Miami-Dade Innovation Authority to provide funding and pilot-testing to startups addressing community challenges

Startups working in climatetech, healthtech, mobilitytech and proptech, listen up. You may be able to pilot your solutions right here – with the help of Miami-Dade County and a new nonprofit.

Last night, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced county grant funding for the Miami-Dade Innovation Authority. During her first in-person State of the County Address, the mayor said the Innovation Authority will provide grants to startups pressing community challenges in climate, health, housing, transit, and more.

The nonprofit Innovation Authority was formed with seed funding of $3 million from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, $3 million from Citadel CEO Ken Griffin, and $3 million from Miami-Dade County.  Startups will be invited to pilot new technologies in collaboration with Miami-Dade County, potentially fast-tracking innovative solutions to key problems that the Miami-Dade community faces, the mayor said.

“With pilot programs and an openness to creative solutions, we are flipping the way government does business by inviting businesses to pilot their innovations with us,” said Mayor Levine Cava. “We’re saying to entrepreneurs everywhere that we’re open for business, and we’re inviting the private sector to join us as we unlock more streamlined, more cost-effective solutions to big public sector problems.

The Innovation Authority will work closely with private sector funders to support startups, using a combination of public and private dollars to maximize the impact. The County will dedicate seed funding, while creating a path for entrepreneurs to access private funding and test their technologies at scale. The legislation authorizing the County’s grant to the Innovation Authority will go before the Board of County Commissioners in March.

“Miami Dade is the new frontier of tech innovation and entrepreneurship. The Miami Dade Innovation Authority will help us embrace our future and our destiny. This is all about seizing and accelerating opportunity,” said Alberto Ibargüen, President of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, in the announcement.

Mayor Levine Cava has launched a number of programs or granted funding for initiatives aimed at helping startups, small businesses and the tech community, including anchor funding for Tech Equity Miami and the new Miami Tech Works program. Last year she also provided funding for the ocean-technology accelerator Blue Action Lab and as a commissioner provided a small business incubators in her district.

“This work will advance innovation, entrepreneurship and economic growth in South Florida,” said Griffin, Citadel founder and CEO.

Stay tuned for details on how to apply.


Nancy Dahlberg