Miami, also known as the Gateway to the Americas, had several chances to shine in that role in 2013. One of the most recent was as host for WeXchange, a conference that drew women entrepreneurs from Latin America to South Florida to pitch to investors, network with their counterparts and receive mentoring from advisers.
The conference, held Dec. 11-12 in Miami, drew innovators and entrepreneurs to Miami Dade College and The LAB Miami. Knight Foundation provided support for the conference as part of its effort to connect talented people and to position South Florida as a hub for innovation.
A centerpiece of the conference was a pitch competition, where six startups, selected from more than 100 applicants, pitched to a panel of judges. LastRoom, a free hotel booking app based in Mexico City, won the contest and the prize of receiving formal mentoring.
Susana Garcia-Robles, principal investment officer at the Multilateral Investment Fund, the main sponsor and organizer of the event, described the conference as “everything we were hoping for” and a successful preparation for returning the conference to Miami in 2014.
“I’m a firm believer that Miami offers a unique opportunity, and we’ll be using the wisdom of the crowd to gather all of the support for an even bigger and better event next year,” she said.