7 things to know in #MiamiTech: Another Miami HQ, MDC tech gets $25M donation, TikTok parent scouting office digs and more


$25M donation from MTX will support MDC emerging tech programs

MTX Group and Miami Dade College announced a $25 million investment by MTX, which will create an epicenter at MDC designed to foster growth in local talent and skills in emerging technologies. MTX’s commitment to a strategic partnership with MDC will support education and workforce training opportunities in Miami-Dade County and prepare talent for a growing number of job opportunities in technology in South Florida.

MTX is a global technology consulting firm that enables organizations to modernize through digital transformation and strategy with its AI platform.

While technology talent is in high demand, the digital skills gap is continuing to widen, particularly among underserved and underrepresented communities. “These initiatives will not only help to produce best-in-industry talent but also create equitable opportunities for students of all backgrounds to succeed, paving the way for more women and minority leaders in tech,” MTX Co-Founder and Chief Brand and Culture OfficerNipa Nobel said.

The investment of $25 million from MTX will directly support academic and workforce programs focused on high-tech fields, entrepreneurship, scholarships, internships, an endowment and study abroad. The endowment, totaling $1 million, will be matched by the Wolfson family to provide scholarships for first-generation students. Part of the donation will be made in cryptocurrency, making MTX the first entity to do so in a partnership with MDC.


German tech company locates US HQ in Miami

The Berlin-based tech company everphone is a one stop shop that supplies, repairs, replaces, and recycles mobile devices for enterprise customers. The tech company announced this week that it selected Miami for its U.S. headquarters, citing the Magic City’s proximity to talent, high-growth companies, and investors.

The company’s US market entry, on the heels of its $200 million in growth capital raise earlier this month, comes  as remote work has made it difficult to centrally manage employees’ mobile devices.

“everphone serves efficiency-minded, environmentally conscious organizations that want to create world-class employee experiences, and that makes us confident that the U.S. market will quickly adopt our phone-as-a-service model,” said Jan Dzulko, CEO and founder of everphone, in a statement. “If we win over this huge market, we will contribute to better run businesses even as we help deliver a significant reduction in carbon footprint and a much-improved employee experience.”

Globally, everphone has 200 employees who support more than 1,000 customers using 125,000 devices. The US HQ will be headed by General Manager Tillmann Schwabe, and the offices are in the Blue Lagoon area.  “We are excited to launch our U.S. expansion from Miami, a diverse city surrounded by top technology talent, growing businesses, and smart investors,” Tillmann said.


TikTok parent company is scouting office space

TikTok parent company ByteDance is scouting locations to open a Miami office, possibly in Wynwood, the Commercial Observer reported.

ByteDance has been expanding its office presence in the US including signing a leases for 232,000 square feet in New York City, and is opening a 50,000-square-foot deal office in Washington, DC . ByteDance, headquartered in China, also has offices in Los Angeles and Mountain View, Calif.  Miami saw the largest increase of new tech workers during the pandemic’s first year, according to data compiled by LinkedIn. 


Miami honored for smart city initiatives

Bloomberg Philanthropies announced this week 10 new cities nationally awarded What Works Cities Certification in recognition of their “exceptional use of data to inform policy and funding decisions to improve residents’ lives.” Miami was among the 10 Cities. Miami deployed a resident-powered app to help map the highest-risk areas for flooding to protect neighborhoods and save lives.

Each city that participates in Certification receives a customized city assessment that highlights their unique strengths and opportunities for improvement. What Works Cities partners then provide coaching, training, and technical assistance to help city leaders improve their data and evidence capabilities, embrace new practices aligned to the Certification standard, and drive outcomes for their community.

For more about Smart Cities, read Riley Kaminer’s recap of the Smart City Event Miami conference this month here.


$9B private equity firm puts down stakes in Design District

Joining Miami’s “Capital of Capital,” Los Angeles-based Levine Leichtmann, a private equity firm with $9 billion in assets under management, has chosen the Design District  for its first Florida office in order to tap into the fast-growing South Florida market, according to the South Florida Business Journal. The firm invests in health care, media and entertainment, transportation, consumer products, franchising, education, engineered products and other sectors.


New Horizons’ Women in Tech program celebrates 2021 graduates

New Horizons South Florida, provider of IT education solutions for industry and life-long learners, just celebrated the graduates of its 2021 “Women in Tech” program, a 16-week certification training curriculum created to help women start careers in the technology sector, in partnership with YWCA South Florida, The Carrie Meek Foundation, and CareerSource South Florida. More than half of the 2021 graduates have already secured jobs and internships at local companies such as Amadeus, Invizio and Opticaltel. In the coming weeks, New Horizons, CareerSource, and the YWCA will continue to work with their network of local employers to help secure paid internships and permanent job placement for remaining graduates.


New green venture fund focuses on LatAm

The Chilean unit of Swiss venture capital group Mountain Partners has launched the first green fund in Latin America that will invest solely in regional green and climate-tech startup companies, the firm announced on Thursday. The fund is operating out of Miami and Chile.

The Green-Future fund I, founded by Managing Partner Santiago Caniggia Bengolea, will look to directly or indirectly decrease the region’s carbon footprint to “generate a positive impact on the environment” and has already raised over $50 million in capital, the firm said. With initial investments of $1.5 million to $3 million in roughly 20 LatAm startups, the fund will invest from seed stage to series-A funding rounds in carbon tech companies, sustainable agricultural technologies and sustainable methods of mining.

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Have local tech and startup news? Email Nancy Dahlberg at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @ndahlberg.

Nancy Dahlberg