Miami Team Hits Road To Lure Hedge Funds
By Catherine Lackner
In its ongoing quest to attract targeted business sectors, Miami’s Downtown Development Authority will send representatives north next month to woo hedge funds, and just graduated the first class from the business accelerator Venture Hive, formerly known as Launch Pad Tech.
Alyce Robertson, authority executive director, and Nitin Motwani, board member and managing director of Miami Worldcenter Group LLC, are to meet in New York City with decision-makers at 100 hedge funds and are to go to Connecticut in June to deliver Miami’s message.
The meetings were coordinated by the International Hedge Fund Association, Ms. Robertson said.
"Many of the funds are interested in coming to Florida because of the favorable tax situation," she said. "We want them to bring these businesses downtown."
The authority will also host events in the fall and around Art Basel in December, Mr. Motwani said.
"We’re focusing our efforts on the business sectors we want to see here, and those that are a good fit with what we have," Ms. Robertson said. They include financial services and technology.
Public and private sectors joined forces to create Venture Hive, at 1010 NE Second Ave. Funded by $460,000 from the downtown authority and a $1 million grant from Miami-Dade County, the accelerator attracted 10 companies from around the world. They include:
•Boatyard, a peer-to-peer boat rental site.
•EveryPost, a multimedia creation for sharing mobile devices.
•Hair Construction Club, an online education medium for hair stylists.
•Kimetric, a service that analyzes consumer behavior for retailers.
•GetMyRx, a prescription app for consumers.
•NightPro, a company that creates data tools for the nightlife industry.
•Poolami, a peer-to-peer car sharing network.
•RawApps, which specializes in video tools for small businesses.
•The Social Radio, which distributes tweets and other posts.
•SWOL, which creates social media for soccer fans.
"This was a lot of money for the DDA to invest," Ms. Robertson said, "but we believe that tech is this important to downtown Miami’s future."
Most of the companies that participated in the program, which ran from January to April, have committed to staying in Miami after the program ends. Venture Hive is projected to create more than 300 direct and indirect jobs through 2017, according to an authority report.
In addition to the 10 companies that received grants, 25 additional tech firms joined the program at their own expense. They received support services ranging from mentoring and training to workshops and subsidized office space, the authority report said.To read the entire issue of Miami Today online, subscribe to e-MIAMI TODAY, an exact digital replica of the printed edition.