Had the pleasure of meeting entrepreneur Leyanis Diaz (center), after she pitched Major Marketplace at the Startup FIU Pitch Day on Friday December 8. I approached her with the intention of learning more, and connecting her to two of our very own companies at the Innovation Hub at Broward College, BLKSTREET and GOVLIA, who operate in the same general customer space. To my delight, I found out Leyanis is already in conversations with at least one of our companies, seeking synergies and ways to collaborate. It is great to see young, dynamic, forward charging and engaged women entrepreneurs giving it their all for their mission to help their communities. Special shout-out to my friend Linda Holcman from What’s Next Ventures (left), who flew in from storm ravaged Puerto Rico and has been doing the rounds to learn more about how we in South Florida are creating programs for entrepreneurs to learn and prosper. She is researching best practices, making connections, and doing her own part down on the island. An ecosystem that cross-pollinates – whether it be locally, regionally or internationally – thrives.

An ecosystem that cross-pollinates, thrives