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

Jan 20, 2016

How AngelSummit Americas will connect investors and entrepreneurs in Miami

Posted by Mack Kolarich

Photo above: Emcee Dana Barrett, Megan Kvamme and John Lunn of Popcorn Sutton Distilling, and Rob Wilder of ThinkFood Group discuss software and food innovation at AngelSummit USA in Chattanooga, Tenn., in fall 2015.

Mack Kolarich and Leslie Jump are co-founders of Startup Angels, which empowers angel investors and introduces them to new markets. Today Knight Foundation is announcing $125,000 in support for Startup Angels’ first convening in South Florida, AngelSummit Americas, which will be held April 14-15.

Startups are everywhere but venture capital isn’t. While innovative companies are being launched in communities across the globe, the capital needed to grow sustainable businesses remains concentrated in a handful of markets. We want to make it possible for entrepreneurs to start and scale businesses anywhere, by increasing the number of investors and the amount of funding available in startup communities across the U.S. and around the world.

At Startup Angels we’re on a mission to unleash the potential of millions of new startup investors.  We’re a global platform where new angels discover startup investing, expert investors discover startup markets, and everyone can invest, whether that’s time, talents, networks or capital.

Startup Angels is bringing the first ever AngelSummit Americas to Miami on April 14-15. We’re convening hundreds of investors, community leaders and influencers from across Latin America, the U.S. and Canada to chart the future of startup investing. Speakers include Marc Nager of TechStars, Dave McClure of 500 Startups and Alex Mittal of Fundersclub on topics such as “Investing Across the Spanish Speaking World” and “The Role of Startup Investing in Your Portfolio.”

So why Miami? Simply put, this city sits at the heart of a region that is going places.

We all know the South Florida that attracts tourists: the smokestacks of cruise ships in the distance, the throb of the Ultra Music Festival down the street, the buzz of Art Basel permeating neighborhoods. It beckons and entices.

But many don’t know the South Florida that engages startups and investors. The region draws the best entrepreneurs from across the Americas to expand their practices and even relocate their headquarters. With their cultural diversity, Miami and South Florida gain business diversity. They are “the gateway to Latin America.”

So let’s talk about doing business in South Florida.

The region has taste—great designers—in a world where design makes or breaks your startup company. There’s no local or state income tax, and the corporate taxes are favorable. It has a burgeoning health innovation sector, is home to MagicLeap and its $500 million-plus  in funding, and is well primed to advance industries like tourism, media and entertainment. Miami International Airport has 347 flights to Latin America per day (there are a lot of flights to Canada too). Florida’s top three wealth management firms are located in Miami-Dade County and handle over $10 billion in capital. South Florida is home to dozens of family offices, hundreds of wealth managers, thousands of investors and many more business leaders who pass through each year.

Sure, these investors could do a lot more to fund the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. But that’s part of why we’re bringing the AngelSummit to Miami. We want to jump-start this conversation and guide aspiring investors into becoming great Startup Angels.

Our goal is to gather investors and aspirants from across the continent to share best practices, discover new partnerships and advance startup ecosystems across the hemisphere, and in Miami. We hope you’ll join us at AngelSummit Americas this April.

For more information, visit

Back to top