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Join us: Reshma Sohoni on startups, ecosystem building and Miami
Register for the Oct. 12 event with one of Europe's leading seed investors who now calls Miami home.
Join us for the first of an ongoing Opportunity Miami Live conversation series focused on Miami’s economic future. Register here for the Oct. 12th discussion with seed investor Reshma Sohoni.
Reshma Sohoni has been called “one of the true OGs” of the European tech scene.
In 2007 she co-founded Seedcamp, which continues today and is among the most prominent and successful early-stage venture capital firms in Europe. She was a leader in helping build London’s tech ecosystem, resulting in her receiving an MBE (or Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) from the Queen of England for contributions to the British tech community. This year Forbes again named Sohoni to its Midas List of best seed investors in the world.
But today Sohoni calls Miami home. She remains a managing partner at Seedcamp and travels to London monthly, but in 2021 she and her family decamped to Miami, putting down roots.
This month we’ll begin an Opportunity Miami Live conversation series focused on Miami’s future. And we’re kicking it off with Sohoni, who will join us on Thursday, October 12th. Like our Climate Tech Meetups, we’ll get started at 10 a.m. You can RSVP here.
When we launched Opportunity Miami as a platform at Miami-Dade Beacon Council focused on Miami’s economic future, we identified three areas critical to building the Miami of 2040 we want: dramatically increasing talent development and inclusion, leading in the transition to a sustainable, net-zero economy, and driving innovation and entrepreneurship to entirely new levels.
It’s that third area that we’ll drill down on with Sohoni, who brings a unique global perspective (and we’ll ask her about the other two focus areas as well). She is someone who has spent years spotting and supporting groundbreaking startups and also helping build the environments for such companies to thrive.
Entrepreneurship is, after all, at the core of any community's economic future. Studies have shown that the majority of net new job growth in the U.S. doesn’t come from large or small existing businesses, but new ones. For instance, a review of job creation in the U.S. from 2000 to 2018 found that nearly all of the net new jobs were created by businesses five years and younger, according to an America’s New Business Plan report.
Victor Hwang, founder of the entrepreneurship non-profit Right to Start and former leader of Kauffman Foundation’s entrepreneurship program, discussed this in a previous Opportunity Miami Interview, which you can watch here.
Furthermore, amid wrenching changes due to factors from automation and the Internet over the past three decades to artificial intelligence and climate today, thriving entrepreneurial sectors are the key antidote.
Meanwhile, efforts have been underway around the world to democratize company building and create many more places - rather than a select few, like Silicon Valley - for people to launch and grow game-changing businesses. Miami has been part of this movement for the past decade. Both Endeavor Miami - the global entrepreneurship organization’s first U.S. affiliate - and Miami tech conference eMerge Americas are each coming up on their 10th anniversary.
WHERE TO NEXT?
But where to next for Miami? Especially amid the great influx of people to the region - like Sohoni - during the pandemic? It’s an important moment to think about the next big step we would like to see Miami’s tech ecosystem take and the future we aim to build.
Sohoni is both a pioneer in the importance of propelling early-stage ventures and also a proponent of people building new companies in many different places rather than a select few.
Indeed, Sohoni co-founded Seedcamp more than 15 years ago with the belief that “exceptional talent can come from anywhere.” It’s a formula that’s proven successful.
With a focus on investing in companies at a very early stage, Seedcamp has funded more than 470 companies in cities ranging from Belfast and Bucharest to Amsterdam and Berlin (along with two companies in Nigeria and a few others in South Africa). Ten of these companies are unicorns today, valued at more than $1 billion. Its approach is industry agnostic and is instead focused on scrappy entrepreneurs using technology to attack large, global markets. “Whether you’re just coming out of University or about to start your third venture, we are the first port of call for you,” reads the Seedcamp website.
Notable startups Seedcamp has invested in include software company UiPath and fintech company Wise, which each went public in 2021. This year Seedcamp raised its sixth and latest fund of $180 million.
We hope you will join us for this conversation with Sohoni. We will, of course, touch on the current challenges in venture capital and company building, but staying true to our Opportunity Miami mission we will take a deep dive into the questions critical for Miami’s long-term economic future.
Opportunity Miami is a platform for people passionate about Miami’s future. As always, we would love to hear from you. Indeed, it’s because of the feedback we’ve received from many of you that we are starting a monthly in-person conversation series on our future. If you have a company or entrepreneur to suggest or an idea to share, email us at email@example.com.
We also invite you to subscribe to our YouTube channel to watch our Interviews and On Site video series featuring leaders shaping Miami's future. Please also follow us on our social media channels. If you were forwarded this newsletter, you can subscribe by clicking here. And if you are new to Opportunity Miami, you can learn about our mission and work here.
Hope to see you next week as we sit down with Reshma Sohoni.