City of Miami secures $5 million in pledge from wealth firm to help college students start their own businesses

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Florida. – The city of Miami on Thursday received a new $5 million statewide pledge from Blackstone, one of the nation’s largest wealth firms, to help college students start their own businesses.

“What we’ve seen in Miami is a vibrant, diverse community with a growing technology and financial services ecosystem,” said Michael Chae, CFO of Blackstone.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez told Local 10’s Terrell Forney that people are counting on the city of Miami for its inevitable growth and commends Blackstone for their partnership.

“The world is betting on Miami,” Suarez said. “The world sees this metamorphosis; This tipping point and the world leads us, but it is led by Blackstone.”

As part of the entrepreneurial partnership, Blackstone Launchpad will now be based at 5 colleges or universities in the state, providing students with the insight, resources and funding to start their own businesses.

Miami-Dade College and FIU are the only two current South Florida campuses to partner with Blackstone.

“At the Idea Center, we help them support them – build that idea, build that business plan – put together a pitch for it, look for some of the investments,” said Madeline Pumariega, president of Miami-Dade College.

Nicole Huanuco, a senior at FIU, is already working on a creative virus-killing idea for public schools that uses UV light.

“You showed me that anyone can be an entrepreneur, even if the path I’m taking has nothing to do with your major,” Huanuco said.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava encouraged anyone with a business plan to reach for the stars because the city has high expectations for entrepreneurs.

“You’re the talent — you’ve been spotted, and we’re making big investments in you, and we have big, big expectations,” Levine Cava said.

There are opportunities for students to win cash prizes for the very best ideas, and there are plans to expand the program to other colleges and universities in the Miami area.

Copyright 2022 by WPLG – All rights reserved. City of Miami secures $5 million in pledge from wealth firm to help college students start their own businesses

Sarah Y. Kim

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