The Launch of WIN Lab Miami: The Value of Diversity in Entrepreneurship
Diversity is not only good for business – it’s good for innovation, and at the Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab Miami, our inaugural cohort of women entrepreneurs represents diversity of all kinds. With 24 women innovating in a variety of industries such as: technology, food and beverage, consumer products, apparel and fashion – just to name a few – the WIN Lab Miami represents and supports a broader trend toward diversity in entrepreneurship.
Women-owned businesses are on the rise as a whole, growing by 74% between 1997 and 2015, but when we take into account racial diversity, the results are even more staggering. The number of businesses owned by African American women has grown 322% since 1997, making black females the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the United States. Women-owned firms are opening at a rate of 887 per day, and the majority of those firms are owned by minority women.
At the WIN Lab Miami, our WINners paint a rich tapestry of racial and ethnic diversity including African-American women, Hispanic women, and first-generation American women. They also range in age and socio-economic background in ways that can only serve to enhance their experience in the lab and in the broader entrepreneurial ecosystem. Find out more about our Miami WINners.
In addition to their diversity of background, they represent companies at different stages. Over 40% of them have raised over $100,000 in funding and 25% are self-funded. These women are positioned for growth and we look forward to accelerating them along this journey. As part of that work, the WIN Lab Miami has partnered with CIC Miami, the fourth expansion site for the oldest and largest convener of startup activity in the United States. Nationally, CIC houses 1,000 companies in 450,000 square feet of premium office and co-working space across seven facilities, and offers programming activities aimed at creating a vibrant community that attracts and supports the best entrepreneurs and their teams. The WINners will have access to a 24-7 co-working space in the new CIC Miami location. WIN Miami has also partnered with The Lab, and innovation space in Wynwood, to offer a series of public entrepreneurship events. The first event, focused on start-up marketing, is scheduled for November 22nd, from 6 – 9 p.m.
As part of this inclusive community of entrepreneurs, we will be hosting and benefitting from the guidance of two experienced Entrepreneurs-in-Residence: Patricia Henriques and Johanna Mikkola. Patricia Henriques is an accomplished executive and successful entrepreneur with more than 30 years of experience in strategic business planning, organizational growth, business process re-engineering, and financial management. As the founding principal of The Henlee Group, a Washington, D.C.-based consulting practice, Henriques continues to consult with executives to develop sound business strategies for emerging and high-growth companies. Johanna Mikkola is co-founder of Wyncode Academy, a leading accelerated learning program in Florida and the first coding school to be licensed by the Florida Department of Education’s Commission for Independent Education. Before launching Wyncode, Johanna spent a decade in corporate management with the National Hockey League, leading a team of managers and overseeing the business operations of the officiating department. There, she became the highest ranking female in the department managing the largest departmental budget within the organization.