WhitneyLubin

Whitney Lubin, Miami-based software engineer and founder of Haitians in Tech, is one of four tech organization leaders to receive a Knight Foundation grant.

Various investments have poured into Miami to transform it into the tech hub many local leaders have envisioned.

The latest is a $510,000 bundle from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, an avid financial supporter of the arts, entrepreneurship and Miami’s equitable future. The funds will be split among four entrepreneurship-promoting organizations and entities in Miami.

Haitians in Tech will receive $150,000 to support both established and up-and-coming technologists in the Haitian diaspora across three cities. Local Leaders Collective is to receive $140,000 to increase peer mentoring opportunities for its membership base, and The Shrimp Society will receive $100,000 for early-stage founders and venture builders in Miami’s startup ecosystem.

Miami-Dade County government also will benefit from Knight funding with a $120,000 investment going toward establishing an advisor for technology and innovation at the mayor’s office.

Mayor Daniella Levine Cava has already named Francesca de Quesada Covey, a technologist and analyst with more than 15 years of experience under her belt, as the inaugural advisor for the foundation-funded role. She is a partner at TheVentureCity, a local venture capital company, and a former White House deputy counselor for strategic engagement.

Knight’s goal in providing the funding was to back Miami’s entrepreneurial ecosystem through supporting initiatives that expand economic opportunities and encourage innovation.

“As Miami’s tech community continues its rapid growth, so too does demand for community and belonging,” said Raul Moas, director of Knight’s Miami program, in a statement. “Organizations like Haitians in Tech, Local Leaders Collective and Shrimp Society are each building communities that are of, by and for Miami’s entrepreneurs and venture builders ... a deep sense of community will be key to keep propelling Miami forward as a world-class home for tech and entrepreneurship.”

“With Knight’s support, we will help Haitian American tech talent grow their careers, connect with each other,” said Whitney Lubin, founder of Haitians in Tech. “And, together, develop a civic tech framework that helps improve community.”

The funding is just one of many tech-driven investments from Knight. Earlier this year, the organization committed millions of dollars to other entities that could be instrumental in shaping innovation in Miami.

Florida International University received $10 million for its Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences, while the University of Miami was awarded $4.3 million for its Institute of Data Science and Computing.

Baptist Health of South Florida was also included in the pool of recipients, in support of a planned health care innovation fellowship launch.