FIU has received a $150,000 grant from JPMorgan Chase to create the Venture Miami Opportunity Program, in partnership with the City of Miami, which will provide access and support to female business owners of color.
The program will help close Miami’s inclusion gap among Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) by enrolling 20 BIPOC female business leaders affiliated with community-based organizations in Miami.
Structured as a cohort model, the new program within FIU’s Office of Engagement will provide intensive management and leadership training to participants. The four key areas of focus will be talent, technology, social network, and access to capital. The program also aims to spark new partnerships with community-based organizations that serve people of color across Miami and South Florida, including the South Florida Black Prosperity Alliance and the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce.
“Our vision to create a Miami tech hub continues to gain light because of partnerships like these, as we develop the future of Venture Miami,” said Mayor Francis Suarez. “The City of Miami is proud to partner with JPMorgan Chase and Florida International University to support our communities as we continue toward the future.”
The gift, benefitting the Next Horizon campaign which advances student success and research excellence at FIU, will allow the FIU Office of Engagement to hire an Opportunity Program Director with a proven track record in the technology and innovation sectors. The gift will also leverage the partnership with Venture Miami by providing cohort members access to venture capitalists.
“Miami is the new hub for technology and innovation, with new businesses and organizations making their way to South Florida daily,” said Caryn Lavernia, assistant vice president of the Office of Engagement. “At FIU’s Office of Engagement, we are making strides to ensure our communities are being represented and supported in this new Miami tech wave, and we are excited and grateful that JPMorgan Chase has partnered with us for this new initiative.”
Alongside the launch of the Venture Miami Opportunity Program, FIU Engagement and the City of Miami will co-host the MiamiTech Conference – a hybrid (in-person and virtual) conference that will give Venture Miami Opportunity Program cohort members the opportunity to showcase projects sprouting from the new program and provide cohort members with professional development and networking opportunities with globally recognized speakers and organizations.
JPMorgan Chase serves the Miami business community through its more than 1,200 employees and 252 branches in the region. The company provides local, specialized expertise and services to early-stage founders as well as to established technology companies in Miami through its range of commercial banking, lending, and personal financial services.
“JPMorgan Chase is always seeking ways to innovatively support the people who live and work in our communities,” said Maria Escorcia, vice president of Philanthropy and Program Officer for Florida for the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. “By partnering with FIU, we’re ensuring that all people and communities within South Florida have the opportunity to benefit and be part of the explosive tech industry in Miami. Together, we can change the face of entrepreneurship and show the world how diverse and inclusive it can be.”
To learn more about enrolling in the Venture Miami Opportunity Program’s inaugural cohort of founders, please click here to fill out this brief form.
To learn more about investing in these founders’ ventures, contact the Office of Engagement via email by clicking here.