Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Angel Education Series to help guide Miami’s early-stage investors

Jan. 26, 2015, 4 p.m., Posted by Nico Berardi

Photo of downtown Miami by Michael Bolden. 

Nico Berardi is managing director of Accelerated Growth Partners, an angel investor network, which Knight Foundation supports to develop the South Florida venture capital community. 

While the formula for building a great tech company remains a mystery, investment capital is definitely an important ingredient. The fact that most startups don’t qualify for traditional sources of funding makes early-stage investors a key component in any ecosystem.

Technology advancements have made the costs of developing a tech company lower than ever and have provided opportunities to scale beyond our wildest imaginations. Think of companies like Uber or Google valued at $40 billion each in less than five years. These trends have taken the investment community by storm.

Knight Foundation has been a transformational force in Miami becoming a tech hub by connecting and cultivating entrepreneurs. We’re starting to see the first success stories, with Mako exiting at $1.65 billion, .CO exiting at $109 million, OpenEnglish raising capital at a valuation of over $350 million, MagicLeap raising $542 million at a $1 billion-plus valuation. And yet, this is the tip of the iceberg. At Accelerated Growth Partners, we’ve made six seed investments and are closing three more. Every day we’ve been surprised by the quantity and quality of companies being built in our backyard.

Knight Arts Challenge Sur de la Florida se abre para las entradas

Jan. 26, 2015, 2 p.m., Posted by Fernando González

Photo courtesía del Screening Room.

Mas de 8.900 ideas, 241 proyectos y 25 millones de dólares -- solo desde el 2008.

Las cifras del Knight Arts Challenge Sur de la Florida, la cual recibe solicitudes a partir de hoy, provee un vistazo y una idea general del programa — pero no cuentan toda la historia.

Ha habido apoyo para proyectos tan diversos como  librerías móviles, esfuerzos para preservar rara, un estilo tradicional de música haitiana, talleres para alimentar el amor por el cine, carteles para traer los Everglades a la ciudad  y un programa para interesar a los niños en el jazz Los proyectos ganadores en los siete años de estos desafíos ofrecen una detallada instantánea de una comunidad multicultural, creativa y muy dinámica.

Knight Arts Challenge South Florida opens for entries

Jan. 26, 2015, 9 a.m., Posted by Fernando González

Photo courtesy of The Screening Room.

More than 8,900 ideas. 241 projects. $25 million. All since 2008.

The numbers of the Knight Arts Challenge in South Florida, which opens for entries today, provide an overview of the program — but they don’t tell the full story.

Knight Arts Challenge South Florida - Apply Now

There has been support for pop-up artists’ bookstores, preserving Haitian rara music, developing the local film community, bringing the Everglades into the city with billboards, and bringing kids to jazz. The winning projects from seven annual challenges offer a richly detailed snapshot of a dynamic, multicultural community.

“What is very important to us is that we don’t tell the community what we are seeking; we ask the community what they are interested in,” says Dennis Scholl, vice president for arts at Knight Foundation. “That’s the beauty of the contest.”

It is a simple process. The challenge, which closes Feb. 23, has only three rules: The idea must be about the arts; the project must take place in or benefit South Florida; and the grant recipients must find funds to match Knight’s commitment.