, logo, t-shirt design or just enjoy the increased engagement with fans voting on a fun idea. 

Photo Caption Contests - Ask entrants to caption an image you choose. This is a simple, engaging way to get people talking and sharing your photo and it also increases brand awareness and page likes. 

Essay Contests - Get specific feedback on your products and/or services.  Require entrants to write a few words on a topic you choose (i.e. Why would your mother love spending Mother’s Day at “Her Favorite Beauty Bar”?).  This provides a better understanding of why clients come to your spa/salon, what they value, etc.  Prize is critical, as the entry method is more complicated and time consuming. 

Photo Contests – Increase user generated content by asking entrants to submit a photo of themselves using/wearing/trying your product, or before/after images of the use of your product/service.  The entries to this contest can later be used for blog material, website information, etc.

 2.     Contest Prize is Often Key

The contest prize often determines the contest’s success.  Most people will first determine if the prize merits the time and energy required for entry.  If you have a high-value prize (over about $300), the more you can require from contest participants.  If your prize is lower-value ($50 - $300), the contest requirements must be simple and entry must be easy.

If your prize is on the less expensive end, it is wise to have the contest run over the short-term (no more than two weeks).  For a high-value prize, your contest can run for weeks and even months.  

It’s beneficial to your business and brand to make your prize brand-related.  That means giving away gift cards for your products or services.  And while the retail value of the prize might be $500, the cost to you is obviously far less. This isn’t true for those contest prizes that are third party purchases (iPad, AMEX gift card, air travel, etc.).

3.     Make Contest Entry Simple

Complicated entry process = guaranteed fewer participants.  Make your contest stupid-proof.  Advice you can take to the bank:  most people are impatient and don’t want to spend much time thinking about your contest.  Dumb down the contest entry to make it achievable for a kindergartner.  ;)

 4.     Promote the Contest

Spread the word about your contest. Use Facebook promoted posts, FB ads and ask fans/followers to share the contest on their personal pages.  Add a contest promo banner/cover image on FB, TW and G+ pages.  Cross promote the contest on all social media platforms, websites and through dedicated email blasts.  Create a unique hashtag for your contest (critical for Instagram contests):   #JumpingJackFlashContest  #BoiseGreatGiveaway

 5.     Post Contest Follow Up

Send an email that includes all entries to those who participate in the contest.  Later, post and email an image of the winning entry or a photo of the prize.  Follow up with posts on all social media platforms showing winner receiving prize or the gift certificate being mailed, etc.  Post teasers for future contests to keep momentum going and fans/followers engaged. 

 Why run a contest anyway, you might ask?  Here, we give you the skinny:

1. Get more fans, followers

2. Increase brand awareness

3. Generate new emails and leads

4. Develop user-generated content (UGC)

5. Crowdsource your product development

6. Impact sales

7. Launch a new product or promote an event

8. Obtain greater insight into your fans’ and followers’ preferences, opinions

9. Drive more traffic to your ecommerce store

10.  Exposure.  Exposure.  Exposure.

Susan Linning is president of ECHO SOCIAL MEDIA + MARKETING of Miami, which develops and executes social media and integrated marketing strategies, creating custom content and maintaining pages on social media platforms. ECHO also provides blogging and copy-writing services.

Search this blog for past columns by Susan Linning.


July 28, 2014

SportsManias secures $3.5 million in Series A funding


About a year after securing $1 million in seed funding, Miami startup SportsManias said it has closed on an additional  $3.5 million in Series A financing to help it scale. SportsManias.com aims to be the diehard sports fan’s source for personalized real-time team news.

SportsMania’s mother-son co-founding team of advertising executive Aymara Del Aguila and Vicente J. Fernandez said  $3 million is from Jorge Mas of Mas Equity Partners, its original backer,  and $500,000 is from a new undisclosed Miami-based private investor.

Fernandez said funding will be used three ways, first to continue to make product improvements, refining the curation to make it even easier for the sports fan to find team news in one place. SportsManias also plans to build partnerships with newspapers across the country and grow its fan base beyond that through various marketing techniques, he said.

SportsManias has an existing partnership with the Miami Herald and is in conversations with other news organizations, Del Aguila said. SportsManias attended the recent Associated Press Sports Editors conference and spoke with sports editors across the country. “Several of the publications have expressed interested and in the next couple of months there should be three or four if not more collaborations with us,” she said. “Our focus this year is to be a digital gateway for the newspapers.”

The startup recently rolled out a revamped version of its free application with a new look and feel, as well as new features including rumor push notifications. “So when the Miami Heat free agency was going on, anytime anyone across all the publications would tweet about where Lebron James may be going, we pushed out a notification to all the users,” said Fernandez. The company also added “head to head feeds,” so if the Marlins are playing the Atlanta Braves, SportsManias offers fans a feed with the Marlins and Braves sources in one place and as well as the box score following the game. “If you are not at the game, you are living that game,” added Del Aguila. “If you are at the game, it is an interesting experience as a second screen because you are getting this professional journalistic analysis as the game is going on.”

SportsManias’ team has grown to a dozen people from four last summer. It has also quadrupled its traffic: The site currently receives 2 million unique visitors monthly, Del Aguila said, and the company expects continued rapid growth through the Herald partnership launched last fall, as well as additional media partnerships. SportsManias launched in October 2012.

This is the second investment Mas Equity Partners has made in SportsManias. Last summer it invested $1 million in the then-bootstrapped company, Mas Equity Partners’ first tech-startup investment.    At the time, Jorge Mas, who is also chairman of the board of the Coral Gables-based infrastructure engineering and construction firm MasTec, said he liked the growth profile of SportsManias and believes Mas Equity Partners can help the team with strategic planning, organizational management and access to capital markets to help take the company to a much larger level.


July 27, 2014

Startup Spotlight: PWRstation


Headquarters: Miami, with offices in Bienne, Switzerland.

Concept: PWRstation develops pre-assembled “plug and play” retractable solar energy delivery systems engineered in Switzerland; built in the United States by Schletter, a global mounting manufacturer headquartered in Germany; and sold primarily through distribution partners to residential, business, military, mobile and off-grid end user sectors in North and Latin America as well as Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

Story: Co-founders Robert Albertella and Ludovic Roche saw an opportunity to “mass manufacture” pre-assembled, fully-integrated solar power delivery systems in a global sector characterized by costly custom installations. For the clean-tech startup, “our vision is to bring simplicity, accessibility and price competitiveness to residential and non-residential solar customers around the world,” said Roche, who has 15 years’ experience in business development and marketing, including as a senior vice president at Blumberg Capital Partners.

Launched: December 2013

Photo (11)Management team: Robert Albertella, co-founder and CEO, EMEA (pictured at left); Ludovic Roche, co-founder and CEO Americas (pictured above); Gianfranco Albertella, head of operations, EMEA; William Berenson, chief marketing officer (pictured above).

No. of employees: 7

Website: pwrstation.com

Financing: PWRstation completed an initial round of financing last year and currently seeking a second round for $2 million to fund operations and growth.

Image002Recent milestones reached: PWRStation has recently finalized a production agreement and finalizing a distribution agreement with Schletter, a leading global solar manufacturer. Recently joined by William Berenson, a highly experienced global marketing and communications professional. PWRstation 3.3 kWp about to complete UL2703 Issue Two Standard certification for U.S. market. Recently featured at the Intersolar Conference in Munich, where PWRStation received accolades and requests for distribution rights in Europe, the Middle East and South Africa. Also exhibited at this month’s Intersolar North America Conference. PWRstations will be available within the next three months in South Africa and surrounding countries, Roche said.

Biggest startup challenge: “As a solar company that has chosen to make its headquarters in Miami, our biggest challenge to date has been to gain the same traction in our state as we have experienced elsewhere, simply because Florida is a state unfriendly to solar,” Roche said.

Next step: Revamping/re-launching brand; Completing second round of financing to ramp up operations and distribution alliances in the U.S. and EMEA.

Strategy for next step: Complete and execute a global promotion with one of the world’s largest NGOs based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Mentor’s view: Kim Perry, an investment banker who works in London and lives in Switzerland, was attracted to PWRstation’s business model and social mission: “In the developed world, there is need for portable devices that can be transported and deployed (and folded up) easily as is the case with PWRStation. Examples include the military, emergency services and situations where severe weather conditions, such as heavy snowfall. Additionally, even for more static environments, the PWRstation device has merit because the installation costs are minimal.

“There are approximately 1.5 billion people in world who are off-grid (not connected to the electric grid). The World Bank has estimated that 70 percent of Africans are off grid and Africa spends about $10.5 billion per year on low-quality fuel based lighting such as kerosene. A PWRstation in every village would provide clean low cost electricity to the neediest and allow, for example, children to read at night and hence progress far more than they otherwise could do,” Perry said. “And PWRstation’s business model is one that allows the company to scale up quickly on a global basis.”

See all past Startup Spotlights under the Startup Spotlight category of this blog. 

Entrepreneurship Datebook


Tech eggCIVIC HACK NIGHT: Join the weekly civic hack sessions in Wynwood, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, July 28, The LAB Miami, 400 NW 26th St. More info: thelabmiami.com (click on events).

1 MILLION CUPS: South Florida startups make a pitch, present their biggest challenges and gain feedback, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 30, Venture Hive, 1010 NE Second St., Miami. More info or to sign up to present: 1millioncups.com/Miami.

LAW WORKSHOP: Free seminar on “Which Corporate Entity is Right for your Startup Business?” by Venture Law Project and RKE Law Group, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 30, Miami Entrepreneurship Center (MEC261), 261 NE First St., Miami. More info: www.dadelegalaid.org/venture-law-project

JUSTICEHACK: Many groups may feel left out of the wave of innovation surging through Miami. Join a 1 1/2-day creative workshop to generate solutions to challenges facing Miami’s diverse communities in order to make Miami’s future more inclusive, 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1, to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2, The LAB Miami. Info: thelabmiami.com


Macy’s is bringing the long-awaited fashion incubator to Miami, a goal in the Beacon Council’s One Community One Goal Program. Find out more about this project, a new craft brewer startup joining the emerging Wynwood brewery scene, a community conversation about diversity and inclusion and a report from West Palm Beach’s Entrepreneurship Week and more startup news and community views on the Starting Gate blog on MiamiHerald.com.

Nancy Dahlberg @ndahlberg

Posted July 27, 2014

July 26, 2014

From Startup Weekend to DemoDay -- all in a week!

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Kate Nematollahi came to Startup Weekend West Palm Beach last weekend with an idea -- no team members, no tech experience, no startup cred. There Nematollahi, who works for a nonprofit youth sports organization doing marketing, teamed up with some web developers who were sitting next to her the first night, and several others joined the team when she made her pitch for a site that makes it easier for community and youth sports leagues to bring on the all-important sponsors. She said that during the Startup Weekend, as part of the idea validation, they called dozens of community sports leagues who said I need this now, how soon can you have it ready?

Long story short, her TeamSponsor won the StartUp Weekend, and just five days later she and her team members were presenting at Startup Palm Beach's DemoDay (pictured above), one of several activities that took place this past week. She said the team is definitely planning to carry the concept forward, and is looking for web designers, funding and mentorship. You can read more on her blog post about the Startup Weekend experience here.

Photo 1 (2)Perhaps fittingly, kicking off the DemoDay, held Friday night at the West Palm Beach Pavilion in the downtown waterfront area, was last year's inaugural Startup Weekend West Palm Beach winner, FunScout. Austin Pantaleo said the idea stemmed from his own frustration finding fun things to do nearby at the times he wanted to do them. He says FunScout does that and will be launching later this summer.

Other teams presented included: TextDial, a content sharing widget that allows users to share articles via sms, Surfr, a surf journal and travel resource featuring more than 8,000 spots around the world; and Pit, a mobile game coming soon to an app store near you. The founder hopes casual gamers will find it refreshingly different -- indeed the turnout at his demo table suggested they do.

Photo 3  Also presenting were Glip, modern business messaging already with 1,000 customers; Jist, which helps users easily create online resumes that businesses can efficiently review and share; Urban Canvas, a concept born at West Palm's first hackathon that allows users to locate and interact with urban art; Baru, a social advertising platform; and YouRoam (pictured here), which allows users to make and receive calls without paying roaming fees over wifi or 3G. YouRoam's Marcos Cunha also presented at the recent GeekTank2 in Fort Lauderdale and exhibited at eMerge Americas Techweek.

Startup Palm Beach's Entrepreneur Week also included a BarCamp and a community forum on building an entrepreneurial ecosystem. "West Palm Beach is in its infancy in the startup space, but we're all here," said Chris Callahan, co-founder of Startup Palm Beach, entrepreneurial resource center, as he pointed to the  standing-room-only crowd inside the Pavilion. "Its amazing. As  community, we are starting to gel, and that will continue."

Photo 4

Callahan said the next Entrepreneur Week will be in November, again kicking off with a Startup Weekend and ending with a DemoDay. It will be interesting to  see what evolves.

Follow me on Twitter @ndahlberg. Photos by Steve Viti. Posted July 26, 2014


July 25, 2014

Goal: a diverse and inclusive entrepreneurial community

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Felecia Hatcher, co-founder of Feverish Pops and Code Fever, said she was inspired to hold a community conversation about diversity and inclusion after Google released its numbers showing just 2 percent of its workforce is black, and the numbers of other big Silicon Valley tech companies showed a similar trend. That's one characteristic of Silicon Valley that Miami does NOT want to emulate as the  South Florida works to develop as a tech hub and strong entrepreneurial ecosystem.

So this week, she convened a panel of entrepreneurial startup leaders and invited the public to the Meek Entrepreneurial Education Center at Miami Dade College to discuss "Creating an Inclusive Technology Ecosystem in Miami." "I think this is the first time we've had this kind of topic in South Florida," Hatcher said. "That's good and bad, considering what's been happening for the last couple of years in Miami. We're definitely going to continue this conversation." 

Panelists included Malik Benjamin,  director of program Innovation at FIU School of Architecture and on the  board of   Awesome Foundation Miami; Andrew Quarrie, founder of Jurnid,  a publishing platform and content marketplace for powering freelance journalism; Derick Pearson, co-founder of Feverish Pops and Code Fever; H. Leigh Toney, executive director of the Carrie P. Meek Entrepreneurial Education Center at Miami Dade College North Campus; and Pandwe Gibson, founder of EcoTech, a new incubator program for green companies in light manufacturing.

Some of those alarming numbers at Google can be explained by the places that these companies do their recruiting -- Stanford and the Ivy Leagues and perhaps awareness is growing to widen the net, particularly to Historically Black Colleges and Universities. "We're entitled to a fair chance," said Pearson.

Yet,  the conversation also circled around improving education in technology here, not only for secondary school kids but for adults as well. Toney pointed out that the Creative Entrepreneurship Studio at the Meek Center offers certificate programs in entrepreneurship, engineering and graphic design. There is also an incubator opening for MDC students on the Wolfson campus. Others pointed out that there are a wealth of free online course available from Code Academy, as well as MIT, Stanford and others that people can take advantage of. Hatcher said Code Fever, which offers coding programming for middle and high school students, may launch  some programming for adults.

Another theme was mentorship and the need for shining a light role models in the black community. Andrew McNeil has started a series on YouTube to try to do just that. Still, there is a gap between people who want to mentor and people who need it that needs to be filled, the panelists said, and it's also critical to combat the region-wide problem of brain drain in South Florida.   "Be a mentor, it's like going to church or visiting your grandma -- we have to build this into our culture," said Benjamin.

Resources are growing every day but a lot of people don't know about them.  The Miami Dade Economic Advocacy Trust recently  funded 10 entrepreneurs to be members of The LAB Miami and also helped bring Black Girls Code to Miami, Toney said. Gibson said her company, Ecotech, is opening an incubator and is already helping eco-friendly product companies develop. But it's also about taking the initiative:  "You have to get out of your comfort zone," said Quarrie.

A few resources that were mentioned:

Awesome Foundation awards $1,000 grants for good ideas that help the community. For instance a program to teach rasperry pi to adults was one of the recent grant recipients. Find out more here and apply.

Refresh Miami, South Florida's largest tech entrepreneurship meetup group, holds events every month, and this summer is holding a series geared to startup issues. Refreshmiami.com also has a community events calendar as well as a jobs board on its site.

What's on the MENU? is a new series for entrepreneurship education and networking. Some sessions are held at the Miami Dade College North Campus and some at the Meek Center; some are held in the evening, some in the morning to fit lots of schedules. Call lead coordinator Daniela Pierre at 237-1522 or find information on Twitter @MDCMENU. The next meetup is Aug. 14 at 6:30 p.m.

The Knight Foundation's Miami program director, Matt Haggman, holds a monthly breakfast. It's a good opportunity to not only hear about what the Knight Foundation is up to but also to share information on your own projects and challenges.

Follow me on Twitter @ndahlberg. Posted: July 25, 2014


July 23, 2014

Another craft beer business joins Wynwood scene

Boxelder Craft Beer Market, a new craft beer market, bottleshop and taproom will open this fall in Wynwood, adding to the area’s burgeoning craft beer scene.

The business, owned by Adam and Nicole Darnell, has leased 1,100 square feet at the Wynwood Gateway Complex, according to the landlord’s broker, Metro 1.

Boxelder, an independent retailer, promises to provide a cultural center for craft beer in Miami, with tap takeovers by local brewers and a wide variety of bottles to buy for carry-out or to drink on the premises.

Ina Cordle

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/07/23/4250744/new-craft-beer-market-to-open.html#storylink=cpy

Macy's to bring fashion incubator to Miam-Dade

As part of the One Community One Goal update by the Beacon Council on Wednesday, Macy’s announced it will bring a fashion incubator to Miami, adding to incubators it already supports in Philadephia, San Francisco and Chicago.

“We see Miami as a true 21st century city,” said Ed Goldberg, senior vice president of Macy’s in New York. “This is a public program designed to take talented young people and put them into a program for a year to train them, teaching them the business and creative aspects of fashion.”

Art Torno, co-chair of the One Community One Goal effort and an American Airlines executive, said the fashion incubator idea started nearly two years ago by a small group that met at Miami International University. "Today, fruition, we are going to do it, a fashion incubator in Miami, it’s the place."

And it’s a natural, said Joseph Roisman of Perry Ellis, who heads the One Community One Goal creative industries task force. He said the incubator will also help young designers showcase and sell their collections. “Miami is the epicenter of the creative industries. … What we need to do is create enough jobs so our students will stay in Miami.”

Combating brain drain was a theme throughout the One Community One Goal update at Miami Dade College. One Community One Goal’s proposed Talent Development Network, a project in partnership with the Miami Foundation, got a lift with a $100,000 grant from Helios Education Foundation announced Wednesday, adding to funding from the Miami Foundation, the Peacock Foundation and others.

The Talent Development Network will offer a platform for connecting potential employers with local students for paid internships in the targeted industries, said Mark Rosenberg, president of Florida International University. He heads the One Community One Goal’s Academic Leaders Council, which includes leaders from most of the universities and colleges in Miami-Dade County and has been meeting regularly to discuss common curriculum challenges.

A development leader for the platform has been hired, and the Talent Development Network is slated to begin next summer. In the meantime, Rosenberg urged attendees to hire an intern or two this year. “We are going to grow this together,” he said.

JPMorgan Chase announced a $250,000 investment that will go toward programs over the next two years to close the skills gap, including the Talent Development Network. This is the first local partnership under JPMorgan’s New Skills at Work program that will invest $5 million in Miami, Market Manager Guillermo Castillo said at the event Wednesday.

The JPMorgan funds will also be used to help One Community One Goal with workforce readiness gap reports. That data will help find ways to address the gaps, including through student internship opportunities, industry-specific training for teachers and students, employer training, and career and leadership development opportunities for youth.

In addition, the Academic Leaders Council is working on a master plan to create the leading academic cluster in the United States for trade and logistics, said Rosenberg.

“We must work to be the place that creates the jobs of tomorrow,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, a One Community One Goal co-chair.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/07/23/4251249/beacon-councils-one-community.html#storylink=cpy