Senator named executive director of Innovation Florida

Florida Sen. Maria Sachs is the new executive director of Innovation Florida.
Florida Sen. Maria Sachs is the new executive director of Innovation Florida.

Florida Sen. Maria Sachs has been appointed executive director of Innovation Florida, a South Florida-based non-profit co-founded by Greenspoon Marder, Citrix and The South Florida Accelerator. Also this week, the South Florida Accelerator opened a new Miami office.

Innovation Florida aims to connect the state’s technology communities and be a shared resource and advocacy center that provides support in policy advancement, academic outreach, workforce development, talent acquisition and entrepreneurship.

As one of the founding directors, Sachs will promote the growth of the organization through alliances with domestic and international partners to further the innovation ecosystem of our state. In her new role, she will promote efforts to bring more high-paying jobs at tech companies for Florida’s university graduates. She will also support high-impact research initiatives in the universities and encourage entrepreneurship.

“I am excited to be a part of a new initiative that will link venture capital and multi-national corporations, to research and development with our state universities, colleges and entrepreneurs,” said Sachs, who did not seek re-election this fall.

Through state appropriations, the senator championed for expansion of research centers throughout the university system. She also helped pass legislation that offered public school teachers free STEM courses at universities.

The South Florida Accelerator recently opened a new office in Miami at the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) at Converge Miami. Co-founders Thomas Buchar and Christopher Malter will be heading up the Miami operations at 1951 NW Seventh Ave. The accelerator aims to facilitate innovation in life sciences, big data, human capital enterprise and fintech, particularly through strategic partnerships with industry, education and government.