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Posts Tagged ‘Endeavor Miami’

Graffiti painted buildings in the Shoreditch area of London

Graffiti painted buildings in the Shoreditch area of London

I write about things happening in Wynwood from time to time and today I would like to write about what Wynwood should become. I came across a fascinating article recently published in the European version of The New York Times; now named The International New York Times and I realized what Wynwood could become : one of the tech hubs of the South East of the United States, a neighborhood fostering creative initiatives, just like Shoreditch in London. I am in London as I write this post. Therefore, I decided to visit the Shoreditch area, located on the East side of the British capital. How extraordinary to walk around the streets where old buildings from the beginning of the 20th century and the seventies are standing next to pop-up art galleries, fashion stores, wine bars. Building facades are covered with multicoloured graffitis and recently modernized office building host a variety of start-ups and communication companies. People walking around the streets are young professionals and bohemian-looking individuals and I could not help myself thinking that I was witnessing an accomplished and well thought of version of Wynwood, the art district of Miami. Well, I would actually love Wynwood to become like Shoreditch in London, a place that has the ambition to become one of the most artistically and technologically creative spots in North America. Shoreditch used to be filled with abandoned warehouses. It is now the place where startups like Lyst ( website allowing people to follow their favorite fashion brands ), Houstrip ( vacation rental website ) or Mind Candy ( publisher of the successful online game for children “Moshi Monsters ” ) have opened their office.

What’s really interesting is that the local British lawmakers have helped Shoreditch become what it is today by investing $80 millions in renovating

Outdoor gathering place and pop-up shops in Shoreditch

Outdoor gathering place and pop-up shops in Shoreditch

distressed buildings in order to attract tech companies as big as IBM and Microsoft as well as startups and event firms. I believe that this is what we need to create in Wynwood : not just another “cool” area of Miami, but a place that is supported by the city, the county, as well as not for profit organizations, local developers and venture capital companies to nurture its creative soul and attract the  tech companies and entrepreneurs of tomorrow. It already hosts wonderful companies like the Miami Light Project, The LAB Miami, just to name a few. We need to have a vision to help other start-ups and art organisations getting established in Miami in order for our community to thrive.

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To those who say that Miami is mainly about the beach, the year-long sun, the hip restaurants and hotels with the parties and socialites that come along with them, I respond that Miami has become more than this and is changing fast to become a global metropolis, where entrepreneurial talents are growing. The example of The Knight Foundation is the perfect way to illustrate this. The Knight Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Miami, created in 1950 by the Knight brothers, two newspapers publishers who funded cultural, educational and journalism-related projects in the cities where they had newspaper ventures, has been funding hundreds of wonderful initiatives in Miami. The foundation focuses on supporting projects related to media innovation, quality journalism, enhancement of the community and expansion of the arts.

Lately, the foundation has offered a $2 million grant to Endeavor, a New York-based organization to open its first other US office in Miami.  The purpose of this non-profit entity is to identify “high-impact entrepreneurs” around the world, mentor them and help them flourish to create economic growth. Endeavor currently has offices in 17 cities, mainly located in Middle East and Latin America. The video above shows that the organization believes that Miami is currently becoming one of the entrepreneurial hubs of the world.

The Lab Miami ( photo from TheLabMiami.com )

The Lab Miami ( photo from TheLabMiami.com )

Almost a year ago, The Knight Foundation awarded $250,000 to The Lab Miami to create a 10,000 sf learn and work campus in Wynwood to help artists, tech entrepreneurs, mentors and investors gather and inspire each other by working collaboratively.

Fostering creative talents and entrepreneurs in Miami helps to grow a sense for a stronger  community while mentoring and retaining talents in South Florida. This is one of the reasons why a growing number of people are choosing to either stay in Miami, move to Miami and/or get involved in educational, social, cultural or business opportunities around here.

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