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Initiative buoys up for Miami’s booming technology scene

Ten entrepreneurs sponsored with LAB Miami memberships

Ashley Montgomery | 1/30/2014, 9 a.m.
Miami is most known for its palm trees, sizzling weather and sunny beaches —but as of late it has become ...
Fabiola Fleuranvil

Miami is most known for its palm trees, sizzling weather and sunny beaches —but as of late it has become home of something least suspecting — technology.

Those at the Young Professionals Network [YPN] and the Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust [MDEAT] are ensuring that the Black community is getting involved while the field is on the come-up.

Fabiola Fleuranvil, board member for the Young Professionals Network says that this is the next big thing and Blacks must do what they have to do to be apart of this new industry while it’s still in its start-up stages. Reason why, the MDEAT made a generous endowment of $5,000 to YPN in order to assist 10 of their members with membership for six months to one of the most popular tech-hubs in the city, Lab Miami.

LAB Miami is a co-working campus located in the heart of Wynwood for social and tech innovation. As their website states: “We are an entrepreneurial community of creatives that learn, act and build together.” This major contribution to those deserving YPN members was an effort to possibly create the next black billionaires. The participants interested went through an application process, where they had to fill out a questionnaire and of those whom applied, members that showed the most need were selected for LAB Miami memberships.

“Hopefully by the end of the six months some amazing success stories will be born,” Fleuranvil said.

YPN says that they are grateful for John Dixon, executive director for MDEAT, for recognizing this need for the Black community.

“MDEAT provided this opportunity to connect those to the possibilities to LAB Miami,” Dixon said.

“I hope that it will provide some economic platform and of course socially opposed to opportunities,” Dixon said.

Dixon says that if they’re not plugged into the growth of this “world-class-city” as everyone says then we haven’t done our job.

“If only one segment is flourishing, then none of our people will see the need to stay here,” Dixon said. As per a study Dixon participated in study in 2008 with Florida International’s Metropolitan Center, he learned that Black talent showed a trend of moving away and flourishing in other cities and not coming back because they didn’t feel they were getting the support needed. Dixon says that this is something that has stuck with him and something that he is working on changing, hence his contribution to YPN.

Thanks to Fleuranvil and her passion and energy towards the importance of making sure Blacks are getting ahead in every aspect of the business and technology world, Dixon says that he felt this was something worthwhile and needed for the betterment of Black businesses.