“I want to be the investor I always wished I had.” That’s a sentiment you may have heard from a founder-turned-investor.
“It hits home for so many former founders out there. We really understand the value that the right investors can bring to a company,” says longtime Miami startup entrepreneur Adam Garfield.
That’s one reason three #MiamiTech OGs — Garfield, Will Weinraub and Chris Adamo — recently founded Flamingo Capital, a Miami-based founder-focused startup investment syndicate on AngelList. “Chris, Will and I have all been a part of the Miami community since well before it was cool,” said Garfield. “It is exciting to do this thing together.”
Garfield co-founded, led and sold SpeedETab, a homegrown hospitality-tech startup, in March to Wix, where he is now a VP. Weinraub co-founded, led and exited LiveNinja in 2017, one of the early #MiamiTech success stories. After that, Weinraub founded Local Leaders Collective (LLC), a YPO-style support organization for local founders he still leads today, and is at work on his next startup, OnChain Studios. Chris Adamo, fittingly dubbed the Pied Piper of #MiamiTech in the media, is CBO of WhereBy.Us that recently launched Letterhead for newsletter creators. He’s also an active angel – he has invested in about 15 startups in the past year alone, and more than 30 in total.
All three Flamingo Capital partners have also mentored startups for years and say they want to use their wealth of knowledge and operational experience to help founders in many ways. “The whole spirit of this is we write small angel checks but let’s try to pull together our energies and try to help these founders with the capital and partners that they need, bringing in our networks,” Weinraub said.
So far, Flamingo Capital has assembled an impressive group of 200 investor LPs from Miami and around the world, and that’s by design, Adamo said – to “mix it up” and help to connect “Miami to the world.” Flamingo Capital’s partners or LPs can bring a deal to the syndicate; members make their own decisions on whether they want to invest. Startups can be based anywhere.
No warm intros needed; startups can apply to Flamingo Capital here.
Flamingo Capital’s hope is to invest in about 20 early-stage startups a year. So far it has funded two: TempMee, an impressive Miami-based startup that connects dental practices with on-demand staff, and just recently Trend, an exciting creator economy startup that is soon moving its HQ from Austin to Miami, Adamo said. Trend is also backed by Pharrell William’s Black Ambition, run by Felicia Hatcher.
Flamingo Capital plans to collaborate with other syndicates and will strive to bring deals to investors they wouldn’t normally be able to see. Adamo said they can also help founders who struggle to find their lead investor, because the Flamingo Capital partners all have experience finding those people. Importantly, he said, Flamingo Capital will stand out among the throng of online syndicates because the group plans to foster community, not only on active channels on Discord or Slack but with in-person events, including an annual gathering in Miami bringing all the partners and founders together.
Flamingo Capital is participating in Panaramic Ventures’ Startup Showdown Sept. 30 at Le Rouge in Wynwood as one of the judges. The winner of the exciting competition (still time to apply here) will get a $120K investment from Panoramic Ventures. Flamingo Capital also plans to fast-track the winner into its investment process, Adamo said.
The new syndicate joins a rapidly growing investment scene in Miami, not a way it would have been described even two years ago. In addition to venture capital titans SoftBank, Founders Fund and Atomic rapidly expanding their footprints and funding deals here, SoftBank is actively investing in Miami-based startups as part of its $100 million initiative and Miami-based Pareto Holdings, founded by Jon Oringer and Ed Lando, recently launched a Pre-Seed Program and hosted its first fellowship group. Miami Angels, long a key player in #MiamiTech, is having a record year – both in startup investments and member growth. New funds like 305 Ventures are popping up, Florida Funders is expanding its presence in Miami and Black Angels Miami is growing and attracting top investors to its mission of inclusivity.
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