As a city known more for its beaches rather than its small business owners, Miami isn’t often regarded as a place for entrepreneurship to thrive in. However, as proud supporters of Miami’s brave and bold underdogs, we at Bold Patents recognize the potential that this city has to offer. That is why we created this short guide to opening a business in Miami.
Whether you’re looking to start a business from scratch or open up a new one, here are our top 23 resources for inventors and entrepreneurs in Miami!
Imagine a medium-sized, private research university that consistently excels in both academic and athletic arenas. Now imagine it as a place where you can learn how to become both a marine-biologist and the (potential) proud owner of your very own business. Combined with a bit of diversity and VR technology and what you have is an exact picture of how the University of Miami can help YOU succeed in and outside of the classroom!
Since 1925, this school has helped its students succeed by offering innovative dual-degree programs such as Fellows in Latin American Studies and places to practice their newfound entrepreneurial skills such as hospitals located in the Miami Health District and the university’s very own innovation center.
For those who are interested in science, business, and technology, this university is considered one of the very best places to take your skills there. This is especially true if you’re new to the world of entrepreneurship and don’t know where exactly to start off at.
From the top of the globe to the ocean’s floor, Florida International University(FIU) has helped its students achieve success in and outside the classroom by providing its students with “Worlds Ahead opportunities” such as study abroad trips to China and internships at any of their three museums: Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, the Wolfsonian – FIU, and the Jewish Museum of Florida.
Originally an abandoned airstrip, FIU ultimately developed into, “a leading cultural institution” where innovation thrives and solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems (rise in sea levels, childhood mental disorders, and much more) are just about on the rise.
Just recently, the National Science Foundation awarded the university $1 million to train policy scientists in cyberinfrastructure.
For those who are looking for a school that offers its students more than new athletic uniforms and fancy technology, FIU is considered one of the top schools to go to.
Did we mention that it’s also the only public university in South Florida to be deemed a Carnegie Very High Research institution?
We mentioned this organization a number of times in some of our previous articles such as our business resources in Seattle and Houston articles, but for those of you who don’t know already, the US Small Business Administration (SBA) is a government-run facility that offers information on small business loans, grants, bonds, and other financial assistance.
As the nation’s, “only go-to resource and voice for small businesses” since 1953, it has been the only cabinet-level federal agency fully dedicated to providing counseling, capital, and contracting expertise to small businesses.
While SBA does not make loans directly, they can help you find a local lender who can help you with your loan application.
Here in Miami, the SBA offers a plethora of resources to anyone looking to start a business. For those looking to market their businesses, the SBA, along with their partner, SCORE, will be offering a session on email and social media marketing on October 1st, 2019 from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm EDT. The cost is $35 per person.
Funded in 1976 by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the Florida SBDC Network is one of eight original SBDC pilot programs that successfully combines community service and education in order to help fellow entrepreneurs in the Miami-Dade community. To do so, they provide business management and technical assistance to owners at little or no cost.
According to its website, “Starting with only two service centers in the first year of operation, the Florida SBDC Network has grown to a statewide network of more than 40 centers involving universities, colleges, and other economic development partner organizations.”
For those looking to take their business skills to the next level, the Miami-Dade Office of the Florida SBDC is considered one of the best places to start off in.
At this time, they are offering a survey for those whose businesses were affected by Hurricane Dorian.
As one of South Florida’s most passionate groups of inventors, The Inventors Society of South Florida is a 501 (C) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to helping independent inventors across the area learn how to market their inventions to the right customers.
Since 1983, the group has helped inventors in the area learn how to do so by sending out newsletters, posting information on their website, hosting guest speakers, and so on. From time to time, the group hosts pitch practicing sessions for those who need a little bit of help improving their public speaking skills.
For those who are interested in learning more about this amazing innovative group, members (and non-members) can meet at the James A Rutherford Community Center at 1 pm on the 2nd Saturday of every month (time and date subject to change).
Let’s face it, in an economy where people are forced to “spend money in order to make money,” it can be very frustrating for inventors to get their product to market. That’s where Patent Pro Bono.
Created with the assistance of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and in collaboration with firms and attorneys throughout Florida, Patent Pro Bono FL is a statewide program created by the Arts & Business Council of Miami that provides inventors and other creative people with free pro bono patent attorneys.
To qualify, inventors are required to pay a $50 administrative fee, as well as the appropriate filing, search, examination, and issuance fees.
Overall, not a bad deal if you’re looking to get your product to market!
Created by the brave and bold folks of SoFlo Business Alliance, SoFlo Millennial Entrepreneurs is an entrepreneur group that offers networking opportunities, free business seminars, and positive feedback sessions for those looking to start a business in Miami. While this group is mainly catered towards millennials, anyone who considers themselves as a fellow entrepreneur is welcome to attend.
Every 3rd Sunday of the month, the group meets at a Dunkin Donuts shop. For those who are interested in meeting with other fellow entrepreneurs in a more casual setting while munching on donuts and coffee, this is considered one of the best groups to join.
According to their website, the next networking session will take place on Sunday, October 20, 2019, from [2:00] PM to [4:00] PM.
Meanwhile, the next free business seminar will take place on Tuesday, October 22, 2019, from[9:00] AM to [12:15] PM. For those who are looking to learn more about, “how to run an entire business with one cloud-based platform in Miami,” at this time, they are taking registration.
Founded in 1975 by a group of female business owners who lobbied successfully for the Women’s Business Act, the group has provided its members with access to directories, a newsletter, and networking opportunities. Since then, it has expanded to many different areas of the United States and across the world.
For those looking to learn more about this group of talented entrepreneurs, the NAWBO hosts general meetings (with the exception of holidays) on the second Wednesday of every month from 6-9 pm at The Crowne Plaza Airport in Miami.
Standing as, “the largest tech and entrepreneurial community in South Florida and beyond” since 2007, Refresh Miami is a 501c3 non-profit organization geared to those looking to connect with a community of hackers, early adopters, entrepreneurs, and many other creative individuals.
Founded in 2006, Refresh Miami started out as a handful of friends sharing ideas in a local Starbucks. Since then, it has grown into a community where hundreds of entrepreneurs and technology professionals gather together to discuss the latest trends and advances in technology and entrepreneurship.
If you’re looking for a group of passionate innovators and tech enthusiasts, definitely give Refresh Miami a try. We promise that the experience will be very worthwhile.
Endeavor Miami is a non-profit organization that provides business counseling services and panels to businesses looking to move beyond startup status.
Since September 2013, this group has helped fellow entrepreneurs in Miami get to where they should be by hosting the ScaleUp Program. This program is a cohort-based five-month program for companies, “with a market-tested business model seeking to scale their businesses faster.”
In order to qualify, the business must be at about $500k in annual revenues and have at least one full-time employee. It must also have a clear interest in Endeavor and in joining the organization in the future.
Digital Grass Innovation and Technology (D.G.I.T.) is an organization that provides female and minority-owned startups with access to investors, mentors, symposiums and other resources needed to help them thrive in Miami entrepreneurial world.
From time to time, hosts events such as Spirits and Bytes, a mixer for entrepreneurs, and 2 Techies, which is, “ a series of candid conversations featuring entrepreneurs of South Florida’s tech and innovation scene,” discussing everything from current topics to personal passions in a more casual setting.
For those looking to combine their love for business and technology, D.G.I.T. is a valuable resource to utilize.
Around since 1964, SCORE Miami is a volunteer-led organization geared to helping small independent business owners thrive in Miami’s competitive environment. To do so, they provide owners with free to reduced-cost workshops, counseling sessions, and seminars on everything from accounting to creating a business plan according to their needs.
For those looking to save money for retirement, SCORE is hosting a free workshop on Thursday, October 10, 2019, at 10 AM – [11:30] AM EDT.
They are also hosting a grant writing workshop on Wednesday, October 16, 2019, from [6:00] PM to [8:00] PM EDT. The cost is $25 in advance and is open to all independent business owners in the Miami-Dade area.
Of course, since SCORE is a national volunteer organization, they can be found in cities such as Philadelphia, New York, Phoenix, and much more!
Little Haiti Cultural Complex is a minority-based organization that aims “ to present and preserve Afro-Caribbean cultures‚ inspire the next generation of leaders and leverage arts and culture as tools for transformation and community building.”
To do so, they offer workshop training series to small business owners in Miami looking to build on basic skills such as recordkeeping, team building, digital marketing, and much more depending on sponsorship!
Radical Partners is a “social impact accelerator” that helps independent business owners thrive in a competitive market and give back to the community.
Focused on “ventures that have a positive social impact,” the group provides workshops and boot camps for owners looking to improve on their current entrepreneurial skills such as media training and pitch practicing
At this time, they are currently investing a total of $1,000,000 through a one-year experimental fellowship focused on teaching music to young people in Miami. For those who are interested in refining their entrepreneurship skills and teaching music, Radical Partners is a great place to start off in.
As one of Miami’s top part-time accelerator programs, Venture Hive is the place where regardless of where your business stands in today’s competitive market, anyone can have a shot at making a name for themselves here!
While some accelerators only cater to one type of company, Venture Hive caters to multiple. Depending on which program you and your business qualify for, owners have the choice between Idea to MVP (Pre-revenue) and Startup to Sustainable Business (Pre-revenue to $3M in revenue).
Also, since the programs are paid, Venture Hive does NOT take any equity out of you or your company’s pockets. This way, owners can still retain complete control of their business as it grows!
Did we mention that the programs also provide free consultation to owners with lawyers, accountants, and other specialists?
From marketing VR technologies to children’s hospitals across America to patenting drugs that may one-day cure cancer, StartupBootCamp Digital Health Miami is an international accelerator geared to helping fellow entrepreneurs market themselves in today’s competitive environment.
While the accelerator primarily focuses on digital health technologies, all scientific based companies are welcome to apply. If selected, your startup would have the chance to network with leading Miami hospital systems and angel VCs.
In order to qualify, participants must fill out an application and go through a series of interviews and programs such as FastTrack events.
According to the website, the program starts in December and ends in late March with a Demo Day.
EcoTech Visions is “a maker manufacturing lab” and incubator designed to help entrepreneurs create, plan, and launch innovative and “green” manufacturing businesses in South Florida. In addition to providing businesses with places to work and collaborate in(coworking space and makerspace), they also offer business resources and quarterly Shark Tank-style competitions.
For those who are interested in learning more about this organization, EcoTech Visions hosts an Artisians in the Garden event. This event takes place on the 2nd and 4th Saturday, of each month from [12:00] PM to [6:00] PM, year-round.
They even have a free coding course on their website where future business owners can learn, HTML, SVG, CSS, and more!
The Launch Pad is a University of Miami based incubator geared towards students and alumni entrepreneurs looking to create the next Fortune 500 companies in America.
Created in partnership with the UM Summer Scholars program, the Launch Pad helps its students and alumni understand the fundamentals of starting a business by offering them a chance to complete a two-week summer crash course on entrepreneurship (non-credited). Those who complete the course will receive a University of Miami Academy Certificate, which can be used for graduate school and potential job opportunities.
In 2018, Launch Pad opened the university’s very own SkyLab coworking space. Thus making it easier for students, staff, and alumni alike to come together and make Miami a more innovative city.
For those looking to learn more about entrepreneurship outside of school hours, the Launch Pad’s crash course is especially great to take advantage of.
Founded in 2012 by a public, world-renowned innovation technology company, Rokk3r is a tech incubator that strives to bring entrepreneurs, corporations, and investors together in order to create the inventions of tomorrow.
From business diagnosis to strategy design and beyond, Rokk3r helps blockchain, IoT, AI, and Big Data companies augment and adapt to a world where trends and problems are deemed almost unpredictable to encapsulate.
Because of the incubator’s accomplishments, it has often been regarded as, “the world’s first ‘cobuilding’ platform for entrepreneurs, corporations, and investors alike.”
Formerly known as AGP, Miami Angels is a Miami-based angel investor network that invests itself in early-stage technology companies throughout the Florida region.
Every four to six weeks, Miami Angels hold pitching meetings in order to determine which startups should its members invest in. As such, “Miami Angels is not a fund but rather an investment club of like-minded accredited investors.” Think of Miami Angels as the ultimate Shark Tank experience.
“A hybrid of a venture capital fund and crowd-funding platform,” Florida Funders is a seed funding group that invests in early-stage technology companies throughout Florida.
Using a highly selective process, Florida Funders chooses its companies based on how likely are they able to provide a 10x return on investment and how quickly are they able to scale with an injection of capital.
According to its about page, “Florida Funders typically invests $500K to $750K into Seed or Series A rounds.” For those looking to gain funding from a highly competitive group, Florida Funders is definitely the group to go to.
With more than 100 years of serving the Miami-Dade community, the Miami-Dade Public Library System offers its fellow entrepreneurs more than books to read and quiet places to study in. From its world-renowned Technobus to its innovative Youmake Miami makerspaces, the Miami-Dade Public Library System has since been regarded as a place for entrepreneurs as young as 5 years old to learn what it takes to thrive in today’s competitive market.
A few months ago, The Miami-Dade Public Library System (MDPLS) was awarded the Florida Library Association (FLA) Award for Library Innovation for its Technobus, makerspaces, and teen tech programs. If you’re looking for a good place to help you and your family members learn more about starting a business in Miami, definitely give this system a shot!
And yes, even “non-technical” entrepreneurs can take advantage of what the library has to offer.
When it comes to bringing ideas and inventions to market, there’s no question that the patent filing process can be so confusing to navigate.
That is why here at Bold Patents, we exist to help our clients through the legal processes of intellectual property in Miami. This way, they too can get their innovations to market as quickly, safely, and efficiently as possible.
Because they focus only on patents, they are able to find the lawyer(s) that best fit a certain company’s needs.
If you would like to know more about what a patent is and what the steps for finding the patent that’s right for your invention, then check out this article on what is a patent.
There you have it! The top 23 resources for inventors and entrepreneurs in Miami:
University of Miami – A university that excels in athletics and academics all at once!
Florida International University – The only public university in South Florida to be deemed a Carnegie Very High Research institution
Offices for Small Businesses:
US Small Business Administration, Miami – Your future go-to government place for all of your loan needs
Miami-Dade Office of the Florida Small Business Development Center – A government-run organization that successfully combines community service and education for Miami small business owners alike
Inventors Society of South Florida – Pairing inventors with the right customers since 1983
Patent Pro Bono FL – Great for inventors looking for free patent attorneys
SoFlo Millennial Entrepreneurs (1200+) – Perfect for millennial entrepreneurs looking to learn more about the wonderful world of entrepreneurship
National Association of Women Business Owners Miami – Great for women-led business owners looking to connect with other women-led business owners
Refresh Miami – Standing as, “the largest tech and entrepreneurial community in South Florida and beyond” since 2007
Endeavor Miami – Great for small businesses looking to go beyond startup level
Digital Grass Innovation and Technology (D.G.I.T.) – Great for women-led and minority-led business owners looking to learn more about entrepreneurship
SCORE Miami – Serving confidential, custom-made conferences to independent business owners since 1964
Little Haiti Cultural Complex – A minority-based organization that aims “ to present and preserve Afro-Caribbean cultures‚ inspire the next generation of leaders and leverage arts and culture as tools for transformation and community building.”
Radical Partners – “A social impact accelerator” that is currently aiming to help promote music in youthful education in Miami
Venture Hive Miami – An accelerator for all qualified business owners (from startups to the beyond)
StartupBootCamp Digital Health Miami – An international accelerator for all health-based businesses alike
Incubators and Makerspace Groups:
Ecotech Visions – Great for eco-friendly businesses looking to bring their innovations to life!
The LaunchPad – The University of Miami’s very own incubator for students, staff, and alumni alike!
Rokk3r – “The world’s first ‘cobuilding’ platform for entrepreneurs, corporations, and investors alike.”
Seed Funding/Venture Capital:
Miami Angels – Miami’s very own “ investment club of like-minded accredited investors”
Florida Funders – “A hybrid of a venture capital fund and crowd-funding platform” for Florida businesses alike
Miami-Dade Public Library System – Great for those looking for a library that offers free, innovative space and Technobus for entrepreneurs of all ages to work and thrive in
Miami Patent Attorneys:
Bold Patents – Your future go-to place for all of your patenting needs!
Now tell us, what do you think of these resources? Are there any others that you recommend that we add to our list? Let us know in the comments below!
Legal Note: This blog article does not constitute legal advice. Although the article was written by a licensed USPTO patent attorney there are many factors and complexities that come into patenting an idea. We recommend you consult a lawyer if you want legal advice for your particular situation. No attorney-client or confidential relationship exists by simply reading and applying the steps stated in this blog article.