Miami EdTech

Igniting the entrepreneurial spirit within today’s educators




Miami EdTech exists to ignite the entrepreneurial spirit within today’s educators and to create a world where innovative technologies redefine education with real-world, scalable solutions.

The most transformational innovations in education are born from partnerships with learners, parents, teachers, and administrators. As Miamians themselves, the Miami EdTech team has developed its programming and ethos around serving both its stakeholders and the city it calls home.

Carlos Vazquez started Miami EdTech as a meetup in January 2017. “It was born out of my journey as an entrepreneur in education technology and having so many colleagues navigating the EdTech world,” he says. “The meetup was just to help people through the combined effort.”

Outreach and support from CIC gave Vazquez the confidence and infrastructure he needed to grow the meetup into what it is today: a hub for getting the latest EdTech into the hands of those who need it most.

Its SIEL (Social Innovation and Entrepreneurial Leadership) Incubator, the result of a partnership with Teach for America, helps bring the latest EdTech to students who face inequities. Through the critical lens of education principles and frameworks, the incubator focuses on combining best practices of launching and scaling a startup, empowering its cohorts to develop and deploy effective solutions for issues in education.

The six-week program teaches design thinking, user testing, and lean scaling, in addition to pitch coaching, so that participants can start building their EdTech business.

For entrepreneurs further along in their entrepreneurial journey, Miami EdTech has created its Accelerator, which helps diverse groups of entrepreneurs to build out ideas and products that solve some of education’s biggest challenges. From educators who have an idea to solve a problem they face in the classroom but lack insight on what to do next, to existing EdTech companies seeking collaboration and community, to coders and developers who want to work in the EdTech space, the Incubator supports them all. Participants identify their market strategy and use iterative learning to develop an MVP.

They also have a chance to pitch their MVP to a group of EdTech experts and investors to access the capital they need to grow. The organization’s programs aren’t just for entrepreneurs. The EdXpert Program is powered by Microsoft, which awarded a $125,000 grant to the program in May 2019. EdXpert provides professional development opportunities in computer science to Maimi-Dade County public school teachers. This “train the trainer” program builds capacity for teachers to deliver computer science and technology-enabled lessons in the classroom. In increasing the pipeline and diversity of computer science teachers, the EdXpert Program makes computer science education in Miami-Dade more inclusive and supports the development of 21st-century skills for students.

In 2019, Carlos also founded the Miami chapter of CSTA (the Computer Science Teachers Association). CSTA Miami’s goal is to connect Miam to the great global movement on CS education, connecting local computer science teachers and adding their voice to that of the national computer science education community. It gives educators who have been through Miami EdTechs’ programs a chance to be part of a larger, permanent community.

And when educators are empowered to use more technology in their classrooms, everyone benefits—especially students. Miami was recently ranked number one in terms of startup activity in the US, and it’s clear that Miami EdTech’s energy has contributed to that movement. “Miami is a city that should be known for its diversity, strength of character, its passion, and its resourcefulness,” says Carlos. “We see ourselves as part of that.”

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