When building Miami Tech Runs, ‘the question was: What would happen if we wrapped a token around a community with shared values?’
Watch out Barry’s … there’s a new place in town for #MiamiTech movers and shakers to move and shake.
Meet Miami Tech Runs, a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) that brings together the key players in Miami’s innovation ecosystem through sports. It came into existence in the late Spring and started to gain traction around last June’s Bitcoin conference.
Brandon Turp, one of the founding members of Miami Tech Runs and co-founder of crypto education platform BitcoinHub, told Refresh Miami that the DAO sits at “the intersection of culture, community, sports, and crypto.”
“We started this off as an experiment, and it’s really taken off,” Turp explained. He reports that the organization now has upwards of 100 members, most of whom are based in Miami. However, Turp said that they have “gotten tons of interest from members across the country and even outside of the country as well.”
The public members directory displays a veritable who’s-who of the Miami tech scene – and beyond. This includes founders and co-founders of startups including QuickNode, Upstream, and Brud; as well as investors from Andreessen Horowitz, Google’s growth venture firm Capital G, and Flamingo Capital. There is also at least one NFL athlete in the mix, Wes Saunders. The Miami Tech Runs team signaled that there are also NBA players and some ESPN commentators active in the DAO.
People interested in joining Miami Tech Runs have to purchase 200 tokens of a proprietary cryptocurrency called $MTRS1. They then go through an internal vetting process before becoming full members of the DAO.
Basketball has been the DAO’s main focus thus far, but the organization is sport agnostic and has plans to expand its offerings. Miami Tech Runs organizes regular games and events for members. Its structure is informal, speaking the “Runs” portion of its name. (That refers to the basketball concept of “open runs,” or recreational, community-based games.)
Derrick Thomas, another founding member of the DAO, said Miami Tech Runs is an interesting case study for how Web3 infrastructure can build in-person communities. When building the DAO, he said, “the question was: What would happen if we wrapped a token around a community with shared values?”
Ultimately, Thomas explained that DAOs allow for “inclusivity within exclusivity,” meaning that anyone can come to Miami Tech Runs for networking but the community is still based around a common interest (sports, in this case). Thomas said that one of the DAO’s members summed up Miami Tech Runs’ mentality well: “On the court we’re competitive, off the court we’re collaborative.”
On Sunday, Miami Tech Runs had a grand finale for their first season: playing a game in FTX Arena, home of the Miami Heat. “What [Sunday] 12/12 signifies is that we made it to the big leagues,” said Thomas. “That’s what playing in FTX stands for.”
Throughout the season, the DAO has been playing at other exclusive venues, including an exclusive sports club and private courts tucked inside Miami mansions. The team also said that they have access to resources like top trainers. Thomas noted that the relationships formed through the DAO have been profitable: “We have had member to member investments of millions of dollars.”
Next up for the DAO is expansion. Top of the list is creating groups for yoga and tennis. They also expect to grow their membership and offer more opportunities for collaboration, such as member retreats.
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