Startup ecosystems can be difficult to navigate for newcomers, which is detrimental for local startups and community growth. Understanding the resources available to you as a founder is one of the most productive activities possible, and will increase an entrepreneur's chance of success. The Startup Ecosystem Canvas seeks to provide local entrepreneurs with a clear list of resources for every stage of their startup journey, and outline a basic framework for communities to map their ecosystem.
With applications now open for the Florida-Silicon Valley Founder Institute, we are excited to release the updated South Florida Startup Ecosystem Canvas (now version 5.0). It's a crowdsourced list of the entrepreneur resources available in the South Florida area, and it was compiled by the Florida-Silicon Valley Founder Institute and local leaders James Irvine (Cofounder, 305 Works ), Roxette Miranda (Co-Founder, 305 Works ), Alexander Loveyko ( IP, Entertainment and Internet Attorney) and Alfredo Ferrari (Investor & Entrepreneur - Lyfx).
More input is needed, so please leave your comments on this collaborative Google document, and it will be considered for the next update.
The list has been included in text version below, for searchability.
There is no one right way to build a technology company, but for the sake of simplicity we have outlined a basic, common, sequential framework.
1. Idea Stage
This is where new entrepreneurs get inspired, learn best practices, develop skills, validate ideas, and begin to build their team and product.
- South Florida Startup Media: Centralized local information, listings, and news. (i.e. startup blogs/ publications/ lists/ FB groups/ newsletters)
- South Florida Inspirational Startup Events: Open, inclusive, beginner tech events that often focus on ideation. (i.e. Startup Weekend, idea fairs, and inspirational meetups)
- Best Practices Startup Events: Beginner knowledge-sharing events. (i.e. beginner events that serve to educate more than inspire, like 1 Million Cups, Startup Grind, Startup Founder 101, etc).
- Training & Feedback: Skill & Idea development events and bootcamps for entrepreneurs. (Ex. bootcamps and comprehensive training programs, like Founder Institute, General Assembly, Lean Startup Machine, code camps, etc)
- Team Formation: Events and Resources for finding co-founders and early teams in the Miami area. (i.e. events or other resources that facilitate early-stage recruitment and cofounder matching)
- South Florida Product Workshops: Hackathons & resources to help build your first product. (i.e. hackathons and other builder-focused events and resources)
2. Launch Stage
In this stage, entrepreneurs establish and formalize the company, develop the product, get feedback from customers, and prepare for the next step.
- Establish: Startup law firms & banks that specialize in helping new companies
- Workspace: Co-working and flexible workspaces (note: “official” office space goes in 3.1.a. Infrastructure)
- Formalize: Accounting, CPAs, development, and HR resources for early-stage startups.
- Prepare for Seed: Startup incubators and advanced mentorship. (i.e. advanced knowledge sharing, later stage events and resources for startup TEAMS)
- South Florida Seed Accelerators: Seed funding mentor programs (Techstars-style programs that provide funding)
- Pitch & Demo Days: Showcases for local startups to present to investors (i.e. demo days for companies seeking seed investment)
3. Growth Stage
Here, a startup proves their utility, receives recognition, and scales up. This usually requires funding, angels, VCs, and ways to connect them to startups.
- South Florida Investor Networking: Events and groups that connect professional investors (venture capitalists and angel investors) with founders.
- Major Tech Media: Mainstream business press and tech media. (i.e. major local or regional publications that frequently champion local businesses)
- South Florida Angel Investors and Micro-VCs: Early and Seed-stage investors
- South Florida Venture Capitalists: Series A investment and beyond
- Infrastructure: Office space, HR, local business insurance. (i.e. office space/ HR/ insurance providers for capital-rich companies to grow and scale)
- South Florida Startup Scaling: Growth accelerators and tech consultants. (i.e. programs and business consultants for capital-rich companies to grow and scale)
4. Florida Startup Success Stories
Successful homegrown companies that have raised significant institutional funding, employ a large workforce, or have achieved liquidity.
To facilitate the steps, every ecosystem needs strong supporters.
1. Tech Evangelists
A list of potential advisors. Successful local founders who lead the ecosystem & frequently mentor newbies. (i.e. Local leaders who have taken a leadership position, speak at a lot of startup events, mentor all the programs, etc.)
Public startup programs, grants, and other services that facilitate local economic development.
Major local business or tech universities and employers that attract and retain local talent.
- Local South Florida Universities (Universities with prominent technical or business programs)
- Local Employers (Major technical employers, like Microsoft or Google or large local companies, with large local offices)
Learn more about the Startup Ecosystem Canvas here, and leave us your thoughts on the South Florida Canvas on this collaborative Google document (This is just a DRAFT, and more input is needed!)
Are you looking to build a startup in Florida? Then apply to the Florida-Silicon Founder Institute today