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Knight Foundation Joins Miami-Dade County and Citadel CEO Ken Griffin in Forming the Innovation Authority, a Nonprofit to Fund Pilot-Testing to Startups Addressing Community Challenges


The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is proud to join Miami-Dade County and Citadel CEO Ken Griffin in providing seed funding for the newly formed nonprofit Miami-Dade Innovation Authority, Inc. (Innovation Authority). In her annual State of the County, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced the launch of the Innovation Authority, which will supply grants to pioneering companies working to solve pressing community challenges related to climate, health, housing, transit, and more. 

“Miami-Dade County is the new frontier of tech innovation and entrepreneurship. The Innovation Authority will help us embrace our future and our destiny. This is all about seizing and accelerating opportunity,” said Alberto Ibargüen, president of the Knight Foundation. With $3 million from the Knight Foundation, $3 million from Miami-Dade County, and $3 million from Griffin, the Innovation Authority pilots an original model in which companies that receive grants will be invited to test new technologies in collaboration with Miami-Dade County with the goal of fast-tracking solutions to key challenges the county currently faces. 

With this approach, the Miami Dade Innovation Authority will work with private sector funders to support startups, leveraging both public and private dollars to maximize impact, while creating a path for entrepreneurs to test new technologies at scale. By inviting businesses to pilot community solutions in partnership with local government, Innovation Authority facilitates inventive resolutions to community challenges while simultaneously further positioning Miami-Dade as a destination for high-growth companies. 

 “We’re saying to entrepreneurs everywhere that we’re open for business, and we’re inviting the private sector to join us as we unlock more streamlined, more cost-effective solutions to big public sector problems,” said Mayor Levine Cava. “I am grateful to the Knight Foundation and Ken Griffin for this major investment in innovative problem-solving right here in Miami-Dade.”

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation 

As social investors, Knight Foundation supports 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. 

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