Citi Women in Tech event, January 2016. Photo courtesy of Refresh Miami.
Brian Breslin is the founder of Refresh Miami, Florida’s largest tech and entrepreneurial organization with 9,000 members. Refresh Miami is supported by Knight Foundation, which today is announcing new funding of $100,000 for the group.
Miami has come a long way since the days of six-person meetups at a Starbucks on Lincoln Road nearly 10 years ago. What started as a simple way for like-minded tech professionals and entrepreneurs to exchange ideas grew year after year, paving the way for the robust community and network that exists today.
Refresh Miami has been at the center of this developing ecosystem, and with new support from Knight Foundation we’re ready for our next phase of growth.
Knight’s first investment in Refresh Miami—$150,000 in 2013—had a dramatic impact on our organization. It allowed us to secure our 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, grow from 2,500 members to over 9,000, and attract some top-notch speakers to Miami. They have included Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, Jim McKelvey, co-founder of Square and LaunchCode, Bob Diener, founder of Hotels.com, and John Ciancutti, one-time director of engineering at Facebook. This wouldn’t have been possible without Knight support.
Moving forward, we have big plans for Refresh Miami. With this new funding we will build on and expand the programming, community and resources we provide. We plan to:
- Continue our monthly speaker events, flying in top-notch speakers from across the U.S. to audiences of more than 200 attendees.
- Redesign the Refresh Miami website, complete with a Miami Tech Map outlining resources available to the tech and entrepreneurial community, from co-working spaces to incubators, boot camps, coding schools and more.
- Host a series of hands-on workshops with industry experts on the latest tools and skills needed to stay competitive in today’s marketplace.
- Launch a paid membership program with benefits such as discounted and complimentary access to monthly speaker events and workshops, access to private speaker dinners and partner discounts.
Over the past decade, Refresh Miami has grown alongside Miami, and we couldn’t have done it without the support of our members, the community and our sponsors such as Knight Foundation. Most of all, we couldn’t have done it without all of the individuals who donated their time and effort over the years, most recently our wonderful and hardworking operations team.
We remain committed to meeting the needs of our community and, with the support of Knight Foundation and our other partners, Refresh Miami will continue to serve as the hub of technology and entrepreneurship in South Florida for many years to come.