MIAMI (April 4, 2022) – A collective of organizations including JPMorgan Chase, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Miami Foundation and aire ventures today announced Tech Equity Miami, a transformational initiative that will collectively deploy $100 million in philanthropic fundraising over five years to advance equity in Miami through technology.
With additional support from Miami-Dade County, the consortium of funders, which already has more than $55 million in commitments, will support efforts that break down barriers to entry in the tech industry and create opportunities for underrepresented groups, including young people and small businesses.
To measure community impact, all projects that receive a Tech Equity Miami designation will provide information and statistics to a public database that tracks progress toward the initiative’s impact outcomes and goals. .
“Our vision for Tech Equity Miami is to effectively direct resources toward projects and initiatives that use technology to improve the quality of life for individuals, families and business owners across the economic spectrum,” said Leigh. -Ann Buchanan, president of aire ventures, the venture studio responsible for incubating Tech Equity Miami with operational financial support from the Citi Foundation. “The widening disparity, coupled with the national focus on Miami as the tech hub of the future, makes this a pivotal time to drive results-driven, systemic change. We believe a collective investment model and impact reporting can achieve this goal.”
Miami’s evolution into a global tech hub is accelerating, with recent reports showing 45% growth in venture capital dollars in the metro area. The Brookings Institution and LinkedIn report equally robust growth in the number of tech professionals choosing to work in Miami, with a 30% increase in the net flow of software and IT workers moving to the area Last year. Similarly, enrollment in technology-related programs at Florida International University and Miami Dade College are seeing double-digit year-over-year growth.
The technology movement exposes equity challenges and opportunity gaps. More than 65% of Greater Miami residents identify as black, Hispanic, or Latino, but of all tech employees in South Florida, those groups make up just 12% and 27%, respectively. Additionally, only 26% identify as female. The issue of technological equity goes well beyond representation in the workforce, with census data showing 100,000 households in Miami without any internet access, or about one in five households.
Tech Equity Miami’s primary areas of focus include:
- Increase digital access: Facilitating access to broadband connectivity and devices for underserved communities through Miami Connected
- Build the pipeline: Increasing exposure to high-quality technological learning experiences for K-12 students
- Increase lanes: Create defined pathways to technology-enabled careers
- Fueling digital transformation: Accelerate the growth of small businesses by improving their ability to participate in and benefit from the digital economy.
The objectives of the five-year initiative include:
Bring Internet access and digital literacy to 100,000 Miami-Dade County students who currently do not have home broadband access
Support access ramps that bring 25,000 underrepresented students and workers in technological opportunities and experiences
Provide at least 1,000 micro-enterprises with digital transformation training and technological solutions
- Digital exhibition and literacy for 50,000 families underserved communities
To achieve these goals, JPMorgan Chase, Knight Foundation, The Miami Foundation and Miami-Dade County have committed base funding for Tech Equity Miami Designated Projects. The consortium will work with other community partners and individuals to secure additional funding to reach its initial goal of $100 million.
The support for Tech Equity Miami is part of JPMorgan Chase’s $30 billion racial equity commitment, which aims to help close the racial wealth gap and foster economic inclusion by providing more opportunities for home ownership, access to affordable housing, entrepreneurship and strengthening financial health.
“The growth of the tech industry in Miami is at a crucial stage. As a community, we have the opportunity to develop and shape technology to reflect the incredible diversity of this region and give all Miamians the opportunity to be a part of this important industry,” said Maria Escorcia, vice president of corporate responsibility at JPMorgan Chase. “Working with Tech Equity Miami, we strive to build a thriving and inclusive tech community, creating businesses and wealth creation opportunities for decades to come.”
“Community demand for tech careers is growing at a staggering rate. And that demand is coming from every corner of our city,” said Knight’s Miami Senior Program Director Raul Moas. “Knight’s investment in our community’s ability to meet and accelerate this growing demand will build a more engaged, participatory and equitable Miami.”
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava shares this focus on developing local talent. “Miami-Dade County works tirelessly to not only open the door to technology, but to connect to new industries in collaboration with local talent,” said Cava. “As the national epicenter of innovation and entrepreneurship, Miami-Dade is committed to ensuring the growth of our technology industry benefits all members of the community.”
Tech Equity Miami is actively recruiting additional funding partners and projects. To learn more about how to enter, visit www.techequitymiami.org
About Tech Equity Miami
Tech Equity Miami is a transformational initiative that aims to deploy $100 million in philanthropic funding over five years to advance equity in Miami through technology. The program focuses on four key areas: increasing access to digital, creating an educational pipeline by increasing exposure to high-quality technology experiences among K-12 students across the region, increasing tech careers and fueling digital transformations in small businesses.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
We are social investors supporting more effective democracy by funding free speech and journalism, arts and culture in the community, research in media and democracy, and in the success of cities and American villages where the Knight brothers once published newspapers. Learn more at kf.org and follow @knightfdn on social media.
About JPMorgan Chase
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services company with assets of $3.7 trillion and operations worldwide. The company is a leader in investment banking, personal and small business financial services, commercial banking, financial transaction processing and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of customers in the United States and many of the world’s largest businesses, institutions and governments under its JP Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com. To learn more about how JPMorgan Chase is working to close the racial wealth gap, visit jpmorganchase.com/racialquity.
About Aire Ventures
aire ventures is a social impact venture capital studio that tailors technology and innovation solutions to systemic gaps in access, opportunity and racial equity. The team leverages its proven track record and extensive experience to accelerate sustainable growth, increase investor confidence and maximize social return. In South Florida alone, his portfolio companies have served more than 55,000 innovators, facilitated more than 4,000 hours of one-on-one training, and partnered with more than 1,000 organizations. Find out more at: www.aireventures.org