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A dose of morning inspo, delivered by Coconut Grove. (📷@omgoshnatash)
THANK YOU, MIAMI.
We’ve got some exciting news: We just closed our latest funding round, and our CEO is headed to San Francisco to join an accelerator to help us take our work to more cities across the U.S.
We don’t normally like talking about ourselves, but the way this happened is really a story about Miamians working together to make things happen.
When big deal investor Jason Calacanis offered to visit the first 10 cities who bought 100 copies of his book, “ANGEL,” Alex Nucci – founder of the Miami-based startup Gramercy – seized the challenge. He bought 200 of the books on Amazon (#gobigorgohome), tweeted a photo of the receipt to Calacanis, and asked others here to retweet it to amplify it.
Mission accomplished. Calacanis was coming to Miami. That’s when Refresh Miami, a nonprofit dedicated to growing the Miami tech scene, stepped in. Executive Director Maria Derchi bought another 100 books to get him to attend an event organized by her and Melissa Krinzman, managing partner of Miami-based venture fund Krillion Ventures.
They invited a couple local startups to pitch him, and we were one of them. You can read what happened after that, including Calacanis’s investment in WhereBy.Us, in the Miami Herald. Gramercy is also participating in Calacanis’s accelerator.
But one of the biggest – and most meaningful – investments we got in this round was from all of you, via SeedInvest last year.
To all of you who took that extra step, thank you for joining the team. To all of you who’ve read, commented, shared, said hello, or told us when we messed up: thank you for being part of this.
This week, we launched similar projects in two more cities. If you have friends who want to live like they live there, let them know about Bridgeliner in Portland and Pulptown in Orlando. We’ve got brand spanking new newsletters up and running and we’re excited to share them.
P.S. If you want a copy of Calacanis’s book, we bet Alex Nucci still has a lot of them on his hands…
WHAT'S NEW IN THE 305
Whoa. It’s true: Miami Beach shut down access to the city via the MacArthur Causeway on Saturday night because South Beach literally had too many people for the city to function safely. A combination of spring breaks, St. Patrick’s Day, and great weather brought such an “unprecedented” crowd that “we believed we really couldn’t control it,” Mayor Dan Gelber said. (WLRN)
A big setback. The Miami Herald has the deep dive on how FIU grew from a commuter school on an abandoned airfield to a major research university with more than 54,000 students. Hundreds of their alumni have gone to be power players in Miami and they hope to produce even more stellar grads. But with last week’s bridge collapse, it’s unclear what the next chapter will be. (Miami Herald)
Too hot to handle. New research from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Miami shows that the future holds twice as many heat waves as it would if us humans weren’t out here burning fossil fuels. Those human-induced extreme heat waves will start hitting California and the Southwest first, and it could be as soon as the 2020s. (Miami Herald)
Tap the brakes. This week an autonomous Uber vehicle in Arizona hit and killed a woman. It’s the first time an AV has been involved in a human death, and it’s causing everyone to slow their roll a bit on the new transportation craze. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez has been a champion of bringing the autonomous cars to the 305, but @MiamiBikeLawyer has some cautionary advice first: let’s make sure our roads are safe for cyclists and pedestrians first. (CNN, Twitter)
Bank’s closed. The federal government paid more than $13.6 million of the FIU bridge’s $16.6 million price tag, and about $5.5 million of that was left to be disbursed when the bridge collapsed last week. The Florida Department of Transportation is in charge of disbursing all those funds and says it won’t release a penny more until the state knows what went wrong. (Miami Herald)
Untz untz untz. Ultra celebrates the big 2-0 this year, and this piece is full of all kinds of interesting history about the festival a lot of us love to hate. Did you know it’s named for the 1997 Depeche Mode album? Neither did we. (Miami New Times)
Tough start. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High is struggling to get back to normal after the Feb. 14 shooting. Yesterday two students were arrested after being found with knives – separately – and another made a threat on social media. Plus, Nikolas Cruz’s brother was arrested earlier this week after being caught trespassing on school grounds. Police asked for the right to strip him of the right to own the gun – something they can do since Florida passed new gun laws earlier this month. (Miami Herald)
Cristina Mas is a badass business developer in Miami, and she’s bringing us some hot takes on how to get involved in that scene. It’s all about keeping a schedule and fostering long term relationships, plus a really cool way to store and follow up on all those business cards you’re handed.
Hear more of her tips on getting active in Miami’s business scene, made possible by Drinkfinity, a new and better way to drink.
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🌴 3/22: Cruise HistoryMiami’s South Beach exhibit with DPG (Downtown)
💡 3/25-26: Take a peek inside Miami’s most innovative companies at NewCo Miami (Various locations, register with this link for 30% off)
🧘3/26: Get your zen on at Mindful Mondays (Wynwood)
Check out this event from our advertiser, Design District .
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🗣Get an expert tour of the Design District’s public art projects (Design District)
🌊Head to Vizcaya to talk about sea level rise and historic structures (Coconut Grove)
🎧Jam on the PAMM veranda with Vinyl Social Club (Downtown)
🗣Make your voice heard on City of Miami’s bond (Coconut Grove)
🔮Get mystical in Phuc Yea’s Lantern Garden (Upper East Side)
🏖Jam to house and techno on the beach at Rapture Music Festival (Virginia Key) through Friday
✊ Join the national “March for our Lives” on gun control (South Beach)
😂 LOL at Villain Theater’s all-femme comedy show (Little Haiti)
🎶Get soulful and eat southern in the A+E District (Downtown)
THAT’S ALL FOR TODAY.
We’ll catch you mañana. 👋