Rob Strandberg is president and CEO of Enterprise Development Corp. Below, he writes about the Emerging Technology Business Showcase and other efforts to nurture startups in South Florida with support from Knight Foundation.
Miami is attracting a national spotlight that is increasingly shining on our startup ecosystem. More investors are sending their scouts to South Florida, and shared co-working spaces and business incubators are popping up everywhere, assisted by the substantial support for our entrepreneurial projects from Knight Foundation, Endeavor Miami, YPO Florida, and angel and venture capital groups. These efforts are catalyzing the real progress our entrepreneurs are making within our community.
We’ve certainly come a long way, but earning the nicknames, “Silicon Beach,” or “the Internet Coast,” didn’t happen overnight—and there’s still much that needs to be done if we want to prove that these monikers are justified. One challenge that we are consistently tackling at the Enterprise Development Corp. is how to best bring together the growing number of promising, early-stage companies calling South Florida home, with quality capital and active, dedicated investors. While we’re making progress, with several investment groups such as New World Angels and Accelerated Growth Partners stepping up to the plate, ask any entrepreneur in Miami what they could use more of and nine times out of 10 they will tell you “capital funding.”
That’s why events such as our Emerging Technology Business Showcase are important in helping us create a thriving startup ecosystem. At this year’s 17th annual showcase, co-sponsored by Enterprise Development Corp. and Florida Venture Forum, entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to attend a boot camp in the morning. There, they will learn what investors need to see in investable startups, how to avoid the pitfalls that sideline many entrepreneurs and how to negotiate the finer details of term sheets. At our lunch panel, we will highlight that some of our most successful entrepreneurs not only pursue science and tech breakthroughs but also are homegrown food entrepreneurs, a sector the venture capital community is rapidly pursuing. In the afternoon, startups will have the opportunity to pitch their companies to an audience that includes investors, industry experts and their contemporaries.
The goal of the Emerging Technology Business Showcase is to provide investors with the opportunity to discover quality companies, while also giving startups the opportunity to hone their presentation and capital-raising skills within an event that has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs.
If you want to see what the conversation about South Florida startups is really about, you should attend. This year’s event happens from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus. And again, you don’t want to miss our special event featuring some of Miami’s hottest “foodtrepreneurs.” We hope this event will be as informative as it will be delicious.
We hope to see you there and thanks for your commitment to making South Florida a place where startups can thrive.