This article is sponsored by Comcast NBCUniversal, as part of the Tomorrow Tour.
The landscape for innovation in Miami is wide open.
“There are very few barriers to entry, so it’s a great place to be if you want to bootstrap an idea,” said Rebekah Monson, cofounder and VP of product at WhereBy.Us, a media startup that connects people to their cities through storytelling and experiences.
“I’m excited to see more entrepreneurs and tech organizations with strong track records moving into our tech scene now,” she said. “I think this sort of energy alongside increasing investment will help us accelerate into the next phase of growth, when more promising early-stage startups can mature.”
Monson also loves Miami for the fact that many area tech leaders give back to the community, with most company founders bolstering the talent pipeline by supporting other Miami startups and advocating for the city among investors and their peers.
The series aims to explore and document how technology and innovation converge to strengthen cities across the country.
The free evening roundtable and networking event on March 2 will connect local entrepreneurs, technologists, policymakers and new thinkers for discussions about the future of innovation and entrepreneurship. Following the networking happy hour, Kelly Hoey will present the keynote. The Inc.com contributor is an expert in leveraging networks, building engaged communities and positioning strategies for rising above the networking noise, both online and off.
The evening concludes with a panel discussion on where Miami fits in among other U.S. tech communities.
Consumer products and advanced manufacturing represent the best sectors for growth and potential in the Miami area, according to recent studies. The Kauffman Foundation Index of Entrepreneurial Activity ranked Miami No. 2 in terms of startup activity. Florida also ranks as the No. 4 state in manufacturing exports and No. 3 in overall job growth.
Get to know these 6 other Miami-area innovators:
1. Pandwe Gibson, EcoTech Visions
Part green business incubator, part nonprofit, EcoTech Visions strives to bring back manufacturing to Florida. It offers experienced guidance to environmentally conscious and progressive startup companies, while using the company’s model to simultaneously increase domestic entrepreneurship and act as a role model for corporate etiquette as it relates to future environmental sustainability.
“I’ve always had an interest in environmental finance,” said Gibson, EcoTech’s founder and CEO. “We look at the future and focus on how we can create economic opportunities and exponential growth.”
2. Sankesh Abbhi, Synowledge
Sankesh Abbhi works to make Synowledge a global leader in drug safety, regulatory affairs and related IT services to small, midsized and large pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies. Prior to founding Synowledge, Sankesh held senior account management positions at Aris Global, a provider of integrated software solutions for life sciences companies.
3. Rony Abovitz, Magic Leap
Magic Leap is developing the next computing platform that will enable people to seamlessly combine and experience their digital and physical lives. Founder and CEO Rony Abovitz recently announced $793.5 million in new funding, led by Alibaba Group.
4. Nabyl Charania, Rokk3r Labs
In a process Rokk3r Labs calls “cobuilding,” its strategists, creatives and engineers partner with entrepreneurs to design, build and launch exponential organizations. Rokk3r cofounder and CEO Nabyl Charania shapes the global vision, direction and expansion of the company.
5. Jason Ibarra, Startup Grind Miami
Ibarra, Startup Grind Miami’s director, wears many different hats: entrepreneur, digital marketer and technology/digital marketing recruiter. In 2012, he cofounded HalfOffDrinks.com, a growth-hacked Groupon clone focused on bars and nightlife. The site grew to 10,000 subscribers in Miami within three months. An event series and website, Startup Grind helps to educate, inspire and connect local entrepreneurs.
6. Florian Seroussi, Labotec
Founded by Florian Seroussi in 2009, Labotec has launched dozens of businesses into the mobile world, increasing brand exposure and profit margins along the way. By focusing on flexibility and a la carte approach, Labotec allows its customers and partners to cost-effectively implement a mobile marketing strategy.
Tomorrow Tour Miami will be held March 2 from 5-7:30 p.m. at the Newman Alumni Center, University of Miami (6200 San Amaro Dr., Coral Gables).-30-