Topping Issa Asad’s list of the Top Miami Tech Companies is The LAB Miami. The LAB Miami is a campus for tech and social innovation located in the heart of Wynwood Arts District in Miami. Wynwood District forms the hub for creativity in Miami. The LAB Miami campus was founded by Wifredo Fernandez, Elisa Rodriguez-Vila, and Daniel Lafuente. It’s construction began by the end of 2011, in a 700 square foot space, which the cofounders rapidly expanded.
The enterprise’s initial 20 capacity room was quickly filled within the first week after its launch. Subsequently, the co-founders injected another $650,000 into the project, which was raised from James L. Knight and John S. Foundation as well as group of entrepreneurs like Faquiry Diaz-Cala, Daniel Echavarria, Marco Gilbert and Boris Hirmas. This helped the LAB Miami cofounders to relocate into a much bugger space.
The LAB Miami comprises a 10,000 square foot area partitioned into a co-working space that houses an in-house community of venture and angel investors, and a section that is center for learning with workshops, classes and special events such as film screening and hackathons. Additionally, every Saturday, the LAB Miami campus features a farmer’s market.
What Is The LAB Miami’s Role in the Miami Community?
The LAB Miami’s mission is to furnish innovators with both knowledge and network to change technological and network systems. It also intends to learn from the best innovators and work on its passion to build great companies. According to one of its co-founders, the LAB Miami was inspired by their sympathy for Miami’s struggles as an entrepreneurial ecosystem, which they attributed to lack of a place where the community could come together and partner with each other.
The LAB Miami co-founders have embarked on a mission to turn around Wynwood district and the entire Miami community into a place as popular for entrepreneurship as its infamous sunny climate and South Beach. It’s co-founders also intends to retain the region’s brilliant talent by building a place where the tech and entrepreneurial genius sons and daughters of Miami can invest their talent and still have the same customer base in entrepreneurial and tech global cities such as New York and San Francisco.
Currently, the LAB Miami has 70 members representing 54 companies. These members have access to facilities for music, work space, and film editing as well as outdoor hang-out spaces among other items.
What Are Some Predictions for The LAB Miami’s Future?
One of the LAB Miami’s startup projects aims to provide rural Latin America accessibility to banking services via cell phones. “Transforming any city into a flourishing startup hub is not that easy, however, the LAB Miami campus has shown that it can be done,” said Mr. Asad. Issa Asad is the CEO of three companies located across South Florida, including Q Link Wireless, Quadrant Holdings, and Bond Media.
The LAB Miami’s co-founders’ vision is to make the campus a hub for entrepreneurship to the students and the community at large. This vision includes a $5,000 business startup reward for students who win in a competition organized at the LAB Miami campus. The reward will be accompanied by free entrepreneurial training including a speaker series named Pioneers, a four months accelerator program that train students on the art and science of entrepreneurship, and a program called Phase II Ventures that will be exclusive for students with family business.