Miami’s Social Entrepreneurship Bootcamp recruits third cohort with Knight support


Above: #SEBootcamp team-builder at offices of  Akerman in Miami. Photo by Ekaterina Juskowski.

Rebecca Fishman Lipsey is CEO of Radical Partners and founder of the Social Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, which Knight Foundation is supporting with $25,000 in scholarship funding to invest in Miami’s emerging innovators and entrepreneurs as a tool to build community, while fostering talent and expanding economic opportunity.

Sam Hyken is building a genre-bending orchestra with sold-out shows and a cult following. Dara Schoenwald’s 2,000 volunteers pulled more than 100,000 pounds of trash from our local beaches this year. Willie Avendano is running summer camps in two locations where kids will code, design video games and explore virtual reality. 

And for 10 weeks, these three entrepreneurs joined eight other local leaders to focus on growing their ventures and building a community for themselves: founders with a cause. Welcome to Social Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, a professional development space for founders of community-changing organizations hosted by Radical Partners in partnership with AkermanIN.

#SEBootcamp Cohort 2 selfie. Photo by Ben Evans III.

Applications for Social Entrepreneurship Bootcamp’s Cohort 3 are open until July 29, and with support from Knight Foundation, we’re excited to offer scholarships to those in need. The 12-week program focuses on pitching, long-term planning, fundraising, growing a team, time management, branding and sustainability.

Ideal candidates have launched an organization (for profit or nonprofit) that is successfully addressing an issue that matters to the future of cities and communities.

As Miami hustles to become a startup city, this special breed of social innovators should be a major source of pride for us.  Social entrepreneurs not only focus on turning a profit;, they take on a second bottom line: impact.  And much to Miami’s credit, this year several of our locally launched, social-impact organizations began to spread their wings on a national scale.

Guitars Over Guns, a well-loved mentoring and music education program that launched in Miami, has now kicked off its second site in Chicago. Educate Tomorrow is now rallying college campuses across the country to provide additional support to students who have aged out of the foster care system. The Community Justice Project has presented at Harvard, Yale, and Stanford law schools in the last six months on the work it’s doing in Miami. The project has taken its advocacy all the way to the United Nations, and has trained over 500 lawyers. All three organizations are part of our boot camp family, and we couldn’t be prouder of them.

We want Miami to continue to be a hub for top social change makers—and if that’s going to happen, we need to invest in our people. Sustainability isn’t just necessary for organizations; it’s also needed for founders. Our local startup founders need a space to grow, and they need support and development to make smart decisions as they scale. We’re proud to see 100 percent of our alumni still planted here in the 305, building things that matter to the future of our city.  But we’re only just getting started.   

Here’s to the innovators in our midst—especially those who are building things that address the most pressing issues in our community. We’re endlessly proud to have you here in Miami, and we’re here to help you move mountains.

To apply for the Social Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, visit

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