Venture Café Miami and CIC Miami named finalists for 2018 Beacon Awards

Miami, Fla. —April 18, 2018– The Beacon Council named Venture Café Miami and CIC Miami as finalists for the 16th Annual Beacon Awards, both in the category of Entrepreneurship and Innovation.  These awards are bestowed on organizations and individuals who have made impact and demonstrated leadership in the categories outlined in the One Community, One Goal initiative.  

Since its fall 2016 launch, Venture Cafe Miami’s #ThursdayGathering has attracted over 20,000 attendees growing to what is now the largest weekly convening of innovators in South Florida.  Through its unique “align and amplify” approach, it has hosted over 650 free educational sessions and established over 450 content delivery partnerships with local and national organizations.

“Our efforts to advance inclusion, access, diversity and connectivity within Miami’s entrepreneurial and innovation community are truly a collaborative endeavour,” remarks Leigh-Ann Buchanan, Executive Director of Venture Café Miami, “We are honored to be named finalists for this esteemed award.”

In less than two years, CIC Miami has grown to house 250+ startups and researchers, be the home of five formal acceleration programs, and co-launched the first shared wet laboratory facility in South Florida. It has also executed softlanding agreements with several Latin American and European countries, attracted additional seed and venture capital investment to Miami-Dade, and focused on driving thought leadership around the industries and opportunities most needed in the region by establishing working groups, collaborating with various university partners, and generating weekly programming.

“The objective of CIC Miami is not to build a building or a set of buildings, but to drive forward the kinds of new partnerships, activations, and solutions that will help our county close gaps and accelerate innovation,” says Natalia Martinez-Kalinina, General Manager of CIC Miami, “it is a privilege to be acknowledged for these efforts so shortly after our launch and we are deeply grateful to The Beacon Council for their support.”

As Miami-Dade County’s official economic development partnership, the Miami-Dade Beacon Council facilitates local, national and international business growth and expansion programs, helping companies of all sizes in diverse industries achieve their goals.


About Venture Café Miami

We are an independent 50l(c)(3) non-profit organization focused on enhancing the growth of South Florida’s entrepreneurial and innovation community by working collaboratively with other stakeholders to make it diverse, inclusive, accessible and better connected across industry and socioeconomic lines through high-impact programs and strategic initiatives. Learn more about our Impact.

About CIC Miami

Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) is the oldest and largest convener of startup activity in The United States, with over 18 years of activity in Cambridge/Boston. CIC’s focus on creating inclusive innovation ecosystems has expanded to Miami, where they opened its doors in October 2016 as the company’s fifth expansion site. With a vision to bridge the nation’s second largest health district with the rest of the city’s thriving innovation corridor, CIC Miami combines coworking, flexible offices, and laboratory spaces layered with robust programming, advising, and community initiatives. Learn more about our mission and impact in Miami.


For statements on behalf of Venture Cafe Miami:

Leigh-Ann Buchanan: / 305-981-6875

For statements on behalf of the CIC Miami:

Natalia Martinez-Kalinina: / 305-342-7356

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