What makes a good startup community? Just ask Brad Feld.
Brad is a partner at the Foundry Group and has helped build Boulder Colorado into the thriving startup community that it is today. He’d be the first to tell you that, among other things, sustainable entrepreneurial communities need to answer to an important question.
That is, can new entrepreneurs easily get connected with experienced entrepreneurs and investors in your community?
In my recent voyage to Florida, I found one of the gateways to the growing startup community in Miami. Or, more like she found me…
At the first break of the summit I was attending, I was blind-sided by the bubbling energy of Susan Amat, the head honcho of Startup Florida and Executive Director of The Launch Pad at the University of Miami. She is a hyper-connector and evangelist for all things in the Florida Startup Community, and for four inspiration-packed days pulled me into the world of Miami startup events.
Susan, along with nearly a dozen young Floridian founders, eagerly told me which Miami startup events they loved and who was making things happen for South Florida.
I dove in head first to learn more about what makes the Miami startup community tick. Here’s what I found:
The 5 Best Miami Startup Events
1. Refresh Miami
Brian Breslin and Davide Di Cillo do an awesome job of picking presenters and regularly packing venues with 50 and 100 passionate start uppers at Refresh Miami. Presentations are technical, candid, and laid back.
I had a chance to see a lineup of demos from the Miami Game Developer Group. The developer-centric audience engaged with great questions and a few clever comments. As long as Miami’s technical talent continues to come out, Refresh Miami will only build on the momentum it already has.
The SuperConf speaker lineup is a magnet that attracts South Florida’s entrepreneurial and technical talent. Presenters are imported from San Francisco, New York, and other startup hubs. But it also hand-selects some of its homegrown talent to grace its stage.
When I walked into SuperConf, I found a room of around 150 people who listened, took notes, and engaged in thoughtful Q&A.
Auston Bunsen, the mastermind behind SuperConf, has obviously built something incredibly valuable for the Miami startup community. He also knows how to throw an awesome oceanfront party, which was the perfect crescendo to this killer startup conference.
3. South Florida Hack and Tell
Show of your software development chops at South Florida Hack and Tell. This meet up brings together resourceful hackers in an engaging, educational format.
Get in touch with organizer Mike Greenberg and the Hack and Tell crew to get involved today.
4. BarCamp Miami
This user-generated “unconference” has a national network and a reputation for providing engaging collaborative learning. BarCamp is usually focused on early-stage companies and open-source technology.
BarCamp Miami is well attended by the smart software developers in South Florida. So, grab your laptop, and get yourself to one of these unconferences.
5. Miami Startup Weekend
Build a startup from scratch in less than three days. There’s no better way to get a feel for entrepreneurship than at Startup Weekend, a global startup event series that has helped launch hundreds of new businesses, build stronger startup communities, and educated thousands of start uppers around the world.
It’s clear to me that Startup Weekend Miami events have sparked many of the connections in the conferences and meetup groups I attended in my sprint through the Miami startup community.
It was fun to immerse myself in the Florida startup community for a few days. While the car-centric sprawl of South Florida poses serious challenges for founders who are hungry to connect, a consistent cadence Miami startup events is establishing lines of communication and new opportunities for collaboration.
Have you experienced the same?