News

Launch Pad initiative targets start-up companies

In 2008, The Launch Pad opened its doors at the University of Miami with the goal to facilitate students’ business endeavors. Four years later, the Pad has gone viral.

The Launch Pad has collaborated with public and private sectors, which include the Miami Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and Miami-Dade County, to create the Tech Accelerator. This initiative targets tech start-up companies in industries such as healthcare, hospitality, tourism and the creative arts sector.

Susan Amat, the co-founder and executive director of The Launch Pad, is looking forward to the opening of Miami’s accelerator in Downtown.

“There are hundreds of other [business]incubators, but ours is so different,” she said. “We are focused on community development, not starting a business to make money.”

The accelerator is open to any person with a start-up company. After the submission deadline, Nov. 5, applications will be reviewed and the best 10 companies will be accepted. If some of these companies are not local, the accelerator will move them to Miami.

The selected companies will receive three months of entrepreneurial extensive training, a year of free space, access to the accelerator’s resources and “world class” mentoring, Amat said.

And students will also benefit from the accelerator’s fellowships and internships.

Chelsea Cook, a freshman majoring in entrepreneurship, said the idea of The Launch Pad’s accelerator intrigues her.

“I think it will provide a lot more opportunities for students with entrepreneurial pursuits,” Cook said.

The accelerator was made possible with the financial support of the DDA and the Office of the Mayor, Carlos A. Gimenez. The DDA awarded two grants totaling $450,000, and the mayor’s office committed $1 million in grants.

Marc Sarnoff, a City of Miami commissioner and chairman of the DDA, was a main advocate for the development of the accelerator, Amat said.

“We are extremely well situated to build on the premise that we can be and are and should be a technology city,” he said in an article reported by The Miami Herald.

Amat echoes Sarnoff’s belief.

“The grant proves that Miami is open for business,” she said. “Miami will become a technology epicenter.”

October 10, 2012

Reporters

Elizabeth De Armas

Alexander Gonzalez

Assistant Editor


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Before Daniel Carter decided to sign with the Pittsburgh Panthers out of St. Thomas Aquinas, the fou ...

Lots of nuggets on new UM quarterback Tate Martell, the fallout and Jarren Williams’ reaction: ▪ Whe ...

Katie Meier is a legend at Duke. Her photo hangs in the concourse at Cameron Indoor Arena. She was t ...

New University of Miami head coach Manny Diaz was asked on the radio the morning after he was hired, ...

Jalen Hurts is off the market — and he’s not making his way to South Florida. The former Alabama Cri ...

Miami Transplant Institute performed 681 transplants during 2018, setting a new national record in k ...

Jazz aficionados launch new video series by sharing invaluable performance techniques. ...

Gisela Vega, the former associate director of LGBTQA Initiatives at Florida International University ...

With new “personas” allowing for a more personalized mobile experience, the redesigned University of ...

Teams of scholars will use U-LINK grants to examine ways to reduce opportunity gaps and biases in mu ...

Miami released its 2019 football schedule highlighted by a season-opening matchup against Florida in ...

University of Miami Athletics announced Thursday that ESPN reporter and UM alumna Allison Williams w ...

University of Miami head women's volleyball coach Jose "Keno" Gandara announced Monda ...

After a weekend bye, the Miami women's basketball team resumes action Thursday evening at 7 p.m ...

University of Miami Athletics announced Monday that it will host its fifth annual Celebration of Wom ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.