Rokk Miami plans roadmap for tech hub

 

ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

What does Miami need to put it on the map as a vibrant tech hub?

That’s the focus of Monday’s Rokk Miami, which will bring together up to 140 people from the community — entrepreneurs, foundations, government leaders, educators, big businesses and others — to assemble a roadmap for building a tech hub. Rokk Miami will be hosted by Miami Beach-based Rokk3r Labs, the Knight Foundation and Brad Feld, the well-known investor and author of Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City who will be at the event to advise and help guide the roadmap process.

The participant list for the April 29th gathering was curated to represent a broad spectrum of the community but to be mostly entrepreneurs, said Nabyl Charania, managing director of Rokk3r Labs, a hybrid accelerator that launches disruptive companies that has grown to 33 employees in a year. Under the guidance of Feld and the assistance of The Value Web, which helps facilitate collaboration, the large group will be subdivided into smaller groups that will be asked to come up with strategies in various areas such as angel and later-stage funding, branding Miami, and attracting and retaining tech talent.

Noting the successes of Refresh Miami, Knight Foundation, Venture Hive, The LAB Miami, Pipeline and other groups and that many of the pieces needed for a vibrant tech community are already in place, Charania said: “Our goal is to come up with a roadmap. We want executable goals so as entrepreneurs we can take ownership of some pieces and other people take ownership of other pieces. Everyone needs to buy in. We are not naive enough to think this will happen in one sitting, but we hope this ignites the spark and entrepreneurs will get inspired to band together to achieve the goals they decide upon.”

Later on Monday, at 4 p.m., Feld will give a presentation about building a startup community; it will be at The LAB Miami and it is open to the public. He'll sign books, too. As of Friday, more than 300 people had registered for the free event. More information is here: rokkmiami.eventbrite.com/

“Like Brad says in his book, we can’t wait for government, we can’t wait for investors to come here, it has to be entrepreneurial led,”said Charania. To build a tech and startup hub, “we have to take responsibility.”

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