PowerMoves, a New Orleans-based group that seeks to foster diversity in tech, is expanding to Miami with help from the Knight Foundation.
Last week, the Knight Foundation gifted $1.2 million to Code2040, an organization committed to placing black and Latino students at top tech companies. The nonprofit group is now investing the same amount inPowerMoves, an initiative started in New Orleans with a similar mission to support entrepreneurs of color. The new funding will help PowerMoves raise its profile with another location in Miami, which already has a base of emerging entrepreneurs.
“We are excited to establish a strong local presence in Miami, a city with a strong appetite for entrepreneurship and a growing community of innovators,” PowerMoves CEO Earl Robinson said in a statement. In Miami, PowerMoves will hold bootcamps, pitch competitions, and monthly meetups; it will also choose six “high-growth” entrepreneurs for a year-long fellowship that offers mentorship, networking, and investment capital.
“The wealth of talent, experience, and innovation that comes with diversity is often lost because minority entrepreneurs do not have the same access to capital and support that is necessary to grow their businesses and develop their ideas,” Matt Haggman, the Knight Foundation’s Miami program director, added in a statement. “In Miami we have seen great progress in building an inclusive startup community that is representative of our diversity—but we have to do more.”
The Knight Foundation’s contribution to PowerMoves aligns with its past investments—of which it has sunk about $20 million for various entrepreneurship projects in South Florida, according to the Miami Herald. In April 2014, for example, the organization granted $100,000 in funding to the nonprofit CodeNow when, like PowerMoves, it was expanding to Miami.
PowerMoves has helped 100 companies in the U.S. nab more than $27 million in capital since its founding in 2014. The Miami office is PowerMoves’s first outside its home base of New Orleans, and it opens its doors in February, during Black Tech Week (which the Knight Foundation is sponsoring).