By David Capelli
Miami is on everyone’s radar, as the NewCo movement sparked heightened interest in the Magic City’s bustling ecosystem. I was able to go behind the scenes of Newco San Francisco and Oakland earlier this month. While there, I made the case for why Miami should be the next Newco city in 2016.
NewCo is a movement celebrating people in a city sharing a new narrative of business and culture. From a selected applicant pool companies, non-profits, and initiatives open their doors to the public and share their space, story and experience with an interactive crowd, catalyzing a narrative of collaboration, culture and ecosystem building for a more resilient economy.
“Business is changing” NewCo CEO John Battelle said at Newco’s open house in the Bay Area. “75% of millennials say they prefer working for a company focused on positive change. Technology is not a vertical, it’s horizontal.”
At a time when the economy is rapidly changing from an industrial to innovation economy, Newco empowers communities to celebrate and spark new positive change. Battelle, a former media executive with several successful exits, was inspired to start Newco for the Valley to “see a world bigger than them.”
After a while, Battelle realized he needed to “ stop being half- pregnant and go. Just do it.”
NewCo is now in 17 cities and rapidly expanding, with their newest media platform featuring Newco companies around the world on their daily newsletter, building community around the new innovation economy.
NewCo experiences cost at most $500 for the VIP level. The aim is to engage the entire community in the experience. For included companies and non-profits, there is zero cost to host and much to gain, most notably, exposure, customers, and connections. Being selected as a Newco city is a rigorous process.
“Although I don’t know Miami well, I know Miami has a strong connection to Latin America. To me, that is an interesting narrative for Miami.” Chris Redlitz, Managing Partner at Transmedia Capital said.
“We look to see the city’s narrative, their unique companies and extensive team of various leaders that can pull off all components of hosting a Newco experience,” Lee Ann Mariglia, NewCo’s Communications Director said.
During the NewCo event, I was able to meet the CEO’s and go behind the scenes of Slack, Lyft, BetterDoctor, EatWith, NovaEd, the City of Oakland, Comrade, and Uber. Each session has Newco “ambassadors” that assist with the open-house experiences in the companies.
I served as an ambassador for EatWith, an in-house restaurant experience concept. The next day their team and I grabbed coffee and discussed their interest in entering the Miami market, along with other plans for the Miami ecosystem to spur more food entrepreneurs. Experiences like these connect cities and people together for stronger economies, something Miami has been doing for years for tourists.
Sitting next to me at the Newco session was one of Newco’s first investors, Chris Redlitz, Managing Partner at Transmedia Capital. I asked him what about Miami excites him as an investor and what he hopes to discover in Miami.
“I am interested in discovering global market trends early on and nurturing that unique, fresh talent” Redlitz said. “Although I don’t know Miami well, I know Miami has a strong connection to Latin America. To me, that is an interesting narrative for Miami.”
Miami has a narrative that truly resembles the mission of NewCo of identifying, celebrating and connecting engines of positive change in our society. The entrepreneurial community, governments, and tourism/travel groups all contribute to our developing ecosystem and are critical to having a successful NewCo festival in Miami.
Miami has a new narrative to share with the world: the most diverse and bustling entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country at the nexus of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Let’s tell the story together and make Miami a Newco city in 2016.
David Capelli is Founder/CEO of TECH Miami and a contributor to Rise News.
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Cover Photo Credit: Vladimir Kud/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)