JPMorgan Chase, Knight Foundation, Miami Foundation and aire ventures launch $100 million tech equity miami funding consortium
New initiative already counts on a total of $55 million from these and other organizations to boost equity in Miami through tech
MIAMI (April 4, 2022) – A collective of organizations, including JPMorgan Chase, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Miami Foundation and aīre ventures today announced Tech Equity Miami, a transformational initiative that will collectively deploy $100 million in philanthropic funding over five years to advance equity in Miami through tech.
With additional support from Miami-Dade County, the funders’ consortium, which already counts on over $55 million in commitments, will support endeavors that remove entry barriers into the tech industry and that will create opportunities for underrepresented groups, including youth and small businesses.
To measure community impact, all projects that receive a “Tech Equity Miami” designation will contribute information and statistics to a public database that tracks progress towards the initiative’s outcomes and impact goals.
“Our vision for Tech Equity Miami is to effectively direct resources to projects and initiatives that use tech to improve quality of life for individuals, families, and business owners across the economic spectrum,” said Leigh-Ann Buchanan, president of aīre ventures, the venture studio responsible for incubating Tech Equity Miami through operational funding support from Citi Foundation. “Widening disparity, coupled with the national spotlight on Miami as a tech hub of the future, makes this a pivotal moment to drive outcomes-driven systemic change. We believe a model of collective investment and impact reporting can achieve just that.”
Miami’s evolution into a global tech hub is accelerating, with recent reports showing 45 percent growth in venture capital dollars across 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 workers in the software and IT sector who moved to the region last year. Similarly, enrollment in tech-related programs at Florida International University and Miami Dade College are experiencing double-digit year-over-year growth.
The tech movement is exposing equity challenges and opportunity gaps. More than 65 % of Greater Miami residents identify as Black, Hispanic or Latino, yet of all South Florida tech employees, these groups make up only 12% and 27% respectively. What’s more, only 26 % identify as female. The issue of tech equity goes far beyond representation in the workforce, with census data reporting as many as 100,000 households in Miami without any internet access - roughly one in five homes.
Key areas of focus for Tech Equity Miami include:
- Increasing Digital Access: Facilitating access to broadband connectivity and devices for underserved communities through Miami Connected
- Building the Pipeline: Increasing exposure to high-quality tech learning experiences for K-12 students
- Increasing Pathways: Creating defined pathways into tech-based careers
- Fueling Digital Transformation: Accelerating small business growth by improving their ability to participate in, and benefit from, the digital economy.
- Goals for the five-year initiative include:
- Bring internet access and digital literacy to 100,000 Miami-Dade County students currently lacking at-home broadband
- Support on-ramps that bring 25,000 underrepresented students and workers into tech opportunities and experiences
- Provide at least 1,000 micro-businesses with digital transformation training and technology solutions
- Digital exposure and literacy for 50,000 families from underserved communities
To deliver on these goals, JPMorgan Chase, Knight Foundation, the Miami Foundation and Miami-Dade County have committed anchor funding to Tech Equity Miami designated projects. The consortium will work in conjunction with other community partners and individuals to procure additional funding to meet its initial $100 million goal.
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 drive economic inclusion by providing more opportunities for homeownership, access to affordable housing, entrepreneurship and bolstering financial health.
“The growth of the tech industry in Miami is at a critically important stage. As a community, we have the opportunity to grow and shape tech to reflect the incredible diversity of this region and give all Miamians the opportunity to be a part of this important industry,” stated Maria Escorcia, vice president of corporate responsibility at JPMorgan Chase. “By working with Tech Equity Miami, we strive to build a thriving and inclusive tech community, creating businesses and wealth-building opportunities for decades to come.”
“Community demand for careers in tech is growing at an astounding pace. And this demand is coming from all corners of our city,” said Raul Moas, senior director of Knight’s Miami program. “Knight’s investment in our community’s capacity 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 nurturing home-grown talent. “Miami-Dade County is working tirelessly to not only open the door to tech, but to connect with new industries in conjunction with local talent,” Cava said “As the national epicenter of innovation and entrepreneurship, Miami-Dade is committed to ensuring the growth of our tech industry benefits all members of the community.”
Tech Equity Miami is actively recruiting additional funding partners and projects. To learn more about how to participate, 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 tech. The program focuses on four key areas: increasing digital access, building an educational pipeline by increasing exposure to high-quality tech experiences across the region’s K12 students, increasing tech career pathways and fueling digital transformations across small businesses.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
We are social investors who support a more effective democracy by funding free expression and journalism, arts and culture in community, research in areas of media and democracy, and in the success of American cities and towns 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 firm with assets of $3.7 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, 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 most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. 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 bridge the racial wealth gap, visit jpmorganchase.com/racialequity.
About aīre ventures
aīre ventures is a social impact venture studio that scales technology and innovation solutions to systemic gaps in access, opportunity, and racial equity. The team relies on its proven track record and depth of experience to accelerate sustainable growth, increase investor confidence and maximize social return. In South Florida alone, its portfolio ventures have served over 55,000 innovators, facilitated over 4000 hours of 1:1 training and established partnerships with over 1000 organizations. Learn more at: www.aireventures.org