The Launch Pad Tech Accelerator is a new public/private venture between the Miami Downtown Development Authority, Miami Dade County, and The Launch Pad at the University of Miami.
The Launch Pad Tech Accelerator is based on The Launch Pad at the University of Miami. The Launch Pad was started in 2008 and has helped students and alumni launch more than 80 businesses and create more than 150 jobs in South Florida. Harvard Business Review, July/August issue, noted The Launch Pad is 1 of the 2 concepts that work in entrepreneurship.
The mission of the venture establishing The Launch Pad Tech Accelerator is to recruit and cultivate technology businesses in sectors closely aligned with the economic future of Miami, to include but not limited to, health care, hospitality, tourism, music, art, and film.
The venture will receive $1 million from Miami-Dade County over the next 4 years and $460,000 from the Miami Downtown Development Authority in 2013 and 2014. The funding will support on-going operations and provide incentives for attracting ten companies to downtown Miami from around the world during 2012, its first year of operation; and a goal of attracting ten additional companies each year through 2017. The projection is to create 330 new direct and indirect jobs through 2017. “It’s the first time the county and city have partnered to fund an endeavor to position Miami as a hub for start-up technology businesses” said Jack Osterholt, Miami-Dade County deputy mayor.
The incentives include $25,000 in grants to cover entrepreneurship training, mentoring from industry leaders, subsidized office space, and access to Launch Pad workshops.
Marc Sarnoff, City of Miami Commissioner and Miami Downtown Development Authority official has said, “This will be a catalyst for attracting forward-thinking companies that bring new ideas, new ways of doing business, and new jobs to Miami. The Launch Pad Tech Accelerator is a real-world example of the public sector empowering private sector entrepreneurship and innovation.”
Loren Ridinger, co-founder of MarketAmerica.com based in Miami, has said, “Start-up companies that may not have considered moving to Miami will now. Many start-ups in art, fashion, and travel would be excited to call Miami home, but it has been hard to attract them when there hasn’t been anything like this. People don’t associate Miami with a tech hub, this gives us more sophistication; it lets us play with the big boys.”
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