By Nancy Dahlberg
By Mollie Cole, Guest Contributor
On January 21, 6 Miami startups pitched to an unusual panel of judges: four undergraduate students from the University of Miami.
The startups are all participants of WeWork Labs, WeWork’s equity-free incubator program for early-stage startups, based in Downtown Miami. The winning company earned four months of pro-bono consulting work from the University of Miami TAMID Group chapter.
TAMID Group trains students in consulting, finance, and investing in chapters at over 60 universities. Consulting engagements are typically with Israeli startups, where students gain first-hand experience with Israel’s lauded tech ecosystem. Students have the opportunity to apply for TAMID’s fully-funded Summer Fellowship and complete an 8-week internship in Tel Aviv.
UM’s chapter has won multiple national awards for its consulting work. In 2019, the students worked with three companies each with $20 million+ in funding. This year, the chapter also won TAMID’s international Consulting Case Competition and took home the top spot in the organization’s annual fundraising campaign.
This is not TAMID Miami’s first interaction with the local tech ecosystem. Previously, the group has consulted for Krillion Ventures and companies founded by UM alumni. Anwar Khan, the group’s Head of Partnerships, says about the new relationship: “It is a pleasure to be working with the startups at WeWork Labs. This will provide our members with a unique first-hand experience with the Miami startup scene.”
WeWork Labs accepts select startups for customized mentorship, growth, and support opportunities in addition to the global benefits and services that come with a full WeWork membership. As WeWork has grown rapidly in Miami, so too has the Labs program under Pedro Sostre’s leadership. He adds, “Miami has some of the most passionate entrepreneurs in the world, and a program that connects them to each other in a supportive community with access to coaches, mentors, and capital has been long overdue.” The following companies participated in the Pitch Night, held at the WeWork Security Building in Downtown Miami:
- Friendspire - Curates personal recommendations from friends for TV, books, restaurants, and more
- Travelspective - Helps people discover new experiences in their city through video
- Draying.io - Logistics SaaS-enabled marketplace for drayage trucking
- QuiteOften - Digital tool to make 1:1 meetings easy and effective
- Intupower - Virtual executive coaching platform
- Shimmy - AI chat client to help find dining and entertainment
The winning company, Travelspective (pictured with judges), was founded in 2016 by CEO Adrienne McWilliams. The company is also a part of Babson WIN Lab’s fourth Miami cohort. Travelspective joins two other startups, AutoLeadStar and LeakSmart, as a TAMID Miami client until May 2020.
To learn more about TAMID Group Miami, click here.
To learn more about WeWork Labs, click here.