Human Cloud is building digital bridges to connect freelancers and small businesses, from Miami to the world

By Riley Kaminer

“We’ve captured the wave of the freelance economy,” Matthew Mottola proclaimed in an interview with Refresh Miami. As CEO of Human Cloud, Mottola helps independent workers and businesses find effective, flexible ways to work together. 

Human Cloud’s Director of Strategic Partnerships, Paul A. Polo, represents the firm in Miami. Polo was recently acknowledged by the Miami Tech Talent Coalition as the Career Connection Champion, in part because of Human Cloud’s work creating micro-internships for local students and businesses. This work experience takes the form of concrete projects such as web development or CRM platform management. “Students get hands-on experience that contributes to their resume/portfolio, network with companies, and get paid for their time/effort,” Polo explained.

The impact of the Human Cloud FIU Honors Micro-Internship Program, in partnership with Parker Dewey, is already clear. $64,120 went toward 112+ FIU students that completed projects at an average of $280 per project across the 229 micro-internships. 62 organizations hired students for projects, startups, non-profits, small businesses, and large corporations like Microsoft. 54% of students that signed up are first-generation college students, and 88% of students who signed up come from a minority demographic. Oftentimes, these micro-internships also lead to longer-term internships and better jobs.

Through the Miami Tech Talent Coalition’s Small Business Capacity Building Pilot, Human Cloud is helping to connect local workers with small businesses. The goal, according to Polo: “ROI – bring immediate value to small businesses by thinking about what can help bring them more customers.”

“Our goal for the next phase is to scale the pilot to meet local demand focused on digital transformation for small businesses,” Polo continued. Projects include website updates, SEO audits, and content creation.

Mottola emphasized that the freelance movement is scaling and thriving. “The growth is out of control,” he said, noting both the increase in freelancers who make over $100,000 a year plus the high-profile companies that are interested in working with freelancers. Mottola explained that digital platforms connecting businesses to freelancers are enabling this growth.

“From the start, we were all about connecting Miami to the world because freelance is so much more than just one city or one place,” said Mottola. “It’s a fully decentralized network.”

Going forward, Mottola and Polo said that we can expect to see the Human Cloud continue to drive impact by broadening the expansion of their existing offerings. This includes geographic expansion: “We’re creating a front door to the Middle East for the freelance economy,” asserted Mottola. “We’re expanding to as many regions as possible.”

There’s just a huge opportunity,” added Polo. “And we’re going to continue to push it through universities or organizations or enterprises as much as we can.”

Above, Paul A. Polo was recently acknowledged by the Miami Tech Talent Coalition as the Career Connection Champion, in part because of Human Cloud’s work creating micro-internships for local students and businesses. He is shown accepting the award with leaders of the Tech Talent Coalition in February. At top of post, Polo is with Human Cloud CEO Matthew Mottola, who was a speaker during this month’s SXSW.

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Riley Kaminer