Tricounty Arm For Internet Hub Seeks Nonprofit Status
By Candice Ventra
Executives for a tri-county organization to promote South Florida as an Internet hub have signed a deal to become a non-profit organization being called the first multi-county alliance to target economic development and the Internet.
After years of brainstorming, the Internet Coast Alliance was formed by representatives for the Beacon Council, Broward Alliance and Palm Beach County Business Development Board all economic development agencies.
Frank Nero, president & CEO of Miami-Dade County’s Beacon Council, said the alliance aims to retain, recruit and expand Internet-related businesses in South Florida.
Now the groups have applied for non-profit status to make the alliance eligible for corporate and federal support.
The alliance, which gets staff support from the three agencies, is seeking $300,000 in seed money, Mr. Nero said. "We are applying for a grant. We’re optimistic. We’re also looking at other foundations."
He said more will be needed eventually to beef up marketing efforts.
Alliance officers will be named and by-laws set at the group’s first meeting Sept. 6 at JM Family Enterprises in Deerfield Beach.
"This is really a benchmark event," Mr. Nero said. "This is a strategy that bodes well for regional cooperation in the future for the three counties."
Michael Langley, president & CEO of the Broward Alliance, said the Internet Coast Alliance will address other issues related to economic development in South Florida.
"We looked at the Internet Coast movement as a good place to put our effort together in a positive way to expand on other key issues in South Florida like education and transportation," Mr. Langley said. "It’s important that Internet Coast be seen as a region, not just an organization."
With non-profit status Internet Coast would own rights to the organization’s web page at InternetCoast.com, logo and other creations, Mr. Nero said.
Organizations such as the Miami Internet Alliance and One Community One Goal’s telecommunications & information technology group at the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce recently have been formed to promote South Florida as an Internet hub.
"I just think that it’s significant that the three-county economic development organizations have now come together," Mr. Nero said. "It’s precedent setting."