5 things to know in #MiamiTech: Growth Week deadline nears, plus news about BMTT, design bootcamps, founders, funding and more


1 Opportunity knocks: TheVentureCity Growth Week taking applications

The deadline to apply for TheVentureCity’s Growth Week is coming up. (UPDATE: extended to Sept. 7)
During the week of Sept. 21-25, TheVentureCity will share how product can be the main driver of growth and why this approach is being used by successful startups like Slack, Dropbox, Zoom and many others. Founders will learn how to build a repeatable and scalable playbook to acquire, retain and grow customers, driven by in-product customer behavior, feedback, product usage and analytics. Topics over the five days will also include designing the product in a user-centric way, making data-driven decisions and fundraising.
At the end of the week, TheVentureCity will be offering two startups a spot in their Growth Accelerator program, which includes a $100k investment, pending due diligence. Click here for more information and to apply today.
The virtual program is free. The application deadline is Sept 7 (UPDATED)

2 Black Men Talk Tech’s conference returns in October

Black Men Talk Tech’s Unicorn Ambition Conference will return to Miami for year 2 – virtually, of course. The conference, which debuted last year, aims to help build community and bridge the startup world’s inequality gap.
Black Men Talk Tech is also holding events leading up to the conference, including virtual fireside chats on Aug. 28 featuring Gregory Johnson and Dawn Dickson, and a Military Vet Pitch Competition Sept. 25.
The multi-day conference will include key speakers, virtual networking events and a pitch competition. To see who is speaking at the conference and to register, go here.
The conference was co-founded by Abiodun Johnson, Boris Moyston, Temante Leary and Evan Leaphart, and it is supported by the Knight Foundation.

3 Homegrown UX-UI training programs get national recognition

This week Course Report named 16 to its list of best bootcamps for UX-UI training and the 305 was well represented. To be considered for Course Report’s list of top UX design bootcamps, schools had to meet the following criteria:

  • Offer an immersive web design or user experience program
  • Be instructor or mentor led
  • Assist students with building a design portfolio
  • Provide career assistance
  • Graduated at least one cohort of students and be rated at least ★★★★ by alumni
  • Other attributes including a selective application process, reputable instructors and mentors, a commitment to diversity, transparent student outcomes, and scholarships or innovative payment plans.

Making the list of 16 are the homegrown training programs Ironhack and Wyncode, both highly ranked by former students. New York-based General Assembly, which expanded to the Miami market last year. Course Report, an authority on immersive tech education, has been tracking the design bootcamp industry since 2013.
See the full list here.
4 Founder news to note

  • This week, Caribu debuted a web-based version of its popular family entertainment video-calling app. “This exciting news now makes us the world’s first multi-platform interactive video experience (available on iOS/ Android phones + tablets and web) that is specifically designed for children to enjoy drawing, reading, and playing games with their friends and relatives,” says CEO Maxeme Tuchman. Check it out here.
  • The John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships today named 11 journalists, technologists and community leaders across the U.S. as JSK Community Impact Fellows for 2020-2021. Gregory Johnson, founder and director of Code for South Florida, was one of them. His project: Implementing participatory budgeting to connect diverse poor and middle-class communities with vital civic information that affects their neighborhoods and quality of life. Read more about Johnson and Code for South Florida here.  

5 Funding news from around Florida – and beyond
KKR, a global investment firm, led a more than $300 million funding round for ReliaQuest, a cybersecurity company founded in 2009 and headquartered in Tampa. The new money will support ReliaQuest’s growth, including international expansion, platform development and new hires, a news release said. This is the second mega-round for the state of Florida; Magic Leap drew $350 million in Q2. … Yac, an Orlando-based digital voice messaging service that spun out of a pitch at Product Hunt’s Maker Festival has raised $500K from the Slack Fund as it continues to gain ground among companies looking to give employees new communication tools for remote working, TechCrunch reported. Florida Funders is also an investor in Yak. … Yalochat, a five-year-old, Mexico City-based conversational commerce platform that enables customers like Coca-Cola and Walmart to upsell, collect payments and provide better service to their own customers over WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and WeChat in China, has closed on $15 million in Series B funding led by B Capital Group. Yalochat was part of 500 Startups Miami’s Batch 1.
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Nancy Dahlberg